Concentrations generally fall into two categories: those consisting of more than 18 credit hours, and those consisting of 18 credit hours or less. Adding a concentration of greater than 18 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 (SACS) is also required, but implementation of a concentration need not wait for SACS acknowledgement. The full approval process typically takes about one year.
Adding or revising concentrations of 18 hours or less requires only notification to CHE, and in the case of adding a concentration, also notification to SACS. The full approval process typically takes about six months.
The approval procedures for both categories (more than 18 hours, 18 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 18 hours occur on a quarterly cycle. 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 18 hours, one year from submission to Dean’s Office to admission of first students. For concentrations of 18 hours or less, six months from submission to Dean’s Office to admission of first students.