Skip to main content
Learn More

Substantive Change Reporting for SACSCOC Compliance

Substantive Change Reporting for SACSCOC Compliance

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
March 2012
Policy Statement: As a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), McNeese State University must adhere to the Commission's Policy on Substantive Change. 
 
Definition: The Commission defines substantive changes as "a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution."
 
Substantive changes are defined both by federal regulations and SACSCOC Board of Trustees and include, but are not limited to, the following actions:
  • Any change in the established mission or objectives 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.
  • 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
  • Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement such as a dual degree program or a joint degree program with another institution
 
Certain substantive changes require only prior notification. Other changes require notification and submission of a substantive change prospectus 6 to 12 months prior to the initiation of a substantive change. Many substantive changes require on-site committee reviews by SACSCOC.
 
Substantive changes requiring prior notification include but are not limited to:
  • offering 25% of a program by distance learning
  • offering 25% of a program at an off-campus site
  • initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium
  • adding significantly different programs at an approved site
 
Substantive changes requiring prior notification and approval include but are not limited to:
  • initiating distance learning where students can obtain 50% or more of a program
  • initiating off-campus sites where students can obtain 50% or more credits toward a program
  • closing an institution or program and/or initiating teach-out agreements
 
Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of all Vice-Presidents, Deans, Directors, and the chair of the University Curriculum Committee to be generally aware of the substantive change policy and to inform the University's SACSCOC liaison at the earliest point possible that a proposed change may be substantive in nature and require prior notification and approval from SACSCOC before implementation.
 
Procedures: Upon deciding to make a modification to an existing program or to implement a new program or to make a change in mode of delivery, contact the University's SACSCOC liaison to determine the appropriation notification process for the change.  Procedures are based on those outlined in the SACSCOC policy on substantive change available at http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/Substantive%20change%20policy.pdf