No, it isn’t Ice Cube for all of us who remember the rapper turned Anaconda writer, it is C-Cubed—Constantly Changing Curriculum. 

In our space, we have accepted that better is often more important than more.  We don’t demand that the student give us 4 to 7 years of their lives to learn an occupation, instead we believe that we can condense education and training down to a manageable timeframe—often less than one year—that still allows the student to gain the skills for success.  However, the trick here is that our curriculum needs to stay as nimble and appropriate as do the occupations that they serve.  Thus, we must demand C-Cubed from all of our education folk.

In 2003, the American Association of Medical Assistants, altered for the first time since 1991, their role delineation chart.  That chart identifies the areas of competence required to do the job expected of a successful Medical Assistant.  The change begs the question, “How many schools have changed their curriculum to stay in line with the changed expectations?”  MA is not the only profession that has a dynamic set of competencies, but often our Career Colleges fail to appropriately change their curriculums to stay current.  Some do, and they continue to attract the best students.

How can you Constantly Change Curriculum?  Well, first start with curriculum mapping.  Have your program coordinator and/or your champion instructor lead a curriculum mapping exercise.  There are various methods, but basically start with the first class all the way through the last class and outline each course goal, the essential skills and concepts taught in each course, the methods of assessment, and the content resources used to ensure the transfer of skill and knowledge. The purpose of a curriculum map is to document the relationship between every component of the curriculum. Used as an analysis, communication, and planning tool, a curriculum map will:

  • Allow educators to review the curriculum for redundancies, inconsistencies, incongruence, shortcomings, and gaps;
  • Documents the timing and relationships between the required components and the intended student learning outcomes;
  • Identifies what students have learned, allowing educators to focus on building on previous knowledge.

After you have completed the curriculum map, compare the goals, skills and concepts delivered to an expert association (like the AAMA).  At that point your program coordinator should be able to recommend changes to you in order to have a “better” program.

Better is better than more.

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