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The Development Of A Combined Electrical And Computer Engineering (Besce) Degree Program At Lafayette College

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.516.1 - 4.516.11

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Paper Authors

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W. D. Jemison

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W. A. Hornfeck

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J. F. Greco

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I. I. Jouny

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

Session 2532

The Development of a Combined Electrical and Computer Engineering (BSECE) Degree Program at Lafayette College W. D. Jemison, J. F. Greco, W. A. Hornfeck, I. I. Jouny Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Lafayette College


Lafayette College has recently developed and approved a four year combined Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (BSECE). This new degree, the first of its kind at a small institution, will replace the College’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree beginning with the class of 2003. This new BSECE degree program addresses the strong demand for computer engineering skills by students, employers, and graduate schools. This paper will discuss the motivation for making a change in the curriculum, describe the curriculum options identified including the advantages and disadvantages of each option, describe the chosen degree program and the plan for implementing it, and outline the challenges that are expected during the implementation.

I. Introduction

There are a number of developments, both external to and internal to Lafayette College, which drove the decision to develop and approve a four year combined BSECE degree [1]. First, there has been a rapid proliferation of technology in the form of computers and communication systems throughout society and in engineering in particular during the last decade. As a result, there has been an increased demand by employers and graduate schools for college graduates in general and engineers specifically to have a greater knowledge of computers and their utilization. In turn, Lafayette College has found an increased interest among engineering applicants for a well-defined computer engineering program. Lafayette College, located in Easton, Pennsylvania, is a small private college which offers undergraduate programs in engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and the liberal arts. Though the school has offered a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering since 1915, to date it has not offered a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. As a result, the Electrical Engineering department has faced difficulty recruiting top students in recent years.

Second, in the summer of 1997, Lafayette College decided to implement a college-wide curriculum change called “4/4” in which non-engineering students are required to take four courses each semester for a total of 32 courses over the course of a four-year program. Engineering students are required to take a total of 38 courses consisting of four courses in each semester of the freshman year and five courses in each semester of the remaining three years. Prior to this decision, engineering students had taken 41

Jemison, W. D., & Hornfeck, W. A., & Greco, J. F., & Jouny, I. I. (1999, June), The Development Of A Combined Electrical And Computer Engineering (Besce) Degree Program At Lafayette College Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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