When does a school need a course approval from the Arkansas Department of Education?
A course approval is necessary for any courses used to satisfy the thirty-eight (38) courses required by the Standards of Accreditation and/or to meet any of the twenty-two (22) required units for graduation:
- that do not have an approved Arkansas Curriculum Framework,
- that are not part of the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program, or
- that are not part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.
A course approval is necessary
- for any embedded course that is aligned to two sets of Arkansas Academic Standards;
- for honors courses and/or concurrent credit courses for which the school wishes to award weighted credit;
- prior to any school offering Credit by Demonstrated Mastery;
- when districts wish to provide a Community Service Learning program;
- for any course approved prior to the latest Arkansas Academic Standards revision of the approved course’s content area;
- for a high school course taught at the middle school level, with the exception of the following courses for grade 8: Algebra I (430000), Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning - Year 1 (465410), Computer Engineering - Year 1 (465470), Cyber Security - Year 1 (465270), Data Science - Year 1 (465710), Game Development and Design - Year 1 (465670), Mobile Application and Development - Year 1 (465370), Networking - Year 1 (465170), Programming - Year 1 (465070), Robotics - Year 1 (465570). Please Note: Students who receive a passing grade for high school courses taught at the middle school level must be awarded appropriate credit, and credit awarded for a course that meets any of the twenty-two (22) required units for graduation must be included when computing a student’s cumulative grade point average.
A course approval is not necessary for a course that is offered for local credit only.
What are the steps a school needs to take to get a course approved?
Individual districts have their own policies for vetting course approval requests before submitting them to the state. Each district has one or more people with access to the online Course Approval System (CAS). The Course Approval System School District User's Guide, linked on the right of this page, contains instructions for how to access the online system and what needs to be included in each request.
Priority Deadline for the 23-24 SY: April 1, 2023
For more information, please contact:
Office of Learning Services
Kandys Triplett, Course Systems Specialist