Finals Week… Software Engineering Still Blows

Well it’s that time of the semester again, finals week. This time should prove to be particularly grueling. Since I am only a part time graduate student I am only taking 2 classes. I finished 1 of my classes last week. I got the email yesterday morning that I had earned 555/600 points (A). My other class is a different story.

WVU’s Software Engineering department has a real problem. So far in my 1.5 years in the program I have only had 2 professors that teaching is there primary job. 1 of them has since left the university, the other is retired from IBM and teaches 1 class per semester (he’s the guy I earned 555/600 this semester). The rest have day jobs and teaching is something they do for extra cash. This poses a big problem. The students get the shaft 90% of the time. Professors do not answer emails and do not return phone calls. Most of the time they aren’t even in WV, they are away on business trips. This means canceled classes. Even when classes are held attending them is nearly impossible with the “elearning” solution they have in place.

My second professor is no exception to this. He has yet to respond to any emails I have sent to him this semester. Last week he told us that we would have our final some time on Friday and would have until the following Friday to get it in to him. Well it’s now Sunday evening and no one in the class has received his final. Big shocker. He said in class last week that his travel schedule will have him out of the state next week and to communicate with him via email. I’ve already said how that works out.

This 2nd professor also sucks at spreading assignments out across the semester. We have had 1 homework assignment all semester. This was in the 2nd or 3rd week of class. We have also had a midterm exam. As I’ve already said we’re supposed to be getting a final some time. We also have a final project on top of this. Guess what? Both the final exam and the final project are due on the same day. Nothing like spreading things out for us. Luckily I’m already done with my other class.

My suggestions to the program.

  1. Dump the elearning thing. Make this an on campus degree.
  2. Dump the part time faculty members. Hire a 3 or 4 professors that only teach.
  3. Get an advisor for the program that is worth a damn. Our current advisor acts as though he can’t be bothered to actually do his job. Even basic things like getting a list of classes to Admissions and Records is to difficult for this guy. This means that we can’t register for classes, because there are none in the system to register for.
  4. Listen to your students.

To recap. WVU’s Software Engineering program sucks. Don’t go here! To put it bluntly, if I could finish my degree else where I would. It pains me to say this. I bleed gold and blue. My wife and I got our undergraduate degrees at WVU, I work for WVU, my wife is in Medical School at WVU. So needless to say WVU is a big part of my life, and yet I’d go elsewhere. Hopefully I can save some one considering this graduate program.

December 2005
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