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Curriculum Committee Details Gaps in Existing Program, Integrates All Together and Region Blogs

How far have we evolved from the turn-of-the-century classroom? The Curriculum Committee helps to find gaps in what we provide to you.

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SWE Leadership Summit Update
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How far have we evolved from the turn-of-the-century classroom? The Curriculum Committee helps to find gaps in what we provide to you. Image Credit: William Creswell

By Islin Munisteri, Stephanie Salas-Snyder and Jessica Rannow

Four committee meetings, numerous meetings with SWE leadership, and hours of volunteering later…

We delivered on our committee goals this year! Phew. Our remit is to provide gap analyses on current curriculum offerings (also known as the webinars in the SWE Learning Center, available eBooks and diversity and inclusion notecards on unconscious bias) and, finally, integration of the region blogs with All Together.

Gap Analyses and Webinar Participation

In FY14, the curriculum committee developed a list of the top 10 gaps in SWE’s professional excellence curriculum. In FY15, several groups within SWE collaborated to fill those gaps, while the curriculum committee continued the gap analysis by creating a matrix of SWE’s offerings (webinars, online courses, e-books, etc.), and sorting them by topic area and target audience. Plotting the pieces of SWE’s curriculum in this way allowed us to identify additional gaps where programming is not offered in certain important topic areas, or to audiences in certain career stages. We identified some key missing linkages in delivering our curriculum online. Amongst them, we found that there were two separate systems where we are saving our webinars-some are included in the SWE Advanced Learning Center, and others (often those focused on SWE business or presented as part of the graduate student webinar series) are located in a different place. Included in the FY16 plan is a focus on continually improving our curriculum availability and enhanced offerings.

We communicated directly with SWE HQ (in particular, Randi Rosenbluth, Valerie Bland and Peter Finn) to integrate a title search functionality into the SWE Advanced Learning Center. Valerie has provided statistics on webinar attendance since 2012, and Barbara Taylor’s 2014 talk on “Portraying Courage and Confidence (Even When You Are Neither!)” had 884 participants, the most of any webinar. Approximately 9-16 percent of participants applied for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for professional certifications and documentation purposes after attending the webinars.

Also, we gained clarity on how to suggest or add speakers to the queue for webinars-just send an email to learning@swe.org!

In addition to the gap analyses, we also looked at updating the SWE leadership competencies to reflect soft skills development from early career to retirement, and that effort may continue in the future. As our member base continues to evolve, we plan to ensure our curriculum offerings evolve alongside it.

Region Blog Integration

The committee worked with David James Group, the marketing arm working with SWE, to integrate region blog posts into the redesigned All Together. We worked with Stephanie Loete, FY15 deputy director of regions, and Heather Doty, FY15 director of regions, to accomplish this goal. We hope that future region collegiate communication editors will be publishing at least twice per year about their local section leadership, local and regional best practices, and hot topics that the membership can find value in.

Charter Update

In addition to the deliverables above, we reviewed the committee charter for the first time since 2009 to ensure it reflected our current committee structure, scope and purpose.

Thank You!

We would like to thank the following people on the committee this year-without their active engagement we would not have been able to do as much as we did.

We would like to thank (in no particular order):

  • Islin Munisteri (FY15 Curriculum Committee Chair)
  • Stephanie Salas-Snyder (FY15 Curriculum Committee Chair-Elect, and our new chair for FY16)
  • Kaitlyn Bunker (advisor to Curriculum Committee, FY14 Curriculum Committee Chair)
  • Erin Boland
  • Julia Clarke
  • Jenny Lynch
  • Rebecca Reck (a great voice for the Graduate Student community!)
  • Mary McDonald
  • Leslie Zhang for providing the SWE RCCE handbook
  • Drew Navolio at David James Group
  • And our liaison to the SWE Board of Directors, Director of Professional Excellence Jessica Rannow!

Join Our Committee!

FY16 will be an exciting year as it brings on new challenges and a fresh set of goals to help improve our Society. We are always looking for new insights and innovative ideas to help our committee achieve its goals!

The call continues for members who are interested in joining the committee! Please send an email to curriculum-chair@swe.org to join today.

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