Cutting Edge > Strong Geoscience Departments > Degree Programs

Degree Programs: Design, Development, and Assessment

Great degree programs incorporate more than just the courses in the curriculum. Co-curricular activities, opportunities for social interaction, and campus-wide support systems are also important aspects of a holistic approach to graduating successful alumni. As you build or revise your programs, which elements are essential? Which are optional? How does the degree program fit into your department's goals and vision? The institution's? These pages and resources will help you think about these and other important questions.

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Envision your Department

What does our future look like and how does your department/program fit into the world and work your students will experience? Developing a shared vision of where your department is headed is the first step in developing degree programs that will get you and your students there.

Bridge Supports

What Makes a Strong Program Design

Program-level learning outcomes encompass knowledge, skills, and personal attributes that are not the domain of a single course. Work towards these outcomes can be integrated into programs at many levels, and in a variety of contexts so that students have the opportunity to address these goals throughout their pre-professional training.

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Design Degree Programs

Once a department has established its collective vision and direction, the next step is designing or re-designing degree programs that move the department forward in that vision.

Assessment Loop

Program Assessment

Assessment is collecting program data for a specific purpose. A program matrix helps determine where in the program the different program-level learning outcomes can be assessed but decisions still have to be made about how to assess them.

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Action Planning

Creating an action plan to guide the work of the department going forward is just as important as deciding on the direction the department wants to go. Strategic priorities for change, the context in which that change will occur, as well as actions that the department will take, and who will spearhead them, are all parts that need to be articulated clearly.

Profiles and Planning Documents Collection

Over the course of workshops from several projects, participants have contributed examples of how their courses, degrees, and departments have been designed to meet their explicit goals. There are also examples of planning documents from many departments that can serve as templates for work your program wants to accomplish.


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