Course Syllabus

Note to screen reader users. This page contains interactive tabs. Screen reader will read through each tab in order, regardless of whichever one is currently being displayed. Please contact me if you need assistance.

Complete the Start of Term Survey (due ASAP - will unlock the first module)

Click here to download a pdf version of the syllabus

Please note that some content linked on this page may only be available to registered students.

General Course Description

This non-traditional class covers a broad range of topics to help prepare you for a career in EECS. We explore the many ways an EECS degree gets used, how to market yourself to prospective employers, how to prepare for a job interview, and more! This course features an exciting array of guest lecturers from the industry who will share their professional experience and life stories with you. Course may be taken multiple times. Sophomore standing or higher.

There are no tests, midterms, or finals in this course.

Instructor and TA Information

The instructors for this course are Bill Pfeil and Tom Weller.

NACE Competencies Statement

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified eight key career readiness competencies that employers look for. In this course you will further develop these competencies in many ways:

  • Communication - Communication is the number one soft-skill that employers look for. In this course we will learn to communicate in a variety of ways.
  • Teamwork/Collaboration - One of the core skills that your degree program can help provide.
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving - One of the core skills that your degree can help provide.
  • Leadership - You and your future engineering teams will be individually and collectively responsible for the success of your projects. Let's talk about leadership!
  • Professionalism/Productivity - Being a professional means you will have to manage your time, set your own priorities, and be a self-starter.
  • IT Application - Learning new technologies will be an important part of your career growth. But which ones? In this course you will learn to career-map your way to success.
  • Career Management - Over the term you will learn new skills, knowledge, and practices relevant to your professional growth.
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency - Your fellow students may come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. To succeed in this course you must be able to interact respectfully with all people and to understand individuals’ differences. 

You can learn more about these competencies and how to include them in your resume using this resource from the OSU Career Guide provided by the OSU Career Development Center.

Letters of Recommendation

As much as I enjoy having you in the class, I am generally unable to provide you with a letter of recommendation. I will only be able to write letters for students I know. If you're interested and think I know you well enough, feel free to ask!

About the Instructor(s)

Hi! My name is Bill Pfeil. I have a M.S. in Math Education from OSU. I did my undergrad at the University of Arizona in Applied Math and ECE. In between my two degrees I spent 25 years as a software engineer, and have worked on everything from client-server apps to games. I am excited to work with all of you on your career preparation and goals!

And I'm Tom Weller, your other instructor this term. I'm a Michigander, and received my undergrad and graduate degrees in EE from the University of Michigan. My specialty is microwave engineering and applied electromagnetics. I've worked at a large aerospace company in California, and some very small companies (one that I co-founded in Florida). But for most of my career, I've been a professor. Like Bill, I'm also very excited about this course and helping you plan for your career and preparing while you're here at Oregon State.


Course Name: Pathways to EECS
Course Number: CS/ECE 404
Credits: 1
Instructors (for all sections):

This class meets in person:  F 3pm-3:50pm in BEXL 321 - Bexell Hall 321 (9/21 to 12/2)

This syllabus describes the administrative parts of the course and serves as a contract between student and instructor. Remaining in this course indicates acceptance of these rules.

Remember that in this course, you are expected to behave professionally. Please use this document throughout the course.

Table of Contents

Course Description

This non-traditional class covers a broad range of topics to help prepare you for a career in EECS. We explore the many ways an EECS degree gets used, how to market yourself to prospective employers, how to prepare for a job interview, and more! This course features an exciting array of guest lecturers from the industry who will share their professional experience and life stories with you. Course may be taken multiple times. Sophomore standing or higher.

There are no tests, midterms, or finals in this course.

Prerequisites and/or Corequisites: None. Sophomore standing in ECE or CS required. 


If the Instructors need to contact you, we will email you directly (or via the class mailing list), or send out a canvas announcement. NOTE:  It is your responsibility to make sure you can receive notifications from Canvas.

Email is the preferred way to contact us:

If we don't respond in 24 hours please email us again.

Messaging us on Canvas is an unreliable and indirect way to send us an email. So please use regular email to contact us :)

Time Expectations

This course is on-campus only (with additional materials available online), for a total of 1 credit. Time spent interacting with course content outside of the project, itself, is minimal.

Technical Assistance

If you experience any errors or problems while in your online course, contact 24-7 Canvas Support through the Help link within Canvas. If you experience computer difficulties, need help downloading a browser or plug-in, or need assistance logging into a course, contact the IS Service Desk for assistance. You can call (541) 737-8787 or visit the  IS Service Desk  (Links to an external site.)  online.

Learning Resources

There is no textbook; students are expected to source their own learning resources for some assignments. A microphone and screen-recording device may be required, for submitting some assignments.

Note: Check with the OSU Beaver Store for up-to-date information for the term you enroll ( OSU Beaver Store website  (Links to an external site.)  or 800-595-0357). If you purchase course materials from other sources, be very careful to obtain the correct ISBN.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes

After completion of this course, students will have demonstrated an ability to:

  • Be able to describe many aspects of the career development process and develop the skills necessary for each, including setting goals and objectives, researching career pathways, writing resumes, and interviewing. 
  • Be able to describe effective, ethical and inclusive leadership and collaboration through experiences with extracurricular activities. 
  • Be able to summarize and explain the value of their OSU and “Pathways” experience to employers. 
  • Have gained experience communicating with employers, developing an ability to identify and apply communication strategies for a wide range of audiences. 
  • Learn about and potentially participate in experiential learning that is relevant to the work of a professional in their chosen career. 

Evaluation of Student Performance

  • 40 % In-class activities 
  • 40 % Homework 
  • 10 % Final Reflection 
  • 10 % Final Skill Application 

Letter Grade

Grading responsibilities are shared between the instructors.

Total Percentage vs. Letter Grade

 100 ╺┓
   0 ╺┛

Course Content

CS/ECE 404 Course Schedule (subject to change)
Week Topic Activities
1 Class Goal Setting & Field Exploration Class goals, 3 subfields of interest 
2 OSU Experiences  Available resources, Club presentations, Elevator Pitches 
3 Resumes Resume Review, Online Portfolios, Interview prep 
4 Meeting with Companies Career Fair, Networking Night, Appearances
5 Interviews Mock Interviews, Typical structure 
6 Technical Communication  Mini research topic presentations
7 Ethics Case studies, personal values vs. professional values 
8 Job Goal Setting & Mentors Goals, Mentor matchmaking 
9 Skill Application Hackathon/Hweekend
10 Reflection and the Future  5-year plan
*Optional workshops for extra hands-on points 

Course Policies

Late Work Policy

Most assignments allow submissions up to two days after the due date for a reduced maximum score. Each assignment has a due date listed on Canvas. Assignments that may be submitted late also have an available until date, which is 48 hours after the initial due date. For these assignments, the following policy applies:

  • Assignments submitted on the day after the due due date will be graded normally and then any points past a 90% point total will be lost.
  • Assignments submitted on the second day after the due date will be graded normally and then any points past a 75% point total will be lost.

Note that, unlike in other courses, late assignment grades will not be scaled by some factor; any points above a threshold (90% or 75%) will simply be discarded.

Makeup Exams

This course has no tests or exams.


Incomplete (I) grades will be granted only in emergency cases (usually only for a death in the family, major illness or injury, or birth of your child), and if the student has turned in 80% of the points possible (in other words, usually everything but the final week assignments). If you are having any difficulty that might prevent you completing the coursework, please don’t wait until the end of the term; let me know right away.

Statement Regarding Religious Accommodation

Oregon State University is required to provide reasonable accommodations for employee and student sincerely held religious beliefs. It is incumbent on the student making the request to make the faculty member aware of the request as soon as possible prior to the need for the accommodation. See the Religious Accommodation Process for Students.

Establishing a Positive Community

It is important you feel safe and welcome in this course. If somebody is making discriminatory comments against you, sexually harassing you, or excluding you in other ways, contact the instructor, your academic advisor, and/or report what happened at Student Conduct Reporting so we can connect you with resources.

Expectations for Student Conduct

Student conduct is governed by the university’s policies, as explained in the Student Conduct Code ( OSU Student Code of Conduct). Students are expected to conduct themselves in the course (e.g., on discussion boards, email postings) in compliance with the university's regulations regarding civility.

Academic Integrity

Integrity is a character-driven commitment to honesty, doing what is right, and guiding others to do what is right. Oregon State University students and faculty have a responsibility to act with integrity in all of our educational work, and that integrity enables this community of learners to interact in the spirit of trust, honesty, and fairness across the globe.

Academic misconduct, or violations of academic integrity, can fall into seven broad areas, including but not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; falsification; assisting; tampering; multiple submissions of work; and unauthorized recording and use.

It is important that you understand what student actions are defined as academic misconduct at Oregon State University. The OSU Libraries offer a tutorial on academic misconduct, and you can also refer to the the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standard’s website for more information. More importantly, if you are unsure if something will violate our academic integrity policy, ask your professors, GTAs, academic advisors, or academic integrity officers.


Your instructor may ask you to submit one or more of your writings to Turnitin, a plagiarism prevention service. Your assignment content will be checked for potential plagiarism against Internet sources, academic journal articles, and the papers of other OSU students, for common or borrowed content. Turnitin generates a report that highlights any potentially unoriginal text in your paper. The report may be submitted directly to your instructor or your instructor may elect to have you submit initial drafts through Turnitin, and you will receive the report allowing you the opportunity to make adjustments and ensure that all source material has been properly cited. Papers you submit through Turnitin for this or any class will be added to the OSU Turnitin database and may be checked against other OSU paper submissions. You will retain all rights to your written work. For further information, visit Academic Integrity for Students: Turnitin – What is it?

Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval, please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at Disability Access Services . DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Accessibility of Course Materials

All materials used in this course are accessible. If you require accommodations please contact Disability Access Services (DAS).

Additionally, Canvas, the learning management system through which this course is offered, provides a vendor statement certifying how the platform is accessible to students with disabilities.

Tutoring and Writing Assistance

There are a variety of tutoring and academic skills resources across campus. Here are some of the most common for engineering students.

Reach Out for Success

University students encounter setbacks from time to time. If you encounter difficulties and need assistance, it’s important to reach out. Consider discussing the situation with an instructor or academic advisor. Learn about resources that assist with wellness and academic success.

If you feel comfortable sharing how a hardship may impact your performance in this course, please reach out to me as your instructor.

  • For mental health:

If you are in immediate crisis, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting OREGON to 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  • For financial hardship:

Any student whose academic performance is impacted due to financial stress or the inability to afford groceries, housing, and other necessities for any reason is urged to contact the Director of Care for support (541-737-8748).

Academic Calendar

All students are subject to the registration and refund deadlines as stated in the Academic Calendar: .

Student Evaluation of Courses

During Fall, Winter, and Spring term, the online Student Evaluation of Teaching system opens to students the Wednesday of week 8 and closes the Sunday before Finals Week. Students will receive notification, instructions and the link through their ONID email. They may also log into the system via Online Services. Course evaluation results are extremely important and used to help improve courses and the learning experience of future students. Responses are anonymous (unless a student chooses to “sign” their comments, agreeing to relinquish anonymity) and unavailable to instructors until after grades have been posted. The results of scaled questions and signed comments go to both the instructor and their unit head/supervisor. Anonymous (unsigned) comments go to the instructor only.

Please post all course-related questions in the Q&A Discussion Forum so that the whole class may benefit from our conversation. Please contact the Instructor(s) privately for matters of a personal nature. We will reply to course-related questions within 24 hours. We will strive to return your assignments and grades for course activities to you within 5-7 days of the due date.

To contact the Instructors directly, please email. I strongly suggest tagging your email with "[CS/ECE 404]" in the subject line. If you do not receive a response within one business day, feel free to send a follow-up email. Sometimes we miss things!

Instructors (for all sections):

Tutoring and Writing Assistance

There are a variety of tutoring and academic skills resources across campus. Here are some of the most common for engineering students.

For all academic and student support services, refer to this Student Resources link.

Synchronous Communication - Microsoft Teams

There are a variety of ways to communicate with your classmates and Instructors. One good method is to use Microsoft Teams.

To join the class Team, click "Microsoft Teams" in the sidebar and follow the instructions.