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New UCM Degree Gets Nod of Approval from CBHE, Fall 2018 Roll Out Will Prepare More Software Engineers

By Jeff Murphy, December 18, 2017

WARRENSBURG, MO – Helping to meet a growing need in a high-tech field, the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education has approved the University of Central Missouri’s new Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering degree. The CBHE’s decision enables UCM to achieve a new academic milestone in the delivery of high-impact degree programs.   

“We are excited to offer this high-demand degree program at UCM beginning in fall 2018,” said Xiadong Yue, chair and professor of computer science, School of Computer Science and Mathematics. He added that this will also be the first and only undergraduate degree in the state of Missouri that is under the software engineering title.

The new degree program was approved by the university’s Board of Governors when it met in September 2016.  The CBHE Academic Affairs and Workforce Needs Committee met on Dec. 13 and recommended the Coordinating Board provisionally approve UCM’s proposal for the new baccalaureate degree in software engineering for a five-year period. CBHE will review the program annually beginning two years after implementation to ensure its viability. UCM will also seek ABET accreditation for the program.

In making an initial presentation to UCM’s governing board, Yue cited that this program aligns with the university mission, while also noting, “Software has become the lifeblood of today’s emerging information society.  Software is shaping all aspects of our lives, from the launch of billion-dollar spacecraft to more mundane work such as measuring and displaying time, controlling traffic lights, and monitoring the washing of clothes.”

“More than ever, there is a demand for a highly prepared workforce with software engineering training that is enabled to deliver quality software and innovation,” Yue noted in a briefing document presented to the board.

Students who complete the program will be prepared for careers such as software engineers, project managers, designers, consultants or architects who create software. The program curricula will be designed in accordance with guidelines by the Association for Computing Machinery, and provide hands-on training in software engineering, computing, engineering practice and systems design.

Doug Koch, vice provost for academic programs and services, said the  B.S. in Software Engineering will expand on UCM’s efforts to provide quality programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas, while filling an important need in this region.

“This degree program also is going to be accessible to students from diverse populations, and this includes serving the academic needs of our first-generation students,” Koch said.

Students who complete this degree can expect to benefit from skills that are high in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that through 2024 some 58 percent of the STEM jobs in the U.S. will be computing related. Among all computing jobs, the bureau forecasts at least 26 percent of them will be in the area of software development.

 The new bachelor’s degree program will be housed in the School of Computer Science and Mathematics within the College of Health, Science, and Technology.

To learn more about this program, contact Belinda Copus, software engineering program coordinator, at or 660-543-4354.


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