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Part 2: Components of Conversion and Transformation



Of the two processes, conversion has fewer steps.  Even so, this should not be seen as a trivial process. As an outcome of the process, there will be a clear articulation of the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for each course with the Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs), and of the PLOs with the Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs), and the converted program will have an appropriate assessment plan in alignment with FAM 856.6. Issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility will need to be considered. Other issues to be taken into consideration in this process are:

  • Unit requirements (min/max for majors, minors, concentrations - need to be determined)
  • Normative number of class units: 3 Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for classes that require more units.
  • Reconfiguring classes to accommodate the semester system.

Below is a graphic overview of the conversion process:


Process map: Review of Current PLOs to Realignment to Restructure to Assessment Plan to (after Q2S) Assessment informs future changes to PLOs


As can be seen in this description of the conversion process, fewer resources will be needed than for transformation of programs; therefore, the support for transformation will be more substantive than for conversion. However, even for programs that choose conversion, individual faculty members may choose to transform their courses, and support will be provided for course transformation separately from program transformation.


Of the two processes, the transformation process is the more challenging - and it creates greater opportunities to reflect on our programs and re-envision what they might become and how they might better serve our students’ aspirations. Consequently, there will be greater financial and professional development support for this process, such as studying current thinking on how students learn as well as evidence-based approaches to teaching that take into consideration big ideas in the disciplines, disciplinary ways of thinking, equity and accessibility.

Similar to the conversion process, it is recommended that the entire transformation process be collaborative in nature and include all department members, as well as faculty members from other related departments (for example, where classes are cross-listed or are pre/co/post-requisites for other departments’ courses). This is our opportunity to design a curriculum that reflects our beliefs and priorities, and we encourage everyone to participate actively! Whether one is a leader in the process, or a less active participant, all voices are important and valuable.  

This is not an easy process! There will be a series of collaborative cross-college meetings for each “Track” of transformation (see Conversion-Transformation Proposal for the description and dates). Additional voluntary professional development opportunities will be available throughout the period of transformation, first for program design and then for course design. These will be offered in collaboration with the TRC, so look for Calls for Proposals periodically. These professional development opportunities will generally involve studying some combination of learning theory, evidence-based teaching practices, high impact practices, equity, diversity, and inclusion - and applying them to program and course design.  

As a result of the transformation process, programs will have a well-articulated philosophy of teaching and learning that is student-centered, coupled with an explanation of how the departmental practices will support the philosophy of teaching and learning; a clear articulation of coherent and intentional program design and how this is tied to student learning, including course descriptions that articulate the relationship between each class and the rest of the program; a description of how the program builds on GE and/or other programs, how it prepares students for the next step, and how this is made manifest to students; intentional curricular spaces for integration and reflection (e.g. on students’ processes of learning, on coherence within and across disciplines); and an assessment plan that reflects an understanding of the developmental process of student learning.



Both converted and transformed programs are expected to include thoughtful and useful assessment plans. The ultimate goal of such a plan is to support the faculty in on-going improvement of the program, and this should be a major concern in designing the assessment plan. We have found that designing assessment as an inherent component of program design allows us both to create more meaningful assessments and to design them so they are, to a great extent, incorporated into our regular work rather than having the assessment a significant additional burden.

Graphic of the transformation process:


Circular Graph where professional development informs all of the stages listed in the Conversion Graphic above