A Centralized Curriculum Gives Students a Level Playing Field
Giving students a centralized curriculum empowers students to have access to the same education no matter where they live. This centralized approach ensures that our students are learning the same core principles while still giving faculty the unique ability to infuse the curriculum with the knowledge they’ve gained as practitioners in the field.
A centralized curriculum enables faculty to meet the learning objectives of the course–those objectives by which student learning is measured. Most traditional brick-and-mortar universities focus on the concept of academic freedom. While academic freedom is the hallmark of all universities, in some situations this may lead instructors to think that they have the unalienable right to make the curriculum conform to their own ideology and perspective of the discipline.
In a centralized curriculum faculty have course objectives, course descriptions and an outline of the material that should be taught in that particular course. This concept of having a fully prepared, holistic course with measurable, centralized outcomes is a great benefit to both faculty and students.
While this helps to guide the education a student receives at University of Phoenix, faculty members have an opportunity to express their academic freedom and share the knowledge and experiences they’ve gained as practitioners. Because everyone at University of Phoenix is a “pracademic”–someone who is both an academic and an active practitioner in their field–students learn more than just what can be found in a textbook.
The goal of higher education is to provide students with the ability to think critically and independently by using the concepts of reason and analysis, and to prepare individuals so that they can enter the workforce prepared to excel within their chosen fields. So, if a student only receives an education from an academic perspective but never has access to the practicality or the reality of that particular discipline, something is severely lacking in that student’s learning.
In my Criminal Justice classes, students benefit from the knowledge I’ve acquired during 40 years of experience in law enforcement. As a pracademic, I not only have the academic credentials, I also have the practical experience of working domestically and abroad as a police officer, a police detective and a Chief of Police that enables me speak to the real-life situations I’ve encountered within my field of study. I believe this helps students make smarter, more tangible career choices.
All of these experiences allow me to bring practical knowledge and insights into the classroom that students may not get anywhere else. Students will get current knowledge that they can apply in the field and on the job, equipping them with the knowledge they need to succeed.
Coupled with the University of Phoenix centralized curriculum, students will also develop an understanding of how the discipline progressed to where it is today. All students enrolled in a University of Phoenix Criminal Justice program, no matter who teaches them, will learn the basics of the discipline from Robert Peel, who is considered the father of modern-day policing; to the concepts of police and security management, including criminal law to criminology.
We are not a “cookie cutter” school as some of our critics may insinuate. As a whole, University of Phoenix is a quality academic institution that truly cares about the higher education needs of its students, and intentionally creates and implements measurable learning objectives across a core curriculum to this end.
This article originally appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, UOPX Campus Viewpoints section. To review our current faculty articles, visit: https://chronicle.com/campusViewpoint/University-of-Phoenix/29/.