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Certificate Program: Greater than 24 credit hours

There is no abbreviated process for proposing a Certificate greater than 24 semester credit hours. These certificate programs will require a full proposal as well as review and approval by THEC before being able to be implemented. 

Should the proposal be deemed a SACSCOC Substantive Change, an additional six months for approval may be necessary. 

The Academic Intake form will be reviewed to determine the viability of the program, if the university is able to substantiate the cost of the program and if the program will initiate a substantive change. To determine if a substantive change is initiated the Office of Academic Affairs will look for the following: 

  • Is the content currently taught by faculty at APSU? 
  • Are we creating more than half of the content from scratch? 
  • Are we hiring a significant number of new faculty? 

*Please visit the Substantive Change page for additional information.

The Letter of Notification is completed once the Academic Intake Form has been approved for the program. The Letter of Notification is similar to a concept paper and should be written with a clear and concise vision in mind. The purpose of the Letter of Notification is to:

  • Determine if the proposed program is aligned with APSU’s strategic plan and mission
  • Evaluate duplicate and comparable programs offered in the region
  • Gain insight into the potential success of the program

This document requires THEC approval prior to the department beginning the New Academic Program Proposal. Please give special attention to feasibility study information as THEC is closely reviewing this information in relation to program sustainability.

All new academic programs must adhere to THEC's prescribed three-step application and approval process (See THEC policy A1.0.). Information summarizing the THEC process as well as provides information on the needed forms and documentation for proposing a new academic programs may be found at the New Academic Program page.

The External Review is the final step of the program development process. The External Review includes a site visit from THEC staff and a qualified reviewer (see criteria below). Agenda items will include interviews with the APSU President, Provost, SVP/AVPAA, College Dean, Faculty, Library and Industry Board, if applicable. 

The department proposing the new program will be involved in the selection of the external reviewer and must work closely with the Office of Academic Affairs when preparing for the external review visit.