Change in an Existing Course

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University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Curriculum Proposal Form #4A

Change in an Existing Course

Type of Action (check all that apply)

 Course Revision (include course description & former and new syllabus)  Grade Basis

 Contact Hour Change and or Credit Change  Repeatability Change

 Diversity Option  Other:      

 General Education Option

area:  *

* Note: For the Gen Ed option, the proposal should address how this course relates to specific core courses, meets the goals of General Education in providing breadth, and incorporates scholarship in the appropriate field relating to women and gender.

Effective Term: 

Current Course Number (subject area and 3-digit course number): COMPSCI 174
Current Course Title: Introduction to C++
Sponsor(s): Jonathan Kane

Department(s): Mathematical and Computer Sciences

List all programs that are affected by this change:

All degree programs requiring GM credits

If programs are listed above, will this change affect the Catalog and Advising Reports for those programs? If so, have Form 2's been submitted for each of those programs?

(Form 2 is necessary to provide updates to the Catalog and Advising Reports)
 NA  Yes  They will be submitted in the future

Proposal Information: (Procedures for form #4A)

  1. Detailed explanation of changes (use FROM/TO format)


COMPSCI 174 is currently not designated as General Education


Designation of COMPSCI 174 as General Education GM

I.Justification for action

COMPSCI 171 (Introduction to Programming) has long been designated as a General Education GM course. That course has only a MATH 141 prerequisite. COMPSCI 174 (Introduction to C++) is a slightly more advanced course with a prerequisite of one Mathematics course beyond MATH 141. Students with absolutely no background in programming are recommended to take COMPSCI 171 as their first course in computer programming. Many students have had either formal or informal training in computer programming before arriving on campus, and these students usually prefer taking either COMPSCI 172 or the newer COMPSCI 174 as their first programming course, skipping COMPSCI 171. Since COMPSCI 172 and COMPSCI 174 cover what is considered entry level material, they too should be designated as general studies. Making COMPSCI 172 and COMPSCI 174 GM courses would be analogous to our having the both our Calculus courses (MATH 243, 259, 253) marked as GM and our pre-Calculus courses (MATH 143, 152) marked as GM, or having the first four semester of a language all designated General Education.

COMPSCI 174 meets the following General Education Goals:
1. Think critically and analytically integrate and synthesize knowledge, and draw conclusions from complex material.
COMPSCI 174 teaches general computer programming skills that give students a new tool for analysis of a very wide variety of data. Programming also teaches students to think critically about the instructions they write, forcing them to express their thoughts logically and precisely.
4. Acquire a base of knowledge common to educated persons and the capacity to expand that base over their lifetime.
Besides teaching the basics of the C++ programming language, COMPSCI 174 gives students the general knowledge about computer programming. Students can apply this knowledge toward learning many other programming languages as well as to the customization of common computer packages such as word processors, spreadsheets, data managers, statistical packages, and so forth.
5. Communicate effectively in written, oral, and symbolic form
Learning any new programming language teaches students to write in a very precise symbolic form to express their ideas.
8. Develop the mathematical and quantitative skills necessary of calculation, analysis and problem solving.
Computer programming is an invaluable skill for performing calculations and analyzing data. It requires and improves mathematical and quantitative skills.

  1. Syllabus/outline (if course revision, include former syllabus and new syllabus)

COMPSCI 174: Introduction to C++

Required Texts:

C++ How to Program, Sixth Edition” by Paul J. Deitel.

Course Description

This course seeks to teach its students basic programming skills using a structured high-level This course seeks to teach its students basic programming skills using a structured high-level language. Specifically, the basic topics such as basic input and output, declare and use variables, use of control statements, implement functions using values and reference parameters, arrays, structures. Students will write moderately complex applications using C++.

Prerequisite: MATH 143 or MATH 152 or qualify to a calculus class.

Course Objectives


Given a simple real-world problem, students will be able to develop C++ programs to gather input data, solve the problem using fundamental control structures and data structures such as arrays and structs, and display results.


Given a real world problem, students will be able to develop a multiple function C++ program solution.

Tentative Course Schedule


READINGS Assignment




Syllabus, Class Introduction, Computer Basics


Chapter 1

Algorithm, flowchart, pseudo code.

Fundamentals of C++

Lab 1

Project 1 given


Chapter 2

Modifying Variables, Control Structures

Lab 2


Chapter 2

Control Structures (continue)

Lab 3


Chapter 3

Function Basics

Project 1 due

Lab 4


Chapter 3

Variable Scoping & Functions

Lab 5

Project 2 given


Chapter 3

Iterative Constructs

Lab 6


Review of Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

Midterm 1


Modular Programming

Lab 7

Project 2 due


Chapter 4


Lab 8


Chapter 4


Lab 9

Project 3 given


Chapter 5

Pointers & Strings

Lab 9


Chapter 5

Pointers & Strings

Lab 10


Chapter 6


Lab 11


Chapter 6


Lab 12

Project 3 due


Review of Chapters 1-6

Final exam

Grading Policy



3 Projects


12 Labs


Midterm exam


Final exam




 Letter Grade


Letter Grade



94 to 100%


90 to 93%


87 to 89%


84 to 86%


80 to 83%


77 to 79%


74 to 76%


70 to 73%


67 to 69%


64 to 66%


60 to 63%


Less than 60%

Technology requirement

Microsoft Visual C++ (for Windows users) OR GNU C++ (for LINUX users)

Evaluation Criteria of projects

  • Timeliness: The assignment is completed on time. Please see policy for late assignments below. Deadlines are given for all assignments.

  • Completeness: All parts of a given assignment are to be submitted at the same time. However, if you have not completed an assignment by the time it is due, you are better off submitting what you have rather than nothing.

  • Accuracy: The assignment has been completed according to the directions given. The deliverable delivered is what was asked for. Program needs to be run-able.

  • Content: the format of the content will be given for each homework, assignment and exam. These guidelines need to be followed closely. 

Attendance and participation:

Class participation is very important and will be based on class attendance, punctuality, ability to contribute in class discussions, answer questions and coming prepared to class with assigned readings. All students are expected to prepare for and participate in class.

In class exercises

These practice exercises are designed to help students to be familiar with the process of designing a simple program and understanding the materials presented in class better. To prepare for this part, students are expected to read assigned chapters from the textbook and pay attention to the lectures in class.

All the labs/projects are due in class by the deadline given in each assignment. That means, I will collect the labs/projects before starting the class. Students will be submitted each project in a floppy disk (or a CD) along with documentation on how to run each program. Specific guidelines for submitting projects will be delivered by the time each project is issued.

Late Project

I only accept late submission for projects 1 and 2. Each late project is penalized 5% for each day it is late. Absolutely no late submission is accepted for the project 3.
Exam policy/Make-ups:
I will check student ID before midterm and final exams. A missed exam will count as zero unless the reason for missing the exam is approved by me as a valid excuse. This approval should be gained in advance except in cases of emergency. An exam missed for an approved reason will simply not figure into computing the grade for the course.

Religious Beliefs Accommodation

Board of Regents policy states that students’ sincerely held religious beliefs shall be reasonably accommodated with respect to scheduling all examinations and other academic requirements. Students must notify the instructor, within the first three weeks of the beginning of classes, of the specific days or dates on which they will request accommodation from an examination or academic requirement. For additional information, please refer to the section in the University Bulletin and the Timetable titled "Accommodation of Religious Beliefs."

Academic Misconduct

The University believes that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education and of the University of Wisconsin System. The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with instances of academic dishonesty. Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of others’ academic endeavors. Students who violate these standards are subject to disciplinary action. UWS Chapter 14 identifies procedures to be followed when a student is accused of academic misconduct. For additional information, please refer to the section in the Student Handbook titled "Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures."

Absence for University-Sponsored Events:

University policy adopted by Faculty Senate and the Whitewater Student Government states that students will not be academically penalized for missing class in order to participate in university-sanctioned events. They will be provided an opportunity to make up any work that is missed; and if class attendance is a requirement, missing a class in order to participate in a university-sanctioned event will not be counted as an absence. A university-sanctioned event is defined to be any intercollegiate athletic contest or other such event as determined by the Provost. Activity sponsors are responsible for obtaining the Provost’s prior approval of an event as being university-sanctioned and for providing an official list of participants. Students are responsible for notifying their instructors in advance of their participation in such events.

University Statement

The University of Wisconsin—Whitewater is dedicated to a safe, supportive and non-discriminatory learning environment. It is the responsibility of all undergraduate and graduate students to familiarize themselves with University policies regarding Special Accommodations, Misconduct, Religious Beliefs Accommodation, Discrimination and Absence for University sponsored events. (For details, please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate Timetables; the "Rights and Responsibilities" section of the Undergraduate Bulletin; the Academic Requirements and Policies and the Facilities and Services sections of the Graduate Bulletin; and the "Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures" [UWS Chapter 14]; and the "Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures" [UWS Chapter 17]).

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