Setting Curriculum Goals and Objectives

Levels of goals and objectives to be developed


One of the potentially confusing things about goals and objectives is the many levels at which the term is used. The term program goals is used to describe the purposes of 1) a program within a service or occupational area and 2) the total vocational-technical program. Educational goals are also developed for the total school or college. Definitions and examples of goals written for each of these levels follow.

Total educational program goals.

These are institutional level statements that pertain to the total educational system. They are broad statements of intent and are not measurable. They define the conditions to be achieved year after year if the organization is to be successful. Both the general education and the vocational teachers should contribute toward their achievement. For example: The school will prepare students for active and responsible participation in society.

Total Vocational Technical program goals

These are sub-institutional level statements that pertain especially to the total vocational-technical program of the school or college. These are also broad statements of purpose that are not usually measurable. They define what the vocational-technical staff, specifically, will work toward achieving year after year if the vocational program is to be successful. For example: The program will prepare students for entry-level employment in their chosen fields upon graduation.

Vocational service area or occupational specialty goals

These are goals that address the specific purposes of the particular vocational service area or occupational specialty. Again, are usually broad statements of intent that are not measurable. The attainment of these goals is the specific responsibility of the vocational staff members working in the designated service area or occupational area. Example: Program will prepare students for entry-level competancy in distributive educational occupations.

Whether you are developing goals for a total technical program, a service area, or a specific program within a service area, such goals often deal with a number of topics that are of continuing concern to occasional educators. Some of these concerns are as follows:


As with program goals, program objectives are also developed at various levels. Program objectives may be written for the total educational program, the vocational-technical program, a service area, or an occupational program within a service area. Program objectives are usually short statements of intent that relate back to the achievement of one of the program goal statements. They usually described the means to be used in achieving the various goals.

To make the program objectives useful for program evaluation purposes, these objectives should be stated in measurable form. Well-written program objectives contain performance, criterion, and conditions statements, and they normally focus on teacher and administrator responsibilities as they involve or relate to students.

Program objectives should not be confused with instructional objectives (course, unit, lesson, or learning package objectives). Program objectives focus on the means that will be used by teachers and administrators to accomplish the various program goals established. Instructional objectives - student performance objectives - indicate what the student will be expected to learn or achieve. Student performance objectives should also present a clear statement of instructional intent.

Sample 1 define goals and objectives in these varied contexts and presents examples of each.