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Systems And Computer Science: A Curriculum For The Twenty First Century

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.382.1 - 2.382.8



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Paper Authors

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Don M. Coleman

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Arthur S. Paul

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

Session 2432

Systems and Computer Science: A Curriculum for the Twenty First Century

Arthur S. Paul, Don M. Coleman Howard University


This paper discusses the evolution of an innovative curriculum in Systems and Computer Science being offered by a department within the School of Engineering, Howard University. It presents key concepts and principles of systems engineering. It discusses how the merger of systems engineering and computer science addresses some of the deficiencies identified by critics of current engineering education, and prepares students to meet the engineering and computer science needs for the 21st Century. This paper discusses the values of the Department of Systems and Computer Science (SCS), including the measures selected for judging the effectiveness of the curriculum. It identifies some pockets of success and areas of weakness based on preliminary analyses of a small sample of data.


The objectives of this paper are: (1) to discuss the evolution and development of a unique degree program—Bachelor of Science in Systems and Computer Science being offered by SCS; (2) to describe the socio-political environment of SCS; (3) to present the values of SCS and the measures being used to determine its effectiveness; and (4) to present preliminary insights into the effectiveness of SCS, and the possible influence of the socio-political environmental on its performance.


The SCS Department has been in operation since the Fall of 1982. It is the result of a merger of two graduate programs of the School of Engineering: the Computer Science Program established in 1971 and the Urban Systems Engineering Program established in 1972. An undergraduate degree program in Computer Systems Engineering was added in 1983. The merger of two independent programs has heavily influenced the Department's orientation and course offerings, which emphasize computer software systems and systems engineering. The reasons for the merger were consolidation of programs and reduction of operating costs. The SCS program was first accredited by Computer Science Accreditation Board (CSAB) in 1988, and it has maintained its accreditation to date.

Institutions of higher learning teach computer courses in one or more of four general areas: (1) computer engineering programs are typically offered by computer engineering or electrical engineering departments and are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Incorporated (ABET); (2) computer science programs are offered by computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics or general science departments, and these programs are

Coleman, D. M., & Paul, A. S. (1997, June), Systems And Computer Science: A Curriculum For The Twenty First Century Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6809

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