A provost’s guide to agile curriculum development

provost guide to successful career development

Without a curriculum that’s thought through, the smooth running of universities and colleges is impossible to imagine. As the development of syllabus is a daunting process, it is handed over to the most responsible authority in a university – the provost. Curriculum designers, course planners, and educators, all assist a provost in creating an impactful curriculum for student career success.


Changing or modifying a curriculum is not a piece of cake. The process requires extensive analysis of the current, as well as, the coming job trends. Tasked with multiple other demanding responsibilities, like student retention programs, faculty acquisition, revenue management, and so on, provosts are often left with little time in-hand to carry out the extensive analysis.


As the current labor market condition is tight and skill demands are frequently changing, provosts are expected to build curriculums ready to face the contemporary hiring trends, which is quite a challenging task. To make their job somewhat easy, we bring them a

quick guide to agile curriculum development. The guide acts like a roadmap, which starts from the straightforward to-be-met requirements and ends with the complex to-do steps.


Step 1: Identify the objective of developing an agile curriculum


Before you start making your curriculum agile, a provost should have a clear goal set in his mind. The clarity can come from answering a few questions like:

  • When was the last time the curriculum was modified?
  • Has the job market undergone some significant changes recently?
  • Can the changes in the job market affect the career of your students?
  • Are there some new skills that employers are now demanding?
  • Does your curriculum prepare your students for the above skills?


Step 2: Schedule meetings with campus stakeholders and guardians


Next, a provost should conduct a meeting with stakeholders, including educators, curriculum planners, career guides, student guardians, and even the students, if the need be. Before adding, removing, or modifying any courses, the provost must have the opinions of other stakeholders on the subject as well. The participants should be allowed to:

  • question the necessity of a new course,
  • provide feedback, and
  • suggest any other course they wish to be added.


Step 3: Have an in-depth analysis of the job trends in the USA

Work collaboratively with curriculum planners and designers to understand the overall employment trends in the current labor market. Identify the specific skills that are in demand currently, and what kind of career growth do the skills promise.


Step 4: Research and analyze the future job trends

The emergence of new-age technologies is automating the low-key, manual jobs, only leaving jobs that need high-level decision-making for humans. The curriculum taught at the university must prepare students for jobs that can’t easily be replaced by AI and ML in the future. Agile curriculums are supposed to be farsighted, ready to face the future trends in the job market space.


Step 5: Create an agile curriculum that will churn out job-ready students

Once you have questions answered and analysis completed, get down to the real job – making an agile curriculum. Retrace the skills in demand to the courses that help students have them. Add such courses to the curriculum. Remove courses that appear redundant in today’s times. Create the curriculum in a fashion that lets you make changes to it later on, without wasting the resources you’re investing today.


Step 6: Conduct regular assessments for evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum

What distinguishes curriculum development from agile curriculum development is agility! So, you can’t call a curriculum development exercise as agile, if you don’t evaluate it time and again, or update it. Following the steps shared above can be challenging, given the complex dynamics of the job market. Here’s how provosts can make the task of creating agile curriculums easier and way smarter using Talismatic. With Talismatic’s curriculum development feature, provosts can:

  • identify the future potential of a particular course,
  • get accurate job market insights to build well-informed curriculums,
  • ensure if their courses are aligned with the employer demands,
  • stay on top of job market trends and employment shifts,
  • access skill-demand analysis for all career paths, and
  • build agile curriculums based on future skill-demand.



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