Program Planning

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Program Planning
This paper will discuss program planning models that are currently utilized in the field of adult education. Literatures support the importunity of program planning in the implementation of educational program for adults. It is apparent that although each model is different, they each also have similarities. Each model has four distinguished stages. Most models come with all four stages or some aspect of Planning, Designing, Implementing and Evaluating. P. A. R. E. model was developed to support all stages of program planning. The flexibility of the P. A. R. E. model allows incorporation of best and current practices in nursing education. Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner (2007) stated that demographics, globalization, and technology are three forces influencing adult learning endeavors. The same authors also claimed that for the first time in history, there are more adults living in the U.S. than younger people and the median age as of 2004 was 36 years old. These adults have a longer and more productive life span, are better educated, with more diversity; racially, culturally and ethnically, and are seeking higher education. The global economy and the information society brought a huge difference in the configuration of the work arena which shaped the characteristics of learning which adults are committed to undertake; where to learn, what is available, and who are involved. Finally, people from all walks of life have greater access and opportunities for informal learning through the proliferation of technologies and multitude production of information (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). Colleges and universities must plan an educational program to meet the educational needs of these adult populations. Program planners for adult education must consider human, organization and environment as major factors (Caffarella 2002, p.59). In facilitating the adult learning needs, it is the responsibility of all colleges and universities to provide a context-relevant curriculum that is responsive to learners, societal factors, health, and community situations as well as serious consideration for program design, program implementation, content that should be included in the program, and transfer of learning (Iwasiw, Goldenberg, & Andrusyszyn, 2009, p. 102). The diversity of adult populations requires a need for artistic and scholarly programs. Proof of diversity in the adult population is evident in nursing colleges and universities. This reality requires nursing education to develop a creative curriculum, diverse, and with the goal of producing a solid, contextual, and significant curriculum (Iwasiw, Goldenberg, & Andrusyszyn, 2009, p. 3). Indeed, the success in adult education is a result of good planning. According to Leinster (2003), good educational programs are the product of a well-planned curriculum. The planning should be well organized, robust and transparent. The planners thoughtfully consider the program and the delivery of the contents, program evaluation and the available resources that will help the transition of the program. Good planning guides the planner to bring the idea to its reality. Multiple ranges of knowledge and skill are needed to go through a complex process of planning. Program planners may employ multiple theories, models, and approaches to establish a framework that will guide practice. In adult education, it is important to design programs that best fit the adult population. Program planning can be viewed in a many different ways. It can be explained as necessary preparation in order to reach the goal to be accomplished. Program planning involves multiple groups, activities, and several functions within the organizations. Program planners should start with goals and objectives to meet the needs of the stakeholders in mind, and reflect the organizational vision, values, and mission. A plethora of program planning models are available for today’s adult...
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