State approval of Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees, AAS options and ​Certificates of Completion require specific procedures depending on the credential and the current status of the program. These procedures ensure that colleges demonstrate compliance with Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) standards. A thorough understanding of the purpose and procedures of the process will make the approval process more useful to the college and the ​HECC.


Questions regarding the content steps and requirements related to the approval process should be directed the the CCWD Team.  Roles, Responsibilities and Contacts.

Program ​Approval at a Glance

Application ​Process

CCWD staff will guide the application and scheduling and approval process to assure approval time frames can be met. After completion of the approval process, the CCWD Education Division Director sends a letter to the college president indicating that the program approval has been approved. Anyone who is interested in obtaining earlier notice may contact the CCWD or review the HECC minutes on the website.

Planning Guide 

The Planning Guide is a quick reference to the steps and timelines that apply to degrees and certificate of completion approval.  See Program Awards and Application Components.

Learn more about Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Higher Education Coordinating Commission ​Meeting ​Schedule

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is the final authority on program approval. Submission of program applications need to correlate with HECC meeting dates. While HECC’s meeting schedule may vary, the Commission will determine an annual meeting prior to each fall term; additionally, The meeting schedule is posted on the HECC webpage.

CTE Program Approval Point of Contact Responsibilities 

The CTE Point-of-Contact (POC) was established in 2005 to streamline communications between colleges and CCWD, to increase local capacity at the campus level, and to lead the local program development and application process. Many college POCs are the CTE Deans or instructional administrators with responsibilities for CTE programs. College POCs are recognized as a key resource for staff and other administrators for questions and issues related to CTE program approval. Local POCs are the first line of communication with state staff POCs (CCWD) to assist in the process of program approval.

College POCs are expected to contact CCWD early in the program conception, design and development process. As soon as this notification is received, an Education Specialist in the career area related to the new program, will be identified to work with the colleges.