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Community College Program Approval


The Iowa Department of Education’s Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation recognizes that individual colleges have the primary responsibility for establishing and evaluating the content, implementation, modification and review of instructional programs. Community colleges demonstrate the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the programs and services they offer their students through a program review and approval process. The Department’s approval process is conducted via the State of Iowa Curriculum System (STICS), a web-based app that provides a structured environment for colleges to submit new course and program approvals and existing course and program modifications. The Department’s role in the approval process is to provide oversight and guidance to ensure programmatic compliance with state and federal laws, as well as with accreditation standards. College personnel have login access to STICS to submit curriculum change requests, but everyone can access the public site here

To help college personnel understand the Department’s program approval/review processes, program approval guidelines are available in a 19-page, user-friendly manual with links to resources and consultants. Please refer to the “Program Approval Guidelines” manual linked below as you begin course and program development or modification.

Common Course Numbering Protocols

Program Approval: Guidelines for Iowa Community Colleges

CTE Certificate Approval Guidance