Developing a Timeline for a Divisional or Residential Curriculum Implementation on Your Campus

Curricular development is a complex process that involves planning and organizational change. It is a process that takes year, not months. Each institution, or within each division or department, there may be unique contextual factors that may influence the development timeline of a curricular implementation. Although it is difficult to develop a timeline that is institution agnostic, many individuals embarking on this approach have asked for something to guide them.

Below you will find a sample timeline to provide you with a general map of how this process may look. This is merely a guide. Special considerations specific to residence life departments are in bold. Finally, immediately below are some organizational change factors you will need to consider in your planning. Because these can vary widely between institutions, spend time thinking through these and planning your own change process.

Organizational Change Factors to Consider:

  • Will you call your work a “curriculum” or use a different name?
  • What assessment resources do you currently have available to you? What assessment resources will you need? Are your staff adequately trained in assessment processes?
  • Do current staff position descriptions need to be revised? How do you hire your staff members? What knowledge, qualities, skills, and abilities do you hire for? Should some positions be phased out? Should new ones be created?
  • How are your staff training programs structured? What content do they cover? How do you set the stage to create a learning-centric organization? What on-going regular professional development programs do you provide to further enhance staff knowledge and skills in key curricular areas? Do you need to commit resources to attending the Institute on the Curricular Approach and to hire a trainer/consultant?
  • What will your budget needs will be under a curricular approach? How might current budgets need to be reallocated?
  • Who are your most important campus partners and stakeholders? How can you involve partners and stakeholders in the curriculum development and implementation process? How will you present and/or market your curriculum to your partners, stakeholders, and students?
  • For Residence Life: Is the class make-up of your buildings ideal for your curricular aims? How will you involve student staff and gain their investment?


Year 1


  • Attend the Institute on the Curricular Approach.


  • Hold a retreat (or consider hiring a consultant) to introduce/train entire professional staff team in the curricular approach.


  • Begin the archeological dig process and write an Educational Priority.
  • Begin to define Learning Goals.
  • Set bi-weekly/monthly meeting times devoted specifically to curriculum work and consider regular brown bag professional development series focused on roles and competencies or an educator and learning-centric organizations.
  • Residence Life: Introduce student staff members to their educational role, the basics of curriculum, and engage them in the Educational Priority and Goal development process.


  • Finalize your Educational Priority.
  • Develop and finalize Learning Goals, Narratives, Outcomes.
  • Residence Life: Revise professional and student staff training to focus on educational roles, soft skills, and introduce them to the philosophy of the curricular approach. (You may also consider bringing in a consultant to train the entire professional staff on the curricular approach.)


Year 2


  • Develop Rubrics for each of your outcomes.
  • Identify Strategies you use/will use to enact the curriculum.
  • Begin the learning outcome and strategy mapping and sequencing process.
  • Residence Life: Introduce Intentional Conversations as a strategy and reduce student staff-led educational programming requirements. If your programming model has categories, consider replacing categories with newly defined Learning Goal Areas and introduce the concept of Facilitation Guides for key select programs. Involve student staff members as appropriate in the curriculum development process.


  • Hold a retreat (or consider hiring a consultant) to finalize your curricular cascade (Priority, Goal, Narrative, Outcomes, Rubrics).
  • Identify Goals and Outcomes in need of revision based off of the prior semester’s experience.
  • Begin developing Facilitation Guides.
  • Residence Life: Check in with student staff for feedback about changes and involve student staff members as appropriate in the curriculum development process.


  • Continue developing Facilitation Guides.
  • Residence Life: Involve student staff members as appropriate in the curriculum development process.


  • Hold a retreat to “finalize” your curriculum, establish plans to launch your pilot curriculum, and mutually agree on staff expectations about implementation.
  • Map your curriculum Goals and Outcomes on to pre-existing campus assessments.
  • Ensure meaningful assessments or learning are attached to each Facilitation Guide.
  • Residence Life: Continue to revise and enhance professional and student staff training for curricular roles.


Year 3


  • Launch full pilot curriculum.
  • Continue to work on Facilitation Guides and revise after implementation.
  • Residence Life: Remove student staff-led educational programming requirements entirely. Set expectations for community building and fun activities. Involve student staff members as appropriate in the curriculum development process.


  • Hold a retreat to review your curriculum and make adjustments for the Spring.


  • Continue to work on Facilitation Guides and revise after implementation.
  • Residence Life: Involve student staff members as appropriate in the curriculum development process.


  • Conduct a summative review Assessment data.
  • Revisit entire curriculum making adjustments to Goals, Narratives, Outcomes, and Rubrics as necessary.


Year 4 and Beyond

  • Continue with a consistent curricular review process that occurs at regular intervals. More formal options may include a self-study, an internal review, or an external review.
  • Utilize ongoing assessment to revise learning goals and outcomes as appraise as well as for the refinement and enhancement of Facilitation Guides.
  • Develop an ongoing training and professional development plan that ensure staff are consistently trained on the curricular approach and that enhances their skills as an educator.

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