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Meeting of the Board of Regents | June 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 





TO:                                                 The Higher Education Committee


FROM:                                         Frank Muñoz


SUBJECT:                             Master Plan Amendment: State University College at Oswego, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Software Engineering


DATE:                                      June 4, 2008


STRATEGIC GOAL:             Goal 2






Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


                            Should the Board of Regents approve an amendment to the master plan of the State University of New York authorizing the State University College at Oswego to offer the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Software Engineering?


Reason for Consideration


              Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the Higher Education Committee at its June 2008 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its June 2008 meeting for final action.


Procedural History


              A master plan amendment is required because this would be the College’s first baccalaureate degree program in the discipline of engineering.


Background Information


              The State University Board of Trustees, at its May 31, 2007 meeting, adopted a resolution to amend the State University Master Plan to authorize the State University College at Oswego to offer instruction leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Software Engineering. The proposed program will represent SUNY’s first Software Engineering program, and will provide students with engineering essentials as well as fundamental knowledge in sciences, mathematics, and computing. Students will be prepared as software engineers with expertise in engineering software systems.

              The proposed curriculum is project-based with students working in teams using real world problems and applications. The proposed curriculum requires 122 credit hours, including courses in general education and liberal arts.  The curriculum has core courses in programming, computer science, data structures, programming languages, software engineering, systems programming, and software design.  Students will select one of two application domains: Human-Computer Interaction or Middleware.  The capstone sequence is a six-credit, year-long sequence culminating in a major design experience.  As a foundation for these studies, students will take courses in science, calculus, discrete mathematics, and calculus-based physics. The curriculum was developed to conform to the standards of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the American Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET) for software engineering. 


Students admitted to Oswego and this program typically have mean SAT scores of 1090, mean high school averages of 88, and three or four years each of college-preparatory math, science, and a foreign language. Students with strong backgrounds in mathematics and science will be best suited for this program. The College is strongly committed to attracting students to this program from under-represented populations and will put in place support systems necessary for student success. The College anticipates recruiting for its first class of 10 to 15 students in fall 2009, increasing to approximately 60 students by the fifth year.


The proposed program will be housed in the Department of Computer Science, which has 11 full-time faculty and five part-time faculty.  There are currently six faculty members in support of the Software Engineering program, including two engineers -- one with engineering and computer science degrees and software engineering experience; the other with a Ph.D. in computer/electrical engineering.  Two other faculty members have doctorates in related fields with substantial software engineering credentials, and the two new faculty hires include a Ph.D. in Software Engineering and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. The College is currently searching for an additional software engineering faculty member.


The department currently has five computing laboratories in support of instruction and research. The main laboratory space consists of three rooms for introductory course laboratories, project groups, and individual or small teams, in addition to extra service computing laboratories and two other rooms used for sponsored projects. The College is currently planning a major six-year renovation of the science and engineering buildings, which includes space and laboratories dedicated to the software engineering program.


Oswego’s Penfield library includes over 3,300 volumes pertaining to computers, computer science, telecommunications, and/or electronics, engineering and hardware.  There are also over 2,400 current print and online journal subscriptions and databases with 38,000 e-journals. The library subscribes to ACM Digital Library (Core Package), in addition to several other databases, including Elsevier's Science Direct, EBSCOhost's Business Source Premier, and ProQuest's Research Library Periodicals, and the IEEE Computer Society Digital Library (CSDL) package. 


The Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York (MDA) and a number of individual companies including Lockheed-Martin Corporation, Welch-Allyn, Novelis, and Sensis have expressed support for the new program. Job Choices for Science, Engineering, and Technology Students (2006) shows starting salaries in Software Engineering of $59,000 to $92,000. 


              A canvass was conducted of all degree-granting institutions in the Central Region and to all degree-granting institutions offering Engineering programs statewide.  There were no objections to the proposed program.




              It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the proposed master plan amendment of the State University of New York authorizing the College at Oswego to offer the Bachelor of Science degree program in Software Engineering. This Amendment will be effective until June 24, 2009, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case the Master Plan Amendment shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


              If the Board of Regents approves the master plan amendment, the Department will register the program following gubernatorial approval, and the institution will proceed to recruit and enroll program students.