CC 520 Syllabus - Spring 2024


The preferred method of contact for help will be through the Edstem Discussion board . Any questions or feedback can be posted there. More detail on using this platform can be found below and in Canvas.

All emails for the course should be sent to (sorry I know it’s a long address). This will contact the professors and ALL the TAs for the course and guarantee the fastest response time if contacting via email (please allow one full business day for response). You are welcome to send emails that may contain more sensitive information directly to intended recipients.

Communication can also be done through Microsoft Teams. If you have not been invited to join the team for CC 520, please let us know and we will get you added.


Professor: Josh Weese –

  • Office: 2214 Engineering Hall (DUE)
  • Phone: Office - (785) 317-3353
  • Office Hours: See my calendar . Office hours are always available online and in-person. For online help during office hours, please send a direct message in MS Teams (busy times will utilize ).


  • CC 315 - Data Structures & Algorithms II
  • CC 410 - Advanced Programming (Prerequisite or Concurrent Enrollment)
  • Optional: MATH 312 - Finite Applications of Mathematics or MATH 510 - Discrete Mathematics

These books are not required. I will be providing notes, videos, and walk through examples during the course. If you are looking for more traditional text-book material, I have found these books to be helpful.

  • T-SQL Fundamentals (Third Edition) by Itzik Ben-Gan
  • Database Systems: The Complete Book (Second Edition) by Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeffrey D. Ullman, Jennifer Widom
  • SQL Success - Database Programming Proficiency by Stephane Faroult

Required Software

We will be utilizing MS SQL Server for this course. For information about accessing SQL Server for the course, see SQL Server Access .

How to Get Help in this Course

CC 520 Database Essentials is not like your standard programming course. We will be doing some programming, but our focus will be primarily with data; how to store it, retrieve it, manipulate it, and use it with an application. Some of the topics we will cover are easier than others, but some can be fairly tricky. That, coupled with this being an online course, you are encouraged to seek help whenever you feel you are being overwhelmed or don’t understand a topic. You are not alone! We will always be willing to help students with any questions you may have about the class or other issues related to Computing Science. So please, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Get help early and often!

Here are the 5 recommended ways to get help in this course:

  • Review the course materials posted on K-State Canvas and the course website
  • Check the Edstem Discussion board to see if a similar question has been asked, otherwise, post a new question.
  • Visit your professor’s office hours, or the office hours for your TA if available
  • Send a message to the CIS 520 Help email ( )).
  • Ask your teammates for help or advice on assignments or projects (be mindful of the honor code!)
  • Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your professor/TA

More on the Edstem Discussion board

This semester, we will be using, specifically, there Ed Discussion platform. Ed Discussion is a reddit/forum style web app that allows students to post and ask questions. This will be our preferred way of communication when it comes to questions/etc. in the course. Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Before creating a new thread, please make sure there isn’t a similar one already made.
  • If you are asking a question in Ed Discussion, please correctly mark it as such along with the correct tags.
  • Please make your thread public when possible in case others have the same questions.
    • Threads can be made anonymous when needed. Course staff may anonymize private threads and make them public if they find it to be beneficial for the class.
  • When posting code, please do not post solutions or part of solutions to homework. If you need to share your code with us, please make your thread private.
  • If you would like a new category or tag made, please let us know!

If you need help getting started with the platform, please go through the following links:

Course Overview

Introduction to concepts and techniques in database management. Overview of relational databases, NoSQL databases, and related topics. Database programming and use of databases in applications. Theory and architecture of database management systems (DBMS).

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce concepts, approaches, and techniques in database management. This includes exploring the representation of information as data, data storage techniques, foundations of data models, data retrieval, database design, transaction management, integrity and security.

Student Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, a successful student will be able to:

  • Write and read SQL, including queries, relations, database modifications, constraints, triggers, transactions, and views.
  • Recognize the difference between NoSQL and its philosophy compared to SQL.
  • Design and create databases utilizing entity relationship models, functional dependencies, and normalization.
  • Design queries and databases that are optimized in storage, retrieval, and processing of data.
  • Create an application that utilizes a database.

Major Course Topics

  • SQL Language
  • NoSQL & its relation to SQL
  • DBMS design
  • Programming with databases
  • Database system architecture
  • Database efficiency
  • Practical applications of databases

Course Structure

This course is being taught 100% online. There may be some bumps in the road as we refine the overall course structure. Students will work through each set of modules, with weekly or bi-weekly due dates. Material will be provided in the form of recorded videos, links to online resources, and discussion prompts. Each module will include a hands-on assignment, which will be graded interactively by the instructor. Assignments may also include written portions or presentations, which will be submitted online.


There will be three exams for the course. Students will be evaluated based on exams, homework assignments, and a term project. Assignments are to be completed without any collaboration with classmates or other outside help unless otherwise stated. Any unauthorized aid may result in a 0 for the assignment or an XF for the course and a report submitted to the Academic Honor Council. All assignments will be submitted through Canvas. The specific grading scheme is shown below:

  • Exams/Quizzes: 35%
  • Homework assignments: 25%
  • Final Project: 40%



All work is expected to be done individually unless otherwise stated. A violation of the Honor Code Policy (see below) will result in an automatic 0 for the assignment and the violation will be reported to the Honor System. A second violation will result in an XF in the course. The sanctions will apply to ALL parties involved in the violation.

Note that depending on the severity of the first violation, the sanction may be worse than just a 0 for the assignment

There will be some programming and written assignments (majority will be SQL-based, but may involve some coding like the final project). It is acceptable to communicate with other students about the concepts in the assignment if you do not understand it, but you should not discuss the details of how the assignment should be completed (never share your code/work with another student!). Your submission should be your own work, or the work of your small group if allowed by the instructor. *When in doubt, ask!*

In order to avoid turning in code or SQL that does not work (or maybe even the wrong file) please double check your solution after you submitted it to Canvas. Redownload what you submitted from Canvas and run it again to assure that the program you submitted is working as intended.

Late Work


Poor planning/procrastination on your part does not constitute as an emergency on ours.

Every student should strive to turn in work on time. Late work will receive penalty of 10% of the possible points for each day its late. Some assignments will NOT be accepted late! Others will be limited to a maximum of three days late (not always 3 days). Note that this penalty is applied on a per hour basis (i.e. if your assignment is 12 hours late, it will receive a ~5% deduction)

Subject to Change

The details in this syllabus are not set in stone. Due to the flexible nature of this class, adjustments may need to be made as the semester progresses, though they will be kept to a minimum. If any changes occur, the changes will be posted on the K-State Canvas page for this course and emailed to all students.

Safe Zone Statement

I am part of the SafeZone community network of trained K-State faculty/staff/students who are available to listen and support you. As a SafeZone Ally, I can help you connect with resources on campus to address problems you face that interfere with your academic success, particularly issues of sexual violence, hateful acts, or concerns faced by individuals due to sexual orientation/gender identity. My goal is to help you be successful and to maintain a safe and equitable campus.

Standard Syllabus Statements


The statements below are standard syllabus statements from K-State and our program. The latest versions are available online here .

Academic Honesty

Kansas State University has an Honor and Integrity System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance that, in academic matters, one’s work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. Undergraduate and graduate students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor and Integrity System. The policies and procedures of the Honor and Integrity System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. A component vital to the Honor and Integrity System is the inclusion of the Honor Pledge which applies to all assignments, examinations, or other course work undertaken by students. The Honor Pledge is implied, whether or not it is stated: “On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.” A grade of XF can result from a breach of academic honesty. The F indicates failure in the course; the X indicates the reason is an Honor Pledge violation.

For this course, a violation of the Honor Pledge will result in sanctions such as a 0 on the assignment or an XF in the course, depending on severity. Actively seeking unauthorized aid, such as posting lab assignments on sites such as Chegg or StackOverflow, or asking another person to complete your work, even if unsuccessful, will result in an immediate XF in the course.

This course assumes that all your course work will be done by you. Use of AI text and code generators such as ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot in any submission for this course is strictly forbidden unless explicitly allowed by your instructor. Any unauthorized use of these tools without proper attribution is a violation of the K-State Honor Pledge .

We reserve the right to use various platforms that can perform automatic plagiarism detection by tracking changes made to files and comparing submitted projects against other students’ submissions and known solutions. That information may be used to determine if plagiarism has taken place.

Students with Disabilities

At K-State it is important that every student has access to course content and the means to demonstrate course mastery. Students with disabilities may benefit from services including accommodations provided by the Student Access Center. Disabilities can include physical, learning, executive functions, and mental health. You may register at the Student Access Center or to learn more contact:

Students already registered with the Student Access Center please request your Letters of Accommodation early in the semester to provide adequate time to arrange your approved academic accommodations. Once SAC approves your Letter of Accommodation it will be e-mailed to you, and your instructor(s) for this course. Please follow up with your instructor to discuss how best to implement the approved accommodations.

Expectations for Conduct

All student activities in the University, including this course, are governed by the Student Judicial Conduct Code as outlined in the Student Governing Association By Laws , Article V, Section 3, number 2. Students who engage in behavior that disrupts the learning environment may be asked to leave the class.

Mutual Respect and Inclusion in K-State Teaching & Learning Spaces

At K-State, faculty and staff are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and supportive learning environment for students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. K-State courses, labs, and other virtual and physical learning spaces promote equitable opportunity to learn, participate, contribute, and succeed, regardless of age, race, color, ethnicity, nationality, genetic information, ancestry, disability, socioeconomic status, military or veteran status, immigration status, Indigenous identity, gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, religion, culture, as well as other social identities.

Faculty and staff are committed to promoting equity and believe the success of an inclusive learning environment relies on the participation, support, and understanding of all students. Students are encouraged to share their views and lived experiences as they relate to the course or their course experience, while recognizing they are doing so in a learning environment in which all are expected to engage with respect to honor the rights, safety, and dignity of others in keeping with the K-State Principles of Community .

If you feel uncomfortable because of comments or behavior encountered in this class, you may bring it to the attention of your instructor, advisors, and/or mentors. If you have questions about how to proceed with a confidential process to resolve concerns, please contact the Student Ombudsperson Office . Violations of the student code of conduct can be reported using the Code of Conduct Reporting Form . You can also report discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment , if needed.



This is our personal policy and not a required syllabus statement from K-State. It has been adapted from this statement from K-State Global Campus, and theRecurse Center Manual . We have adapted their ideas to fit this course.

Online communication is inherently different than in-person communication. When speaking in person, many times we can take advantage of the context and body language of the person speaking to better understand what the speaker means, not just what is said. This information is not present when communicating online, so we must be much more careful about what we say and how we say it in order to get our meaning across.

Here are a few general rules to help us all communicate online in this course, especially while using tools such as Canvas or Discord:

  • Use a clear and meaningful subject line to announce your topic. Subject lines such as “Question” or “Problem” are not helpful. Subjects such as “Logic Question in Project 5, Part 1 in Java” or “Unexpected Exception when Opening Text File in Python” give plenty of information about your topic.
  • Use only one topic per message. If you have multiple topics, post multiple messages so each one can be discussed independently.
  • Be thorough, concise, and to the point. Ideally, each message should be a page or less.
  • Include exact error messages, code snippets, or screenshots, as well as any previous steps taken to fix the problem. It is much easier to solve a problem when the exact error message or screenshot is provided. If we know what you’ve tried so far, we can get to the root cause of the issue more quickly.
  • Consider carefully what you write before you post it. Once a message is posted, it becomes part of the permanent record of the course and can easily be found by others.
  • If you are lost, don’t know an answer, or don’t understand something, speak up! Email and Canvas both allow you to send a message privately to the instructors, so other students won’t see that you asked a question. Don’t be afraid to ask questions anytime, as you can choose to do so without any fear of being identified by your fellow students.
  • Class discussions are confidential. Do not share information from the course with anyone outside of the course without explicit permission.
  • Do not quote entire message chains; only include the relevant parts. When replying to a previous message, only quote the relevant lines in your response.
  • Do not use all caps. It makes it look like you are shouting. Use appropriate text markup (bold, italics, etc.) to highlight a point if needed.
  • No feigning surprise. If someone asks a question, saying things like “I can’t believe you don’t know that!” are not helpful, and only serve to make that person feel bad.
  • No “well-actually’s.” If someone makes a statement that is not entirely correct, resist the urge to offer a “well, actually…” correction, especially if it is not relevant to the discussion. If you can help solve their problem, feel free to provide correct information, but don’t post a correction just for the sake of being correct.
  • Do not correct someone’s grammar or spelling. Again, it is not helpful, and only serves to make that person feel bad. If there is a genuine mistake that may affect the meaning of the post, please contact the person privately or let the instructors know privately so it can be resolved.
  • Avoid subtle -isms and microaggressions. Avoid comments that could make others feel uncomfortable based on their personal identity. See the syllabus section on Diversity and Inclusion above for more information on this topic. If a comment makes you uncomfortable, please contact the instructor.
  • Avoid sarcasm, flaming, advertisements, lingo, trolling, doxxing, and other bad online habits. They have no place in an academic environment. Tasteful humor is fine, but sarcasm can be misunderstood.

As a participant in course discussions, you should also strive to honor the diversity of your classmates by adhering to the K-State Principles of Community .

Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment

Kansas State University is committed to maintaining academic, housing, and work environments that are free of discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment. Instructors support the University’s commitment by creating a safe learning environment during this course, free of conduct that would interfere with your academic opportunities. Instructors also have a duty to report any behavior they become aware of that potentially violates the University’s policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment, as outlined by PPM 3010 .

If a student is subjected to discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment, they are encouraged to make a non-confidential report to the University’s Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) using the online reporting form . Incident disclosure is not required to receive resources at K-State. Reports that include domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, should be considered for reporting by the complainant to the Kansas State University Police Department or the Riley County Police Department . Reports made to law enforcement are separate from reports made to OIE. A complainant can choose to report to one or both entities. Confidential support and advocacy can be found with the K-State Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education (CARE) . Confidential mental health services can be found with Lafene Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) . Academic support can be found with the Office of Student Life (OSL) . OSL is a non-confidential resource. OIE also provides a comprehensive list of resources on their website. If you have questions about non-confidential and confidential resources, please contact OIE at or (785) 532–6220.

Academic Freedom Statement

Kansas State University is a community of students, faculty, and staff who work together to discover new knowledge, create new ideas, and share the results of their scholarly inquiry with the wider public. Although new ideas or research results may be controversial or challenge established views, the health and growth of any society requires frank intellectual exchange. Academic freedom protects this type of free exchange and is thus essential to any university’s mission.

Moreover, academic freedom supports collaborative work in the pursuit of truth and the dissemination of knowledge in an environment of inquiry, respectful debate, and professionalism. Academic freedom is not limited to the classroom or to scientific and scholarly research, but extends to the life of the university as well as to larger social and political questions. It is the right and responsibility of the university community to engage with such issues.

Campus Safety

Kansas State University is committed to providing a safe teaching and learning environment for student and faculty members. In order to enhance your safety in the unlikely case of a campus emergency make sure that you know where and how to quickly exit your classroom and how to follow any emergency directives. Current Campus Emergency Information is available at the University’s Advisory webpage.

Student Resources

K-State has many resources to help contribute to student success. These resources include accommodations for academics, paying for college, student life, health and safety, and others. Check out the Student Guide to Help and Resources: One Stop Shop for more information.

Student Academic Creations

Student academic creations are subject to Kansas State University and Kansas Board of Regents Intellectual Property Policies. For courses in which students will be creating intellectual property, the K-State policy can be found at University Handbook, Appendix R: Intellectual Property Policy and Institutional Procedures (part I.E.) . These policies address ownership and use of student academic creations.

Mental Health

Your mental health and good relationships are vital to your overall well-being. Symptoms of mental health issues may include excessive sadness or worry, thoughts of death or self-harm, inability to concentrate, lack of motivation, or substance abuse. Although problems can occur anytime for anyone, you should pay extra attention to your mental health if you are feeling academic or financial stress, discrimination, or have experienced a traumatic event, such as loss of a friend or family member, sexual assault or other physical or emotional abuse.

If you are struggling with these issues, do not wait to seek assistance.

For Kansas State Salina Campus:

For Global Campus/K-State Online:

  • K-State Online students have free access to mental health counseling with My SSP - 24/7 support via chat and phone.
  • The Office of Student Life can direct you to additional resources.

University Excused Absences

K-State has a University Excused Absence policy (Section F62) . Class absence(s) will be handled between the instructor and the student unless there are other university offices involved. For university excused absences, instructors shall provide the student the opportunity to make up missed assignments, activities, and/or attendance specific points that contribute to the course grade, unless they decide to excuse those missed assignments from the student’s course grade. Please see the policy for a complete list of university excused absences and how to obtain one. Students are encouraged to contact their instructor regarding their absences.

Face Coverings

Kansas State University strongly encourages, but does not require, that everyone wear masks while indoors on university property, including while attending in-person classes. For additional information and the latest updates, see K-State’s face covering policy .

Copyright 2023(Joshua L. Weese) as to this syllabus and all lectures. During this course students are prohibited from selling notes to or being paid for taking notes by any person or commercial firm without the express written permission of the professor teaching this course. In addition, students in this class are not authorized to provide class notes or other class-related materials to any other person or entity, other than sharing them directly with another student taking the class for purposes of studying, without prior written permission from the professor teaching this course. The digital materials included here come with the legal permissions and releases of the copyright holders. These course materials should be used for educational purposes only; the contents should not be distributed electronically or otherwise beyond the confines of this online course. The URLs listed here do not suggest endorsement of either the site owners or the contents found at the sites. Likewise, mentioned brands (products and services) do not suggest endorsement. Students own copyright to what they create.