As a SACSCOC requirement for membership, the College is required to comply with the current Substantive Change Policy for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions (the “Policy”). The College is required to notify SACSCOC of changes in accordance with the Policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the institution of changes.
I. Substantive Change Definition
Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive change includes:
A. Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution;
B. Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution;
C. 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;
D. 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;
E. A change from clock hours to credit hours;
F. A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program;
G. The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50% of an educational program;
H. The establishment of a branch campus;
I. Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution;
J. Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement that includes only the initiation of a dual or joint academic program with another institution;
K. Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution;
L. Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution; and
M. 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. In addition, the Policy lists additional substantive changes, both institutional and programmatic, that must be reported prior to implementation.
II. Reporting Substantive Changes
A. Institutional Substantive Changes
Any major change to the College’s operations or structure should be assessed in relation to the Policy. Once a change has been identified and an anticipated date of implementation has been estimated, the President’s Office and SACS Liaison will work together in submitting the requisite notice to SACSCOC, prior to implementation of the change.
B. Program Substantive Changes
Each year, the SACS Liaison will meet with Program Managers and Department Chairs to identify any program changes that may meet the definition of “substantive change”. Any changes that are in progress, planned for the future, or anticipated to be required at some later date will be identified.
Once a change has been identified and an anticipated date of implementation has been estimated, the SACS Liaison will work with the program involved, the Vice President of Academics, and the President’s Office in order to submit the required notification to SACSCOC.
III. Dissemination of Substantive Change Policy
The College recognizes the importance of timely identifying potential substantive changes so that SACSCOC may be notified within the required time frames.
Each semester, the SACS Liaison will review the Policy, and this Procedure, with the President’s Administrative Council and the Academic Affairs Committee.
IV. Cataloging Substantive Changes
The SACS Liaison will maintain an electronic and hard copy history of notifications sent to SACSCOC and responses from SACSCOC. Electronic copies will also be provided to departments or programs involved in the change.
The College will comply with the directives of the SACSCOC upon notification of submitted changes.
Adopted: September 9, 2019
Legal Reference: 1B SBCCC 400.96; SACSCOC Policy Statement (December 2016)