- Updates and announcements
- Upcoming dates and deadlines
- Substantive change policy and related policies
- Documents and templates
- Related pages
Updates and announcements
- Courtesy emails: In early 2020, due to the pandemic, we began emailing to liaisons the text of substantive change decisions by the Executive Council of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees (excluding closure approvals). Because this a manual and time-consuming process, we are regrettably unable to continue. Effective with Executive Council meetings ending after July 8, 2022, we will no longer email courtesy notifications. However, you may continue to monitor the status of your substantive change submissions through the Institutional Portal. Printed and signed letters are mailed, as always, immediately after Executive Council meetings (every two weeks). Thank you for your patience.
- New webinar available: Understanding the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy: Off-campus Instructional Sites [YouTube] and handout [PDF]. (Recorded April 29, 2022)
- The SACSCOC Board of Trustees approved revisions to the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures in March 2022. One material change was made in policy; multiple changes were made in procedures. Reload your browser to ensure you are reading the most recent version.
- Summaries of all revisions since the December 2020 major revision are in Appendix D (Summary of Recent Changes).
- An annotated redline version of the March 2022 revision and the December 2021 revision is available.
Note: This document is in two parts. Part 1, pp. 1-101, is the entire policy with redline edits approved in December 2021. Part 2, pp. 102-119, is the edited pages only with redline edits approved in March 2022.
- Substantive Change Cover Sheet [PDF] has been revised. Delete any locally-saved copies and use the January 31, 2022 version (see bottom right of form) for submissions dated February 8, 2022 or later. Click your browser’s reload button to ensure the current version is accessed.
- New webinar available: Preparing an Off-campus Instructional Site Prospectus for Approval by Extensive Review [Zoom] and handout [PDF]. (Recorded January 20, 2022)
- Effective July 1, 2021, substantive change submissions may be sent by carrier directly to Dr. Kevin Sightler, Director of Substantive Change, SACSCOC, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097. Don’t email and don’t send copies to other staff: send one original to substantive change only.
- Due to unreliability, sending materials by U.S. Postal Service is discouraged. This especially applies to submissions for approval to start (versus notifications and closures).
- If the coronavirus pandemic will delay implementation of an approved substantive change more than two years after approval, you may request an extension by submitting an Implementation Extension Request Due to COVID-19, subject to SACSCOC Board of Trustees approval.
- Substantive changes cannot be submitted by email to the President or to staff members.
Upcoming dates and deadlines
Substantive changes require
- approval via the Board of Trustees Executive Council (year-around), or
- approval via the Board of Trustees biannual meeting (June or December)
and the submission deadlines for each are determined by
- the type of substantive change,
- the institution’s sanction status, and
- the institution’s Substantive Change Restriction status.
Carefully review the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures for guidance.
- July 1, 2022: Deadline to submit substantive changes to be implemented January 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023, requiring notification or requiring approval by the Executive Council of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees. Refer to the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures for guidance for a specific substantive change type.
- September 1, 2022: Deadline to submit substantive changes requiring approval by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees in December 2022. Carefully review the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures to determine if a substantive change type requires Board approval at a regularly scheduled biannual meeting or if the change can be approved by the Executive Council of the Board. See also “Board review pathways” and “Off-campus Instructional Site Approval” by extensive review in the substantive change policy.
Please plan accordingly.
Substantive change policy and related policies
- Substantive Change Policy and Procedures (Revised March 2022) [PDF]
- Redline Substantive Change Resource (Revised March 2022) [PDF]
- Advertising and Student Recruitment [PDF]
- Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards [PDF]
- Direct Assessment Competency-based Educational Programs [PDF]
- Distance and Correspondence Education [PDF]
- Merger/Consolidation, Acquisition, Change of Ownership, and Change Of Governance, Control, Form, or Legal Status [PDF]
- Principles of Accreditation [PDF]
- Request for a Period of Noncompliance [PDF; new policy March 2022]
- Seeking Accreditation at a Higher or Lower Degree Level (Revised June 2021) [PDF]
- Let me know when this information is available
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On-demand webinars :
- Adapting to the Revised Substantive Change Policy (Recording courtesy LEAP Texas, April 2021)
- New Substantive Change Policy Video [MP4] and handout [PDF] (Recorded at the SACSCOC Annual Meeting, December 2020)
- Off-campus Instructional Site Approvals [MP4] and handout [PDF]. This webinar covers the approval criteria and process — including the new extensive review and limited review pathways — for off-campus instructional sites / additional locations. (Recorded June 4, 2021)
- Preparing an Off-campus Instructional Site Prospectus for Approval by Extensive Review [Zoom] and handout [PDF]. This webinar provides guidance for preparing an extensive review (versus a limited review) prospectus for new off-campus instructional sites / additional locations. (Recorded January 20, 2022)
- Positioning for Success: Institutional Practices for Managing Substantive Change (Recording courtesy Watermark, July 2019; registration required)
- Substantive Change (Recording courtesy Tennessee Accreditation Network; September 2020)
- Substantive Change Policy: Selected Topics [MP4] and handout [PDF]. This webinar covers an overview of the revised policy (2020, as amended) and the previous policy, a general review of procedures, new programs, and prospectus development. (Recording courtesy Virginia Regional Accreditation Symposium and James Madison University; August 5, 2021)
- Substantive Change Restriction [MP4] and handout [PDF]. This webinar covers the new Substantive Change Restriction status that creates additional or different substantive change requirements for institutions meeting defined criteria. (Recorded June 18, 2021)
- Understanding the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy: Off-campus Instructional Sites [YouTube] and handout [PDF]. (Recording courtesy Tennessee Accreditation Network; recorded April 29, 2022.) You’ll learn what constitutes an off-campus instructional site (OCIS) / additional location, what sites require approval (versus notification or no action), requirements and process for approvals by extensive review and by limited review, and when and how a teach-out plan should be submitted.
Documents and Templates
- Substantive Change Cover Sheet [PDF] (Revised 1/31/2022)(click your browser’s reload button to ensure the current version is accessed)
- Developing Policy and Procedure Documents [PDF]
- Documentation Templates in Preparation for a Substantive Change Committee Visit to an Institution
- Faculty Roster Form [DOC] and Instruction [PDF]
- Seeking Accreditation at a Higher or Lower Degree Level [PDF]
- The Accreditation Liaison [PDF]
- Institutional Contingency Teach-out Plan Data Templates [Excel; last updated 12/01/2020]