Welcome to the Curriculum Innovation Center
The Curriculum Innovation Center (CIC) is a resource for faculty working to develop or revise curriculum. CIC staff will engage in all phases of curriculum work from research and data collection for support of new or existing programs. The CIC team will bring together campus resources and expertise to strengthen curriculum collaboration and support a variety of delivery modalities.
Central to the work of center staff is maintaining high quality programing to enhance student opportunities for academic engagement in cutting edge programming aligned with ETSU Strategic initiatives, national and international trends. The dedicated team in the CIC will work directly with faculty, chairs and deans to assure curriculum initiatives are developed in a timely manner with a central focus on program quality.
Need Help with Your Proposal?
The Shadow Team will have drop in Zoom meetings available weekly for faculty to join and ask questions or receive assistance with proposals. The Shadow Team will also be available to meet in person. Please email a member of the Shadow Team for the location.
Click a time to join the Zoom meeting.
Creating New Academic Programs
The following provides information that is intended to give an overview of the process involved in creating new academic programs. Before beginning the process originators are encouraged to begin the conversation with their college leadership.
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has the statutory responsibility to review and approve new academic programs for public institutions of higher education in the State of Tennessee.
This statute directs public higher education to:
- address the state’s economic development, workforce development and research needs;
- ensure increased degree production within the state’s capacity to support higher education; and
- use institutional mission differentiation to realize statewide efficiencies through institutional collaboration and minimize redundancy in degree offerings, instructional locations, and competitive research.
Steps to Establish a New Academic Program
The process of developing a new academic degree program is multi-staged and includes the following essential steps:
- Program Pre-Approval
- Letter of Notification (LON) or Expedited Letter of Notification (ELON)
- New Academic Program Proposal (NAPP) or Expedited New Academic Program Proposal
- External Review
- Institutional Governing Board Approval
- Commission Action
The process for developing new certificates, concentrations, minors, and academic program modifications differs slightly but all INCLUDE completion of the Program Pre-Approval form prior to completion of the relevant Curriculog form.
- Program Pre-Approval
- Appropriate Curriculog form
Step 1. Program Preapproval Process
The Office of the Provost supports the development of new and innovative programs. To initiate a new program, Deans must complete and submit the pre-approval form in Curriculog for review by the Office of the Provost.
The Program Pre-Approval form uses the following guidelines to determine the feasibility of new program development:
- Program aligns with the university’s strategic plan
- Potential to achieve prominence in the area of inquiry and or instruction
- Builds on existing strengths (including research and resources)
- Meets existing or future needs for workforce development
- Is financially feasible and has potential for sustained enrollment growth
- Appropriate resources are available to support the program (faculty, advisors, classrooms, etc.)
Step 2. Development of Program Proposal
Once the program has received pre-approval, the department can begin the program proposal phase. This includes completing the relevant forms in Curriculog, scheduling meetings with the shadow team (optional), being aware of the implementation date and the timeliness needed to achieve this date.
The curriculum passes through several approval steps and reviews and these may include:
- Department chair
- College curriculum committee
- College dean
- University Curriculum Committee (Undergraduate Curriculum Council and /or Graduate Curriculum Subcommittee)
- Academic Affairs or Academic Council
- President, Board of Trustee, THEC *
Originators are encouraged to closely monitor the progress of their proposal at each step and respond quickly to requests for clarification of more information in order not to delay the progression of the proposal.
Step 3. Substantive Change – SACSCOC
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) will be notified of new programs prior to implementation. Many new degree programs will require prior approval by SACSCOC.
THEC Criteria for Review of New Academic Degree Program.
- Alignment with the state master plan for higher education and institutional mission – An institution must provide evidence that the proposed academic program aligns with the state’s master plan for higher education and institutional mission, with a focus on leveraging differentiation to realize statewide efficiency of degree offerings, instructional locations, and competitive research.
- Feasibility – An institution must provide documentation that demonstrates the need for the new academic program including student interest, local and regional demand, industry support, and workforce need.
- Institutional capacity to deliver the proposed academic program – Supporting documentation must be included that confirms an institution can deliver the proposed program within existing and projected resources.
- Program costs/revenues – An institution must provide documentation of all new anticipated costs and revenues associated with the academic program
Visit the THEC website to review Academic Polices pertaining to new program development. https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/academic-affairs/program-approval---academic-policies/academic-policies--checklists-and-forms.html