University Curriculum Committee



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University Curriculum Committee

Proposal for new Academic Plan, Plan change, or Plan Deletion




1. College

Engineering, Forestry & Natural Sciences

2. Academic Unit/Department

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science




3. Academic
Plan Name


Major in Applied Computer Science

4. Subplan (if applicable)?













5. Effective Date

FALL 2011




6. Is this proposal for a :

 New Plan




 Plan Change*




 Plan Deletion




 New Subplan




 Subplan Change




 Subplan
Deletion




*Plan changes must be accompanied by an updated 8 semester plan.
7. ALL Education plans, please indicate NCATE Designation:



Initial Plan  Advanced Plan  Remove Designation
 Change from Initial to Advanced Plan  Change from Advanced to Initial Plan

8.


For Plan Changes, place the existing catalog text in this column. Please copy and paste the text directly from the current on line academic catalog: (http://www4.nau.edu/aio/AcademicCatalog/academiccatalogs.htm)

Be sure you include all catalog text that pertains to this plan change




For New Plans, leave this column blank.




B.S. Applied Computer Science


To earn this degree, you must complete at least 120 units of coursework, which we describe in the sections that follow:

  • at least 35 units of liberal studies requirements.  Be aware that you may not use courses with a CS prefix to satisfy these liberal studies requirements.

  • at least 60 units of preprofessional requirements (some of which also count towards liberal studies requirements)

  • at least 52 units of professional requirements

  • There are no electives in this degree program.  To complete the degree with 120 units, you will need to use some courses in more than one category.  The Eight-Term degree plan available on the Gateway website lists the courses and semesters in which they must be taken to complete the degree within 8 semesters and 120 units.

Constraints and Observations:


Some courses required for your degree may have prerequisites that you must also take.  Check the courses in the appropriate subject.  (You may be able to count these prerequisites toward your liberal studies or as a general elective credit.)

Please note that you must complete Northern Arizona University’s diversity requirements by taking two 3-unit courses, one in U.S. ethnic diversity and one in global diversity awareness. These courses may be used to meet other requirements within your academic plan if you choose them carefully. Click here for a list of the available diversity courses.

Northern Arizona University requires that at least 30 units of the courses you take for your degree must be upper-division courses (those number 300 and above).

You must receive a grade of C or better in all letter-graded CS Core courses (see below) and in CS 476C; you may have no more than two grades of D in preprofessional and professional courses.

You may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement; however, you must still meet the total of at least 120 units to graduate.  Contact your advisor for details.

Pre-professional Requirements  


60 total units, distributed as follows:  

  • Seven credits of science and lab science courses, as required by Northern Arizona University liberal studies, plus an additional 3-credit science course (excluding CS courses) for a total of 10 science credits. Recitation courses do not count towards this requirement.

  • Four semesters (16 hours) of a modern, non-English language; at least two semesters of this must be in the same language.

  • MAT 125 or MAT 136; and MAT 226 (7 units)  

  • CENE 225 or STA 270 or STA 275 (3 units; Eng. science and applied math)

  • International Awareness:  9 units of coursework, chosen from the following set of courses: POS 120, POS 201, POS 361, ANT 102, ANT 103, ANT 301, REL 150, GGR 240, GGR 241, GGR 370W, POS 360, POS 380, POS 480, POS 482, ECO 483, ECO 486, HIS 251, HIS 314, HIS 332, HUM 261, HUM 281, HUM 362, HUM 382, ES 300, PHI 150, SOC 215, CENS 396. Other internationally-relevant courses may be substituted with the department chair’s approval.

  • Tech Electives: 12 units chosen from EE, MAT, PHY, CHM, GGR, BIO, and CS general elective courses, all at the 200 level or above.   (You may use technical/science courses with other prefixes with chair's approval.)

  • ENG 302W, which meets Northern Arizona University’s junior writing requirement (3 units)  

52 units as detailed below, that provide you with a thorough background in computer science:  

  • CS Core: 110, 126, 126L, 136, 136L, 200, 248, 249, 301, 345, 386, and 480 (30 units)  

  • CS 476C, which meets Northern Arizona University’s senior capstone requirement (4 units)

  • CS Electives: 18 units of additional approved CS elective courses at the 300 level or above. (You may also petition to substitute other courses, such as MAT or EE, with the department chair’s approval.)

General Electives  


Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.  You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren’t used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

Click here for more information about Computer Science undergraduate courses and faculty.

Show the proposed changes in this column. Please BOLD the changes, to differentiate from what is not changing and strikethrough what is being deleted.


(Describe the changed requirements under headings that match those used in the left column. Please be aware that if the units are not totaled correctly, the catalog editor will adjust them accordingly.)

B.S. Applied Computer Science


To earn this degree, you must complete at least 120 units of coursework, which we describe in the sections that follow:

  • at least 35 units of liberal studies requirements.  Be aware that you may not use courses with a CS prefix to satisfy these liberal studies requirement

  • at least 60 22 units of preprofessional requirements (some of which also count towards liberal studies requirements)

  • at least 52 60 units of professional major requirements

  • There are no electives in this degree program.  To complete the degree with 120 units, you will need to use some courses in more than one category.  The Eight-Term degree plan available on the Gateway website lists the courses and semesters in which they must be taken to complete the degree within 8 semesters and 120 units.

  • elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units  

Constraints and Observations:


Some courses required for your degree may have prerequisites that you must also take.  Check the courses in the appropriate subject.  (You may be able to count these prerequisites toward your liberal studies or as a general elective credit.)

Please note that you must complete Northern Arizona University’s diversity requirements by taking two 3-unit courses, one in U.S. ethnic diversity and one in global diversity awareness. These courses may be used to meet other requirements within your academic plan if you choose them carefully. Click here for a list of the available diversity courses.

Northern Arizona University requires that at least 30 units of the courses you take for your degree must be upper-division courses (those number 300 and above), and 30 units of courses must be taken at NAU.

You must receive a grade of C or better in all letter-graded CS Core courses and CS 486C. No more than one D is allowed in CS electives and technical electives (see below). and in CS 476C; you may have no more than two grades of D in preprofessional and professional courses.



Finally, please note that Yyou may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement; however, you must still meet the total of at least 120 units to graduate.  Contact your advisor for details.

Pre-professional Requirements

60 22 total units, distributed as follows:  

  • Seven credits of science and lab science courses, as required by Northern Arizona University liberal studies, plus an additional 3-credit science course (excluding CS courses) for a total of 10 science credits. Recitation courses do not count towards this requirement.

  • Four semesters (16 hours) of a modern, non-English language; at least two semesters of this must be in the same language.

  • MAT 125 or MAT 136; and MAT 226 (7 units)  

  • CENE 225 or STA 270 or STA 275 (3 units; Eng. science and applied math)

  • International Awareness:  9 units of coursework, chosen from the following set of courses: POS 120, POS 201, POS 361, ANT 102, ANT 103, ANT 301, REL 150, GGR 240, GGR 241, GGR 370W, POS 360, POS 380, POS 480, POS 482, ECO 483, ECO 486, HIS 251, HIS 314, HIS 332, HUM 261, HUM 281, HUM 362, HUM 382, ES 300, PHI 150, SOC 215, CENS 396. Other internationally-relevant courses may be substituted with the department chair’s approval.

  • Tech Electives: 12 9 units, all at the 200-level or above, chosen from EE, MAT, PHY, CHM, GGR, BIO, and CS general elective courses, all at the 200 level or above. (You may use technical/science courses with other prefixes with the department chair's approval.)

  • ENG 302W, which meets Northern Arizona University’s junior writing requirement (3 units)

Major Requirements

 52 60 units as detailed below, that provide you with a thorough background in computer science:  



  • CS Core: 110, 112, 122, 122L, 126, 126L, 136, 136L, 200, 212, 248, 249, 301, 345, 386, and 480 (30 41 units)  

  • CS 476C CS486C, which meets Northern Arizona University’s senior capstone requirement (4 units)

  • CS Electives: 18 15 units of additional approved CS elective courses at the 300 level or above. (You may also petition to substitute other courses, such as MAT or EE, with the department chair’s approval. Other computing-intensive courses may be petitioned for approval to the department chair)

General Electives  


Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.  You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren’t used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

Click here for more information about Computer Science undergraduate courses and faculty.

9. For undergraduate plans, will this requirement be a student individualized plan*?  no  yes

*A Student Individualized Plan is an academic requirement that varies by student, such as the 15-unit BAiLS focus, for which
coursework requirements are established by the student in consultation with the advisor.

If yes, the academic unit listed at the top of this form hereby takes responsibility for providing complete
information about each student’s individual requirements for the degree audit system.

10. For undergraduate plans, will a milestone** be used to:

 a. verify satisfactory completion of a non course requirement.

 b. indicate admission to a major.

 c. will not be used.

**A Milestone is used to record noncourse requirements, such as the HRM 800-hour work experience requirement or admission to Business Major status.
If yes, the academic unit listed at the top of this form hereby takes responsibility for maintaining the
milestone and keeping individual student records up to date.
11. Please list the Learning Outcomes of the Plan/Subplan (see degree major assessment webpage -
http://www4.nau.edu/assessment/main/degree/degree.htm).
Outcome 1: The CS program provides a quality, personalized, undergraduate education.

Outcome 2: The CS program encourages students to integrate computing skills with any of a broad range of other disciplines.

Outcome 3: Graduates will have well-developed leadership, project management, and small team development skills.

Outcome 4: Graduates will have a strong background in all practical aspects of computer science. They will be able to design and build high quality, functional solutions to real-world computing challenges.

Outcome 5: Graduates will have a solid background in modern international engineering practice, including intercultural teaming skills and awareness of international engineering issues.

Outcome 6: Graduates will be acquainted with major professional ethical issues and ways of thinking about them.

Outcome 7: Graduates will have strong communication and technical writing skills, including delivery of effective presentations, reporting, and proposal writing.
12. Justification for proposal. Please indicate how past assessments of student learning prompted proposed changes.
This program was initiated to serve two groups of students – 1) Chinese 1+2+1 and 2) students who are more suited to careers in smaller scale, hands-on applied programming. It is now apparent that the first group of students will not be coming, so changes to the program are being made to better help it meet the needs of the second group of students, to streamline the program requirements, and to serve the needs of employers like the US Geological Survey for these graduates.
13. If this academic plan/subplan will require additional faculty, space, or equipment, how will these requirements be satisfied?

NA
14. Will this academic plan/subplan affect other majors, liberal studies course offerings, plans/subplans, curricula, or enrollment at NAU?
If so, attach supporting documentation from the affected departments/units and college dean.

No

15. Will present library holdings support this academic plan/subplan?

NA

Certifications

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Department Chair/ Unit Head (if appropriate) Date
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chair of college curriculum committee Date


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dean of college Date



For committee use only

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

For University Curriculum Committee Date

Action taken: __________approved as submitted __________approved as modified



MEMORANDUM
DATE: 12/10/2010
SUBJECT: Curricular Changes in the Applied Computer Science (ACS) program
FROM: Dieter Otte, Assistant Chair EE/CS

TO: Pauline Entin, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences

CC: Paul Jagodzinski, Dean of the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences

Pauline,


I would like to inform you about the substantial curricular changes that we are submitting to the CEFNS Curriculum Committee.

For quite some time we have been concerned about the low enrollment numbers of our Applied Computer Science (ACS) degree. We originally created this program at the express request of the Provost, to provide an attractive program for China 1-2-1 students coming to NAU, as well as to fill a critical void between full-scale software engineering and computer information systems (CIS) for our domestic constituents. Last summer I voiced my concerns over low enrollment in an email to the director of the Center for International Education, Harvey Charles, pointing out that the China 1-2-1 program has not been providing the large number of students promised for this program. His recommendation was to keep the program in place for at least one year and revisit the issue, if the problem still persists.

Over the last few weeks, however, it has become apparent that the China 1-2-1 program is not going to produce the results that were originally expected, and thus, we’ve decided to take this opportunity to fully reorient the program to better serve the growing domestic market for applied programmers; freed of the constraints of catering to the China 1-2-1 needs, we can remove the impediments that have prevented it from being more attractive to our own domestic students. At the same time, we are streamlining the curriculum so that it differs from the BSCS by at least 24 units, but requires only one additional course (down from three) to deliver the program. In this way, the revised program provides maximum benefits for a minimal investment of additional resources. We feel that this redesign is a model for the sort of curricular efficiency the President and Provost have called for.

BSACS: Program Vision and Mission

In the original program proposal, we pointed out the growing domestic market for applied programmers, as more and more companies integrate computing technology, creating a need for personnel that can not only configure and deploy off-the-shelf solutions (a career profile for CIS majors), but that can create (relatively) small-scale software to streamline internal data management; this market has only grown in the years since. At the same time, a substantial number of students who were capable and promising programmers, but failed in the hard theoretical core of our flagship BSCS program expressed frustration at having to leave computer science completely, e.g., to take a CIS degree. What is needed is a program that allows us to retain gifted programmers, and that refocuses their training on the growing applied computing market. This concept was strongly supported by our industrial constituents on our Departmental Advisory Council (DAC), who enthusiastically agreed that well-trained applied programmers are desperately needed to fill the gap between elite software engineers and non-programming IT support staff.

Our existing BSACS program was designed to meet this need, but was always hampered by the unique needs of the (promised) China 1-2-1 constituency. We now envision a thoroughly restructured program that lowers the threshold to acquiring a computing degree, with specific focus on training that puts an emphasis on practical programming skills. It will be substantially different from a CIS degree, which focuses on system administration and commercial software configuration and deployment (versus software creation). It will also be different from our BSCS, which focuses on creating top-tier software engineers, who are of course good programmers, but with training that emphasizes design of large-scale software architectures, development of advanced algorithms and theoretical models, and enterprise-scale software project work.



The BSACS in its new form is designed to particularly target students from community colleges and first-generation college students. It alleviates the transition from a community college by providing general electives to allow transfer units that have been acquired at such institutions to count toward graduation. This is achieved by eliminating traditionally hard classes with theoretical content, by reducing the number of higher-level CS electives/ technical electives, by reducing the science and mathematics required, and by removing the intimidating two-year foreign language requirement (originally added to accommodate China 1-2-1). At the same time we add in a number of lower-level/practice-oriented CS classes and general electives (see the table below).

Outline of changes

ACS - in its current form

ACS - redesigned

Language requirement

16 units

-

Science electives (SCI/LAB, SCI/SAS)

10 units

7 units

Technical electives

12 units

9 units

CS electives

18 units

15 units

General electives

-

9 units

Lower-level CS classes

17 units

27 units

These changes are expected to achieve several important goals:

  1. We expect to see a significant increase of the enrollment numbers in the ACS, reaching at least 100 students and 15 graduates/year at the end of three years.

  2. The BSACS will help us to retain those students who are struggling with difficult classes in our BSCS program by allowing them to drop back into the BSACS. Foundational classes like CS 126, CS 136 and CS249 in the BSCS, are time-shifted by one year in the ACS program making it especially easy for such students in the BSCS to transfer over into the ACS, without any delay in their overall degree progression.

  3. We also expect to see noticeably lower DWF rates in rigorous BSCS classes both from students who transfer to BSACS and from freshmen who are not well-suited for the BSCS being placed from the outset of their program into the BSACS.

  4. We will directly serve a growing market in Applied Computing. The need for graduates from our BSACS program will be strong as evidenced by our discussions with our Program Advisory Council industry members and enrollments in similar programs nationwide. In a press release from the Computing Research Association dated March 24, 2010, enrollment nationwide is up 14 percent between 2007 and 2009 while the NAU CS and ACS programs increased 55.9% between 2008 and 2010. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computing occupations are likely to grow by 22.2% between now and 2018, which is much faster than average.

In sum, we expect the redesigned BSACS program to meet a vital educational need here at NAU, as well as serving a growing nationwide market. Given the original motivations for the program, we had relied almost exclusively on the Center for International Education to market the BSACS program; it has received only minimal peripheral exposure in our own marketing. Given this, we have quietly accumulated 22 students in the program (with only one from China), testifying to the fundamental attractiveness of the concept. With the redesign, we plan to aggressively market the program, both to incoming freshmen and to community colleges, and provide better advising resources for the Gateway Student Success Center and college advisors.
Best regards,

Wolf-Dieter Otte




Revised 09/07


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