The standard method for approaching the curriculum is to first identify those ideas that need to be taught. These concepts are then bundled into a course. The course is packaged within a degree program. Within this process, staffing decisions are based on the best person who can teach a pre-existing course that has already been vetted through a curriculum review process and delivered within the current system of scheduling courses during available time blocks.
A practice-based curriculum turns much of this process on its head. What is to be taught is not identified by existing faculty, but rather by what external partners suggest as being relevant and significant. Rather than staffing existing courses, new courses are constantly being added in order to respond to the needs of the marketplace and are taught not by established teaching faculty, but industry professionals with limited experience in the classroom. These professionals, many with full time jobs, need significant support in order to be effective in the classroom and are only available outside those preferred teaching times that students in particular covet.
What this means is a higher turnover in courses and instructors. Instructors who might find it challenging to commit months ahead to teach a course that might not have sufficient enrollment to run, or they might experience life changes that no longer make it possible for them to teach the course that they designed. A course approval process that bypasses what can be a multi-year progression of testing until a course has earned its own permanent course number. A way to communicate effectively to students about the new possibilities that will be offered for the coming semester and the reality that a particular offering may not appear again. Finally, a program designed to take a relatively inexperienced group of individuals and bring them to the point where they can create an effective learning experience for students who themselves have grown accustomed to the “standard” way of doing things.