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. Innovative courses may not meet any other specific graduation requirement. 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 2021–2022 (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, 2021.

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

2022-2023 Innovative Course Approval Process

TEA is currently accepting innovative course applications for the 2022–2023 school year.

The content of a proposed innovative course cannot duplicate the content of a Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-based course. Applications for proposed innovative courses that are substantially similar to a TEKS-based course or can reasonably be taught within an existing TEKS-based course will not be approved. Before submitting an application for a new innovative course, please review the TEKS-based courses and the List of Approved Innovative Courses. You may discover that an existing TEKS-based course adopted by the SBOE or a currently approved innovative course will meet the needs of students in your district. TEKS-based courses can be found in 19 TAC, Chapters 110–128 and Chapter 130.

Innovative Course Application Instructions

Innovative Course Application

Innovative Course Evaluation Rubric

Innovative Course Guidance and Examples for the Application Process

Innovation Course Application Checklist

 

INNOVATIVE COURSES TIMELINE

December 1, 2021

Optional application feedback deadline

TEA staff will provide preliminary feedback on applications submitted by this optional deadline.

December 17, 2021

Phase One:
renewal and early
applications due

Applications requiring SBOE approval* may be scheduled to go before the SBOE at the January 2022 meeting. 

January 18, 2022

Phase Two:
new course
applications due

Applications requiring SBOE approval will be scheduled to go before the SBOE at the April 2022 meeting.

May 1, 2022

Course approval
issued

Applicants will receive notice of approval no later than May 1, 2022.

July 15, 2022

Approved list
published

The updated approved innovative courses list, (including PEIMS codes) and course descriptions will publish to the Innovative Courses webpage.

* applications for courses that do not fall within any of the subject areas listed in the foundation and enrichment curriculua

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
innovative.courses@tea.texas.gov

Expiring Innovative Courses

The following list of courses will expire at the end of the 2021-2022 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, TEA will open the application process to other interested districts. Please note that courses authored by a specific organization may be only renewed by that organization.

List of Expiring Innovative Courses 2021–2022 (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
innovative.courses@tea.texas.gov