Skip navigation

Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes

 

Educational program objectives

In order to provide a quality undergraduate degree, the computer science program at VCU has three overarching objectives:

  1. Technical competency
    Graduates will apply their technical knowledge and skills to develop and Implement computer solutions that accomplish goals important to the industry, government or research area in which they are working. They will explore and integrate new technologies.
  2. Interpersonal skills
    Graduates will communicate with both technical (including supervisors, subordinates and coworkers) and non-technical people from multiple domains and work as part of teams.
  3. Professional awareness
    They will continue to grow intellectually and professionally in their chosen field.

These objectives have been chosen in order to meet the needs of our constituents: our students, employers and graduate schools. These are the traits we intend our students to have in order for them to succeed in either a career or graduate studies. They are also the traits that employers and graduate schools look for when evaluating computer science graduates.
These objectives are reviewed every other year by our students and our Advisory Board. Based on feedback from these constituents, changes are made to the objectives.

Learning outcomes

The Department of Computer Science has identified twelve learning outcomes that are periodically measured.

  1. Mathematics for Development of Computing Systems
    Graduates will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of mathematics to develop and analyze computing systems.
  2. Theory and concepts
    Graduates will have a solid understanding of the theory and concepts underlying computer science.
  3. Problem Specification and Analysis
    Graduates will have the conceptual knowledge and background to be able to analyze a problem and identify and define the computing requirements for its solution.
  4. Program Design
    Graduates will have the ability to design a computer-based system, process, component or program as well as design non-computing requirements.
  5. Solution Implementation
    Graduates will have the ability to implement a computer-based system, process, component or program.
  6. System Evaluation
    Graduates will have the ability to evaluate, verify, trouble-shoot, test and analyze an existing computer-based system, process, component or program.
  7. Technical Skills
    Graduates will demonstrate an ability to use current techniques, skills and tools for computing practice.
  8. Teamwork and Project Management
    Graduates will be able to work effectively in teams in designing and implementing software systems and effectively manage conflicts, optimize resources and meet deadlines.
  9. Ethical Issues
    Graduates will be aware of key ethical issues affecting computer science and their responsibilities as computer science professionals.
  10. Oral Communications
    Graduates will demonstrate the ability to orally communicate ideas and concepts clearly and in an organized manner.
  11. Written Communications
    Graduates will demonstrate the ability to write clear system documentation, user documentation and research reports.
  12. Social Impact
    Graduates will have an understanding of the impact of computers in society.

The following table gives the relationship of the educational objectives to the outcomes

Educational Objectives Outcomes
Technical competency 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Interpersonal skills 8, 10, 11
Professional awareness 9, 12

The implementation of these desired outcomes is accomplished through the students’ four-year immersion in the curriculum. The Computer Science Program at VCU supports these learning outcomes by offering a complete curriculum of computer science courses. These educational experiences prepare the student for a lifetime of growth in a computer science career.

These program outcomes are designed to prepare the student for a lifetime of growth in a computer science career. Download this implementation matrix Get Adobe Reader that shows where the student develops the desired knowledge and skills to achieve the desired outcomes.

Statistics

Fall 2013

Number of enrolled undergraduate students: 272, of which 14 graduated.

Spring 2014

Number of enrolled undergraduate students: 260, of which 32 are to graduate.