CS Self-Study Questionnaire by 8K9nPz3


									I. Objectives and Assessments

Intent: The program has documented, measurable objectives, including expected outcomes for
        graduates. The program regularly assesses its progress against its objectives and used
        the results of the assessments to identify program improvements and to modify the
        program’s objectives.

Standard I-1. The program must have documented, measurable objectives.

Standard I-2. The program’s objectives must include expected outcomes for graduating

A. Objectives

Please attach items that support or precede the measurable objectives, e.g.,
    1.   Mission statements from institution, college, department, program
    2.   Plans (institution, college, department, etc.)
    3.   All objectives including expected outcomes for graduates (itemize)
    4.   Process for assessments
    5.   Who is involved in assessment and improvement?
    6.   Data from assessments
    7.   Inputs from any supporting Office of Assessment

1. Indicate below or attach to this document the program’s measurable objectives. These
   objectives must include expected outcomes for graduates.

 The objectives of the program are described by Educational Objectives, Program Objectives,
 and Strategic Goals.

 Achieving the Educational Objectives (EOs) prepares students for careers as software
 professionals and for graduate study in Computer Science.

 The program’s Educational Objectives for students are:
 EO1      A solid foundation in the fundamental areas of Computer Science.
 EO2      A good grasp of both hardware and software aspects of computer systems.
 EO3      A balance between theoretical and practical aspects of computing.
 EO4      Incorporation of campus “Learn by Doing” philosophy into all aspects of program.
 EO5      Awareness of discipline-related ethics and social responsibility issues.
 EO6      Training as a software professional and preparation for lifelong learning.

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To support these objectives, we have developed Program Outcomes (POs):
PO1     Proficiency in algorithms, data structures, software design, programming language
        concepts and computer architecture.
PO2     Proficiency in theoretical foundations of computing, problem analysis and solution
PO3     Proficiency in one or more modern programming languages.
PO4     Proficiency in oral and written communication.
PO5     Understanding of social and ethical issues in computing.

Each EO is satisfied by one or more POs, as shown in the following table:
                                   PO1 PO2 PO3 PO4 PO5
                            EO1     x      x      x
                            EO2     x      x      x
                            EO3     x      x      x
                            EO4     x      x      x      x
                            EO5                          x     x
                            EO6     x      x      x      x     x

Our Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes are supported by specific courses that we
call Witness Courses—courses that are assessed each quarter. Currently, these are the Witness
Courses we are using:
        CS 130    Discrete Structures
        CS 140    Introduction to Computer Science
        CS 141    Introduction to Programming and Problem-Solving
        CS 210    Computer Logic
        CS 240    Data Structures and Algorithms I
        CS 241    Data Structures and Algorithms II
        CS 301    Numerical Methods
        CS 311    Language Translation and Automata
        CS 331    Design and Analysis of Algorithms
        CS 380    Computer Networks
        CS 420    Artificial Intelligence
        CS 431    Operating Systems
        CS 435    Database Systems
        CS 463    Undergraduate Seminar

Note: CS 140 and CS 141 are evaluated together as a single course; CS educators often call
this CS1. Similarly, CS 240 and CS 241 are evaluated together as a single course; this is often
called CS2.

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The relationship of the Witness Courses to our Program Outcomes is shown in the following
                        Dept Course PO1 PO2 PO3 PO4 PO5
                          CS 130         x
                          CS 140             x       x
                          CS 141             x
                          CS 210     x
                          CS 240     x       x
                          CS 241     x       x
                          CS 301     x
                          CS 311         x
                          CS 331     x   x
                          CS 380         x
                          CS 420         x   x       x
                          CS 431     x   x           x
                          CS 435     x   x           x
                          CS 463                 x   x

Each Witness Course is assessed at least once per year by the collection of materials and
student work. The collected material is assessed by a group of course instructors who
determine what changes should be made in the course for the following year. The minutes of
these meetings can be found on the web page

Additional periodic reports concerning assessment can be found on the web page

Witness Courses will change as a new curriculum takes effect in Fall 2008. A discussion of the
changes can be found in

Each year, the department gathers to discuss Educational Objectives, Program Outcomes, and
Strategic Goals.

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 The current Strategic Goals (SGs) are these:
 SG1     Recruit and retain high quality faculty to satisfy student demand for the program.
 SG2     Provide adequate opportunities for faculty professional growth.
 SG3     Update curriculum to ensure a modern, comprehensive, standardized program of
 SG4     Manage enrollment to provide an appropriate number of high quality students.
 SG5     Provide a high level of student support to promote academic success and steady
         progress toward degree.
 SG6     Refresh classrooms and laboratories to provide up-to-date facilities for teaching and
 SG7     Maintain outreach with industry and the community for curricular feedback and
         program visibility.
 SG8     Offer more service and general education courses in order to smooth out enrollment

 We last assessed progress towards our Strategic Goals in a department meeting in April 2008.
 The minutes of that meeting can be found at

2. Describe how the program's objectives align with your institution's mission.

 Cal Poly Pomona’s mission is to advance learning and knowledge by linking theory and
 practice in all disciplines, and to prepare students for lifelong learning, leadership, and careers
 in a changing, multicultural world. The campus motto is “Learn by Doing.”

 There are six major University goals. All of the following goals are essential, and do not
 appear in priority order.
                                                                Associated program
               University Goal
                                                                objectives and goals
               To promote excellence in teaching,
                                                           EO*, SG* (All)
               learning, and educational programs
               To enhance effective acquisition, planning,
               and management of resources
               To promote and enhance research, scholarly,
               professional, and creative activities
               To enhance support for students                  SG5,6,8
               To improve the campus environment                SG1,2,4,5,6
               To increase community involvement                SG7

Note: On the following page is a table that can be filled out with pertinent information relating to
objectives, their measurement, and their effect on the implementation of program improvements.

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B. Implementation of Objectives

Please complete the following table with as many objectives as needed.

                                           When               Improvements         Improvements
 Objective      How measured
                                          measured              Identified          Implemented
                                        (collection of
                                        materials and
             The major core in-
                                        check off of
             cludes upper division
                                        Learning Out-
   E01       courses in each pri-
             mary area of Computer
                                        Annually (as-
                                        sessment of
                                        course direc-
                                                                               (1) GUI was spun off
             3 courses in logic, cir-                    (1) There was no      into elective course
             cuits, architecture.                        time for GUI in       CS 245.
             4 course sequence in                        CS 140–141.           (2) The material in
   E02                                  Annually.
             data structures fol-                        (2) CS 240–241        CS 240–241 has been
             lowed by many spe-                          was not well          clearly partitioned to
             cialized courses.                           organized.            facilitate complete cov-
                                                                               erage of all topics.
                                                                               The new sequence in-
                                                                               cludes required course
             Most courses empha-                         The theoretical se-
                                                                               CS 311 (Language
             size abstract and for-                      quence CS 310–
   E03                                  Annually.                              Translation and Auto-
             mal skills as well as                       440–441 was re-
                                                                               mata) and elective
             practical applications.                     vised.
                                                                               course CS 411 (Com-
                                                                               pilers and Interpreters).
             Most courses require
   E04       significant program-       Annually.
             ming or other projects.
             Ethics and social re-
             sponsibility are dis-
             cussed in required                          Students and
             course CS 375. (For-                        alumni reported
                                                                               CS 375 was created and
   E05       merly, social and ethi-    Annually.        little learning of
             cal issues were dis-                        ethics in the
             cussed in courses                           dispersed version.
             CS 140, 420, 431, 435,
             and 463.)
             CS 463 requires that
             students learn new
             material on their own,
   E06       just as they will do in    Annually.
             the course of their ca-
             reers after Cal Poly

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                                      When           Improvements                 Improvements
 Objective     How measured
                                     measured          Identified                  Implemented
                                                 The last two searches
                                                                            We plan to ask for a new
                                                 were begun and then
   SG1       Faculty growth.         Annually.                              hire as soon as the budget
                                                 cancelled because of
                                                 budget considerations.
             Faculty publications
                                                 Travel funds are
   SG2       and conference          Annually.                              None—budget is pitiful.
             Comparing our pro-                  Students did not have
                                                                            New curriculum has a
             gram to ACM-IEEE                    sufficient free units to
   SG3                               Annually.                              smaller core and allows
             CC 2001 and later                   keep our electives
                                                                            more electives.
             standards.                          viable.
             Number of majors.
                                                 The stream seems
             Number of entering
   SG4                               Annually.   under control at this
             majors. Free slots in
             offered courses.
             Student esprit de
                                                                            Several scholarships are
             corps. Participation
                                                                            now offered. The student
   SG5       in the student club     Annually.
                                                                            club, again affiliated with
             and programming
                                                                            the ACM, is vibrant.
                                                                            The university has installed
                                                                            high-tech smart podiums in
             Technology survey
                                                 Classrooms needed          all CS classrooms. The
   SG6       of classrooms and       Annually.
                                                 new technology.            renovation of Building 3
                                                                            will provide new labs for
                                                                            the department.
             Placement of new
                                                 We need to track our
             graduates. Alumni
                                                 alumni better. We need
             survey. Industry
   SG7                               Annually.   to involve more
             feedback re
                                                 industrial people in our
             graduates and
                                                 curricular process.
                                                 The total FTES of the
                                                                            We offer numerous service
             Number of non-                      department was too
   SG8                               Annually.                              courses, and two new GE
             majors served.                      dependent on the
                                                 number of majors.

Standard I-3. Data relative to the objectives must be routinely collected and documented, and
       used in program assessments.

Standard I-4. The extent to which each program objective is being met must be periodically

Standard I-5. The results of the program’s periodic assessment must be used to help identify
       opportunities for program improvement.

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C. Assessments

For each instrument used to assess the extent to which each of the objectives is being met by
your program, provide the following information:
    1. Frequency and timing of assessments
    2. What data are collected (should include information on initial student placement and
       subsequent professional development)
    3. How data are collected
    4. From whom data are collected (should include students and computing professionals)
    5. How assessment results are used and by whom

Attach copies of the actual documentation that was generated by your data collection and
assessment process since the last accreditation visit, or for the past three years if this is the first
visit. Include survey instruments, data summaries, analysis results, etc.

 Our assessments have involved Course Assessments, Graduating Student Surveys, and an
 Alumni Survey.

 Course Assessments

 This procedure is documented on the Department’s assessment web page,

 which describes the instruments used to collect data about individual courses. This data is
 collected each quarter for each Witness Course.

 Annually, the recent instructors (past, present, and future) of a Witness Course will meet to
 discuss the material, which has been collected over the past year. The minutes of these course
 meetings can be found at

 A typical file is

 which can be parsed as CS 301, with the date 070525—07 is the year, 05 is the month, and 25
 is the day. Course meetings examine how well the Learning Outcomes have been achieved,
 and sometimes we propose changes in the course description and Learning Outcomes.

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 Graduating Student Surveys

 This survey is documented as

 and the survey is administered to students in CS 463 (Senior Seminar) every quarter. Students
 in this course are very close to graduation, and we solicit their opinions about our Program
 Outcomes and how well we have achieved them. The surveys are discussed in annual reports
 (see Assessment Reports on http://www.csupomona.edu/~cs/department/assessment/), and at
 our latest full Department meeting about assessment:

 Alumni Survey

 In Spring 2007, we contacted all the alumni of the Computer Science program (including the
 graduate program), and we asked them to consider our program with respect to an expanded
 set of Program Outcomes (loosely approximating what we will use when we finally switch
 over to the new ABET criteria). The results of that survey are discussed in


 Alumni Tracking

 We are unable to answer ABET’s request that we include information on initial student
 placement and subsequent professional development. We are not currently tracking our
 graduates either immediately upon graduation or afterwards. Frankly, we don’t see how to do
 this with our current resources. In Spring 2007, the University provided us with mailing labels
 for about 2000 alumni of the program; of these, only 54 took the online alumni survey. We can
 envision a more active alumni group, but we lack human resources to bring it to life.
 Meanwhile, our best information about alumni can be found in unedited self-reports at

Standard I-6. The results of the program’s assessments and the actions taken based on the
       results must be documented.

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D. Program Improvement

Describe your use of the results of the program’s assessments to identify program improvements
and modifications to objectives.

    1. Any major program changes within the last five years
    2. Any significant future program improvement plans based upon recent assessments

 We have condensed the hardware sequence from four courses to three (CS 210–264–365).

 We have condensed the language theory sequence from three courses to two (CS 311–411), of
 which the last is elective.

 We added a required General Education course, CS 375 (Computers and Society), which
 brings together, in one course, our teaching about social and ethical issues. This eliminates
 student objections that social and ethical issues were presented in a rag-tag manner in a variety
 of courses (CS 140, 420, 431, 435, 463).

 After ABET’s visit, we expect to address some student skills that we should teach better: more
 teamwork, and improved written and oral communication.

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E. Program Evolution

1. Describe in what respect, if at all, the philosophy and direction of the computer science
   program has changed at your institution during the last five years, or since the last
   accreditation visit, whichever is the more recent.

 We have originated more applied courses:
         CS 356   Object-Oriented Design and Programming
         CS 380   Computer Networks
         CS 460   Secure Communication
         CS 480   Software Engineering

 We are implementing courses that tap students’ current interests: game development and

 We added a required General Education course, CS 375 (Computers and Society).

 In Fall 2008, students will find a new curricular structure: we have decided to go with a
 smaller core and to permit students to take more elective courses. We think this new
 curriculum will provide a more coherent and targeted core, and will allow students to tackle
 their interests by selecting appropriate elective courses. The new core can be seen here:

                                       currently becomes   to be
                        Dept Course
                                       assessed required assessed
                           CS 130          x        x        x
                           CS 140          x        x        x
                           CS 141          x        x        x
                           CS 210          x        x        x
                           CS 240          x        x        x
                           CS 241          x        x        x
                           CS 256                   x        x
                           CS 264                   x        x
                           CS 311          x        x        x
                           CS 331          x        x        x
                           CS 365                   x        x
                           CS 408                   x        x
                           CS 431          x        x        x
                           CS 463          x        x        x
                           CS 480                   x        x

                           CS 301           x
                           CS 380           x
                           CS 420           x
                           CS 435           x

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2. Describe any major developments and/or progress made in connection with the program in
   the last five years, or since the last accreditation visit, whichever is the more recent, that is
   not included in your response to Question I.C.

 See responses to preceding Questions I.C, I.D and I.E.1

F. Program Current Status

1. List the strengths of the unit offering the computer science program.

 The Department awarded eight scholarships in 2007–08. An anonymous donor gave $15,000
 to be awarded to one or two deserving juniors to fund their senior year. The Boeing
 Corporation gives $5,000 per year, awarded in $1000 scholarships. Nodus Corporation gave
 $1,000 this year.

 Many of our graduates go on to graduate school. John Georgas will be receiving a Ph.D. in
 Computer Science from UC Irvine, and he’ll be joining the CS faculty at Northern Arizona
 University. Jonathan Dautrich, Lan Dang, and Jefferson Herk are going to UC Riverside.
 Andrew Clark is continuing his studies in the master’s program at Cal Poly Pomona.

 Our labs in the newly refurbished Building 3 will contain brand-new equipment running
 Linux. CS tech Nam Kim will supervise and administer this equipment.

 Our teaching is very strong, and we have produced 668 graduates over the past six years.

 Most of our faculty have received assigned time to work on projects in research, scholarship,
 and administration.

 Several of our students have participated in Research Experience for Undergraduate programs
 around the world. Lan Dang went to Tennessee. Jim Herold went to Harvey Mudd College.
 Christopher Phillips (CS minor) went to China. Lesia Bilitchenko will be going to Harvey
 Mudd College.

 We have an ongoing internship program that places many students in part-time jobs with local
 industry. In particular, the SIRI program matches our students to the needs of the Jet
 Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA.

 Our curriculum underwent a major revision when we trimmed the number of quarter units for
 the degree from 194 to 180. We always keep an eye on the ACM/IEEE model curriculum for
 Computer Science.

 Students are kept on track in their studies by an enrollment system, which automatically
 enforces course prerequisites (BroncoDirect).

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2. List any weaknesses or limitations of the institution or unit offering the computer science

 The budget of the University is unstable and unpredictable. This plays havoc with our course
 offerings, since budget cuts have caused cuts in the number of lecturers we can hire.

 The budget cycle of the University is structurally inimical to the hiring process. We need to
 place ads during the summer, but the budget is not known until late September or October.
 This has led to two cycles of placing ads and then cancelling the searches.

 There is no component of the budget that refreshes computers in the labs. Indeed, there may
 not be a budget component for refreshing faculty computers.

 Historically, there was a long (almost ten-year) period during which new faculty were not
 hired. This led to a situation in which few faculty are poised career-wise to serve as Chair. In
 the last hiring cycle, we began a search for an outside Department Chair, but this search was
 cancelled because of budget problems. Luckily, a long-serving faculty member was convinced
 to take the Chair post. He succeeds a six-quarter temporary Chair.

 There is insufficient money for travel at the University, College, and Department levels.
 Acquiring the meager support that’s available requires going to two or three sources, and
 waiting for brief sign-up opportunities. If travel support were stronger and simpler, faculty
 would attend more national conferences that would keep them current in the discipline.

3. List any significant plans for future development of the program.

 We want to develop an effective system for tracking our graduates and keeping in touch with
 them. This might include a newsletter, annual banquet, and surveys.

 We want to increase the involvement of industrial partners in our assessment activities.

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