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Exploring University Faculty Perceptions on Curriculum Evaluation: Sociology as a Case of First-Year Transferability

July 2021

Authors: Rod Missaghian (ONCAT)

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Executive Summary

Studying faculty perceptions about curriculum evaluation and transfer can be tremendously useful for policy development, as it has long been a ‘black box’ (Hyatt & Smith, 2020). At a provincial level, by exploring faculty decision-making, we can learn more about potential pathways and barriers for college-to-university transfer. Understanding disciplinary norms in faculty decision-making is an important but understudied face of transfer research. By focusing on a single discipline, we can develop our understanding of the transferability of a high-demand course/elective, like sociology, offered in many college programs. More importantly, we hope this framework is replicable to other fields of study, allowing transfer stakeholders to assess comparability and alignment in course content with faculty perceptions.

In this brief, we address these gaps in faculty/transfer studies by interviewing Ontario university faculty in sociology to explore disciplinary evaluation processes and their potential relationships with transfer. We complement faculty interviews with content analysis of college and university introductory course outlines. This unique design aids in our understanding of faculty decision making in curriculum assessment, the intersection between content creation in practice versus perception, and its implications for vertical transfer.


  • Program pathways, course transfer, and prior learning
  • Transfer assessment, application, and administration
  • Public policy