Setting Curriculum Goals and Objectives

Types of Goals and Objectives

Program goals

These include broad statements of intent describing what is to be achieved in a 1) total school program, 2) total vocational technical program, 3) vocational services area, or 4) occupational program within a service area. An example is: to prepare a student for entry-level competence in the field of cosmetology.

Program objectives

These include statements describing the means by which the program goals are to be accomplished, focusing on teacher (or administrator), responsibilities as they involve or affect students.

An example is: by the completion of the program, provide students with technical competence in the field of cosmetology such that they are able to pass the state licensing examination.

Instructional objectives

These include course, unit, lesson, and learning package objectives. Such objectives describe what the student is expected to know, accomplish, or be able to do after completion of a course. Unit, lesson, learning package objectives specify: 1) the task that is about to be performed; 2) the conditions under which it is to occur; and 3) the acceptable standards of performance.

An example: given a case situation describing the job requirements and opportunities for a position in cosmetology, [the student will] develop a formal letter of application that meets all the criteria as given in the unit checklist.

Inputs for developing goals and objectives

If you are working with a committee to formulate new goals or revise existing goals for the institution and the total vocational-technical program, a first step would be to obtain and review a copy of the existing goal statements. Depending on your particular situation, you might also wish to obtain copies of goal statements from the school district or other regional administrative unit. These higher-level goals can be often found in a school hand book or catalog or can be obtained from the school administration.

If you are working to develop specific service area or program goals, you would of course, want to review any existing statements first (unless this is a new program). In addition, to help focus and unify your efforts, you should consider the institution’s goals for the total vocational-technical program.

There are a number of national and local factors that influence vocational program goals and objectives. Collecting information about these factors is essential if the goals and objectives you develop are to be relevant to students, to the community, and to the nation. These factors include the following:

There are also a number of sources you should tap in to 1) help you locate and use the above information and, 2) contribute ideas, recommendations, and in further data as you develop program goals and objectives. These include the following: