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Electrical and Computer Engineering: Undergraduate Programs

Overview: 

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  This B.S. ECE program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Mission of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering:

To develop and maintain programs of excellence in teaching and research which will support the State of Arizona in its development as a leading center for high-technology industry and which will support national needs for the development and application of electrical/electronic/computer based high technology.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

To be an ABET accredited program in the United States, an engineering program must demonstrate that their graduates possess the following set of student outcomes.  These student outcomes relate to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that our students will acquire as they matriculate through our undergraduate degree program.

Student Outcomes (ABET Criterion 3 Student Outcomes):

Electrical and Computer Engineering graduates will know, be able to do, or possess the following student outcomes:

a)      an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
b)      an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
c)      an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
d)     an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
e)      an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
f)       an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
g)      an ability to communicate effectively
h)      the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
i)        a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
j)        a knowledge of contemporary issues
k)   an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
 

 

Assessment Activities: 

Several instruments are used to assess the level of achievement of our Student Outcomes.  These instruments receive the majority of their input from the ECE faculty, students, and alumni.  The main assessment instruments are listed below.

  1. Core ECE Course Assessment
  2. Senior Exit Surveys
  3. Alumni Surveys

The program assessment process is also enhanced by input and feedback from the ECE Industrial Advisory Board, a group composed of community leaders, individuals from local and national industries, and faculty from peer institutions.

The overall assessment process in the ECE undergraduate program focuses on course assessment.  The course assessment process, as will be described more fully below, is designed to provide a more objective, quantitative means of assessing the level of achievement of each of the student outcomes by documenting the assessment with example student work, i.e., a direct method of assessment.  The senior exit surveys and alumni surveys also provide a quantitative measurement instrument, but these measures are more subjective in nature and serve as an indirect assessment method.

The ECE Student Outcomes are assessed via a select set of core courses (listed below) that every student takes during their undergraduate degree program.  The technical elective coursework in each option (Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering) is designed to provide individual flexibility and consequently can not be considered consistent across the entire student population, which is the reason for selecting a set of core courses for assessment.  The assessment process is designed to provide data on how each student learns or acquires the Student Outcomes.

Table A provides an overview of the process used to assess the student outcomes in the electrical and computer engineering program.  The first column in the table lists the student outcomes, the second column identifies the core ECE courses that have been selected to assess the particular student outcome and the semester in which the data are collected, and the third column provides a brief description of the processes used to assess that student outcome in each particular course.

As documented in Table A, each faculty member teaching a core course identifies particular coursework that explicitly addresses each of the student outcomes allocated to that course.  During the semester, the coursework associated with a particular student outcome is graded.  The instructor determines a numerical score (Attainment Level) for that particular coursework that meets the criteria.  It is then possible to quantify the number or percentage of students in the course that satisfactorily achieve that student outcome.  The aggregate Attainment Level of each student outcome during the 2015-2016 academic year was deemed acceptable by the ECE Undergraduate Studies Committee.  Qualifying constituents may request to examine the data.

Table A:  Student Outcome Assessment Process for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Program.

Student Outcome

Courses

Assessment Processes

a. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

ECE 220 (Fall)

Homework #10

ECE 310 (Fall)

Final Exam, Problem #7

ECE 320a (Fall)

Exam #2, Problem #7

ECE 340a (Fall)

Problem #1

ECE 351c (Fall)

Exam #1

ENGR 498a (Fall)

Critical Design Review (CDR) Report

ENGR 498b (Spr)

Final Report

b. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

ECE 220 (Fall)

Lab #2

ECE 330a (Spr)

Exam #1, Question #6

ECE 351c (Fall)

Lab Scores

ECE 372a (Fall)

Lab #2 Report

ENGR 498b (Spr)

Final Review; Final Report

c. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

ECE 175 (Fall)

Final Project

ECE 274a (Fall)

Final Project

ECE 275 (Fall)

Project 5

ECE 320a (Fall)

Homework #10, Problem 15.1

ECE 372a (Fall)

Final Report

ECE 498a (Fall)

Systems Requirements Review (SSR) Presentation; SSR Memo; CDR Report.

d. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

ENGR 102 (Fall)

Team Ground Rules Document; DOE Group Presentation

ECE 372a (Fall)

Preliminary Design Report

ENGR 498b (Spr)

Peer Review

e. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

ECE 220 (Fall)

Pre-lab #3

ECE 310 (Fall)

Exam #2, Problem #3

ECE 320a (Fall)

Exam #1, Problem #3

ECE 340a (Fall)

Problem #3

ECE 351c (Fall)

Exam #2

ENGR 498a (Fall)

CDR Report

ENGR 498b (Spr)

Final Report; Judges Scores

f. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

ENGR 102 (Fall)

Final Exam, Problems 11-16

ECE 274a (Fall)

Quiz #10

ECE 275 (Fall)

Project 1

g. an ability to communicate effectively

ECE 351c (Fall)

Homeworks #4, #5, #6

ECE 372a (Fall)

Critical Design Review Presentation

ENGR 498a (Fall)

SSR Memo; CDR Report

ENGR 498b (Spr)

Final Report

h. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

ECE 220 (Fall)

Lab #3

ECE 320a (Fall)

Exam #1, Problem #4

i. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

ENGR 102 (Fall)

On-Line Project

ECE 340a (Fall)

Essay

j. a knowledge of contemporary issues

ECE 175 (Fall)

Midterm #2, Problem 2; Hmwk #7, Problem 2.

ECE 330a (Spr)

Exam #2, Question #6

k. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

ECE 175 (Fall)

Hmwk #8, Problem 2;Midterm #2 (Lab Portion).

ECE 274a (Fall)

Lab Practical Exam 1-4

ECE 275 (Fall)

Exam #2, Question #5

ECE 310 (Fall)

Lab Assignment #6

ECE 330a (Spr)

Exam #3, Question #12

ECE 340a (Fall)

Problem #6

ECE 351c (Fall)

Exam #1

ENGR 498b (Spr)

Final Report; Judges Scores

 

Assessment Findings: 

The ECE Undergraduate Studies Committee is tasked with evaluating the assessment data from the student outcomes on an annual basis.  At the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, the Undergraduate Studies Committee examined the Attainment Levels of each student outcome for the past three academic years.  The findings from the direct assessment of the eleven student outcomes, as identified in Table A, indicated satisfactory attainment of each outcome.  As mentioned in the previous section, qualifying constituents may request access to the assessment data.

Change in Response to Findings: 

Through the annual evaluation of the assessment results for the student outcomes, several improvements to the electrical and computer engineering program have been implemented.  The major actions or changes to the electrical and computer engineering program that have occurred since 2010 are summarized in Table B.

Table B:  Continuous Improvement Actions in Electrical and Computer Engineering Program

Program Changes/Action

Date

Require ECE 275 (Comp. Programming II)

Fall 2011

Introduce a Lab Component into ECE 274a (Digital Logic)

Fall 2011

Introduce ECE 310 (Appl. Engr. Math)

Fall 2012

Introduce ECE 351c (Electronic Circuits)

Fall 2012

Introduce ECE 369a (Computer Architecture)

Fall 2012

Introduce ECE 372a (Microprocessor Org.)

Fall 2012

Acquire new Soldering Stations for ECE 372a

Fall 2012

Allow 24/7 keyless access to Computer Lab (room ECE 232)

Fall 2012

Introduce a 4 unit second semester electronics course ECE 304a (Design of Electronic Circuits)

Spring 2013

Introduce discussion section into ECE 381a (Intro. Electromagnetics)

Spring 2013

Replace ECE 340 with ECE 340a (ECE 340a: Introduction to Communications)

Fall 2013

Modify Pre-Requisites for ECE 351c to include ECE 320a

2014-2015 Catalog

Change Mid-Career Writing Assessment Requirement (ENGL 308, SIE 415, CE 301)

2014-2015 Catalog

Require ECE 330a in both EE and CE Options

2014-2015

Remove ECE 304a as a Required course in the EE Option

2014-2015

Modify Instructional Process in ECE 275

Fall 2015

Teach ECE 175 and ECE 275 in a Collaborative Learning Space

Fall 2015

Replace Discussion Period in ECE 220 with a Lecture Period

Fall 2015

Offer ECE 275 every semester

Spring 2016

Introduce Pre-Reqs and Co-Reqs for ENGR 498a (Pre: ECE 320a; Co: ECE 372a)

Fall 2016

Offer ECE 330a every semester

Fall 2016

Change Pre-Requisites for ECE 330a to include ECE 310

Fall 2016 (Proposed)

Incorporate the assessment of the Lifelong Learning Student Outcome (i) into ECE 372a

Fall 2016 (Proposed)

Incorporate the assessment of Ethics and Lifelong Learning into ENGR 498a/b

Fall 2016 (Proposed)

Request student outcomes assessment in ENGR 102 be coordinated by the College of Engineering

Fall 2016 (Proposed)

The above changes were motivated by the annual examination of the core course assessment of the student outcomes in the electrical and computer engineering program and by survey data from alumni, graduating seniors, and industrial advisory board members.  These changes illustrate that more programming experience for all of our students, especially the students in the electrical engineering option, are provided by the introduction of ECE 275 into the curriculum.  The above changes also provide more hands-on experience in the ECE program by incorporating more lab or recitation components into several courses (ECE 274a, ECE 351c, ECE 369a, ECE 372a, and ECE 381a).  More hands-on experience in the ECE program was suggested in the alumni and student survey results.

 

Updated date: Tue, 01/03/2017 - 14:27