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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. 

Program proposals are governed by Board Policy III.G.  The following descriptions are meant as general guidance for quick reference on the type of proposal forms required for various actions, and whether full SBOE approval is required.  Please consult Board Policy III.G for full details and requirements.

Any new programs, undergraduate and graduate, with a fiscal impact of $250,000 or more per fiscal year require full SBOE review and approval.  

Generally, OSBE's Executive Director can approve new programs under $250,000 fiscal impact per year, and certificates, modifications to existing programs (expansion, consolidation, addition of certificates or degrees, etc.) even if the fiscal impact is $250,000 or more per year.  

Program Fees:  

All program fees (professional fee, online program fee, etc.) must be approved by BAHR and SBOE. (Policy III.G.3.a.i.4 and 5)

  • New program with academic program fees (e.g., professional fees or online program fees) as defined in Board Policy Section V.R.
  • Adding program fees to existing programs requires full Board approval consistent with Board Policy Section V.R; however, such changes do not require submission of a Full Proposal.
    • An SBOE Cover Page, Fee Justification narrative, and Budget forms are required for program fees.  
NWCCU Substantive Changes:

Most program proposals and Letters of Notification will require Academic Affairs to notify NWCCU of the changes once SBOE or OSBE approval is obtained.  In most cases, NWCCU does not need to approve the changes, only accept the changes entered by Academic Affairs through their Substantive Change Portal. For more information, please refer to NWCCU Substantive Change Policy  For a comprehensive explanation of Substantive Change Categories and the level of review or approval required for each category, please see NWCCU's Substantive Change Manual.

Requesting State Proposals and Fees:

ISU's state proposal and fee request process mirrors that of UCC's proposal process in that you request your proposal by completing an online request form, which populates the current state proposal tracking sheet.  Within a few days you should receive a link to the Google Doc form(s) you will need to complete for your program change.  The process is detailed on Academic Affairs website, under Institutional Effectiveness and Initiatives / Program Proposals and Program Fees.

Guidance Documents from SBOE:

Contact Catherine Read in Academic Affairs at ext. 4956 for guidance on the state proposal process and answers to your questions about your proposal.

Academic Programs & Units

Career Technical (CTE) Programs & Units

Sunset Clause and Program Discontinuance Considerations


SUNSET CLAUSE (Board Policy III.G.5)

Academic and Career Technical programs approved by SBOE or OSBE's Executive Director must be implemented within five (5) years of the approval date.  If not officially implemented within that 5-year timeframe, the OSBE Executive Director or designee must be informed in writing, and an updated proposal will be required to be submitted and approved. 

If a program's implementation will be delayed, institutions may request a change in the sunset timeframe indicated in the original program proposal.  



Please refer to Board Policy III.G.7 and 8 for details on teach-out plans for students currently enrolled and faculty and staff employed in programs slated for discontinuance.