Program Educational Objectives
Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years of graduation. Program educational objectives are based on the needs of the program's constituencies.
As graduates of the Weber State University Dept. of Computer Science gain career experience, they
- Will be making positive contributions to industry, technology, or education
- Will be demonstrating and exemplifying professional and ethical practices in all aspects of their career
- Will be practicing and exemplifying effective and collegial collaboration in all team activities
- Will be continuously engaged in effective self-directed learning that supports the acquisition of the new skills demanded by their careers and the understanding of new concepts necessary for their continued contributions to the computing field
The Program Educational Objectives define the ultimate goal of an effective learning experience. Outcome 1 implies that graduates have acquired the broad range of computing skills and have developed the positive and professional attitudes and motives necessary for a productive computing career. Outcome 2 suggests that graduates understand their obligation to society and that they strive to better it as they advance their individual careers. Outcome 3 acknowledges that most contemporary computing tasks require a group effort and that graduates' individual actions magnify that group effort. Outcome 4 recognizes that computing knowledge evolves rapidly and that graduates respond by developing the skills and the attitudes needed to stay abreast of the advancing knowledge.
Student Learning Outcomes
Student outcomes describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the program.
- Students will understand the importance of and will practice professional and ethical behavior, and will understand the professional, ethical, legal, security, and social responsibilities of computing professionals.
- Students will be able to read and understand manuals, documentation, and technical literature, find and understand sources of information, and learn on their own what they need to continue to perform professionally after graduation.
- Students will be able to function as a team member and carry out assigned tasks.
- Students will have the understanding and the skills needed to be employable, and to be immediately and continuously productive.
- Students will have a basic understanding of computer theory, software design and operation, project management, databases, networking, and computer architecture.
- Students will understand algorithm design and how to express and how to implement algorithms using a variety of notations, programming languages, and paradigms.
- Students will be able to debug computer programs.
- Students will be able to express themselves clearly both verbally and in writing.
- Students will be able to critically evaluate the quality and the features of information from various sources and to make informed decisions about the design of information systems.
Program Educational Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes differ in two key respects. The first distinguishing characteristic is time: objectives are fully attained after graduation while outcomes are achieved by the time of graduation. Objectives and outcomes are further distinguished by the degree of abstraction versus concreteness: objectives are abstract, high-level behaviors while outcomes are lower-level, more concrete skills. The nine learning outcomes were developed in cooperation with the WSU CS Industry Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives of local computing industries that hire numerous WSU CS graduates. The members of the CS faculty believe that the department's curriculum will support students’ efforts to attain these outcomes.