Subject: Permission to Plan a New Degree Program (MS in Computer Science)

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1 February 8, 2007 To: Dr. Beverly Hartline, Dean From: Dr. Marwan Rasamny, Chair, Department of Computer and Information Sciences Subject: Permission to Plan a New Degree Program (MS in Computer Science) Dear Dr. Hartline, Our department has met and approved the attached documents to submit for planning a MS degree program in Computer science. Please review the attached forms for your approval. Thank you, Approved: Dr. Marwan Rasamny, Chair Department of Computer and Information Sciences 1

2 REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO PLAN A NEW DEGREE PROGRAM DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY DOVER, DELAWARE Date: February 7, 2007 Department: _Computer and Information Sciences HEGIS Discipline Specialty Title: Computer and Information Sciences, general HEGIS Discipline Specialty Number: : 2000 CIP Code Level: Bachelor Master X Doctoral Proposed Date of Establishment: August Briefly describe the proposed new degree program for which planning authorization is being sought by including statements on the following: a. Educational objectives: Our department is requesting authorization to plan a MS degree program in Computer Science. The educational objectives for this new degree would be to train our students in theoretical and practical aspects of computer science. The proposed program will prepare graduate students for professional careers in computer science by developing the integrative thinking and hands-on research skills, and helping the students acquire the knowledge needed for success as a computer scientist in our global society. b. The relationship of the proposed new program to the University mission: The mission of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences proposed MS degree program in computer sciences is to provide an education that prepares graduates to achieve leadership status in their communities and careers. This is aligned with the University s strategic plan for graduate studies to strengthen departmental research programs to increase faculty and student participation in new research activities. Moreover, this proposal allows the Department of Computer and Information Sciences to support graduate and research missions of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Technology and DSU. The proposed MS degree in Computer Science will train students to develop an integrative thinking approach with hands-on research skills, and will teach them the necessary knowledge needed for success in a global society. c. The relationship of the proposed new program to other existing programs at the University: The proposed program is linked to the existing MS and PhD programs in applied mathematics at Delaware State University. Based on discussions we had with the 2

3 Graduate Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, some of the courses proposed in our program can be cross-listed with existing courses in the Applied Mathematics graduate programs and vice versa. Also, we anticipate that some of the courses offered at DSU, where DSU instructors have demonstrated expertise in teaching and research, will be cross listed with University of Delaware. Also, we believe that some general classes offered can serve DSU graduates or MS degree students from other science departments. d. Special features or conditions that make Delaware State University a desirable, unique, or appropriate place to initiate this proposed new degree program: Recently, DSU has been championing collaboration with leading domestic and international research institutions. DSU has memoranda of understanding with University of Maryland MINDLab (Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Laboratory) and Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, aimed towards establishing information technology prerogatives and infrastructure for advanced homeland security applications. As part of these initiatives, Delaware State University houses Delaware Institute for Homeland Security (DIHS) whose goals are to conduct research and provide technical assistance to federal and state agencies and organizations and to provide quality public programs and services to all agencies of homeland security. The proposed MS program in computer sciences will provide not only a natural reservoir of students who can apply their theoretical knowledge within DIHS, but can also serve as a natural source of graduate knowledge for interested state employees needing higher education in this field. Delaware Center for Scientific and Applied Computation (DeSAC) was established at Delaware State University to provide efficient service to biomedical researchers at DSU, Delaware and nationwide. DeSAC facilities (high-performance computational cluster, networking capabilities) can provide MS students in computer science computational power and practical experience. In turn, computer science graduate students can assist the research in biological sciences to solve computational problems and technology issues. Delaware State University is one of a few historically black colleges/universities (HBCU) with growing and aspiring research programs in computer sciences. DSU's status as an HBCU places it in a unique position to strengthen programs in which minorities are underrepresented. Minorities comprise a very small percentage of the membership of the Association for Computing Machinery, the largest professional organization for computer scientists. By attracting more minority students into the discipline, DSU has the opportunity to help correct this underrepresentation. 3

4 2. List all other public and private institutions of higher education in Delaware currently operating programs similar to the proposed new degree program for which planning authorization is now being sought. University of Delaware (UD) is currently the only other institution of higher education in Delaware that operates programs similar to the proposed program. However, since the targeted groups of students are different, this program will complement UD s program. 3. Indicate the current and projected demand for graduates of the proposed new degree program for which planning authorization is now being sought. Provide documentation and sources of the data used to arrive at current and projected demand figures. Computer Science is an area traditionally linked to strategic development goals of industrialized societies. The rapid spread of computers and information technology has generated an overwhelming need for computer professionals. According to the current (2006/7) Occupational Outlook Handbook ( which the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor publishes annually, computer scientists and database administrators should continue to enjoy favorable job prospects. However, employers will demand a higher level of skill and expertise from their employees. Especially, individuals with an advanced degree in computer science should enjoy favorable employment prospects. According to the same source: Computer scientists and database administrators are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations through Employment of these computer specialists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations as organizations continue to adopt and integrate increasingly sophisticated technologies. Job increases will be driven by very rapid growth in computer systems design and related services, which is projected to be one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy. A recent article (M.V. Greene, Career Report: Computer Science, Black Collegian, October 2006) discusses the foreseen shortage of homegrown talent in computer science and anticipates the high demand for highly educated minority professionals in the field. Our contacts and discussions with representatives from industry, military and government agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA, etc) at career fairs, and conferences such as the National HBCU/MI Business Conference (12/14-12/15/2006, New Orleans), Minority Serving Institutions Research Partnerships 2006 (MSIRP 06) Conference at The University of Texas-Pan American Edinburg (January 2006), indicate high prospects for graduates in computer science that belong to underrepresented groups: African Americans, Hispanic, and females. Delaware State University, as a historically black college/university is in a unique position to recruit minority students interested in pursuing graduate studies in computer science, and guide their preparation towards rewarding careers. Note that several students interested in graduate study in computer science have approached DSU representatives at various graduate school fairs; they are disappointed that we lack a program. 4

5 4. Describe the procedures that will be used to plan the proposed new degree program. Identify the person responsible for the planning, the planning schedule, and the expected date of submission of a program proposal if planning authorization is approved. Dr. Marwan Rasamny, chairperson of the Computer and Information Sciences Department, is responsible. He is assisted by a planning committee consisting of Drs. Pokrajac, Mulik and Milutinovic, along with participating input from other faculty. We anticipate presenting the Dean with the entire program proposal in winter 2007/2008 for approval by the Faculty Senate, Provost, President and Board in Spring 2008, and for implementation in the 2008 fall semester. 5. Describe the expected method of financing the proposed new program. We expect that a portion of enrolled graduate students will pay their tuition themselves, either directly or through their employer s educational benefits program (e.g., state employees). Some faculty members from the CIS department currently have research funding from NSF, NIH and DoD which can provide supplements to fund stipends for minority MS students working with funded researchers. Upon knowing that there will be a graduate program, CIS faculty will be highly motivated to include support for MS students in their research proposal budgets. In addition, the department has several introductory courses that would benefit from having graduate students serve as teaching assistants. 6. Estimate the number of students that would be enrolled in the program during the first year of operation. Full time 3-6 Part-Time _5_ President of the University Signature Academic Program Development Procedure, Final Draft February 8,

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