Posted by: Gregory Linton | 01/08/2019

The Teagle Foundation releases report on Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence Initiative

Since the publication of Integrity in the College Curriculum by the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 1985, many higher education analysts through the years have decried the incoherence of the undergraduate curriculum, especially in general education. Notable critics have included Jerry Gaff, James Ratcliff, George Leef, Derek Bok, Robert Zemsky, and William Casement.

To search for solutions to this problem, The Teagle Foundation provided 15 implementation grants between May 2014 and May 2018 under the Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence initiative. Each institution addressed the question: “How can faculty work together to create a more coherent and intentional curriculum whose goals, pathways, and outcomes are clear to students and other constituencies with a stake in the future of higher education?”

In December, The Teagle Foundation published a report by Madeleine Green titled In Search of Curricular Coherence, which summarized the results of four of the early grants that involved 12 institutions. Her study of these projects identified five principal strategies that institutions undertook to achieve curricular coherence:

  • Curriculum redesign (general education and the major)
  • Curriculum mapping
  • Identifying clusters of related courses around an issue or topic
  • Using pedagogy, especially high-impact practices (HIPs), to drive greater coherence in the curriculum
  • Using advising to help students see connections within the curriculum and among various learning opportunities

She also distilled nine lessons to be learned from the four projects. The report provides many specific examples from the institutions involved in the projects. Faculty members who are undertaking a curriculum revision would benefit from reading this 32-page report.

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