Substantive Change Policy
Academic Affairs Policy Statement No. 19 (PDF)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), The Principles of Accreditation, Principle 3.12 http://www.sacscoc.org/principles.asp
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges
U.S. Department of Education, Accreditation in the United States, Part 602—Secretary’s Recognition of Accrediting Agencies, Required Operating Policies and Procedures, 602.22, Substantive Change. http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg13.html
The University of Georgia is responsible to comply with the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy as a condition of its continued accreditation by SACSCOC.
Substantive change is defined by SACSCOC as “a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.”
“Under federal regulations, 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 percent of an educational program
- The establishment of a branch campus
- Closing (terminating) a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution
- Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement such as a dual degree program or a joint degree program with another institution (See Academic Affairs Policy Statement 20.)
- 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”
Responsibilities of Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors:
Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors have the fundamental responsibility to be generally aware of the substantive change policy, inform the University’s SACSCOC Liaison at the earliest point possible of proposals that may be considered a substantive change for the University, and provide the SACSCOC Liaison with any data, information, or prospectus necessary to comply with SACSCOC policy when requested.
Responsibilities of the SACSCOC Liaison:
The SACSCOC Liaison will:
- provide the Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors with information about the SACSCOC substantive change policy. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining a section of the Office of Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness website concerning substantive change and sending information about substantive change to the Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors at least annually;
- provide a list of examples of substantive change on the Office of Academic Planning website;
- work with Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors to determine whether a proposed change is substantive;
- determine what action with respect to SACSCOC is needed when a change is substantive;
- file the appropriate notice or prospectus with SACSCOC; coordinate with SACSCOC and the Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors about any required follow-up action.
Notification of SACSCOC Liaison of Proposed Changes
If a change is substantive, SACSCOC must be notified as much as 12 months in advance of implementing the change. Upon becoming aware of a proposed change that may be substantive, Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors of the unit proposing the change should notify the SACSCOC Liaison. The Vice President for Instruction will provide the SACSCOC Liaison with a copy of the University Curriculum Committee agenda prior to each meeting. The SACSCOC Liaison will then determine if any of the University Curriculum Committee agenda items could be considered a substantive change.
Late Notification of SACSCOC Liaison
If it is discovered that a program that may be considered a substantive change has been implemented without notification of the SACSCOC Liaison, the appropriate Associate Provost, Vice President, Dean, or Director has responsibility to notify the SACSCOC Liaison immediately. It is then the responsibility of the SACSCOC Liaison to notify SACSCOC as provided in the SACSCOC Policy.
To ensure that proposals that may be considered substantive changes do not go unreported, it is recommended that Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors review annual reports taking into consideration the substantive change policy.