Colorado State Changes Electrical and Computer Engineering Program to Better Prepare Students for High-Tech Jobs

Colorado State University’s department of electrical and computer engineering, a department that experienced a 42 percent jump in freshman enrollment this year, has changed its name and is revising its curriculum with an eye toward better preparing students for high-tech jobs.

The department of electrical and computer engineering, formerly called the department of electrical engineering, has seen a record enrollment of 280 undergraduates and 85 master’s and doctoral students this academic year. A three-member faculty committee, assisted by the department’s industrial advisory board, is performing an extensive curriculum review for the department. The industrial advisory board is made up of representatives from about 25 high-tech companies that work to advise and assist the department. The enhanced student curriculum will focus on real-world problems and will be in place within a year.

"The members of our industrial advisory board provide invaluable insight into industry needs," said Derek Lile, chairman of the electrical and computer engineering department. "The board members have a wealth of real-world experience and know what it takes to work successfully in the high-tech industry. Our students will benefit greatly from the new curriculum designed to help them take advantage of the increasing opportunities in the high-tech industry."

The department of electrical and computer engineering has a 100 percent job placement rate for graduating seniors, and the demand for graduates in the information technology field is expected to increase further, Lile said.

"The availability of state-of-the-art equipment in the teaching labs is critical to a strong program," said Lile. "The recent grant from Hewlett-Packard will have a tremendous impact by allowing the development of new laboratories, as well as by replacing outdated equipment in some of the existing labs."

The department’s undergraduate curriculum encompasses three areas of concentration that include traditional electrical engineering, computer engineering and optoelectronic engineering. Admission to the College of Engineering is competitive and enrollment is limited to students with strong academic records.