• Experiential Education in Computer Science and Software Engineering

    Computer science students Michael Edwards (left) and Jake Folger (right) at the EX ED CHANGED MY LIFE event on November 10, 2004, in Anacon Hall.

    The Career Advisor Planner (CAP) for Computer Science and Software Engineering is Professor Allen Milewski. For more information on satisfying the Experiential Education (ExEd) requirement please contact him at amilewsk@monmouth.edu.

    Additional information may be found at the Monmouth University Experiential Education Web site.

    All Monmouth undergraduate students are required to satisfy the Experiential Education requirement as part of the General Education requirements. Students may satisfy this requirement in a number of ways as discussed in the Undergraduate Catalog. For example, they may participate in a Study Abroad program, or take an approved specially designated experiential education course. The specially designated courses are available in most departments and CSSE students may take any of those courses provided that they have the necessary prerequisites.

    The only exceptions to the above are students who have extensive work experience prior to coming to Monmouth or those who are doing their degree on a part-time basis while working full-time. Those students should contact the departmental CAP (Allen Milewski) who will advise them on how to submit a portfolio which will be used to document their experiences so that the Experiential Education requirement may be waived.

    The most common way that Computer Science and Software Engineering students satisfy the requirement is by taking CS 288, CS 388, or CS 488 - Cooperative Education: Computer Science. Students who wish to satisfy the requirement via the Cooperative Education course need to find some sort of outside employment. The position does not have to be a paid position. The position may not be within Monmouth University.

    The only exception to the requirement that the position be outside Monmouth University is for students who are able to find a position performing research work supervised by a faculty advisor here at Monmouth; work that is associated with an external organization and involves significant interaction with the external organization. In this case the student will instead register for CS 350 - Research in Computer Science. This option is rarely available and again students will generally need to find an outside position and register for the Cooperative Education course.

    For help in finding such employment the student may contact the CAP, the advisors available at the CSS office, and also search the database available at the Monmouth University Experiential Education Web site.

    After finding the employment, the student needs to find a faculty advisor. This advisor may be the departmental CAP or some other faculty member. The student and the faculty advisor need to complete the Experiential Education Application form and the Cooperative Education: Learning Objectives and Outcomes form. Both the student and the advisor must sign the form, which constitutes an agreement as to what work will be carried out to satisfy the course requirements. The form is then sent onwards to be approved by the department, chair, school dean, and the Ex Ed director. After all the approvals are obtained, the student is automatically registered for the course.

    After the form is filed, the Cooperative Education course is not any different from any other class except that there is no classroom experience. Rather the student participates in the outside employment activity. But the student is still responsible for submitting the appropriate work by the required dates.

    Students may take the course Cooperative Education: Computer Science for from 1 to 3 credit hours. The number of hours that one needs to work for each credit of the course is as follows:

    • 1 credit, 40 hours/semester
    • 2 credits, 80 hours/semester
    • 3 credits, 120 hours/semester

    It is acceptable to take the course for 1 credit hour even though the student is working many more than 40 hours. Indeed, this is a common option for CSSE students. Often students will work full time over the summer or 15 hours a week during the semester and will register for only 1 credit.

    We encourage students to get as much as possible out of their experiential education experience. There are many opportunities available for computer science and software engineering students. The experience gained will not only complement their classroom education, but will also provide valuable work experience that will come in handy when they apply for full-time jobs.

    A few examples of positions recently obtained by our students are:

    • Software developer for the Army at Fort Monmouth
    • Assistant systems administrator for the Board of Education of a New Jersey town
    • Intern at the New Jersey State Police High Technology Crime Department
    • Network administrator for a major company

    For more information on satisfying the ExEd requirement: