In August, APU launched the Office of Curricular Support (OCS), ready to streamline design and implementation of new academic curricula and programs, facilitating focused communication and collaboration between APU faculty, departments, and offices.
Three APU staff members lead the effort. Vicky Bowden, DNSc, professor in the School of Nursing and a member of the provost staff, oversees the office, while Jeanette Wong, DMA, serves as director of curricular support. Brian Mercer acts as the office manager. He and Wong regularly attend APU council meetings as OCS representatives to assist and collaborate with other university programs.
Carrying out curriculum changes from start to finish is a complex process and involves many departments and offices on campus. “We saw a need for designated people to help faculty through the process of realizing the dreams they have for changing current curricula or developing entirely new curricula,” said Wong. “The OCS functions as a campus-wide team effort.Everyone engages with the process, so we all share ownership of the process.”
OCS oversees initiatives as small as a course title change and as big as the addition of a new degree program. The office prepares faculty members proposing curricular changes for the process ahead so their proposals can be submitted to the respective departments and approved efficiently. “We ask faculty all the questions they will need to answer eventually, so they know what’s ahead,” said Mercer. “We save them time and energy so they can invest more time in their classroom and students.”
“Employing strategic and innovative decision-making processes fulfills a key goal in the Academic Vision,” said Provost Mark Stanton, Ph.D. “The Office of Curricular Support, supports this goal as it relates to new initiatives, new programs, and revision of curriculum and accreditation processes.”