Innovative Courses

Innovative courses allow districts to offer state-approved innovative courses to enable students to master knowledge, skills, and competencies not included in the essential knowledge and skills of the required curriculum (Texas Administrative Code [TAC] Section 74.27). The State Board of Education (SBOE) may approve any course that does not fall within any of the subject areas listed in the foundation and enrichment curricula. The commissioner of education may approve a course within the foundation or enrichment curriculum if the proposed course is academically rigorous and addresses documented student needs.

Approved Innovative Courses

With the approval of the local board of trustees, school districts and charter schools may offer any state-approved innovative course for state elective credit only. A district does not need to apply to the agency to offer an approved innovative course.Innovative courses are approved to meet certain endorsement requirements on the Foundation High School Program. 

List of Approved Innovative Courses 2020-2021 (PDF)

Complete course descriptions and requirements are available for download from one of the content-area pages listed below. Course descriptions include the knowledge and skills for the course, suggested activities, suggested resources and materials, and approved educator certifications. The lists have been updated as of July 15, 2020.

Career and Technical Education

Foundation (Bilingual/ESL, English Language Arts and Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies)

Enrichment (Fine Arts, Health, Physical Education, Technology Applications)

Other Electives

Organizations Other Than School Districts

2021-2022 Course Approval Process

The innovative course application window for the 2021–2022 academic year will open in late fall 2020. This page will be updated with the application and instructions at that time. The application window will be announced via Curriculum Standards and Student Support Division newsletter. Sign up for these and other newsletters here.

Expiring Innovative Courses

The following list of courses will expire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The applicants who previously applied for the courses will be given the first opportunity to renew the courses. If a district chooses not to renew its application, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will open the application process to other interested districts. 

List of Expiring Innovative Courses 2020–2021 (PDF)

Questions related to innovative courses or the approval process, may be directed to Kelsey Kling, Curriculum Standards and Student Support Division, by phone at (512) 463-9581 or by email at