Curriculum is the crucial component of any educational process and the core deliverable in our business. Post-secondary education faces the challenges of ensuring the curricula develops skills and builds competencies that are relevant both to local and to global needs but is also in compliance with Ministry directives. Program renewal is a comprehensive , collaborative quality assurance process that occurs every 5 years as mandated by The Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities in the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive: Framework for programs of instruction which allows program teams to critically analyze their program. The Vice President of Academic’s office and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Academic Excellence prepare the 5 year schedule for renewal. Program teams are able to evaluate the currency and relevancy of the curriculum, program structure, delivery methods, trends in the workplace and social environment.
Georgian College is committed to excellence and innovation in education. Program renewal is the opportunity for programs to critically analyze their curriculum in the spirit of continual quality improvement and strengthening of the core curriculum. Program teams are able to identify opportunities for improvements to their programs that reflect the needs of students, industry and government.
Program renewal is a process that can take up to one year to complete. During this time, program renewal teams will meet with program advisory committees, faculty and staff and other connected areas such as coop and student services. They will also collect evidence and data in order to make recommendations for improvements. The program renewal report will be approved through the Macro Curriculum Committee and Academic Council.
The Curriculum Quality Assurance Guidebook outlines the process for curriculum development and renewal at Georgian College to ensure quality assurance standards are maintained. Curriculum is defined in many ways—from the set of courses or experiences needed to complete an educational credential, through such particulars as the content of a specific discipline, to the broad college or program mission or purpose statement of what is important for students to learn as defined by a variety of government, industry and societal stakeholders. The concept of curriculum at Georgian College encompasses elements that relate to:
- Assuring quality career education that assists individual development and enhances employability, through institutional acceptance of responsibility for relevancy, currency, standards, assessment, viability and accountability in programming.
- Enhancing opportunities for learning that meet the needs of a diverse student population, increasing opportunities for educational mobility, and for lifelong learning.
- Co-operating with our communities, including business and industry, social and other public agencies, and other educational institutions.
Georgian College consistently provides quality educational experiences to a diverse student population. Georgian is committed to continuous quality improvement. As a publicly supported postsecondary education institution, the college has a special responsibility to deliver relevant programs of exceptional quality.
The quality of our programs is dependent on systematic quality assurance processes for academic program development, review and renewal. The program quality assurance policy (procedure 1-136) frames the purpose, scope and rationale for curriculum, in accordance with the criteria established by the Ontario College quality Assurance Service (OCQAS) and the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB). This policy applies to all credit programs leading to a credential at Georgian College, including new and existing programs offered full-time, part-time, or conjointly with other postsecondary institutions.
Overview of curriculum mapping
Resources available in the CTLAE Library
Program Renewal Institute is a four-day intensive workshop that introduces faculty teams to the program renewal process. Through a facilitated process, teams develop work plans, learn how to use institutional research and data effectively, understand and utilize program advisory committees, and review policies and procedures related to curriculum and program renewal. Teams finish the four days with a draft of the proposed curriculum and map to begin the comprehensive renewal process.
The Program Renewal Institute will take place May 12, 13, 16, and 17, 2016 and participants are expected to attend each day.
The outcomes of the four day-workshop are to:
- Create a community of teams to support each other during program renewal
- Introduce teams/faculty to the program renewal process
- Assist teams with developing a work plan
- Explain how to use research and data effectively
- Provide hands-on assistance with completing required program renewal documentation
- Support curriculum development, including navigating policies and procedures
- Facilitate the development of program renewal teams including program advisory teams
The purpose of Communications in curriculum
The Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) defines six skills that are essential for life and workplace success: communication, numeracy, critical thinking and problem solving, information management, interpersonal, and personal skills. These Essential Employability Skills (EES) are “skills that, regardless of a student’s program or discipline, are critical for success in the workplace, in day-to-day living, and for lifelong learning” (Ministry Guidelines, 2005, p. 15).
The Georgian College Communications curriculum actively develops five of these six skills. Communications courses complement students’ vocational studies by developing their written and oral communication skills for multiple environments, including college and workplace. Core skills students develop in Communications courses include information retrieval and literacy, and critical thinking and reading. Technology for communication tasks such as information management, researching, writing, and presentations is emphasized, as is teamwork and cross- cultural communication.
In addition, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the standard by which Colleges are evaluated and funded, measure a number of essential and employability skills, all of which are embedded in Georgian College Communications courses. For further information about Ministry guidelines, consult the MTCU Framework for Programs of Instruction.
General Education in college curriculum
General Education courses are designed to complement students’ vocational studies by addressing issues of importance to students’ lives as individuals and members of society. The General Education program strives to enhance the development of skills necessary for living and working in an increasingly complex, interdependent world. “General Education strengthens students’ [essential] skills, such as critical analysis, problem-solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance” (Ministry Guidelines, p.19).
In addition, General Education provides students with the tools necessary to engage in lifelong learning. For further information, consult the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Framework for Programs of Instruction.
Curriculum development resources
Aligning and Building Curriculum provides resources to college faculty around curriculum development, mapping and review processes.