Substantive Changes

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Upcoming dates and deadlines

Substantive changes require

  • notification,
  • 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.

  • January 1, 2022:  Deadline to submit substantive changes to be implemented July 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022, requiring approval by the Executive Council of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.
    Note:  The SACSCOC office is closed and does not receive mail or deliveries from noon Wednesday, December 22, 2021, until 8:30 a.m. Monday, January 4, 2022 (winter holiday).
  • March 15, 2022:  Deadline to submit substantive changes requiring approval by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees in June 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.

Updates and announcements

  • The SACSCOC Board of Trustees approved revisions, clarifications, and technical corrections to the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures in June 2021 and in March 2021 following the major revision in December 2020.  Reload your browser to ensure you are reading the most recent version.
    • Summaries of the June 2021 and March 2021 revisions are on pp. 87-88 of the policy (Appendix C:  Summary of Recent Changes).
    • redline version of the June 2021 revision is available.
    • Topic-specific webinars and other recorded presentations are available on this webpage.
    • policy crosswalk compares the previous policy with the revised (2020) policy.
  • 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.
  • Reminders:
    • Substantive changes cannot be submitted by email to the President or to staff members.

Substantive change policy and related policies


Upcoming webinars:

  • How to Write a Substantive Change Prospectus
    Date, time, and registration information TBA; tentatively planned for July
  • Institutional Contingency Teach-out Plan
    Date, time, and registration information TBA; tentatively planned for July
  • Let me know when this information is available
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On-demand webinars :

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