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 contribution 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.
The program must enable the student to attain, by the time of graduation:
- An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline.
- An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution.
- An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component or program to meet desired needs.
- An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal.
- An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities.
- An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society.
- Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development.
- An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice.
- An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices.
- An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity.
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 eleven 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.