SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Policy Statement defines a substantive change as a “significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution, to include” but not limited to:
- Substantially changing the established mission or objectives of an institution or its programs.
- Adding a program that is a significant departure from the existing programs, or method of delivery, from those offered when the institution was last evaluated.
- Adding a new off-campus instructional site/additional location including a branch campus.
- Closing an institution, a program, a method of delivery, an off-campus instructional site, or a program at an off-campus instructional site.
There are requirements for addressing different types of changes, including:
- Some changes, such as offering courses that amount to less than 25% of the coursework needed to complete a degree, certificate or diploma, do not need to be reported to the Commission.
- Others, such as offering (for the first time) 25% to 49% of the coursework required for a program, simply require that the Commission be notified in advance of the implementation of the change.
- Larger scale changes, such as adding significantly different programs to the academic curriculum, may require written notification as well as advance approval of a prospectus.
SACSCOC Substantive Change Procedural Links
Please access the links below for timelines and procedures for each type of change.
- Expanding at current degree level
- Initiating a certificate program
- Programmatic changes
- Distance education
- Off-campus instructional sites
- Closing an institution or program
- Uncommon substantive changes
If the change requires the submission of a prospectus, please access the prospectus documents below for procedures in submitting a prospectus.
Submit all questions and concerns to the Accreditation Liaison, Dr. Melissa Guerrero.