HIGHER ED INNOVATIONS
HIGHER ED INNOVATIONS 

Multiple Options Program 

What is a Multiple Options Program?

It is a very dynamic Interdisciplinary Program consisting of roughly 50% Major discipline core courses, roughly 20% Major discipline courses relavent to the Option being created, and roughly 30% interdisciplinary courses or 30% other discipline courses relevant to both the Major discipline and the Option being created.  

·    It is an option to traditional programs that offers students a choice that aligns with their interests and diversifies the marketability of their degree

·    It is an option to traditional programs that offers faculty a way to create curricula and degree options that align with their interests and expertise

·    It is an option to traditional programs that offers the college or university new ways to generate revenue

Here’s a “how to” guideline for creating a Multiple Options Program at your college or university:

Step 1  Conceive an Option.
[This is the creative part of the Program.  Options can be conceived in response to market changes, discipline changes, faculty interests and expertise, and student wants and needs}


Step 2  Copy the core courses in your current degree program into    your Option.
[This is a mechanical process.  Doing this allows the discipline to maintain its integrity]

Step 3   Determine which courses in your discipline’s curriculum that are relevant to the Option you want to create:  these courses will constitute the “Discipline Elective Courses" part of your Option.  Place them into your Option.
[This can be done by 1) reviewing all the course titles in your discipline to see which ones are relevant to the Option being created, 2) reviewing all the course descriptions of all the courses believed to be relevant to the Option being created, 3) reviewing syllabi used by instructors of the courses being considered, if necessary, and 4) discussing the syllabi used by instructors of the courses being considered with the instructors themselve, if necessary.  Standards for determining relevancy of Electives can be  established by each discipline at each college or university.]

Step 4.   Determine all the disciplines relevant to the Option being created and to the discipline hosting the program.
[Judge which disciplines at your college or university are relevant to the Option being created and to the host discipline.  Some might want a relatively narrow group of disciplines; some might want a relatively wide group of disciplines.  This depends upon the goals intended by the creator of the Option.]

Step 5.   Determine all the courses offered by each relevant discipline that are relevant to the Option you want to create and to your own discipline and insert them into your Option.  These courses will constitute the "Interdisciplinary Elective Courses" part of your Option. 
[Do this by reviewing all the courses offered in all the disciplines you determine to be relevant to the Option being created and to the host discipline.  Review the course titles, the course descriptions, etc., as necessary to make these Elective determinations.]

Step 6.   Repeat these steps as much as you want and as much as the versatility of your discipline’s curriculum will permit; this will constitute the number of Options within your Multiple Options Program.

*This basic pattern can be adapted to the needs of the department
*This basic pattern can be adjusted proportionately to fit whatever amount of credits a Major might require
*This basic pattern can be adapted to Masters and Doctoral level degrees
*This basic pattern can be adapted to government requirements in your state

Use a 50%-20%-30% method:  a solid combination for Multiple Options Programs:   
50% Core Courses
20% Discipline Elective Courses Relevant to the Option

30% Option Elective Courses relevant to the Discipline and the Option

This is not a hard and fast rule:  You might find it more amenable to your college or university to adopt a 50/30/20 combination or a 50/10/40 combination.  It depends upon the needs of the discipline adopting the program and the circumstances the college or university administration as well as the college or university's connction to governmental bodies.

Transform your current single Major Degree Program by adding a Multiple Options Program while retaining your current Major Degree Program:

·    Without adding or subtracting courses from the discipline curriculum (unless you want to)

·    Without adding or subtracting faculty (unless you want to add some faculty because you are attracting more students to your program)

·    By adding as many Options as you want that can be supported by the current discipline curriculum

·    Without any cost to your college or university

 

       For information of Types of Options and Samples of Options, click on appropriate links to the left

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