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Enhancing Computer Science Program Through Revising Curriculum, Peer Mentoring/Tutoring, and Engaging Students in Undergraduate Research

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Computing & Information Technology: Curriculum and Assessment

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Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Masoud Naghedolfeizi Fort Valley State University

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Dr.Masoud Naghedolfeizi is a senior professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Fort Valley State University. His academic background includes a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with minor in instrumentation and control, an M.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering. Dr. Naghedolfeizi’s research interests include instrumentation and measurement systems, applied artificial intelligence, information processing, and engineering education. He is the author of numerous research and pedagogical articles in his areas of expertise.

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Xiangyan Zeng Fort Valley State University

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Xiangyan Zeng received her Ph.D. in computer science from University of the Ryukyus, Japan. She is currently a professor of computer science at Fort Valley State University. Her research interests include image processing, pattern recognition and machine learning.

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Chunhua Dong Fort Valley State University Orcid 16x16

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In recent years, the Computer Science (CS) program at Fort Valley State University (FVSU) has witnessed an alarming decline in retention rate and a slow progress toward graduation of its students. Additionally, the assessment results of computer programming courses and the ETS (Educational Testing Service) Field Exam (the official exit exam of FVSU computer science program) have revealed that CS students are not performing satisfactorily in computer programming subjects.

To address the above issues, we propose a three-pronged approach to enhance CS curriculum as well as the retention and graduation rates of computer science students at FVSU. This approach includes revising course curricula of all upper division courses to include at least one major programming assignment/project, implementing peer-to-peer tutoring/mentoring, and engaging students in interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary undergraduate research activities.

This project is currently work in progress and expected to have a positive impact on the curriculum of computer science program and all of its students from freshman to senior level. We anticipate that the project will enhance the curriculum of at least 15 CS (including 12 upper level division) courses, increase the passing rate of students in gate keeping courses by at least 30%, the graduation rate of normal completion time by at least 40%, and improve the performance of senior students in programming subjects of Exit Exam by at least 50%. Additionally, we expect this project will help increase the retention of high achieving students through the undergraduate research activities. The project could also serve as a model for computer science programs of other institutions facing similar issues.

Naghedolfeizi, M., & Zeng, X., & Dong, C. (2018, June), Enhancing Computer Science Program Through Revising Curriculum, Peer Mentoring/Tutoring, and Engaging Students in Undergraduate Research Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30426

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