Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Association for Computing Machinery

Source Publication

ITiCSE '21: Proceedings of the 26th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education

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The COSMIC: Change Opportunity - Start Masters in Computing graduate curriculum initiative strives to provide a rapid entry pathway to a professional Master of Science (MS) degree for individuals who do not have an undergraduate degree in computing, but who wish to cross over to a career in the computing field. The goal of our curriculum is to minimize the time students spend preparing for graduate study and maximize experiences relevant for work after graduation. The COSMIC curriculum initiative is similar in concept to other post-baccalaureate conversion programs. However, customization of the COSMIC bridge course and curriculum pathway makes it possible for conversion students to complete the bridge course in summer, then move directly to standard graduate program courses in fall. The highly focused bridge course includes learning to program in two popular high-level languages, abstract data structures, professional practices and various computing concepts that prepare students for the rigors of the MS program. To recruit low-income students from populations underrepresented in the computing field, federal funding and institutional support was obtained. The funding provides low-income students with financial support that enables them to complete the degree in two years. With projected computing talent shortfalls and the advantages of workforce diversity, it is vital that educational institutions create conversion programs that can be completed relatively quickly, with the needs of non-traditional students in mind.


Accepted version. Published as part of the proceedings of ITiCSE '21: The 26th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 2021: 505-511. DOI. © Association for Computing Machinery. Used with permission.

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