May 21st, 2013 @ 7:40 am | Author: Greg Vanney
Valley City State University will offer a new undergraduate major in software engineering beginning fall semester 2013.

Software engineering comprises the design, development, testing, implementation and maintenance of software systems. It includes aspects of computer programming, mathematics, project management and engineering, with an emphasis on analytical abilities and problem-solving skills.

“Software engineering will be a challenging and rewarding major for students,” said Susan Pfeifer, VCSU assistant professor in business and information technology. “This major completes a full spectrum of VCSU offerings that prepare graduates to succeed in computer systems and software engineering positions in North Dakota and beyond.”

The new software engineering major was developed to meet the growing needs of employers in North Dakota and throughout the Midwest. Those needs were identified through employer feedback, advisory board recommendations, job openings in the region and national labor-growth predictions.

“The Upper Midwest is home to businesses and industries that rely heavily on technology,” said David DeMuth, Jr., executive director of the Great Plains STEM Education Center at Valley City State. “VCSU students who graduate with a degree in software engineering will have the modern skills necessary to compete successfully in the workforce.”

The VCSU software engineering major will be offered as either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program beginning in the fall of 2013.

“Valley City State University is excited to provide the first undergraduate software engineering major in North Dakota,” said VCSU President Steven W. Shirley. “VCSU prides itself on our long-standing leadership in technology-enhanced curricular offerings. This new software engineering degree takes that leadership a step further; it also highlights our strength in STEM education and our ability to provide high-demand educational offerings important to North Dakota's future.”

Many of the courses required for the software engineering major are already offered at VCSU in the computer information systems major and the computer science minor, but six additional courses will be added.

This new major is aligned with information technology programs offered at community colleges in the North Dakota University System to provide students with seamless transfer opportunities after the completion of the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree.

In developing the curriculum for the software engineering major, VCSU faculty have also worked with North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the University of North Dakota (UND) faculty to ensure that students will be prepared for graduate study should they wish to pursue a master’s degree in computer science (UND or NDSU) or software engineering (NDSU).