1-22-Substantive-Change

Policy number: 1.22

Policy section: Institutional Affairs

Revised Date:


1.  Definitions

Definitions of capitalized terms are set forth in Appendix A.

2.  Policy Statement

It is the policy of the University to ensure the integrity of its educational programs and to comply with the policies established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (“SACSCOC”).

3.  Purpose

The University must notify SACSCOC of any Substantive Change and in some cases, seek prior approval to initiation of the change.  SACSCOC is required by the federal government to monitor compliance with the Substantive Change policy. 

4.  Roles and Responsibilities

The President shall appoint a SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison.  The President or the Accreditation Liaison will notify SACSCOC of any proposed Substantive Change.

5.  Procedures

For procedures refer to University Policy 2.20, Initiation and Approval of Curricular Changes.

6.  Questions

Questions regarding this policy are to be directed to the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison in the Office of the Provost.

7.  Related Policies

a. University Policy 2.20, Initiation and Approval of Curricular Changes.

Appendix A: Definitions

“Substantive Change” is defined by SACSCOC as a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations [34 CFR 602.22], substantive change includes:

  • Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution
  • Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution
  • The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure, either in content or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the institution was last evaluated
  • The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution’s current accreditation or reaffirmation
  • A change from clock hours to credit hours
  • A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program
  • The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50% of an educational program.
  • The establishment of a branch campus
  • Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution
  • Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement that includes only the initiation of a dual or joint academic program with another institution
  • Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution
  • Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution
  • Entering into a contract by which an entity not eligible for Title IV funding offers 25% or more of one or more of the accredited institution’s programs

Adopted: August 4, 2020