Olson LE, Dibartola SP. Case study in planning revisions to a veterinary professional curriculum: opportunity, motive, and means. J Vet Med Educ. 2011 Winter;38(4):373-83

PMID: 22130413


The Ohio State University (OSU) recently responded to a mandate from the state to convert from a quarter-based to a semester-based academic calendar. The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine took this opportunity to review and revise the curriculum leading to the DVM degree. This mandate occurred at a time when the college was motivated to act on recommendations that had been made during a recent reaccreditation process, some of which had been under discussion for several years, and had the personnel in place to initiate the change process. This article describes the means by which the curriculum change was planned. A review of the literature on change in health-sciences-related programs suggested that the ability to conclude the planning of changes in a relatively short time period was facilitated by adopting practices shown to promote successful curricular change. Critical aspects of the process included engaging the faculty, establishing a collective vision that entails agreement on principles, having a clear mandate and time frame for change, providing resources and training to support and sustain the change effort, and managing the effort centrally with groups that are broadly representative of the faculty.