Title: SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE POLICY
Date of Inception: November 5, 2014
CSU is required to maintain communication with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) whenever significant changes occur in our programs. This policy outlines the necessary procedures for approving and communicating changes in a timely manner. The VPAA must approve change requests prior to sending them to SACSCOC and final approval from SACSCOC is required prior to implementation of the changes.
NOTE: A significant portion of this document is excerpted from the SACSCOC document “Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges.” This note serves as attribution of those excerpts.
A substantive change is a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. It is expected that the CEO or a designated representative of an institution will notify the Commission President of substantive changes at that institution.
Currently at CSU, the Assistant to the VPAA serves as CSU's SACSCOC accreditation liaison. All substantive change requests must pass through the VPAA’s office with acknowledgment from the liaison (Asst. to VPAA) and finally be endorsed by the President.
Types of Substantive Change
SACSCOC and federal regulations recognize the following as examples of substantive change. As defined by the SACSCOC policy, "Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive change includes
The SACSCOC Board of Trustees has approved additional substantive changes that require notification and, in some cases, approval prior to implementation. This policy and its procedures address substantive changes identified through Federal regulations and Board approval."
Significant changes are reported in different ways depending on the type of change requested. The procedures for reporting are as follows:
Some changes do not require communication with SACSCOC; however, all changes require approval of the VPAA.
Receiving approval for significant changes is not a speedy process. Substantial lead times are required for receipt of all approvals. Initiating departments should plan accordingly to ensure that all approvals are completed prior to the implementation of any significant change. As an aid for planning, the following table provides deadlines for the approval of various changes.
Initiating departments should notify the VPAA’s office regarding the intent to submit a substantive change at least 30 days prior to the deadline for submission of the materials. All deadlines indicate length of time prior to implementation of the change.
Substantive change requests should proceed through the following approval process. Lower levels of change may not require all steps in the approval process. The initiating department should consult with the VPAA to determine the number of required approvals.
All campus communication regarding substantive changes should occur between the initiating department, the Assistant to the VPAA, and the VPAA. Only the President or the designated liaison (currently the Assistant to the VPAA) can communicate with SACSCOC.
Explanation of which materials required notification letters, full prospectuses, or on-campus reviews are available in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy.
This policy replaces the previous Substantive Change Policy used internally in the VPAA's office (2009).
By action of Dean’s Council on November 5, 2014.
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