Chapter 4: Business & Administration
04:48:00 SACSCOC Substantive Changes
Northeast State is committed to adhering to the policies and guidelines of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). In accordance with SACSCOC policies, the College will notify the Commission of substantive changes and shall seek approval prior to the initiation of changes when it is required. Northeast State is also committed to adhering to internal procedures, set forth in this policy, to ensure compliance.
- To initiate a potential substantive change action, the “initiator” shall complete a Substantive Change Check Sheet for Reporting to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The check sheet requires information such as the description of the action under consideration, the corresponding SACSCOC substantive change type (refer to the Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges Policy, available at http://www.sacscoc.org/), the proposed date of implementation, and the name of the initiator. It also includes checkboxes and signatures lines for responsible personnel to render their professional judgments as to whether the action constitutes a substantive change.
a. Academic-related Actions: The vice president for Academic Affairs is operationally responsible to ensure that all applicable academic-related actions are approved as required by and within the timeline established by the Commission. This includes academic program or course-related substantive changes and distance education-related substantive changes. Academic program or course-related substantive changes include, but may not be limited to, initiating courses/programs at an advanced or lower level, expanding at the current degree level [significant departure from current programs], initiating programs/courses through a contractual agreement/consortium, altering significantly the length of a program, initiating a degree completion program, closing a program, or initiating a teach-out agreement. Distance education-related substantive changes include, but may not be limited to, initiating a branch campus, initiating/expanding off-campus site, adding significantly different programs at an approved site; initiating/ expanding distance learning; or relocating a campus. The appropriate academic dean is responsible for initiating the Substantive Change Check Sheet for Reporting to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for academic program or course-related substantive changes. The assistant vice president for Multi-Campus Programs is responsible for initiating the check sheet for all distance education-related substantive changes.
b. Governance-related Actions: The Institutional Effectiveness Officer is operationally responsible to ensure that all applicable governance-related actions are approved as required by and within the timeline established by the Commission. This includes, but may not be limited to, initiating an institutional merger/consolidation, significantly altering the mission, changing governance, or closing the institution. The Institutional Effectiveness Officer is responsible for initiating the check sheet for all governance-related substantive changes. If an area is unclear as to whether a change is substantive in nature, the supervising vice president should contact the institution’s SACSCOC accreditation liaison. As the institutional contact, the liaison shall arrange, as appropriate, consultations with Commission staff for Northeast State personnel.
2. If the president subsequently deems a proposed change as substantive on the Substantive Change Check Sheet for Reporting to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the supervising vice president shall assign responsibility to the appropriate divisional personnel for the completion of the required materials for submission (e.g., prospectus, letters, etc.).
3. After the College receives final approval from the Commission, copies of the approval notification shall be routed by the office of the President to the liaison and the responsible vice president. Depending upon the nature of the substantive change, the responsible vice president shall distribute copies of the approval notification to other internal personnel for further action.
Refer to the Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges Policy, available at http://www.sacscoc.org/, for more comprehensive information regarding substantive changes.
Training: Northeast State shall host annually a substantive change training session for college personnel. The liaison/Institutional Effectiveness Officer and the vice president for Academic Affairs shall develop and implement the training session. The training session shall address:
- The Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges Policy,
- Northeast State Policy 04:48:00, SACSCOC Substantive Changes,
- Procedures for the completion of the Substantive Change Check Sheet for Reporting to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools form, and
- Other relevant questions/concerns. Additionally, in accordance with Northeast State Policy 04:49:00, SACSCOC Policy Compliance Responsibilities and Annual Review Process, the SACSCOC Policy Review Responsibility Listing Document shall be reviewed at the meeting to ensure all policies are listed and to review what area(s) is listed as the responsible division(s).
The following individuals shall be required to attend the training session:
- Vice Presidents
- Assistant Vice President for Multi-Campus Programs
- Academic Deans
- Directors/administrators of all off-campus locations where 25% or more of a program’s credits can be earned
- Coordinator for Distance Education Programs and Services
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Revision History: Implemented: March, 2009 Revised: May 2011, April 2014, July 2014, October 2014, January 2015, June 2017