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

Accessibility at Rutgers

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. For a the full explanation of the process, go to Documentation Guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodation. 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.

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