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Curriculum Process

East Tennessee State University

Academic Proposals

Academic Proposals Approval Track
See the Academic Approvals Matrix for each proposal's approval process and the THEC notification schedule.

What Form Do I Need?: A helpful document to aid in choosing the correct proposal(s).

  Course Proposals

Course Number Information
Enter the appropriate number for the level of the course. Check Banner form SCACRSE for unused numbers. The course numbers 4XX7/5XX7 are used for a course taught by a Graduate faculty for both Undergraduate and Graduate students. The course numbers 1001 2002, 3003, and 4004 are used by Admissions for transfer work. The following course numbers are used strictly for Summer Entrepreneurial courses: 1956, 2956, 3956, 4956, and 5956. Special Topics are usually numbered 495X, 595X, and if dual listed 4957/5957. Internships/Coop is numbered 4989/5989. 5960 is used for Thesis and 5990 for Read and Research. 5019 is used for Supervised Teaching, 5029 for Supervised Research, and 5039 for Supervised Administration.
Propose New Course
This form is used to propose a new course. Once approved, the course becomes part of the ETSU Course Inventory, which makes it available for scheduling. For a successful review the catalog description, topics, and learning outcomes are considered integrated information and must correspond to and reflect each other.
Revise Course: Editorial Change (minor)
This form is for minor editorial changes that do not substantively modify the course.
Revise Course: Substantive Modification (major)
This form is to propose a major modification of an existing course by updating or substantially changing the content. Items that signal using the Substantial Modification form are change in credits and significantly different catalog description or content.
Propose Entrepreneurial Course
This form is to propose an entrepreneurial, self-supporting course. These fee-based special topics courses are offered only during summer and winter sessions. They do not appear in the catalog and may not be substituted as a required course in a program of study.
Propose Experimental Course
This form is to propose an experimental course that may in the future be used for a major or minor or as an elective. An experimental course may be offered experimentally twice to assess student interest, demand, course appropriateness, and viability. They do not appear in the catalog and may not be substituted as a required course in a program of study.
Inactivate Current Course
Courses projected to no longer be offered may be permanently inactivated in the course inventory, and therefore not available for scheduling. These course numbers cannot be reused. An inactivation of a 4xx7/5xx7 course must have both numbers in the proposal.
Reactivate Current Course
Courses may be reactivated in the course inventory, and therefore be available for scheduling. A reactivation of a 4xx7/5xx7 course must have both numbers in the proposal. List one in the "Number" field and the other in the "Dual-listed Number" field.


Program Proposals

Revise Curriculum: Non-Substantive
A non-substantive curriculum revision when 18 or fewer credits are affected in an undergraduate degree program; 9 or fewer in a graduate degree program; or less than 50% in a certificate program.
Revise Curriculum: Substantive
This form is used to propose a substantive revision of an existing undergraduate or graduate program. A revision is substantive when 18 or more credits are changed in an undergraduate program, 9 or more in a graduate program, and 50% or more of a certificate program.
Revise Advisor Approved Electives
This form is used to update the Advisor Approved Elective section of your curriculum only. The information provided will be used to update the Catalog and Degree Works
Academic Program Consolidation
This form is used to propose an academic program consolidation of existing undergraduate or graduate programs. If consolidations includes other departments or colleges, letters of support are required.
Academic Program Modification

This form is used to propose an academic program modification, requiring approval from THEC. Modifications are limited to the following.

  • Change or add a program degree designation when this change does involve a significant curriculum shift in redefining the program’s purpose (e.g., B.A. to B.F.A; M.A. to M.F.A.; Ed.D. to Ph.D.) or a change of degree designation for an existing academic program or concentration per recommendation of a disciplinary accreditation body. These requested modifications may be subject to external review.
  • Establish a free-standing academic program from an existing concentration with a steady enrollment and degrees awarded within both the degree designation and all concentrations under that degree for a period of the last three years. This program modification may be considered only if the establishment of the concentration as a free-standing academic program does not compromise the remaining academic program and does not require new faculty resources.

THEC may add, in some circumstances, other criteria based on THEC evaluation

Change Program of Study Credits for Thesis/Dissertation
This form is used when total program credits are increased to accommodate variable credits for a thesis or dissertation in order to meet Federal Financial Aid Eligibility and comply with Course in Program of Study (CPoS) requirements. Programs are increasing Thesis/Dissertation credits to more accurately reflect the number of credit hours needed to complete research and to be eligible for financial aid.
Establish Minor
This form is for the establishment of a 18-23 credit minor with approvals.
Revise Academic Minor
This form is used for the revision of a minor regardless of affected credits.
Letter of Notification for New Degree

This form is used to propose approval to develop a new academic program which will be placed on THEC site for public comment. After public comment, THEC will take one of four actions:

  • Approval
  • Disapproval
  • Conditional Approval (reserved for academic programs for which the need is temporary; conditional approvals will identify a date that the academic program must be terminated).
  • Deferral

Once THEC has approved the Letter of Intent, the New Academic Program Proposal is developed. 

New Academic Program- NAPP (Degree or Certificate - 24 credits or more)

The steps to establish a new academic degree program or certificate in excess of 24 credits include the following:

  • Letter of Notification (LON)
  • THEC Evaluation of the LON
  • New Academic Program Proposal (NAPP) – see required document below
  • External Judgment (Reviewers selected by THEC)
  • Post-External Judgment (Response by THEC regarding reviewer’s report)
  • ETSU Board of Trustees Support
  • THEC Action
Establish New Certificate 12-23 Credits
 This form is to propose the establishment of a 12-23 credit certificate with approvals.
Establish New Concentration in an Existing Program
This form is used to propose a new concentration in an existing undergraduate or graduate program. 
Inactivate or Reactivate Existing Academic Program or Concentration 
Occasionally, an academic department or college wishes to evaluate the viability of a degree or concentration – a decision to terminate has not been made. In order to curtail any student enrollment, the program needs to be inactivated. Plans for currently enrolled students to complete the requirements must be prepared. The Department Chair, College Dean, Graduate Dean ( if appropriate) and Academic Affairs approves the program or concentration inactivation or reactivation proposal. THEC is notified of these actions.
Establish Articulation Agreement
This form is for creation of Articulation Agreements between two ETSU degree programs or between ETSU and a program associated with another institution.
Revise Articulation Agreement
This form is for revisions of articulated agreements.
Establish Program Policy
Academic Council and the ETSU President must approve all related program-related admission to graduation policies for undergraduate and graduate students.
Revise Program Policy
Academic Council and the ETSU President must approve all related program-related admission to graduation policies for undergraduate and graduate students.
Terminate Academic Program or Concentration
This proposal is to eliminate a degree, concentration, certificate, or minor program that no longer viable. Termination of a program is indicated when there is insufficient enrollment or graduates.



Change Name/Title of Academic Program or Concentration
This proposal is to rename a program or concentration to reflect better the current content emphasis or update the language used in the discipline.
Change Instructional Delivery Mode
Descriptions below refer only to the way the actual instructional contact hours each week are delivered. Using technology for some homework assignments or using technology in a face-to-face class is not counted toward the amount of direct instruction delivered using technology.
Establish Academic Unit: Center or Institute
Centers and Institutes are important components of the academic, research, and service mission of East Tennessee State University. Generally an institute has a broader scope than a center. The proposal contents parallel the THEC requirements to establish academic units.
Establish Academic Unit: Academic Department or Division
A Department is an instructional unit encompassing a discrete branch of study or organized around common and similar academic areas; it is usually administered by a department chair. A Division is an instructional unit that usually includes two or more departments within a college or university; it may be administered by an assistant or associate dean.
Establish Academic Unit: College or School
A College or School is an instructional unit within a university that usually includes several academic departments and is usually administered by a dean or director.
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