[EAS] Response to Flagging Enrollment

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Wed Sep 27 22:19:37 EDT 2006

Dear Colleagues -

Here is one major institution's response to flagging undergraduate 
enrollment, in this instance in Computer Science, but applicable to 
Engineering as well. It is a broad move that happily stays away from 
offering a degree in video gaming. There is clearly a bigger burden 
on informed and conscietious faculty advising, and assured compliance 
with accreditation requirements may be more complicated.
Do look at the InsideHigherEd article. It has a link to the faculty 
white paper that led to the changes, and in the sidebar links to some 
interesting related stories.


(from Edupage, September 27, 2006)

Responding to the large-scale exodus of students from computer science
programs nationwide, the Georgia Institute of Technology is undertaking
a fundamental redesign of the curriculum for computer science majors.
The new approach replaces the core curriculum with courses that follow
"threads" and "roles." Students choose two of eight threads of
instruction and tailor their schedules around those concepts. Threads
include computational modeling, intelligence, and so on. Many of the
courses that compose a student's threads might be taught by faculty
outside the computer science department. For the role part of the
curriculum, students choose either programmer, entrepreneur, innovator,
or communicator, which guides selection of other courses. The hoped-for
result is a curriculum that provides the flexibility and breadth that
students need to compete in the changing high-tech landscape. Richard
DeMillo, dean of the College of Computing, noted that confidence in the
job market for computer science graduates is flagging, saying that he
spends considerable amount of time talking to parents about their
children's prospects. He believes the new curriculum will help allay
their concerns.
Inside Higher Ed, 26 September 2006

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