Asee peer logo

Adding Software Engineering Emphasis to an ECE curriculum

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Software Engineering Constituent Committee Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Pat Smith Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts

visit author page

Mr. Pat Smith lives in Edmond Oklahoma. He has been married for 32 years to Dr. Virginia Smith, a leading expert and author in the field of higher education. He has a son who is a physician and daughter who teaches physics and chemistry. Mr. Smith enjoys long distance road cycling and board games. He gained his undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma in Computer Engineering in 1984. Following this he worked in industry for Conoco Inc, Du Pont, and Cisco Systems. At Cisco Systems he worked with Cisco customers designing and deploying core Internet designs and technologies. In 2005 Mr. Smith earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from Colorado State and 1 year later left industry to teach engineering at Oklahoma Christian University. Mr. Smith’s emphasis is in first year student success, mentoring young engineers, and data communications. He consistently scores well in student feedback and enjoys regular strong relationships with his students and classes.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper describes a project conducted at Oklahoma Christian (OC) University to add software engineering emphasis to an existing Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Engineering (CompE) Program. Over a 2 year period the OC Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department received input from alumnae, industry representatives, and advisory board members that indicated significant value to EE and CompE graduates for having greater knowledge in areas related to software engineering. In response to this input two faculty members from the ECE department conducted a survey of alumnae and local engineering industry to gauge the need and determine what software engineering topics should be emphasized in an undergraduate ECE program to prepare EE and CompE students for entry level work that will involve software engineering responsibilities. The investigation confirmed the need for added software engineering topics and provided insights which guided topic selection. The results of that investigation are presented here. Accordingly, the OC ECE department modified EE and CompE curriculum to add specific software engineering topics to existing courses in order to create a logical progression of software engineering education through a series of courses. Several courses now contain relevant additional software content to prepare students for entry-level engineering work. This content is coordinated across the curriculum to build from the junior through senior courses and makes use of required and elective courses. These are now formally identified together and, if taken together, provide an emphasis in the software engineering topics that were requested by local engineering industry. The changes to curriculum are presented in this paper. OC Electrical and Computer engineering students can now graduate with an emphasis in software engineering and will be better prepared for the high degree of software related engineering work they are likely to face as they begin their careers.

Smith, P. (2016, June), Adding Software Engineering Emphasis to an ECE curriculum Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26523

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015