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Get Ready to Open SHRM's 'Curriculum-in-a-Box'

Essential resources and courses to set up an HR degree program

A box with a light coming out of it.

​A new SHRM toolkit exclusively for HR faculty and educators is now available: the HR Curriculum-in-a-Box, a comprehensive collection of resources (Undergraduate overview: Introduction to human resource management; training and development; compensation and benefits; and employment law) for teaching the next generation of HR leaders. Each course in the toolkit contains 10 to 12 learning modules to prepare HR students for success as they enter a rapidly evolving field.

Empowering HR professionals by providing them with the proper tools has long been one of SHRM's key commitments. SHRM members have access to hundreds of toolkits that aggregate practical information related to a specific HR topic. Each includes a general overview plus links to resources containing more details, such as articles, forms, Q&As, books, courses, websites, court cases, etc.

The Curriculum-in-a-Box toolkit will be available to SHRM member and nonmember educators. It was created in partnership with HR faculty associated with academic degree programs that align with SHRM's recommended curriculum guidelines. An aligned program includes coursework on all of the behavioral competencies and technical knowledge areas in the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge™ (SHRM BASK™) and covers more than 25 essential HR topics.

SHRM also worked with an instructional designer on the HR Curriculum-in-a-Box to map out learning objectives for in-person and virtual classes.

Institutions seeking to develop a new HR degree program or to enhance an existing one will find the content of HR Curriculum-in-a-Box instrumental in achieving their educational goals. The toolkit provides dozens of semester-long undergraduate courses, case studies and learning modules in these main areas:

  • Compensation and benefits.
  • Employee and labor relations.
  • Employment law.
  • Strategy.
  • Training and development.
  • Workforce planning.
  • Multiple/Interdisciplinary topics.

The case studies take an in-depth look at a specific topic or challenge faced by an organization, complete with instructor guidance and a corresponding student workbook. Students will learn by example—for good or ill—how companies, schools, hotels, hospitals, manufacturers, media and other employers handled such matters as work/life balance, collective bargaining, religious and racial discrimination, mergers, talent management, succession and much more.

The learning modules/semester courses are designed as ready-to-go resources for HR faculty. They can be used to supplement a current teaching plan, add a new topic to an existing course or create a brand-new course. Each module contains a syllabus, teaching notes, PowerPoint slides, recommended readings and an instructor's manual; some also include case studies, exercises, progress checks and quizzes. While each learning module is designed to be complete, SHRM anticipates that many educators will customize the modules to their own teaching style.

Supporting HR Education at HBCUs

In the past, fewer historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) offered undergraduate and graduate programs that aligned with the SHRM BASK. The SHRM Academic Alignment Program conducted an in-depth review of HBCUs' existing HR curricula and found three key categories in which to beef up course rigor.

"Today's students are the HR leaders of tomorrow. They are the movers and shakers of the future, and we cannot understate the vital role they play in driving change in the field of HR," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM president and CEO.

Demetrius Norman is SHRM's senior specialist, Academic Initiatives.