§ 5002(4)(b) of the Education Law states:
“b. In approving curriculum, the commissioner shall take into consideration the following:
(1) that the entrance requirements demonstrate that students possess the skills, competencies and prerequisite knowledge needed to progress in the curriculum;
(2) that the content will enable the student to develop those skills and competencies required for employment in the occupational area for which the curriculum was developed;
(3) that the school will utilize appropriate instructional methods;
(4) that the instructional equipment used within the curriculum is comparable to the equipment currently used by business or industry in the occupational area for which the curriculum was developed; and
(5) that a curriculum may include instruction in English as a second language at a beginning or basic level, provided such instruction shall not constitute more than fifty percent of such program.”
These requirements inform the review of curricula submitted to the Bureau for approval for post-secondary non-degree study. Specifically, BPSS will review:
- The entrance requirements, including any prerequisites;
- Whether the educational program will adequately train the student in the skills and competencies required for employment in the occupational area;
- Whether the instructional methods are appropriate for the subject matter; and
- Whether the instructional equipment is comparable to the equipment currently used in the occupational area.
The most complicated areas of the curricular review are items #2 and #3. The goal of this review is to ensure that students are adequately trained for employment and that appropriate instructional methods are used through the educational process.
In September 2002, the initial policy guideline (PG) was issued to streamline the curriculum application and evaluation process while satisfying the intent of the statute. The original PG required schools to maintain Student Performance Objectives, but to not submit them as part of the curriculum application. In practice, the Bureau continued to request student performance objectives as needed for a comprehensive curriculum review. To provide technical assistance to schools in writing their performance objectives, schools were and still are encouraged to refer to the BPSS tutorial on writing performance objectives.
In October 2012, the paper application was amended to reflect that student performance objectives had to be developed and uploaded for all allied health curricula, curricula from new schools, and curricula needing to be evaluated by an expert evaluator.
Given a perceived lack of clarity relating to Student Performance Objectives, it is necessary to expressly state the requirements below:
 Student performance objectives must be developed and uploaded for all allied health curricula, curricula from new schools, and curricula needing to be evaluated by an expert evaluator.
 For curricula other than those identified in paragraph 1, the school must still maintain appropriately written Student Performance Objectives at the school’s location for each approved curriculum. While the submission of Student Performance Objectives is not necessary for curriculum applications which are other than those specified (allied health curricula, curricula from new schools, and curricula needing to be evaluated by an expert evaluator), they are still a critical component of a sound educational program, must be made available to all instructors and be available for review upon request by BPSS.
 Student performance objectives must include detailed skills checklists for all internships.
The failure to maintain these objectives and make them available to course instructors and BPSS upon request will support a determination that the school is not offering the curriculum as approved which may result in disciplinary action against the school.
Questions may be directed to: BPSSCurriculum@nysed.gov