Guide to Developing New Educational Programs

Generally, educational programs are designed by education ministries or recognized bodies to guide how a particular subject or discipline is administered in educational institutions. The foundation for an educational program is its plan, which details the necessary steps and reasons for the reform.

If you have been tasked with the development of a new educational program, here’s how you can start.


  • 1

    Decide on the scope

    Determine the type of educational program you want to develop. This implies finding out whether it concerns minor changes to an already-existing curriculum or about a completely new program which has never been explored.

  • 2

    Give it educational value

    Develop a preliminary plan for the program. Make the case for the educational value of this program and support it with relevant research evidence.

  • 3

    Employ the assistance of senior officials

    Show the plan to a senior staff member who can offer help. If the program is for minor changes within your own department, at a school or university, submit your work to your head of department for his/her feedback.

    If you wish to bring about a completely new program, you will need to enlist the support of someone in a more supervisory position such as the dean or principal at your school.

    However, before going to the higher management, it is advised that you ask your immediate supervisor for feedback and guidance on what is expected in the plan to achieve approval for implementation.

    Upon receiving feedback from your supervisor, revise the plan accordingly and create an action plan entailing the goals and the time, resources (material, financial and human) that will be needed to design and implement the program successfully.

    With the plan adjusted, resubmit it to your supervisor for his/her feedback once more. Ensure that all concerns raised are addressed. In addition, try to prove to your institution how passionate you are about your educational program by walking the extra mile of obtaining some of the resources that will be needed to help you get started.

    Going that far builds the trust of the institution and the validation committee in your ideas. But this has to be done before passing the plan to the committee for validation.

  • 4

    Submit your plan and resources to a committee for approval

    The composition of the committee that will sit over your plan will depend on the type of plan you propose. If it is about minor changes to a pre-existing program within your own department, only the head of department and school administrator could approve it.

    However, the composition of the committee would normally go beyond that if you wish to create a new program. In such a case, your plan has to be approved by not just your head of department and school administration, but also other officials in higher positions such as the Regional Education Director and the Permanent Secretary. All of these issues will be made known to you by your immediate supervisor.

  • 5

    Given the above, it is clear that developing a sound educational program that will attract approval calls for a systematic approach which involves careful planning, commitment and consultation.

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