The Master in Computer Science (MCIC), from CEFET / RJ, is committed to the development of integration actions with the surrounding community, within a perspective of articulation between teaching, research and extension in line with the Education Plan. Institutional Development (PDI), Graduate Development Plan and Political Pedagogical Plan of CEFET / RJ.
Until 2019, the Program carried out its self-assessment on an ad-hoc basis. Self-assessment was centered on monitoring CAPES productivity indicators. Based on them, actions were taken to adjust the Program to improve weaknesses and strengthen strengths. Examples of actions that were already being taken were the annual monitoring of the teachers’ work plan so that they improve adherence to the program, productivity and good guidance practices. Another example is the reformulation of the selection process in 2019 to select, in a fair and transparent manner, students who have the potential to complete the master’s degree, thus avoiding dropouts.
This year, we are finalizing the systematic self-assessment process. In this new modality, all planning of the Program is centered on the profile of the graduate from the selection process of students to the monitoring of the trained masters. The profile of our graduate student aims at training Computer scientists with an emphasis on Data Science for both the academic area, such as professors from universities and technological institutes, as well as professionals able to work with the great demand of this profile, which has become increasingly most urgent in the middle of Information Technology.
The self-assessment process takes into account CAPES’s self-assessment rules (https://www.capes.gov.br/relatorios-tecnicos-dav), UK Quality Code for Higher Education (https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code) and stricto sensu postgraduate training reference in Computing (SBC) (https://www.sbc.org.br/educacao/referencial-de-formacao-para-os-cursos-de-post-graduation-stricto-sensu-em-computacao).
Regarding the precepts established by CAPES in self-assessment, the Program is organized in the conduct of self-assessment in order to monitor its quality in the training process, in the production of knowledge, in the performance and educational, scientific and innovation impact and knowledge transfer. Quality monitoring is done by answering guiding questions in the self-assessment process associated with the Program’s internal perception and its perception expected by CAPES. From an internal perspective, the objective is to measure the success of the Program itself, of its students, teachers and administrative technicians. In the perception expected by CAPES, the objective is to characterize how the Program self-evaluates itself in the fulfillment of its mission, objectives, goals, training, graduate profile, knowledge production, innovation and knowledge transfer.
Regarding the good practices of the UK Quality Code, the Program focuses on the five main issues:
- Fair and reliable student selection process;
- Quality of the course offered;
- Course and course planning;
- Student engagement;
Finally, with regard to the SBC’s benchmarks, the mission, general and specific objectives and short, medium and long term goals were all revisited. Egress profiles were also revisited, including generic and specific skills and axes. The result of this revisitation can be seen throughout the proposal in the sections of objectives, curriculum proposal and integration with undergraduate and high-technical education.
In May 2020, we conducted a systematic self-assessment in these new ways. Initially, we executed it internally within the collegiate framework (pilot execution to see if there is any point to adjust) and then we invited students, graduates, coordinators of other Programs, members of the private and public initiative to participate in the self-assessment in the workshop specific to the Program.
I – Strengths
The strengths are listed below:
- PPCIC presents itself as the first stricto sensu graduate program in Brazil with an emphasis on Data Science. This opens up a prominent space for CEFET / RJ in the Brazilian scenario in this field and, at the same time, brings opportunities to establish several partnerships that enhance research and increase the impact and knowledge transfer of the Program.
- Partnerships with researchers from other well-known national and international institutions increase synergy and enable more solid and promising research.
- Verticalization of teaching: secondary/technical, undergraduate and master’s degrees, is a point to highlight, since it arouses interest in the Program’s research activities by students of other levels who, when entering PPCIC, already had the opportunity to get involved with studies and projects related to the two lines of research.
- Institutional policy for both administrative support and financial support for research and graduate activities. An example was the implementation of the Accreditation and Teaching Assistant rules – approved by the Research and Graduate Council (COPEP) and approved by the Research and Extension Teaching Council (CEPE) – for all the institution’s graduate programs. This support has been fundamental and has been reflected in the improvement of the Program’s intellectual production. Another example is the financial contribution of approximately two million annually for the development of research activities.
- The research carried out in the Program is directly aligned with the themes considered strategic and priority in the Institutional Internationalization Plan and the CEFET / RJ Internationalization Project. Therefore, there will be an expansion of institutional support for actions involving the internationalization of the PPCIC.
- Program accreditation rules solid and adherent to the needs of the Computer Science area.
- Program Transparency. Minutes, documents, and the functioning of the Program are available on the Program’s website.
- The Program starts with good intellectual production and production distribution.
- Significant strengthening of fundraising in funding agencies such as CNPq (Universal Call, PQ Scholarships and Young Scientist) and FAPERJ (Call for Support to Engineering, Call for Support for Emerging Groups, APQ-1, APQ-4 and others).
- Course coordination counts on self-assessment commissions, teacher assessment, selection, scholarships and student monitoring and graduates, who have periodic meetings to monitor the indicators and ensure the implementation of the actions of the objectives, goals and improvements raised during the self-assessment.
II – Points to improve
The points to improve are listed below:
- Although the Program has several publications in the upper strata, efforts are being made to increase, more and more, the number of publications in vehicles considered to be better qualified by the area and to increase the H index of the Program’s professors.
- PPCIC already has teachers with a PQ scholarship, but it is intended to expand this number further.
- As this is a recent program, despite the various initiatives already described above, it is understood that it would be important to further expand the actions that would increase the visibility of the Program, so that the PPCIC can be better known and recognized by society and the community in the area of Computer Science. Actions such as becoming Poscomp’s headquarters and organizing national and international events have been carried out.
- Despite the various projects with resources from funding agencies, the PPCIC considers that it is important to increase the amount of funds from funding agencies, especially considering that there are bureaucratic difficulties in the acquisition of material and services, as well as the establishment of partnerships that involve the transfer of resources. In this sense, there is a movement on the part of the PPCIC professors to submit projects and participate in public notices from development agencies such as CNPq and FAPERJ.
It is worth commenting on the current economic situation, which signals a situation of scarcity of resources from federal and state funding sources. In this context, the Program has the need to increase the effort to try to raise the level of production without the same resources, mainly financial, of the previous years.