Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence

Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence, funded by The Teagle Foundation, is a part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise family of projects.  It will support faculty members at four institutions as they engage in a six-month planning period to lay the foundation for ambitious faculty-led curricular changes leading to greater intentionality in students’ curricular pathways. With support and resources from AAC&U’s LEAP initiative and leadership, four institutions will develop action plans to create a more coherent and intentional curriculum that promotes purposeful pathways for student success.

The project goals are driven by a shared belief that purposeful pathways created by faculty can guide students to higher levels of learning, intellectual skill development, and practical knowledge. These newly designed guided learning pathways will engage students in high-quality learning experiences (e.g. high-impact practices) that will help them achieve learning outcomes critical for life, work, and productive citizenship.

Initial development of action plans will begin at a planning meeting, facilitated by AAC&U, in July 2016 in Washington, DC. Utilizing a cycle of intentional learning outlined in Purposeful Pathways: Helping Students Achieve Key Learning Outcomes (Leskes and Miller, 2006), participants will identify goals and outcomes driven by their respective institutional mission. Participants will use these mission-driven goals and outcomes to inform curricular design and coherence as well as improvements in pedagogy that are linked to assessment of student work. Over the course of the planning period, campus teams will be asked to outline steps in their respective action plans that utilize the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) framework (Hall & Hord, 2006) for preparing faculty to engage in the process of curricular change.

The institutions participating in the project include:

  • Community College of Philadelphia (PA)
  • University of Houston-Downtown (TX)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (NV)
  • Winston-Salem State University (NC)



AAC&U Project Staff:

Tia McNair, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Kate McConnell, Senior Director, Research and Assessment

Dawn Whitehead, Senior Director, Global Learning and Curricular Change

John Veras, Program Associate