SACSCOC Accreditation

Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change

The different types of substantive change, the specific procedure to be used for each, their respective approval/notification requirements, and their reporting timelines are included in the table that follows. Please read the full text under the appropriate procedure for details regarding reporting.

Source: SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy (page numbers cited below refer to this document).

Types of Change Procedure or Policy Prior Notification Required Prior Approval Required Documentation and Time Frame for Contacting SACSCOC
Initiating coursework or programs at a different level than currently approved Procedure 1 No Yes Application for Level Change

Due dates:
March 15 (for June review)
September 1 (for December review)
Initiating off-campus sites where student can obtain 50% or more credits toward a program (including but not limited to Early College High School, dual enrollment programs offered at a high school, and certificate programs that are not at employer’s request and not on short notice) Procedure 1 No Yes Cover Sheet
Prospectus
(See Appendix B of this document)

Due dates:
January 1 for 7/1-12/31 implementation
July 1 for 1/1-6/30 implementation
Expanding at current degree level (significant departure from current programs).
Expanding program offerings at previously approved off-campus sites by adding programs that ARE significantly different from current programs at the site AND at the institution
Initiating degree completion programs
Initiating a branch campus (See definition of “branch campus” on p. 3 of this document.)
Initiating distance learning by offering 50% or more of the first program for the first time
Relocating a main or branch campus
Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title IV programs if the entity provides 25% or more of an educational program offered by the SACSCOC accredited institution
Initiating dual or joint degrees involving program expansion (significant departure) or initiating a new site where student can obtain 50% or more credits toward a program See SACSCOC policy “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards No Yes Cover Sheet
Prospectus
(See Appendix B of this document)

Due dates:
January 1 for 7/1-12/31 implementation
July 1 for 1/1-6/30 implementation

Copy of signed agreement, contact information for each institution, and additional details on non-SACSCOC institution(s) involved. See Policy
Initiating dual or joint degree with at least one institution not accredited by SACSCOC See SACSCOC Policy “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards At least 6 months prior to implementation Yes Acceptance of notification, copy of signed agreement, contact information for each institution, and additional details on non-SACSCOC institution(s). See Policy.
Initiating a direct assessment competency-based program See SACSCOC Policy
Direct Assessment Competency-Based Educational Programs
Yes – Screening Form Yes Submit “Screening Form” with letter of notification. If Prospectus is required,

Due dates:
March 15 (for June review)
September 1 (for December review
Initiating a merger/consolidation with another institution See SACSCOC Policy:
"Mergers, Consolidations, Change of Ownership, Acquisitions, and Change of Governance, Control, Form, or Legal Status"
Yes:
December 15 (for June review);
June 1
(for December review)
Yes Cover Sheet
Institutional Summary Form
Prospectus
(See Appendix in SACSCOC Policy:
Mergers, Consolidations, Change of Ownership, Acquisitions, and Change of Governance, Control, Form, or Legal Status“)

Due dates:
March 15 (for June review);
September 1 (for December review)
Changing governance, ownership, control, or legal status of an institution
Acquiring any program or site from another institution
Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out for students from another institution that is closing
Initiating a certificate program at a new off-campus site at employer’s request and on short notice (previously approved program) Procedure 1 No Yes Cover Sheet Modified prospectus Contact Commission Staff.
Initiating a certificate program that is a significant departure from previously approved programs at employer’s request and on short notice
Adding a site under a U.S. military contract for a previously approved program
Altering significantly the length of a program
Altering significantly the educational mission of the institution
Changing from clock hours to credit hours Procedure 1 No Yes Justify reasons for change, indicate calculation of equivalency, and other pertinent information
Moving an off-campus instructional site (serving the same geographic area) Procedure 2 Yes No Letter of notification with old address, new address, and implementation date
Initiating dual or joint degrees with other SACSCOC accredited institution(s) See SACSCOC Policy "Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards" At least 6 months prior to implementation No Acceptance of notification, copy of signed agreement and contact information for each institution. See Policy.
Initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium Procedure 2 Yes No Letter of notification and copy of signed agreement
Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title IV programs if the entity provides less than 25% of an educational program offered by the SACSCOC accredited institution
Initiating off-campus sites where student can obtain 25- 49% of credits toward a program (including but not limited to Early College High School, dual enrollment programs offered at a high school, and certificate programs that are not at employer’s request and not on short notice) Procedure 2 Yes No Letter of notification
Including street address and implementation date
Initiating distance learning by offering 25-49 of the first program for the first time
Closing a program, approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution where the institution plans to teach-out its own students Procedure 3 Yes Yes Description of teach-out plan included with letter of notification
Closing a program, approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution where the institution plans contracts with another institution(s) to teach-out students (Teach-out Agreement) Procedure 3 Yes Yes Description of teach-out plan, copy of signed teach-out agreement(s) detailing terms included with notification
Initiating a certificate program at employer’s request and on short notice using existing approved courses and location NA No No NA
Initiating certificate program (not at employer’s request and not on short notice) using existing approved courses and location
Initiating off-campus sites (including Early College High School and dual enrollment programs offered at the high school) where student can obtain 24% or less of credits toward a program
Expanding program offerings at previously approved off-campus sites by adding approved programs that ARE NOT significantly different from current programs at the site
Expanding program offerings at previously approved off-campus sites by adding approved programs that ARE significantly different from current programs at the site but NOT at the institution
Initiating distance learning by offering 24% or less of any program for the first time
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