MINUTES OF THE UNDERGRADUTATE CURRICULUM
(COA), Finkelstein (PHYS), Guzdial (COC), Hughes (ECE), Jarrett (COA), Kingsley
(PUBP), Lacy (MATH), Lynch (ME), McMath (V. PROVOST), McIver (REG), Moran
(CHEM), Parsons (MGT), Schneider (DCOM), Tone (HTS)
(for Sankar AE), Eiselt (COC), Foley (COC), Hoey (ASSMT), Marr (PSYCH)
This was a called meeting to
consider a proposal based on a request from the
opened the discussion on a proposal, distributed by email prior to the meeting,
to address several issues related to the definition of Core Area B, the general
education requirements in computer literacy, and transfer computer science
An extended discussion ensued. Specific issues included University System requirements on the transferability of core courses, the proposed definition of Core Area B for programs without free electives, whether or not this proposal would require programs to change current degree requirements, and the effect of the proposed changes on transfer students. Several minor modifications were suggested for the wording of the proposal.
A motion was made to approve the following:
The motion was seconded and approved. Unanimous.
the draft of an information handout that he proposed to distribute the academic
units later in the week. This handout
summarizes the proposal and provides a question-and-answer discussion of the
effects of these changes on degree programs.
This handout will be distributed to provide additional information prior
to the Academic Senate meeting on September 17 and to aid programs in
considering possible modifications to degree requirements in time for
consideration at the Committee’s October meeting on curriculum matters. Members were asked to send any comments or
corrections to Hughes. A copy is
attached to these minutes.
Revision to Core Area B Requirements and
Satisfaction of General Education Requirements in Computer Literacy
Last year, a subcommittee of the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee completed its review of Georgia Tech’s general education requirements for all undergraduate degree programs. The final report identified the following objectives and outcomes related to computer literacy:
Computer Literacy Objective: Georgia Tech students will
be able to use appropriate software applications effectively, demonstrate an
understanding of the organization and operation of computer systems, and apply
programming techniques to solve problems.
Students will be able to:
Use software to develop, modify, visualize, share, and
present graphical and textual information
Use numerical analysis and database software to organize,
process, and analyze information
Describe the basic operation and organization of major
computer hardware and software components, and the networking environments in
which they operate.
Design and implement algorithms to solve problems using
structured programming techniques
Design and implement a data representation that facilitates
Estimate the complexity of basic algorithms and distinguish
between reasonable and unreasonable approaches
In summary, what do these changes accomplish?
These changes have three major effects: (1) separating the general education
requirements in computer literacy from the degree requirements in Core Area B,
(2) modifying the transfer computer science courses to distinguish between
those that satisfy the general education requirements and those that don’t,
independent of the computer language used, and (3) providing programs more
flexibility in constructing their degree requirements, while maintaining a
requirement for computer programming and literacy.
What is the effect on degree programs of changing
the Core Area B requirement?
This change is purely administrative, with
three hours of free electives being designated to satisfy this requirement
instead of CS 1321. For the current
programs without free electives, BSME and BSNRE, technical electives are
designated to satisfy Core Area B. CS
1321 will continue to be a degree requirement, unless the program changes its
degree requirements, as discussed below.
Which Georgia Tech courses satisfy the general
education requirements in computer literacy?
IUCC has approved the following courses offered at Georgia Tech as satisfying
the general education requirements in computer literacy:
COE 1361 – Computing for Engineers (currently limited to students in
certain engineering majors)
CS 1321 – Introduction to Computing
Introduction to Media Computing (to be offered in Spring 2003 as a
trial version of a course intended primarily for non-science/engineering
What do the various transfer CS courses signify?
If a course is substantially equivalent to
one of the Georgia Tech courses listed above, then the student receives credit
for the Georgia Tech course. Several
additional course numbers have been defined to correspond to computer science
courses taken elsewhere that do not match the courses offered at Georgia Tech.
CS 13x1 is awarded for introductory computer courses
that satisfy the general education requirements, including algorithms, static
data structures, and a notion of efficiency of solutions. (In addition to these topics, CS 1321
includes dynamic data structures and recursion.) CS 13x2 normally is awarded for the
second course in a sequence that continues the coverage from CS 13x1 to include
these additional topics. CS 15xx
is awarded for introductory programming courses that do not meet the general
education requirements. Such courses
typically focus on the syntax and semantics of a particular programming
language rather than the fundamental computation concepts of algorithms and
data structures. CS 13x1 and CS 15xx are
not sufficient as prerequisites for CS 1322; however, the combination of CS
13x1 and CS 13x2 is a prerequisite for CS 1322.
Does this change REQUIRE programs to do anything now
to satisfy the policy statement in item 3?
No change is necessary. All undergraduate degree programs currently
require CS 1321, so they satisfy the policy statement in item 3 using option
However, programs that wish to add options,
such as COE 1361, should request a modification of their degree requirements,
as described below. Since a new edition
of the Georgia Tech General Catalog will be printed for 2003-2005, it
would be desirable to propose such changes prior to the deadlines this fall.
What type of change in degree requirements might
programs want to consider?
Some programs may choose to replace CS 1321
with a different course, such as requiring COE 1361.
Some programs may choose to allow students to
select from among certain specified courses; e.g., an engineering program might
require “CS 1321 or COE 1361”. For
maximum flexibility, a program might replace CS 1321 with “a 3-credit hour
course approved to satisfy the general education requirements in computer
literacy.” In advising materials and
catalog text, such programs may recommend a specific course, but allow credit
for any of them.
In all of these examples, the program
continues to satisfy the policy statement in item 3 using option (a).
Why would a program choose to satisfy the policy
statement in item 3 using option (b)?
The most likely reason would be to increase
flexibility for transfer students entering the program. Some programs already cover most of the
general education requirements in computer literacy through labs or other
required coursework in the major. For
such programs, a language-oriented programming course (which transfers as CS
15xx) taken at another institution may be sufficient to complete the general
education requirements in computer literacy.
The other reason is that option (b) provides
programs with greater flexibility in designing curricula. Thus, in a future curriculum revision, a
program may propose to teach computer programming and the other aspects of the
general education requirements in computer literacy as part of an integrated
sequence of required courses in the major, rather than requiring a separate
course taught by another unit.
How do these policies affect students who change
In general, students must complete all of the
degree requirements of the major in which they receive their degree. If a student takes CS 1321 to satisfy the
requirements of their initial major, but changes to a major that requires COE 1361,
then he or she will need to take COE 1361.
This is the same policy as if the student had completed a biology course
to satisfy a science requirement, but then changed to a major that requires
If a program wishes to provide greater
flexibility, then its degree requirements should be defined to provide that
flexibility for all students in the major.
The IUCC generally has enforced a policy that options in satisfying
degree requirements must be made available to all students.
How do these policies affect transfer students?
The effect of these policies on transfer
student largely depends on the choice their major program makes as to how it
will satisfy the policy requirement in item 3.
Many transfer students still will be required to take one or more
computing/programming courses at Georgia Tech in order to complete degree
If a program satisfies the policy statement
in item 3 using option (a), then it may – at its discretion – choose to allow
transfer students to substitute CS 13x1 for the course listed in the degree
requirements. Students who receive only
CS 15xx credit will be required to complete one of the approved Georgia Tech
If a program satisfies the policy statement
in item 3 using option (b), then it must specify the treatment of transfer
courses as part of its proposal to the IUCC.
The options are more limited for programs
that currently require students to complete both CS 1321 and CS 1322. Such programs may – at their discretion –
allow students to substitute CS 13x1 and CS 13x2, although such students do not
have the equivalent of CS 1322 for continuing into later courses.
Are there other related issues that have not been
addressed by these changes?
These changes focus on the degree requirement structural issues related
to Core Area B and the general education requirements in computer
literacy. Other, course-related, issues
that have not been fully addressed include the following: (1) creation of new courses targeted at
various majors; (2)
“bridge courses” between course options/sequences; and (3) additional options
for transfer students, particularly in majors that require two or more computer
What if we have questions that are not answered by
this information sheet?
Questions may be sent via email to Dr. Joseph
Hughes, 2002-03 IUCC Chair, or to Ms. Jo McIver,