Processes and Metrics to Augment Instructional Efficiencies

Course Scheduling and Curricular Alignment Strategies

Topics: Academic Calendar, Academic Planning, Academic Affairs, Curriculum Development, Academic Support Programs, Student Experience, Student Affairs

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As legislators mandate increasing enrollment, university systems look to improve the efficiency with which students progress through major pathways, filling existing classroom space without increasing students’ time to degree.

This report examines strategies to reduce curricular bottlenecks that arise from inefficient space allocation and misaligned degree program requirements. It includes an overview of administrative strategies to oversee statistics relevant to improving these metrics via system and institutional dashboards.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Course scheduling and curricular alignment occurs at the institution level, not through university system stakeholders.

    2. Institutions establish pathways for degree programs, and use software to generate schedules that limit conflicts between required courses.

    3. Policies that improve efficiency prioritize courses with historically full enrollment and efficient distribution of credits for students.

    4. Real-time data during high-demand reporting periods ensure that available course sections align with student demand.

    5. Institutions develop policies to account for faculty tendencies to over-scheduling between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. between Monday and Thursday.