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New academic programs are required to be approved by the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) (KRS 164.020(15)) in addition to the University's Board of Trustees before implementation. The Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OSPIE) is the liaison between the University and the CPE and partners closely with the University Senate to facilitate the timely approval of all new academic programs by the state. Use this link to learn more about the University Senate's Process. 

OSPIE is responsible for: 

  • Notifying the University Senate Council of all new degree and certificate programs being proposed 
  • Reviewing all new degree and certificate programs for compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges' (SACSCOC) Substantive Change Policy 
  • Submitting to the CPE all required documentation for new degree programs 
  • Facilitating conversation between the CPE and the program proposer
  • Notifying the University of final decisions
  • Updating and ensuring accuracy of the University's academic program inventory at the state 

By request, OSPIE can provide support for: 

  • Market and program demand analyses 
  • CIP Code selection
  • Student Learning Outcome Assessment 
  • General feedback and consultation

Early Notice Form

OSPIE, Senate Council, and Distance Learning (if an online program) receive notification. The Senate Council then sends a notification to college curricular contacts, typically comprised of Associate Deans and staff in the dean’s office with curricular responsibilities. It is advised that proposers speak with their college's Dean prior to submitting an early notice.

Early Notice Form

Sharepoint Site

Primary source for information about the University's State Program Approval Process. You'll find templates and example documents here. 

Sharepoint Site


How do I initiate this process?

Start by completing the early notice form which is separate from the CPE's NOI. You can complete this online here. OSPIE will review the notice for compliance with the SACSCOC's substantive change policy and notify the University Senate of the proposal. You will need the following information to complete the early notice form: 

* CIP CODE  (Please contact if you have questions regarding CIP Codes) 

* Program name

* Description of the program 

* General details about the proposed program (e.g., implementation date, description of program, faculty needs, need for new courses)  

Where can I find a CIP Code?

A CIP Code is a Classification of Instructional Program and is a way of standardizing program classification by the Department of Education. You can contact OSPIE for assistance or search here

Who receives notification once an Early Notice form is submitted?

OSPIE, Senate Council, and the Distance Learning (if an online program) receive notification. The Senate Council then sends an notification to Curriculog College Contacts, Associate Deans, and Deans. It is advised that proposers speak with their college's Dean prior to submitting an early notice. 

When should I submit the required CPE Forms?

You should submit them at any time prior to College approval.  OSPIE coordinates the timing of the CPE process with the University Senate's approval process so that programs are not delayed or forced to resubmit after time has run out.  It is important that you respond promptly to requests and that you continue to meet deadlines.   

OSPIE cannot submit the full proposal until after the program has been approved by the UK Board of Trustees. 

Is this process different from the past process?

CPE is requesting more information at the NOI stage and has formed an Academic and Strategic Initiative Committee who makes a recommendation to the Council. The University has also adopted Curriculog for program proposals. As a result, we have separated the CPE requirements and the University requirements. Overall the requirements are the same but the process has been adapted to ensure is collected.