This paper addresses the following issues concerning curriculum change in professional programs: (1) the degree of influence exhibited by external, internal, and intraorganizational factors as they interact to stimulate curriculum change in three professional programs (business, pharmacy, and accounting); (2) planning strategies used by faculty to examine the curriculum in these programs; and (3) relationships between strategies used by program planners and factors influencing the professional preparation environment. The results of 31 interviews with curriculum committee members of each school, as well as faculty, administration, staff, and students not on the committee are presented. Findings suggest that the requirements of the successful practitioner are changing more rapidly than the professional school curriculum. Among the study's conclusions are the following: that the internal characteristics of each school suggest individualized blueprints for successful change; that programs preparing graduates for a practice requiring licensure focus on preparing graduates to meet licensure requirements; that developmental planning behavior occurs when programs react strongly to external influences; and that the degree of freedom a university allows a program adapting to a changing profession impacts developmental planning. An appendix lists external, internal, and intraorganizational factors influencing change. (Contains 65 references.) (GLR)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (18th, Pittsburgh, PA, November 4-10, 1993).
ASHE Annual Meeting
1 - Available on microfiche
Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.