Policy Name:
Curriculum Development and Assessment

Dr. Kara Battle
Vice President, Chief Academic Officer

Curriculum Development, Assessment, and Compliance 

Effective Date:
June 21, 2022

Next Review Date:





Durham Technical Community College ensures that all students develop the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to be successful in college, work, and life. To achieve the College’s vision of being the leader in our community’s educational, training, and economic development, decisions regarding curriculum development will be responsive to industry and community needs. Curriculum and training offerings will provide pathways to living wages and economic mobility for all students.


To ensure alignment with our 2021-2026 strategic plan, Durham Technical Community College (Durham Tech) will: 

  • Assess, retire, or reinvent current programs based on regional economic demands and maximizing return on investment for students (e.g., yield a living wage, appropriately resource viable programs, etc.);
  • Assess effectiveness of current agreements (e.g., bilateral transfer agreements, high school articulation agreements), identify new opportunities based on the College’s guided career pathways, and integrate industry-supporting opportunities within the Durham, Chapel Hill/Carrboro, and Orange County school systems;
  • Formalize industry partnership development, coordinate with the appropriate pathway (e.g., development of advisory committees), and establish agreements for mutual support (e.g., industries supporting new program/training start-up); and
  • Support the evolving workforce by prioritizing accelerated and short-term training leading to relevant employment, credential attainment, and the development of life-long skills.


The framework that Durham Tech employs to ensure curriculum relevance and viability consists of the following:

  • Identification and Development
  • Design and Implementation
  • Assessment (Annual Scorecard, Academic Program Review)
  • Response (Continue, Reinvent, Retire)
  • Reporting

The specific processes used to support curriculum development, management, and assessment are as follows and require the consideration of both credit and continuing education programs:

  • Program Assessment – An annual snapshot of all programs based on key performance indicators including, but not limited to, industry-based demand (e.g., job outlook data), advisory committee feedback, student learning outcome assessment, enrollment, retention/persistence, and completion, and, if relevant, transfer success. If an assessment reveals that a program is not meeting key metrics, the Vice President, Chief Academic Officer may require the program to participate in an off-cycle Academic Program Review to determine viability.
  • Academic Program Review (APR) – A systematic review of all programs of study. Each program participates in the review process a minimum of once every five (5) years. The APR process provides an in-depth review of a program, evaluates performance outcomes (strengths and weaknesses), and assists programs in identifying and initiating action plans (e.g., success outcomes). The APR process also provides the following:
    • An opportunity for faculty and the administration to consider the totality of a program;

    • A way to highlight and celebrate the strengths of a program;

    • A way to avoid complacency and inertia;

    • A chance to make a coherent case for budget items including faculty, software, hardware, and supplies;

    • A chance to develop an action plan/blueprint for enhancing and improving a program; and

    • A way to see if a program truly serves the needs of students and the broader community.

      The APR manual and other resources are available to employees via the Employees shared folder (W:\Employees\Curriculum Support and Development\Academic Program Review).

  • Curriculum Course/Program Termination – Durham Tech will terminate a curriculum course or program of study when there has been no enrollment for two (2) consecutive years, or if the College has not offered the program or has not had enrollment in the program within two (2) years of the date the program was approved by the State Board of Community Colleges (SBCC). Departments may also choose to terminate a curriculum course or program of study for other reasons, including content-based changes, a curriculum redesign, or in response to industry needs. Refer to the Curriculum Course/Program Termination procedure for additional information.


The Vice President, Chief Academic Officer (VP, CAO) serves as the executive leader for Academics and Guided Career Pathways. In this role, the VP, CAO guides faculty and staff in the continued development of new pedagogies as well as forward-looking programs and initiatives. The VP, CAO also directs and supports the ongoing assessment of programs to evaluate the currency and effectiveness of academic offerings in achieving student success outcomes.

Curriculum Support and Development (CSD) serves as the VP, CAO’s support team in providing oversight and management of the College’s programs, courses, and classes. 

As a part of the College’s infrastructure, the Program Management Committee (PMC), chaired by the CSD Director, provides recommendations related to new program/credential proposals, program revisions, and program retirements. The PMC also works to resolve program-related issues (e.g., placeholder program coding for special admissions processing, distance education, plans of study formatting, program mapping in Self-Service for student planning, etc.) and supports both CSD and the VP, CAO.


Classes – Course sections scheduled for a specific semester, term, or academic year.

Continuing Education – Courses that are not credit-bearing and do not apply towards a degree, diploma, or certificate. Select courses award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that are recognized as standards of professional development, and certain courses fulfill educational requirements leading to licensure and/or certification granted by an independent agency or board.

Course – Area of study pertaining to a specific subject, level, and rigor.

Credit – Courses that are credit-bearing and apply towards a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Credential – A qualification or achievement typically used to indicate that an individual is suitable or qualified in a particular skill, task, or body of knowledge. It details a qualification, competence, or authority issued to an individual by a third party with a relevant or de facto authority or assumed competence to do so. Examples of credentials include academic degrees, academic diplomas, academic certificates, industry certifications, security clearances, identification documents, etc.

Curriculum – Content used to make up programs and the way they are administered. The curriculum is the component of a program that changes in response to external recommendations (i.e., advisory committee, industry needs, etc.).

Programs – Coherent courses of study leading to a credential (degree, diploma, certificate, or other generally recognized credential).