In a typical curriculum students learn content and skills in a compartmentalized fashion. Each course is taught largely independently of other classes. Students may not see connections between courses, nor applications of material taught in one to that covered in another: they do not see the forest for the trees. This may affect students’ interest in their degree.
Our long-term objective is to boost retention, improve diversity, build community, and improve preparation of students for careers in modern collaborative workplaces. Our proposal focuses on transforming the curriculum in the Computer Science and Engineering department to leverage a novel form of the well-established Collaborative Project Based Learning approach, which we call Cross-Course Collaborative Project Based Learning. This project will result in the creation of cross-course collaborative projects aligned with course learning outcomes, as well as assessments of student achievement of the learning outcomes tied both courses involved in such projects.