Sept. 2, 2003
The Department of Computer Science at Calvin College got good news this week. Its Bachelor of Computer Science degree has been accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
This indicates that the BCS program at Calvin has met clearly defined minimum standards, the same standards applied to all other accredited programs, including those at such places as MIT and UC-Berkeley.
It's not something that comes easily. Calvin's research shows that only one other computer science program in West Michigan has been accredited. The school began offering its degree in 1998-99 and has had 26 students graduate since then. Those students are working in a variety of fields - everything from systems design to programming to mission work.
Says Calvin professor Keith Vander Linden (above): "Whatever they do, they tend to be good. The results of the GRE computing test that we gave to our soon-to-be graduates last spring were at the 96th percentile nationwide."
Vander Linden says a bachelor of computer science degree can be more challenging than a bachelor of arts in computer science and also more complete in terms of computing, mathematics and science. But, he adds, at Calvin good students still go for the BA, usually when they have other interests - things such as business, philosophy and art.
"One of the strengths of Calvin," he says, "is we can offer students both options."