This is a comparative study on the developmental trajectories of Korean as a foreign language (KFL) program building, based on the experiences of the past decade by four large state universities in North America. All four programs offer at least a three-year language sequence and are currently seeking expansion toward a full Korean studies program within its own academic context. This article explicates how program building efforts have addressed emerging challenges that are often institution-dependent and program-specific. The following strategies are highlighted: (a) starting a new program through community engagement, (b) reconfiguring the curriculum with changing demographics, (c) strengthening the program by stabilizing enrollment, and (d) fine-tuning the curriculum for program expansion. Thanks to innovative and proactive strategies, each program has passed the first phase of development in practical language training and already offers a solid curriculum with a major/minor degree in Korean language and/or Korean studies. In addition, the article examines the ways in which the pedagogical and curricula practices employed by these schools have helped to establish program identity and sustain program growth. Finally, the article projects that commonalities as well as the local differences in the four programs would be useful in designing an assessment framework on KFL program evaluation.

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