Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Course Approvals

When does a school need a course approval from the Arkansas Department of Education?

  • A course approval is necessary for any courses used to satisfy the thirty-eight (38) courses required by the Standards of Accreditation and/or to meet any of the twenty-two (22) required units for graduation:
    • that do not have an approved Arkansas Curriculum Framework, 
    • that are not part of the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program, or
    • that are not part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. 
  • A course approval is necessary for honors courses and/or concurrent credit courses for which the school wishes to award weighted credit.
  • A course approval is necessary for a high school course taught at the middle school level. Students who receive a passing grade for high school courses taught at the middle school level must be awarded appropriate credit, and credit awarded for a course that meets any of the twenty-two (22) required units for graduation must be included when computing a student’s cumulative grade point average.
  • A new course approval is necessary for any course approved prior to the latest Arkansas Curriculum Framework revision of the approved course’s content area. 
  • A course approval is not necessary for a course that is offered for local credit only.

What are the steps a school needs to take to get a course approved?

  1. Discuss your course needs with your district’s curriculum specialist and/or your principal.
  2. Obtain any paperwork or regulations required by your district when creating new courses. 
  3. Download or print the High School Course Approval Request Form or Course Approval Form to Teach a High School Course in Grades 5-8 from the Related Files section of this page.
  4. Note that there are seven important items listed on the form that should be included with the approval request.  These include the course outline; a list of instructional materials; and descriptions of the targeted student population, instructional strategies, assessments, and hands-on activities.
  5. Assistance with the applications can be provided by the content area specialists at ADE by calling 501-682-7442.
  6. When the course approval request is ready to submit, it can be mailed to Stacy Smith.
  7. After the review by the course approval committee, requests receive one of three possible responses: approval, disapproval, or request for further information.
  8. Schools will be notified in writing of committee findings, but often other communications occur before, during, and after the committee review.
  9. May 1 is the deadline for submission of requests for the following school year.

What laws and rules does our school need to be aware of regarding course approvals?

 

For more information, please contact:

Thomas Coy, Public School Program Manager
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 301-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-4250

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