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 and Approval Process

 

2018-2019 Innovative Course Application (Word doc)

2018-2019 Innovative Course Application Instructions (PDF)

The TEA will review course applications in the order received and follow the timeline provided below.  Applicants are encouraged to submit innovative course applications as soon as possible.

Districts unfamiliar with innovative courses and/or the application process are encouraged to review the materials below for additional guidance. 

Innovative Course Application Tutorial (video-coming soon)

Innovative Course Application Tutorial (PDF, 698KB)

The application timeline for innovative courses will be as follows:

Phase One: Applications received by January 10, 2018

  • During Phase One, applicants are encouraged to submit all innovative course applications that will require the approval of the SBOE (i.e., courses that contain content that is not addressed in the foundation or enrichment curriculum), including career and technical education subject areas.
  • Applications requiring SBOE approval will be scheduled to go before the SBOE at the April 18-21, 2018, meeting.
  • Applicants who wish to submit an application for an innovative course that will require the approval of the commissioner of education (i.e., courses whose content falls under the foundation or enrichment subject areas) may also submit applications.
  • Applications requiring commissioner approval received by this date will receive a final determination by February 20, 2018.

Phase Two: Applications received by February 15, 2018

  • This is the final deadline to submit an innovative course application for the 2018–2019 school year.
  • Applications requiring SBOE approval will be scheduled to go before the SBOE at the April 18-21, 2018, meeting. 
  • Applications received by this date will receive a final determination by April 25, 2018.

INNOVATIVE COURSES TIMELINE

January 10, 2017

Phase One applications due

Applications requiring SBOE approval will be scheduled to go before the SBOE at the April 18-21, 2018, meeting.

Applications requiring commissioner approval received by this deadline will receive a final determination by February 20, 2018.

February 15, 2018

Phase Two applications due

Applications requiring SBOE approval will be scheduled to go before the SBOE at the April 2018 meeting.

Applications received by this deadline will receive a final determination by April 25, 2018.

July 1, 2018

Approved list published

The updated approved Innovative Courses list, including PEIMS codes, will publish to the Innovative Course webpage.

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