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.

Select one of the content areas below for a list of relevant innovative courses. Complete course descriptions are available for download. Course descriptions include the knowledge and skills for the course, suggested activities, suggested resources and materials, and approved educator certifications.

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

Innovative courses are approved to meet certain endorsement requirements on the Foundation High School Program.  

Expiring Innovative Courses

The following list of courses will expire at the end of the 2017-2018 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 2017-2018 (PDF, 89KB)

2018-2019 Course Application


Applications for innovative courses are accepted annually by the Texas Education Agency.

The application window for courses for the 2018-2019 school year will be announced by “To the Administrator Addressed” correspondence. Districts are invited to review the tutorial below for guidance and expectations for innovative course development in preparation for the application window.

2017-2018 Innovative Course Application Tutorial (video)

2017-2018 Innovative Course Application Tutorial (PDF, 698KB)