The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) defines substantive change as a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution.
SACSCOC is responsible for reviewing all substantive changes that occur between an institution's decennial reviews to determine whether the change has affected the quality of the institution, and to ensure that the institution continues to meet defined standards. Certain types of substantive changes, such as adding branch campuses, mergers/consolidations, and changes in governance, require a visit by a substantive change committee to determine continued compliance.
Developments that are considered to represent a substantive change and the procedures for reporting them can be found in the commission's Policy on Substantive Change.
Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. The types of substantive change and the procedures for addressing them appropriately may be found in Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions.
Prospectuses and applications for level change should include a Faculty Roster (Faculty Roster Instructions), presenting the qualifications of each faculty member in the program to teach the courses they are assigned.
It is expected that the CEO or a designated representative of an institution will notify the Commission President of substantive changes at that institution. Every institution has an Accreditation Liaison whose charge is to ensure compliance with accreditation requirements. The Accreditation Liaison should take the time to become familiar with the Commissions policies and procedures, ensure that substantive changes are recognized and reported in a timely fashion, and consult with the institution’s COC staff member about any questions.
Certain types of substantive changes, such as adding branch campuses, level changes, mergers/consolidations, and changes in governance require a visit by a substantive change committee to determine continued compliance with the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. When a committee visit has been authorized by the President of the Commission, the institution will be asked to provide documentation of the impact of the change on selected requirements in the Principles of Accreditation.
If a substantive change committee has been authorized to visit your institution, please click here for the appropriate documents.
Source: SACSCOC Substantive Change, Copyright 2017.
The ACC Office of Accreditation and Compliance must be notified PRIOR to
Once a new program location has been approved by SACSCOC, the ACC Office of Accreditation and Compliance notifies the Financial Aid office to update its report of program locations to the Department of Education. Additionally, the Office notifies the Clery Compliance Officer.