As the CRC continues to meet two times per month, a framework for the new curriculum is beginning to take shape. We are still deliberating where things will fall in to place, but here is what we can share:
• Our weekly schedule for years 1-3 will likely include lecture content in the mornings and interactive sessions in the afternoon.
• The beginning of year 1 will likely include a preclinical science foundation before moving on to the foundational core curriculum.
• We will likely have ongoing educational “threads” that students will revisit from year to year. These threads include research and evidence-based medicine, clinical relevance, expanded clinical skills, doctoring skills and a revamped selectives program.
• We will have classroom electives available to all students.
One of the hardest issues to tackle is time. How much time do we have to give our students the best education we can? How much time do we spend on foundational coursework? How much time do we give students to pursue their own interests with electives and at what time is that appropriate? How much time do we give students for clinics and can we carve out some time in the first or second year for a clinical experience?
As we wrestle with these questions, we are keenly aware of the needs of our community. We consistently touch base about student wellness and optimum learning, faculty needs and what we are capable of in our physical space. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Design Phase – Tackling the Structural Elements
The Curriculum Redesign Committee (CRC) began regular meetings in September 2019 by tackling some structural elements of curricula. Three issues have been discussed and voted on by the CRC thus far:
Tracking – Do we want a curriculum with tracks where students choose which species or discipline that they are interested in at an early point in their veterinary education? We reviewed other institutions with specific curriculum tracks and discussed our ultimate desire to have a curriculum with breadth and depth across species and disciplines for all students. The committee decided not to explore tracking any further.
Competency Based Veterinary Education (CBVE) Framework – the CRC reviewed the information provided by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and decided to incorporate the framework into the redesigned curriculum.
Foundational and Elective Content – Do we want every student to have the exact same didactic curriculum or can we break out the content we identify as foundational and let the students choose elective courses for the rest? We, again, reviewed other institutions with elective content and discussed that while we want our students to have a broad foundation, they should have the opportunity to explore areas in greater depth. With no opposition, the CRC voted to have a curriculum that includes both foundational and elective content.
Throughout the design phase, we will work on structural elements such as these while also designing a curriculum to meet the outcomes identified at the beginning of the process. The CRC will be asking course directors and Cummings faculty for their input at regular intervals and forums are planned for December.
The CRC meets the first Monday of each month from 8:00 to 9:30 AM and the third Wednesday of each month from 12:00 to 1:30 PM.