Atlas Core Curriculum Project

AtlasCoreCurriculumProjectProject description

The three goals of the Atlas core curriculum project are:

  1. to assemble core concepts and topic-level learning outcomes that fairly represent the curricular content of required courses in leading MPP and MPA programs;
  2. to provide sufficient explanation of the core concepts, along with links to open access pedagogy, so that an able and motivated Atlas user could acquire a B+ to A- level of mastery of the core curriculum with online resources; and
  3. to include sufficiently fine-grained assessment questions to permit a student or a program to determine whether mastery has been achieved for each of the 120 topics in the core curriculum.

The term “B+ to A- level mastery” is elaborated at Atlas Examination Standards.

Other pages related to the core curriculum of MPP and MPA programs


An Outcomes-based Framework for Evaluating MPP and MPA Programs

Light’s Typology of Standard Core and Skills for Success

NYU Wagner Public Service Curriculum Project

Preparing Tomorrow’s Public Service – What the Next Generation Needs

Volcker Alliance Next Generation Skills – Academic and Professional Context

Potential uses of the Atlas core curriculum

When completed, the Atlas core curriculum could assist programs that wished to raise academic standards in their required courses closer to those in leading programs (see Using the Atlas to Raise Academic Standards). The Atlas core curriculum could assist prospective and current students in such programs by providing: a) transparent and detailed descriptions of what they should expect in their required courses; and b) online resources to help them meet the program’s expectations. When all the topics in the core curriculum are available online, instructors and students could make better use of classroom time (see Using the Atlas to Flip the Classroom). In addition, programs could designate certain modules of the core curriculum as “strongly recommended for online study” (with or without examination and credit) without mounting a traditional course (see Using the Atlas to Fill Curricular Gaps).

Progress to date

As outlined at Core Curriculum, the conceptual framework for the Atlas core curriculum project has been largely completed. It is elaborated in the specification of SubjectsMPP/MPA Core Competencies and Atlas Standards (including the Atlas Examination Standards), the identification of Reference Programs, and creation of the template for Atlas Courses. Work has begun on Atlas Concept Tables for Courses.

What remains is the continuing task of fleshing out the content and linking it to online pedagogy. As of late 2019 we have identified, in draft form, most of what we expect to be a full slate of 120 core topics (although these will undoubtedly be adjusted as the project progresses). We have generated pages for 1,038 core concepts, close to the 1,200 that we expect to be required to cover all the 120 core topics. As illustrated at Core Curriculum and Atlas U, we have essentially completed Atlas100 Governance and InstitutionsAtlas107 Implementation and Delivery, and Atlas109 Leadership and Communication and substantial progress has been made with Atlas101 Policy Analysis and ProcessAtlas102 Economic Analysis, Atlas104 Quantitative Methods, and Atlas111M Ethics. Concept comprehension questions have been developed for over 200 concepts at Concept Quizzes for Atlas206 Internship Reading.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 3 March 2020.