Course Approvals


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

  • When schools wish to offer a course that is not included in the approved Arkansas Curriculum Frameworks, the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program, or the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.*
  • When schools want to give weighted credit for an honors course and/or concurrent credit course.
  • When schools have a course approval on file with ADE, and the Arkansas Content Frameworks are revised for that content area.
  • When schools wish to teach a high school course at the middle school level. Students that receive a passing grade for this course must be awarded appropriate credit. 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.

 *Approval is required whether the course will be used to satisfy the 38 courses required by Standards for Accreditation or high school graduation 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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