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State/NWCCU Program Proposals and Letters of Notification

Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) and the North West Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) each provide policies regarding the processes required for particular types of changes to academic programs and program components. These guidelines provide information to guide faculty in the preparation of materials for submission to the SBOE. 

The excerpts below are taken from the two SBOE Guidelines posted on Academic Affairs' Program Proposals webpage.  These excerpts are meant only to remind POs their proposals might require SBOE and/or NWCCU approval, and are not necessarily definitive or up-to-date.

Contact Joanne Tokle in Academic Affairs at ext. 2934 for accurate guidance on what SBOE forms and information are required.

SBOE Program Proposals and Letters of Notification

Full program proposals are needed in the following circumstances:

All new, modification, and/or discontinuation of academic program majors, certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, instructional units, administrative units, expansions, consolidations, and transition of existing programs to an on-line format require completion of the program proposal prior to implementation. (Policy III.G.3.b.i)

Academic programs are defined as follows: 

Academic Program(s) shall mean a systematic, usually sequential, grouping of courses forming a considerable part, or all, of the requirements (i.e., curricula) that provides the student with the knowledge and competencies required for an academic certificate, an associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree as defined in Board Policy Section III.E. (Policy III.G.1.c.)


Letters of notification are needed in the following circumstances:

New, modification, and/or discontinuation of academic program components; program name or title changes to degrees, departments, divisions, colleges, or centers; or changes to Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes require a formal letter notifying the Office of the State Board of Education prior to implementation of such changes. (Policy III.G.3.c)

Academic program components are defined as follows: 

Academic Program Components shall include options, minors, emphases, tracks, concentrations, specializations, and cognates as defined by each institution. (Policy III.G.1.e.)

North West Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU):


“…While the decision to make changes is an institutional prerogative and responsibility, the Commission is obligated to monitor the effect of a substantive change on the validity of the institution’s accreditation status with the Commission. Substantive changes in candidate or accredited institutions are to be reported to the Commission and approved in advance of implementation….