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The Milwaukee School of Engineering replaced a traditional computer engineering curriculum that located the majority of the core computer engineering topics in the final two years of study with a new freshman-first curriculum in academic year 2006-2007. The new curriculum was designed around the 2004 guideline report of the IEEE/ACM Joint Taskforce on Computer Engineering Curricula but took a more aggressive approach by distributing the computer engineering topics throughout all four years of study. The result is a balanced, freshman-first curriculum that presents software, hardware, math, science, and humanities side-by-side for most of the twelve undergraduate quarters. The goals of the curriculum was to improve retention, reduce prerequisite material time gaps, and respond to the industrial advisory committee request for improved soft skills. All three of these goals have been met: first-to-second year retention has improved, large gaps in hardware coverage have disappeared, and a course on teamwork and leadership has been taught for the first time.
Date of Conference: 22-25 Oct. 2008