Software Engineering Program Educational Objectives
The educational objectives of the Penn State Behrend Software Engineering Program are to produce graduates who, within three years after graduation, are able to:
- Be employed in industry, government, or entrepreneurial endeavors to demonstrate professional advancement through significant technical achievements and expanded leadership responsibility;
- Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as a team member and/or leader in an ever-changing professional environment; and
- Progress through advanced degree or certificate programs in computing, science, engineering, business, and other professionally related fields.
Software Engineering Outcomes
Graduates of the program are expected to demonstrate:
- an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
- an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
- an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
- an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
- an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
- an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
- an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
According to ABET, “Program Educational Objectives are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduate to achieve. Student Outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students are to know and be able to do by the time of graduation.”
The Program Educational Objectives were established through the input from employers of our students, alumni, and industrial constitutes of the program. The achievement of Program Educational Objectives is assessed through the use of alumni and employer surveys, as well as employer focus groups. The Student Outcomes are assessed using a combination of the following instruments:
- Direct assessment of Student work. Each year faculty members in the program assess graded examples of student work to determine the level of achievement. The examples of student work are linked directly the Student Outcomes.
- Senior Exit Surveys. This assessment survey is completed by all graduating seniors in which they are asked to rate how well the Student Outcomes were achieved.
- Internship Employer Surveys. This assessment survey is completed by supervisors of students who receive internship credit. Employers are asked to rate how well the Student Outcomes were achieved.
- Senior Design Industrial Sponsor Surveys. This assessment survey is completed by supervisors of senior design projects to measure how well the outcomes of the senior design experience were achieved.
- Fundamentals of Engineering Exam reports from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. This nationally administered exam provides a national benchmark for assessing achievement of the Student Outcomes.
The Student Outcomes are assessed annually and each academic program employs at least three of the measurement tools above. More detailed information for each program is available upon request.