When constructing program maps and meta-majors, one of the key challenges that administrators face at every stage is creating consensus amongst decision-makers. Committee members come to the table with different priorities, which can result in delays and conflict. To avoid conflicts that arise from differing perspectives and priorities, colleges need a method of soliciting critical input without sacrificing mapping efficiency.
To balance transparency and efficiency, mapping committees at St. Petersburg College use sticky notes to physically map out potential sequences. Committees include a small but diverse sample of faculty and staff, to ensure that program maps contain the requisite content, general education, and prerequisite courses.
During mapping sessions, committee members write the name of each course on a sticky note and then collectively arrange them into program maps using their shared knowledge. This allows for revisions to be made quickly and transparently and a consensus to be reached in a timely manner.
On average, it takes committees just two hours to map out a single program, and the staff at St. Petersburg was able to create 64 different program maps in the span of a single summer. This represents a significant increase in efficiency and also promotes the sharing of information across departments.
The administration was also able to reduce the number of hidden credits in each program by using this system, thus cutting down on the time it takes students to complete a program.