Veterinary curriculum transformation at the University of Illinois, 2006-2016

Jonathan H. Foreman, Dawn E. Morin, Thomas K. Graves, Mark A. Mitchell, Federico A. Zuckermann, Herbert E. Whiteley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The organization and delivery of a curriculum is the responsibility of the faculty in educational institutions. Curricular revision is often a hotly debated topic in any college faculty. At the University of Illinois, a 2006 mandate for curriculum modernization from the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education provided impetus for a long-discussed curricular revision. After two iterations and a lengthy development process, a new curriculum was gradually implemented at Illinois with the August 2009 matriculation of the Class of 2013. The goals of the revision included earlier clinical exposure for veterinary students through introductions to clinical rotations in years 1 to 3 and an integrated body systems approach in lecture/laboratory courses. A new Clinical Skills Learning Center facilitates development of clinical skills earlier in the curriculum and promotes the development of those skills throughout all 4 years of the curriculum. New outcomes assessments include comprehensive written examinations and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) in years 2 and 3. Curriculum management, including grading of clinical rotations in all 4 years, is achieved through a commercially available software package. For the past 5 years, when candidates were asked why they chose to apply to Illinois, the new curriculum (27.4%) was the most common answer given during interviews. The Illinois revision has resulted in measurably increased veterinary student self-confidence (p < .001) at graduation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-479
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Clinical skills
  • Curricular revision
  • Curriculum
  • Institutional change
  • Transformative change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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