Computer Science Department unable to admit all qualified students as applications double available places | New


Demand is high for acceptance into the Computer Science Program (CSC) at NC State. On May 25, David Parish, associate dean of the College of Engineering, wrote in an email that the number of major applicants at CSC was almost double the number of places available. But that request came at a cost – the department only accepted 75 of 107 applicants attempting CODA in CSC’s major. That’s almost double the number of applicants in fall 2020, when 50 out of 68 applicants were accepted into the CSC major.

The College of Engineering first adopted the CODA process in the fall of 2012, where freshmen enrolled in the state of North Carolina with a “First Year of Engineering” designation in their audit. From there, students have their first four semesters to complete some basic requirements before applying for a major in the College of Engineering.

Sam Gerstner, a sophomore engineering student, said he tried to turn his degree application (CODA) into a CSC major during the spring semester of 2021. Because the University requires that students who plan to CODA meet CODA requirements in all four semesters, Gerstner added a minor in computer programming to be safe.

“It’s very competitive,” Gerstner said. “Especially considering the email, they said they had twice as many applicants as they could actually authorize.”

With the 2021 SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education ranking the North Carolina State Department of Computing as “the # 1 institution in the world for research in computer education,” the The University’s senior CSC department has not gone unnoticed.

“I think it’s a pretty good process, getting the students to come in and take a bunch of core classes so they can kinda see what they like and don’t like and decide if they want to go into it. the major they chose, ”Gerstner said. “I think the way it’s implemented, with the number of students trying to apply for certain majors and then the state of North Carolina not allowing certain students to enter the major for which they were accepted into college in the first place… meaning to me.

The state of North Carolina’s rise among top CSC applicants is not a local anomaly, with CSC departments and students across the country also reporting increasingly competitive growth. According to a Computer Research Association survey, 32,180 students entered a computer science major in 2020 alone – a 3% drop from the 33,184 newly admitted students in 2019. This growth, according to the Computer Research Association, mainly concerns “departments of public establishments, while private establishments show a relatively stable average enrollment rate.

Jérôme Lavelle, associate dean of the College of Engineering, wrote in an email to Technician that the increase in applicants also reflects this national trend.

“Students see new fields like cybersecurity, data science, blockchain, games, simulation and modeling, smart devices and infrastructure, and others, as exciting new frontiers that they want to make. party, ”Lavelle wrote. “At the same time, they see that computers are transforming the finance, manufacturing, entertainment and service industries, as well as healthcare, education, supply chain and other professional sectors. traditional. Computers and computing aren’t going away anytime soon, and I think students see the CSC major as providing them with skills that will be highly marketable in the workplace today and tomorrow.

Despite the growth of interest in the undergraduate studies, CSC departments are struggling to meet this high demand. According to the Computer Research Association survey, “cumulative growth in faculty is only about half that of majors,” with the COVID-19 pandemic causing further layoffs. Lavelle wrote that the Computer Science Department faces similar admissions issues, as admitting all qualified students would compromise reasonable class sizes, available resources, and hence the quality of education.

“Expanding any program requires trade-offs involving increasing capacity and maintaining quality,” Lavelle wrote. “We are working hard to develop the CSC program, while maintaining the high reputation the program has earned. “

However, all hope is not lost for the deferred applicants. Parish and Lavelle both suggested adding a minor in computer programming as additional material in the meantime, and Lavelle wrote that students also have the option of applying to major in computer engineering and electrical engineering.

“Some majors fluctuate based on student interest; however, I anticipate that demand for SCC will be strong over the next several years, ”Lavelle wrote.

As for Gerstner, he said he continues to plan to apply for the CSC major in the next school year. If he is unable to get it, Gerstner has said he could be transferred to another school to enter the lucrative major.

“I believe [the department] hasn’t seen their budget increase for some time, ”Gerstner said. “They don’t have the funding to increase the number of seats in general at the University, so they have more people applying throughout the year but are unable to increase the number of seats.”

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