Course Approvals

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
  • A course approval is necessary for honors courses and/or concurrent credit courses for which the school wishes to award weighted credit.
  • An approved district plan is necessary prior to any school offering Credit by Demonstrated Mastery.
  • A course approval is necessary for a high school course taught at the middle school level, with the exception of the courses listed below. 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.
    • Courses that do not need approval in order to be taught for high school credit in 8th Grade:
      • 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)
  • A course approval is necessary when districts wish to provide a Community Service Learning program.  Additional information can be found on the Community Service Learning web page.
  • A new course approval is necessary for any course approved prior to the latest Arkansas Academic Standards revision of the approved course’s content area. 
  • 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.

May 1 is the deadline for submission of requests for the following school year.

For more information, please contact:

Office of Learning Services

Phone: 501-683-4800