Innovative Course Applications

Each year the Texas Education Agency (TEA) accepts applications for innovative courses to be made available to school districts and charter schools. The Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Section 74.27, allows school districts to offer approved innovative courses to enable students to master knowledge, skills, and competencies in courses for which there are no Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Each innovative course must be academically rigorous and address documented student needs. Innovative courses that fall under the foundation or enrichment subject areas must be approved by the commissioner of education. Courses that do not fall under either the foundation or enrichment subject areas must be approved by the State Board of Education.

Innovative Course Approvals for 2014-2015

The State Board of Education is considering proposed rules that would allow approved innovative courses to count towards endorsement requirements under the new foundation high school graduation requirements. To facilitate the transition to and implementation of the new high school graduation requirements required by House Bill 5, the TEA will implement the following revised innovative course approval process for this year only.

  • The TEA will accept applications for innovative courses for the 2014-2015 school year on a rolling basis until April 30, 2014.
  • Applications will be reviewed based on the order in which they were received.
  • Applicants should expect notification of the final status of the application approximately 30 calendar days following receipt of the completed application.
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible.

Download the application for innovative courses for 2014-2015.

Applying for an Innovative Course

Texas school districts, charter schools, and other organizations may seek approval of innovative courses that are academically rigorous and meet a demonstrated student need. Before you decide to apply for approval of a new innovative course, please review the TEKS and the currently approved innovative courses to be sure that such a course is needed. You may find that one of the TEKS-based courses adopted by the SBOE or one of the currently approved innovative courses will meet your needs. Courses that overlap significantly with a TEKS-based course or a currently approved innovative course may not be approved. TEKS-based courses can be found in 19 TAC, Chapters 110-128 and Chapter 130 at A list of currently approved innovative courses is available on the innovative courses webpage at

When ready to submit your application, please attach evidence of local board approval as well as any other pertinent documents. TEA staff will review and contact you regarding your application if necessary.

Renewal of an Expiring Innovative Course

Approval for some innovative courses is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) codes associated with these expiring innovative courses will be deleted from the system as of July 2014 if the course is not renewed. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the courses and associated codes may no longer be available for use. The original applicant of each expiring course will be notified and provided an opportunity to submit an application for renewal of the course. For questions related to expiring innovative courses, please contact the Curriculum Division at

View the 2013-2014 list of expiring innovative courses.

Innovative Course Training Presentation

For more information about applying for innovative course approval, request the instructional presentation for innovative courses by email at


Debbie Gonzales 
Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1401
(512) 463-9581

Curriculum Division  
(512) 463-9581