Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Including a Programming Course in General Education: Are We Doing Enough?


School of Computing and Information Systems


Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Date Range





General education is more than a list of required courses a student must take to complete their degree. For most universities, general education is the groundwork for the student's university experience. These courses span multiple disciplines and allow students to experience a wide range of topics on their path to graduation. Programming classes, e.g., Introduction to Programming, have not typically been an option as part of a general education course sequence at most universities. This study found that, only half of universities offer any kind of programming course in the General Education (GenEd) Program. The data also show that only two-thirds of institutions offer a computing class of any kind as a general education option. Institutions with ABET accredited Information Systems (IS) programs are significantly lower in both of these categories. This paper demonstrates the reasoning and process for including a programming class as an option in a GenEd Program, thereby showing how a programming class can be used to satisfy the requirements of a general education course. This results in two significant advantages to the computing department and university since the departments expand their reach to many more students, with a potential of increasing the number of majors or minors within the department; and non-computing majors have the opportunity to take courses that have not traditionally been offered in the GenEd Program. The latter results in students receiving a more comprehensive education and exposure to skills in high demand.

Conference Name

SECON 2014 Information Systems Education Conference

Conference Location

Baltimore, Maryland

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