AA/PPS 02.01.41 - Reporting Substantive Changes to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Reporting Substantive Changes to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
AA/PPS No. 02.01.41 (2.19)
Issue No. 4
Effective Date: 11/15/2022
Next Review Date: 9/01/2026 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
Texas State University reports substantive changes to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as an ongoing commitment to ensure that the university complies with regional accreditation principles.
Texas State University provides academic opportunities through the university planning process and policies and procedures related to the development and implementation of new programs and courses. Texas State also adheres to the policies and requirements of its regional accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In accordance with such policy, Texas State notifies SACSCOC of substantive changes in a timely manner, and as appropriate, seeks approval prior to the initiation of the change.
SACSCOC is recognized by the United States Department of Education as an agency whose accreditation enables its members to seek eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.
SACSCOC is responsible for reviewing all substantive changes that occur between an institution’s decennial reviews, determining whether the changes have affected the quality of the total institution, and assuring the public that all aspects of the institution continue to meet defined standards. Therefore, Texas State is also committed to establishing procedures to ensure compliance and to providing guidance and expectations regarding those curricular and organizational changes requiring notification and approval.
Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Examples of potential substantive change include initiating courses or programs that represent a significant departure from those currently approved, adding or deleting method of delivery that applies when 50 percent or more of a program is delivered by that method, establishing an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of a program, initiating joint degrees with another institution, closing a program, and changing the established mission of the institution.
There are different types of substantive change, each with its own notification or approval procedure:
program changes; and
off-campus instructional site and additional location changes.
Role of President – The chief executive officer of Texas State notifies the president of SACSCOC of substantive changes at the institution.
Role of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs – Substantive changes are typically the result of activities in the Division of Academic Affairs, for which the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs has oversight. All curriculum proposals and organizational changes, including substantive changes, must be submitted to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval and reporting (see AA/PPS No. 02.01.10, Academic Programs: Additions, Changes, and Deletions, and AA/PPS No. 02.01.30, Distance Education Courses and Programs).
Role of Accreditation Liaison – The associate vice president for Institutional Effectiveness serves as Texas State’s SACSCOC accreditation liaison, whose charge is to ensure compliance with accreditation requirements, including substantive changes. The accreditation liaison is familiar with SACSCOC’s policies and procedures and consults with SACSCOC staff about any questions or concerns. In addition to the president, the accreditation liaison is authorized to communicate with SACSCOC staff.
Role of Faculty and Academic Administrators – In order to ensure compliance, all faculty and academic administrators involved in making a curricular or organizational change should review this policy as well as other policies pursuant to the specific type of substantive change (e.g., requesting new academic program, adding new courses, or adding online courses to an existing program).
To determine if a curricular or organizational change is substantive in nature, faculty and administrators should refer to the Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions policy.
Faculty and administrators should consult with the SACSCOC accreditation liaison to verify if a curricular or organizational change is substantive in nature. The SACSCOC accreditation liaison will sign the Substantive Change Determination form documenting the decision. If determined to be a substantive change, the SACSCOC accreditation liaison will provide guidance on the development of appropriate documentation, proper vetting, and timing of submission and implementation.
All substantive changes must adhere to the appropriate SACSCOC procedure, and all required documentation must attend to the policies and procedures outlined in the Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions policy.
Faculty and administrators involved in making curricular and organizational changes are responsible for drafting the appropriate documentation (i.e., letter of notification, prospectus, modified prospectus, teach-out plans).
All substantive change requests and documentation must be reviewed and approved by the SACSCOC accreditation liaison, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and the president prior to submitting to SACSCOC.
If the substantive change requires SACSCOC approval, the curricular or organizational change may not be implemented prior to approval. Advertising prior to approval requires a clear and prominent disclaimer that the change is pending SACSCOC approval.
When SACSCOC approval is received, the SACSCOC accreditation liaison will notify the appropriate faculty and administrators, and offices managing the process.
REVIEWER OF THIS PPS
Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:
Position Date Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness September 1 E4Y
This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness; senior reviewer of this PPS
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs