by Heikki Topi,
OPINION OPINION ACM Guidelines for Associate-
Degree Computer Science
Everything Changes so
Fast—A Great Reason to
Learn from the Past!
In computing, it is easy to emphasize the promise and importance of the future, focus on the challenges of the present,
In information systems (IS), systems
development and systems analysis and
design (SA&D) form one of the core focus
areas in education and organizational
practice. In IS, our particular
focus is on the organization
and management of the
SA&D processes and the
mechanisms required to
ensure that the outcomes
of the analysis, design, and
truly serve the needs of the
organization that engages in
the development effort.
have gone through a dra-
matic set of changes over
the past several decades. If
asked about this, most of us
would identify a progression
from lack of any structured
methodologies to waterfall
to more advanced plan-driv-
en methods (such as the spiral model) to
various types of agile with prototyping,
Rapid Application Development, Joint
Application Development, and others
considered as “alternative development
methodologies” somewhere along the
standard path. In IS education, we are
not quite sure yet how to deal with agile
development and DevOps (a compound
of “development” and “operations”), given
the way they require a strong integration
between planning, analysis, design, coding,
deployment, and operations—coding and
operations have never been among our
strongest focus areas.
In the context of discussions regarding the development of SA&D, we have
a tendency to trivialize particularly early
plan-driven forms of SA&D and present
them as pure waterfall model, consisting
Call for Curricular Program
Going beyond the curricular guidelines
presented here, a collection of examples
of two-year computer science programs is
being assembled. A program example correlates an actual computer science transfer
program with the learning outcomes in
ACM’s guidance, showing the ACM LOs
that appear in each course that makes up
the program. This is similar to the course
exemplars compiled as part of CS2013.
Seeing how the curricular guidance plays
out in a real program can help with program updates or implementation of new
If you would like to correlate your
program to ACM’s guidelines, or to see the
existing program examples, visit our website at ccecc.acm.org/correlations. For any
questions or suggestions on the process,
use the contact form at ccecc.acm.org/
contact or feel free to email me.
1. ACM and IEEE Computer Society. Computer
Science Curricula 2013: Curriculum Guidelines for
Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer
Science. (New York: ACM, 2013).
2. ACM CCECC Guidance; ccecc.acm.org/guidance/
computer-science-2017. Accessed 9 July 2017.
3. ACM Committee for Computing Education in
Community Colleges. Computer Science Curricular
Guidance for Associate-Degree Transfer Programs
with Infused Cybersecurity. (New York: ACM, 2017).
4. ACM Two-Year College Education Committee.
Computing Curricula 2009: Guidelines for
Associate-Degree Transfer Curriculum in
Computer Science; http://ccecc.acm.org/files/
Guidelines.pdf. Accessed 2017 April 22.
5. Anderson, L. W. and Kratwohl, D. R. eds., A Taxonomy
for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. (New
York: Longman, 2001).
6. Hawthorne, E. K. Updating the ACM Associate-Degree Curricular Guidance in Computer Science.
ACM Inroads 7, 1 (March 2016), 30-31.
Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Ave.
Sylvania, TCB 312
Portland, OR 97219
DOI: 10.1145/3107408 Copyright held by author.