Learning Goals and Objectives for Majors and Non-majors within the Department of Computer Science

In 1996, Grinnell’s combined Department of Mathematics and Computer Science developed a Computer Science Assessment Plan. After the creation of a separate department in 2006, the new Department of Computer Science reviewed and edited the 1996 document to obtain the following goals and objectives.

General Departmental Objectives

  1. The major objective: To teach the discipline to all students who are interested.
  2. To stimulate interest in the discipline.
  3. To help our majors (and other students with a strong interest in the discipline) to identify and prepare for satisfying careers.
  4. To continue to grow as computer scientists by increasing our knowledge and by contributing to the discipline in scholarship and pedagogy.

Learning Outcome Goals

For Nonmajors

  1. Students should understand roles of computers in today’s society.
  2. Students should be able to apply relevant principles in the solving of some common problems.
  3. Students should be able to collaborate on team-based projects.

For Majors

  1. Graduates should be competent in solving problems using several paradigms of computer science, including imperative, object-oriented, and functional programming.
  2. Graduates should understand fundamental principles in all core areas of computer science (algorithms, programming languages, theory of computation, systems, software development methodology).
  3. Graduates should be able to apply fundamental principles in the solving of substantial problems.
  4. Graduates should be able to work effectively in team-based development projects.
  5. Graduates should be able to communicate ideas effectively both orally and in written form.
  6. Graduates should find that they have had appropriate undergraduate preparation leading toward satisfying careers.