000.8 Substantive Change

Created by: Donald Pierce on 04/13/2017
Category: 0 - General Administration; 00 - General
Originator: President
Current File:
Adoption Date: 04/13/2017
Reviewed for Currency: 04/13/2017
Replaces File:
Date of Origin: 04/13/2017
In Archive? 0

000.8 Substantive Change


A.  Background

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires that each member institution adhere to its Policy on Substantive Change. This internal policy is intended to ensure that this requirement is met.


B.  Policy

All changes to academic programs, instructional locations, or delivery of instruction that qualify as Substantive Change as defined by SACSCOC policy will be preceded by administrative review and subsequent actions that are specified by the SACSCOC policy on substantive change (prior notification or prior approval, according to the type of change).


C.  Guidelines

The office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs has responsibility for oversight for each of the enumerated types of change listed below. This policy will be communicated to that office annually by the SACSCOC liaison, or upon change of leadership. This policy will be reviewed annually for changes mandated by SACSCOC and this policy will be modified accordingly.

Types of Substantive Change:


  1. Initiating coursework or programs at a different level than currently approved.
  2. Expanding at current degree level (significant departure from current programs)
  3. Initiating a branch campus
  4. Relocating a main or branch campus
  5. Moving an off-campus instructional site that serves the same geographic region
  6. Initiating degree completion programs
  7. Initiating certificate programs
  8. Altering significantly the mission of the institution
  9. Initiating joint or dual degree programs with another institution
  10. Initiating off-campus sites where students can obtain 25% or more of credit for a program
  11. Expanding program offerings at a previously approved off-campus site that is a significant departure from existing programs at the institution
  12. Altering significantly the length of a program
  13. Changing from clock hours to credit hours
  14. Initiating a direct assessment competency-based program
  15. Initiating distances learning, offering 25% or more of a program
  16. Initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium
  17. Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title IV programs
  18. Initiating a merger/consolidation with another institution
  19. Acquiring any program or site from another institution
  20. Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out for students from another institution that is closing
  21. Closing a program, approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution.