USD Professional and Continuing Education offers a customized, online curriculum design and development course during the Spring through the Summer in 2-unit, 4-unit and 6-unit options.

While our curriculum design and development course is adapted for each successive year, the mission remains the same: to provide K–12 educators with the tools and education to successfully refine, design and enhance their course curricula. Enrollment opens each January and completion of course work ends in August. All unit courses are in the Online Self-Paced format with a specific start and end date.


Who Should Attend?

K–12 educators like you who are looking to improve and elevate their classroom curriculum. Choose the schedule and course units that best suit your goals for the coming school year.



Not only will you discover various improvement strategies for designing and developing engaging, effective lessons — you’ll also earn credit while planning for your next school year. Curriculum design and development courses at USD can be as customized as your planning strategy needs to be, providing you with the accessibility, flexibility and convenience to control your own learning pace.


Learner Outcomes

At the end of your curriculum design and development course, you will be able to:

  • Independently develop or revise curriculum to help with action planning towards fostering improvements in your classroom and your students
  • Implement new tools and strategies that can promote enhancements in the classroom or remotely
  • Gain confidence through personalized instructor feedback to design, develop or revise projects, lessons and materials for overall curriculum improvement
  • Prepare for the next school year ahead of time, and earn credit while you do it


Comparing the 2-, 4-, and 6 Unit Options

To meet the needs of the widest range of educators, USD offers three options for the curriculum design and development course. The more units you choose to earn in one semester, the more time you should expect to devote to your course.



"Having a curriculum development course like this gives teachers an excellent avenue to get credit for work many of us do in preparation for our classes every year!"
– Jodi Lamparter, Educator, Black Oak Mine Unified School District, CA


"I really like the ability to plan curriculum based on the ever changing needs of my classroom. I did this course--highly beneficial."
– Julie Cia, Educator, Saint Helena Unified School District, California


"I appreciate the opportunity to earn credit for my specific student population. It allowed me to create an immediate impact on my practice."
– Al Gonzales, Educator, Sunnyvale School District, California



What’s the difference between Curriculum Design and Instructional Design?

According to Indeed, instructional design focuses on “determining which educational methods have the largest effect on learners' cognitive and behavioral development,” while curriculum development is the “process of updating courses and programs to improve teaching strategies and content inclusions.” Therefore, curriculum development often comprises the actions taken following key findings from instructional design research or experience. How do I know which Curriculum

Design and Development section I should enroll in?

USD offers a broad range of curriculum design courses, led by instructors with experience spanning from elementary and middle school education to high school and beyond. While course length may vary, the curriculum is primarily the same. You only need to enroll in one of the three courses based on the number of units you wish to earn. We also offer many more Teacher Training courses should you seek to develop additional skills to enhance your teaching career.

What does “Online Self-Paced” mean?

Online Self-Paced courses are a perfect blend of accessibility, convenience and flexibility that allows you to control your learning pace. You will use course textbooks, manuals, assignments and exams to learn and earn credit. Depending on the course, you may also stream audio and video, CD-ROM and download embedded digital materials. Communication with your instructor will take place through your online course portal. Your instructor will provide feedback via written responses on your assignments and exams. Grades are based on completed projects, assignments and exams. You can register at any time and you will have until the stated deadline for submission of completed work, pacing yourself for successful completion of the course.

Who do I contact if I need help finding the right Curriculum Design and Development course?

Simply fill out this contact form and a member of the USD Educator Programs team will get back to you as soon as possible.



The Division of Professional and Continuing Education is regionally accredited through the University of San Diego by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

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