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Curriculum is an organized plan for student learning.

"Curriculum" is from the Latin currere, meaning "race" or a "race course." It began being used in the 1600s to flag an ordering of educational courses and by the 19th century the word "curriculum" commonly referred to a fixed course of study (1).

In higher education, "curriculum" has often meant the collection of courses that represented the foundation of a discipline.

In elementary and secondary schools, curriculum has been more prescriptive, with mandated expectations, assessments, and even resources for each course (2). While this level of prescription is incongruous with the goals, aims, and ethos of higher education, without a clear "course to run," higher education students may get lost in their program and leave without fully bringing together how their education can apply to the multiple situations they will encounter throughout their adult life.

This is why dreaming, designing, and determining a clear course of study in higher education is essential for program success and student experience.

Visit our pages on Curriculum Development for support on renewing or innovating your program's curriculum.

Interested in renewing or innovating your curriculum?

Explore our resources or contact our Program and Curriculum Development Specialist for support.