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Curricular Innovation in Higher Education

December 30, 1899


​As higher education grapples with restrained state resources, increased demands for accountability, advances in information technology, and changing student demographics, it continues to examine innovation as a mechanism for addressing its evolving landscape. ACE's Center for Policy Research and Strategy explores the separate spaces of system- and state-led curricular innovation in two reports released Friday, October 2, 2015.

Read a summary of the release event.



The Architecture of Innovation: System-Level Course Redesign in Tennessee

This report is a case study of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ two curricular redesigns—its 2006-2009 Developmental Studies Redesign and its 2014-present Course Revitalization Redesign. The system, as a governing body that oversees institutions, can be a mechanism for creating economies of scale and scope in high-impact practices by incentivizing innovation and coordinating work across institutions around a defined and shared vision. Within Tennessee’s college completion agenda, the Tennessee Board of Regents promotes course redesign as a tool for innovation and sustainable change. This report explores the role systems can play in meeting the demands of the changing landscape in higher education and the conditions they both confront and generate in their efforts to enact curricular change.

Read the executive summary and access the full PDF version.


State Policy as a Tool for Postsecondary Developmental Education Reform: A Case Study of Connecticut

This report presents a brief case study of a legislatively led effort to improve developmental education in Connecticut, which culminated in 2012 with the passage of Public Act 12-40, “An Act Concerning College Readiness and Completion.” Public Act 12-40 required institutions to change how students are assessed and placed into developmental education, limited the time students may spend enrolled in developmental courses to one semester, and implemented a new three-level developmental education model. In describing the efforts of state legislators, higher education administrators, and faculty members to reform developmental education, this report explores the strengths and limitations of state policy as a tool for curricular change and offers recommendations for ways to improve communication between state legislators and the higher education community. 

Read the executive summary and access the full PDF version.

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