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Foundations of Program Planning (11:607:401)

Course Description

3 Credits. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the purpose, understanding, and value of program planning. Students will have the skill set to develop, design, implement, and evaluate effectiveness-based planning for multifaceted program areas. This course is beneficial for students pursuing careers in healthcare, public health, human services, education, community development, non-governmental organizations (NGO), faith-based organizations, non-profits, government (local, state, federal), foundation and business and corporations.

Course Objectives

  • Learn about program planning and its value in achieving successful organizational and system outcomes;
  • Understand the elements and required skills necessary for effectiveness-based program planning;
  • Design and develop a model program plan.

Required Text

Planning Programs for Adult Learners: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition. Caffarella and Daffron. Jossey-Bass, 2013.


Final grade with be representative of:

  • Discussion Questions = 25%
  • Journals = 20%
  • Quizzes = 30%
  • Group Project = 25%


Per Rutgers guidelines:

A = 90–100
B+ = 87–89.9
B = 80–86.9
C+ = 77–79.9
C = 70–76.9
D = 60–69.9
F = below 60

Weekly Syllabus

Lesson One

  • Overview of course
  • Assignment: Week One Icebreaker Discussion Question

Lesson Two

  • Read Chapter 1: Program Planning for Adults
  • Read Chapter 2: Introducing the Interactive Model of Program Planning
  • Assignment: Unit 2 Discussion Question – Program Planning Assumptions.
    The Interactive Model of Program Planning relies on 9 major assumptions. Briefly explain a program experience you have had (e.g. academics, community, organization) and reviewing the assumptions, which ones applied? Upon learning about the assumptions, which are of particular interest to you in terms of the planning process? Why?

Lesson Three

  • Read Chapter 3: Exploring Foundation Knowledge of Program Planning
  • Assignment: Unit 3 Journal – Cultural Differences. Choose a person who is from a different culture from yours to interview. Develop questions using Exhibit 3.A, using the text website that reflect the cultural factors that pertain to each of the areas appropriate to the person being interviewed. Report your findings through the Journal tab.

Lesson Four

  • Read Chapter 4: Discerning the Context
  • Group Assignment: Begin preliminary work on Final Project: Model Program Plan. As a group, research and select a problem or issue (health, environment, social, political, etc.). Post your group's topic in the Unit 4 Discussion Question (not graded, but for topic sharing) and Group Wiki. Note: the Group Wiki Site will be the online platform to post, share, and edit content for the final group project.

Lesson Five

  • Read Chapter 5: Building a Solid Base of Support
  • Assignment: QUIZ 1: Chapters 1–5 (30 questions: multiple choice and short answer)

Lesson Six

  • Read Chapter 6: Identifying and Prioritizing Ideas and Needs
  • Assignment: Unit 6 Discussion Question –Program Needs
    Briefly describe the purpose of your group's plan (specific mission). Based on your group problem/issue, using Exhibit 6.1, identify and choose the techniques that can be used for generating ideas for your program. What recommendations can be made for classmates' projects?

Lesson Seven

  • Read Chapter 7: Developing Program Goals and Objectives
  • Assignment: Unit 7 Group Wiki - each group member must contribute to complete the following:
    • Describe the purpose of the plan (specific mission).
    • Provide Needs Assessment including: introduction/background, methods, key findings, recommendations for program planning
    • List goals and objectives – each objective linked to a particular goal (use Exercise 7.3 to ensure objectives are appropriate).

Lesson Eight

  • Read Chapter 8: Designing Instruction
  • Assignment: Unit 8 Discussion Question – Instructional Techniques
    Matching instructional techniques with learning objectives is vital for successful outcomes. Briefly explain a program experience you have had in academics, community, or an organization (it can be the same from Unit 2). Reviewing the assessment qualities from Exercise 8.3/#3, which ones were useful and which were not. Explain why. Upon learning about instructional techniques, which resonate with you as a future program planner? Are there any that are of particular interest to you? If so, why?

Lesson Nine

  • Read Chapter 9: Devising Transfer of Learning Plans
  • Assignment: Unit 9 Journal – Transfer of Learning (750 words)
    Being knowledgeable about the major barriers and enhancers that influence transfer of learning is critical successful outcomes. Based on the Transfer of Learning Model, which factors have you experienced (refer to Unit 2 or 8). As a future program planner, how do you plan to influence the transfer of learning process? Submit through Journal tab.
  • Group Assignment: continue working on final project via Group Wiki Site

Lesson 10

  • Read Chapter 10: Formulating Program Evaluation Plans
  • Assignment: QUIZ 2: Chapters 6–10 (30 questions: multiple choice and short answer)

Lesson Eleven

  • Read Chapter 11: Selecting Formats, Scheduling, and Staffing Programs
  • Read Chapter 12: Preparing and Managing Budgets
  • Group Assignment: Using the Group Wiki begin developing a preliminary budget for your program (use Exercise 12.1 and Exhibit 12.C for estimating program expenses).
  • Unit 11 Discussion Question – Budget Considerations
    Gaining a clear understanding of the budgeting process and budget models is vital for effective outcomes. As a future program planner, which method(s) resonate with you in terms of successfully meeting financial commitments (e.g., fundraising campaigns, obtaining major gifts, grant writing)? Briefly explain.

Lesson Twelve

  • Read Chapter 13: Organizing Marketing Campaigns
  • Read Chapter 14: Details, Details, Details
  • Group Assignment: contribute to Group Wiki Site to include list and description of marketing tools (e.g., social media).

Lesson Thirteen

  • Read Chapter 15: Revisiting the Model and Looking to the Future
  • Group Assignment: continue working on the Model Program Plan – due in Unit Fourteen.

Lesson Fourteen

Group Assignment: Model Program Plan

Directions: Use the following planning elements to develop and submit your Model Program Plan (8–10 pages – submit WORD document to Dropbox).

  • Cover page with course title, group members, and date
  • Headings and content to include:
    • Define and describe a problem or issue (health, environment, social, political, etc.).
    • Description and purpose of the plan (specific mission).
    • Needs assessment including: introduction/background, methods, key findings, recommendations for program planning.
    • Goals and objectives – each objective linked to a particular goal.
    • Definition and description of the measurable action items necessary to accomplish each objective.
    • List of program stakeholders – e.g., organizational, legal, advisory, and community.
    • 1–2 page budget associated with the needs assessment and planning process, including the evaluation.
    • List and description of marketing tools (e.g., social media).
    • Corresponding evaluation plan
    • Appendices (not required, but recommended).

Lesson Fifteen

  • Assignment: QUIZ 3: Chapters 11–15 (30 questions: multiple choice and short answer)
  • Final Discussion Question: Program Planning Reflection. In the beginning of the course, we discussed a program experience you had in the academic, community, and/or organization realm. Based on the experiences in developing a program plan/model, what elements/areas/skills were of most interest to you (why) and which ones was most challenging (why)?

NOTE: There is no final exam in the course

Accomodations for Students with Disabilities

Please follow the procedures outlined at Full policies and procedures are at Office of Disability Services website.

Academic Integrity

The university's policy on Academic Integrity is available at policies on academic integrity.

The principles of academic integrity require that a student:

  • properly acknowledge and cite all use of the ideas, results, or words of others.
  • properly acknowledge all contributors to a given piece of work.
  • make sure that all work submitted as his or her own in a course or other academic activity is produced without the aid of impermissible materials or impermissible collaboration.
  • obtain all data or results by ethical means and report them accurately without suppressing any results inconsistent with his or her interpretation or conclusions.
  • treat all other students in an ethical manner, respecting their integrity and right to pursue their educational goals without interference. This requires that a student neither facilitate academic dishonesty by others nor obstruct their academic progress.
  • uphold the canons of the ethical or professional code of the profession for which he or she is preparing.

Adherence to these principles is necessary in order to ensure that:

  • everyone is given proper credit for his or her ideas, words, results, and other scholarly accomplishments.
  • all student work is fairly evaluated and no student has an inappropriate advantage over others.
  • the academic and ethical development of all students is fostered.
  • the reputation of the University for integrity in its teaching, research, and scholarship is maintained and enhanced.

NOTE: Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Resubmitting your own work that has previously been evaluated in this class or any other class.
  • Copying text directly from websites and other sources without attributing the original source(s).
  • Copying the work of students in other sections (past or present) of this course.

Failure to uphold these principles of academic integrity threatens both the reputation of the University and the value of the degrees awarded to its students. Every member of the University community therefore bears a responsibility for ensuring that the highest standards of academic integrity are upheld.

NOTE: To help protect you, and future students, from plagiarism, all essay assignments will be submitted through

Attendance and Participation Policy

Students are expected to actively participate in all of the online activities for the course. Attendance in the online sessions is determined by thorough, thoughtful, relevant and on time contributions made in the weekly assignments including threaded discussions, reaction papers and quizzes. The course proceeds with the assumption that students have thoughtfully read and reviewed the assigned materials.

Students are responsible for completion of all assigned readings, materials discussed and assignments on or before the assigned due date.

Student Wellness Services

Just In Case Web App

Access helpful mental health information and resources for yourself or a friend in a mental health crisis on your smartphone or tablet and easily contact CAPS or RUPD.

Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services (CAPS)

17 Senior Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

CAPS is a University mental health support service that includes counseling, alcohol and other drug assistance, and psychiatric services staffed by a team of professional within Rutgers Health services to support students' efforts to succeed at Rutgers University. CAPS offers a variety of services that include: individual therapy, group therapy and workshops, crisis intervention, referral to specialists in the community and consultation and collaboration with campus partners.

Violence Prevention & Victim Assistance (VPVA)

3 Bartlett Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

The Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance provides confidential crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy for victims of sexual and relationship violence and stalking to students, staff and faculty. To reach staff during office hours when the university is open or to reach an advocate after hours, call 848-932-1181.

Disability Services

Lucy Stone Hall, Suite A145, Livingston Campus, 54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Rutgers University welcomes students with disabilities into all of the University's educational programs. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation.

If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodations. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. To begin this process, please complete the Registration form on the ODS website.

Scarlet Listeners


Free and confidential peer counseling and referral hotline, providing a comforting and supportive safe space.


Gina M. Suriano
732-232-4094 (mobile)

Office Hours: Post your questions pertaining to the course in my Virtual Office (listed under Course Home) or if you would prefer, email me directly or contact via phone.