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ERIC Number: EJ1157511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep-7
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0889
Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Mapping Curricula to Enhance Student Success
Parks, Rodney; Parrish, Jesse; Whitesell, Blake
College and University, v92 n3 p49-54 Sep 2017
For today's registrar, disentangling the institutional curriculum can be a daunting task. The complex and interconnected learning that higher education institutions now strive for is highly desirable among millennial students, but even the most articulate curricula sometimes fail to represent it clearly. Whether navigating the registration system, the academic catalog, or program "check sheets," students are required to mine disparate sources to extract the course information necessary to build a viable degree plan. In 2014, the Office of the Registrar at Elon University sought to create a tool to help academic departments identify administrative barriers to student success. On paper, this looked like a wicked problem. How could the abundant attributes, pre- and co-requisites, sequences, and term-driven parameters of a degree program ever be reconciled into a more intelligible plan, let alone one that accommodates for student choice? All of the information was there, but without a map it was difficult to visualize how it fit together. It was only when the problem was defined in this way--as "difficult to visualize"--that a potential solution surfaced: What if a visual curricular map were created for each degree program? Following the steps of the design thinking process, this problem definition was succeeded by ideation. Various members of the office began to generate different versions of the visual and to explore their advantages. The look and feel would go through many changes, but it was clear that this visualization of curricula could help demystify the issues at play.
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). One Dupont Circle NW Suite 520, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-293-9161; Fax: 202-872-8857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A