Concentrations generally fall into two categories: those consisting of more than 18 credit hours for undergraduate programs/12 hours for graduate programs, and those consisting of 18U/12G credit hours or less. Adding a concentration of greater than 18U/12G credit hours is considered a “Program Modification” in Commission on Higher Education (CHE) parlance, and requires a full program proposal in CHE format. Program Modifications do not require a CHE Program Planning Summary. Notification to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) is also required, but implementation of a concentration need not wait for SACSCOC acknowledgement. The full approval process typically takes about one year.
Adding or revising concentrations of 18U/12G hours or less requires only notification to CHE, and in the case of adding a concentration, also notification to SACSCOC. The full approval process typically takes about six months.
The approval procedures for both categories (more than 18U/12G hours, 18U/12G hours or less) begin with completion of the Academic Program Action (APA) form. Subsequent approvals are required at the department, campus/college/school, and university levels, before paperwork is forwarded to CHE by the Provost’s Office.
Any concentration related to a P-12 educator preparation program requires a letter of endorsement from the Dean of the College of Education.
CHE approvals of concentrations greater than 18U/12G hours occur three times a year. CHE acknowledgements of notifications can take up to two months. Educator-preparation programs require additional approvals by the State Department of Education. Concentrations may only be marketed and assigned a code by the University Registrar after CHE approvals or acknowledgements have been received by the Provost’s Office.
General Approval Timeframe:
For concentrations of more than 18U/12G hours, one year from submission to Dean’s Office to admission of first students. For concentrations of 18U/12G hours or less, six months from submission to Dean’s Office to admission of first students.