MAILED: Sept. 10, 2001
EAU CLAIRE — The University of
Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s computer science program has received accreditation
from the Computer Science Accreditation Commission, making it the only CSAC
accredited baccalaureate computer science program in Wisconsin.
“CSAC accreditation is a huge feather in our cap, and
we’re very honored to be recognized for our strong program,” said Dr. Andrew
Phillips, chair of the computer science department. “This recognition will
reassure both students and employers of the high quality of computer science
education we offer. It serves as a nationally acknowledged validation of the
quality of our curriculum, faculty and facilities.”
There are 171 colleges and universities nationwide that
have achieved CSAC accreditation for their degree program in computer science.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 1,100
U.S. institutions offering baccalaureate degree programs in the area of computer
and information science.
CSAC is part of the Computer Sciences Accreditation
Board, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher
Education Accreditation. Their accreditation process is intended to identify
quality postsecondary baccalaureate programs that successfully prepare students
for entry into the computer science profession, Phillips said.
To achieve accreditation, the computer science program
must satisfy a set of standards relating to curriculum, faculty resources,
computing facilities and institutional support.
A team of three computer science professionals
independently selected and appointed by CSAC visited the UW-Eau Claire campus
last fall to review the program. Their analysis combined with an in-depth
self-study provided by the department of computer science formed the basis for
the accreditation action taken in July.
UW-Eau Claire was among three programs nationwide
considered for first-time accreditation this past year. “First-time programs
are always assigned a demanding and experienced review team of computing
professionals who make an extraordinary effort to ask the right questions and
provide a thorough investigation of all aspects of the program,” Phillips
said. “The accreditation process is very exhausting, and we worked very hard
to be successful. I’m really pleased that our efforts paid off.”
UW-Eau Claire’s strengths, as noted by reviewers,
include the computer science program’s outstanding faculty, excellent
facilities, and a strong, supportive and proactive administration. The reviewers
also noted that employers have a high regard for the combination of a strong
technical computing education supplemented by a broad liberal arts foundation.
Accreditation is extremely important to computer science
programs because it serves as a benchmark for comparing programs nationwide,
said Phillips, noting that CSAC accreditation is one means for evaluating the
merits of the computer science education offered by a college or university.
“The accreditation process began over a year and a half
ago. It took teamwork by our faculty and staff and significant support from both
our students and university administration,” Phillips said. “And, the job
isn’t done,” he added, “since we intend to continue to move forward and
stay accredited in the future.”
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Sept. 10, 2001