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Designing Curricula To Teach Concepts And Increase Employability

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.472.1 - 12.472.11



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Paper Authors


Alka Harriger Purdue University

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Alka Harriger joined the faculty of the Computer and Information Technology Department (CIT) in 1982 and is currently a Professor of CIT and Assistant Department Head. The CIT Department offers baccalaureate degrees in information technology. Additionally, CIT offers numerous service courses to the university in the areas of pc literacy and programming. Professor Harriger's current interests include reducing the IT gender gap, web application development, and service learning.

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Kyle Lutes Purdue University

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Kyle Lutes is an Associate Professor of Computer & Information Technology (CIT). He has authored/co-authored a numerous papers, many of which were presented at national conferences or published in trade magazines/journals as well as two college textbooks. His teaching and scholarly interests cover all areas of software development, including programming languages, mobile computing, object-oriented programming (OOP), software engineering, client/server information systems, web application development, user interface design, and rapid application development (RAD). Kyle has been writing software professionally since 1982. Prior to his current appointment at Purdue, he held various software development positions in industry.

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Jack Purdum Purdue University

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Jack Purdum is currently an assistant professor in the Computer Technology department at Purdue University. He is the author of 14 programming texts and has research interests in methods in computer language education, image processing, and mobile computing. Dr. Purdum was also the CEO of a company that produced compilers, editor, assemblers, linkers, and other programming tools as well as a statistics package.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Designing curricula to teach concepts and increase employability Abstract

The software development curriculum in the Computer and Information Technology (CIT) Department at Purdue University was designed purposefully to provide students with marketable skills upon successful completion of each course. The software development curriculum currently includes four required courses and four elective courses. The focus of these courses is on software development concepts. Students are taught how to apply course concepts using specific technologies. These technologies are selected based on their effectiveness for illustrating important course concepts as well as on industry demand. The latter is directly related to the idea of equipping students with a new, marketable skill in each course.

For example, after successful completion of the programming courses taken during the freshmen year, students will have learned HTML, introductory object-oriented programming using C#, and web application development using ASP.NET. Consequently, many freshman students have found summer internships which provide paid work experience developing static websites using HTML, Windows applications using C#, and dynamic websites using ASP.NET.

In addition to using popular technologies to illustrate course concepts, some courses provide students with practical experience building software solutions to realistic problems, often submitted by local businesses and non-profit organizations. This experience further enhances their understanding of programming concepts and helps them gain greater confidence with their newly acquired skills. In addition, class projects give them practical experience in user requirements definition and working with agents who are external to the educational process.

This paper describes CIT’s software development curriculum at Purdue and shares what aspects of each course contribute to increased employability for summer internships and for part-time jobs during the school year.

Department Overview

The Department of CIT was established in 1978 under the name Computer Technology. Since that time, CIT has grown to include about 600 current majors and over 3,100 alumni. Currently, the Department offers one degree at the main campus, the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer and Information Technology. The BS degree provides a foundation for continued education (e.g., graduate education) and professional growth (through hands-on experiences in the classroom).

The current BS curriculum requires all students to take the same CIT courses during the first four semesters. After completing these required prerequisite courses, students can choose to take elective courses in such areas as network engineering, system administration, database management systems, systems analysis and design, project management, cyber forensics, bioinformatics, and of course software development.

The CIT Department also participates in the Master of Science (MS) in Technology degree program, offering a specialization in Information Technology. This degree provides students

Harriger, A., & Lutes, K., & Purdum, J. (2007, June), Designing Curricula To Teach Concepts And Increase Employability Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2272

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