The curricula of institutions, made up of Courses, Educational Experiences and Programs, are widely variable. Each institution as well as each department within an institution may have a unique system for defining programs of study and for creating the Courses and other Educational Experiences that combined make up programs of study. Processes for allocating resources and scheduling for the Sections of each Course and Educational Experience also vary from institution to institution and from department to department.
Programs of study and their components change over time as current research uncovers new data, technology presents new ways of teaching and learning, and the need for new skills and abilities evolves. By adding Program, Course, Educational Experience and Section information to Outcomes Assessment, a method for ongoing assessment of these entities is set up. This assessment process impacts planning, curriculum development, professional development, budget and time allocations. More broadly, the assessment process clarifies how a Program, Course, or Educational Experience presents itself within the institution and the outside world.
This assessment process also ensures performance, integrity, and quality of educational institutions to the educational community and the general public. Program and course review affirms confidence in the institution by demonstrating that the programs offered to students are based on acknowledged goals, taught by qualified personnel, and provide the necessary opportunities for student achievement and success.