Building upon past research (e.g., Bragg & Ruud, 2011; Ignash & Kotun, 2005), we identify several curriculum models used in AB degrees. These curriculum models describe the nature of upper-level courses included in the baccalaureate degrees.
Career ladder programs provide stepwise academic and technical coursework extending from the associate to the baccalaureate degree program.
Management capstone programs are those in which the associate degree program is supplemented with business and management-focused coursework at the upper division.
The focus of upside-down and completion programs lies almost exclusively on general education coursework, while the lower division is accepted as a general elective block or treated as a large portion of the degree program’s major. The difference between upside-down and completion tends to be in the structure and prescriptiveness of the curriculum. Upside-down degree programs frontload the technical coursework and compliment it with general education coursework at the upper division level. Completion degree programs tend to be more wide-ranging in their requirements and structure, often maximizing students’ chances of completing a baccalaureate degree by awarding credit for prior learning (Taylor, 2000).
Hybrid programs represent a convergence of these models, with a unique blend between two or three program types.
For more information on curriculum models used in AB degrees, see the following publications:
- Development of the Applied Baccalaureate
Barbara K. Townsend, Debra D. Bragg, and Collin M. Ruud
2009, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Volume 33, Issue 9, Pages 686-705
This article illustrates three types of AB degrees, and serves as a foundation for the curriculum models presented above.
- Investigating Applied Baccalaureate Degree Pathways
Julia Panke Makela, Collin M. Ruud, Stacy Bennett, and Debra D. Bragg
The data analysis section in this technical report provides a detailed look at curricula found in AB degree pathways that are affiliated with National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education projects and centers. Real-world examples of each curricular model are provided, and comparisons and contrasts are discussed.