Henderson Community College SACSCOC Substantive Change Procedure | HCC

Henderson Community College SACSCOC Substantive Change Procedure

As per SACSCOC, “When an institution has earned accreditation by the Commission on Colleges, it signifies that it has "a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that purpose." In addition to ensuring that our institutions provide quality programs for students which determines eligibility for Title IV funds (student financial aid), the Commission on Colleges works to influence legislation and regulations that impact the work of our member institutions. Our accrediting process and all of its policies, processes, procedures, and decisions are based on the concepts of integrity or dealing openly and honestly with the member institutions with which we work, and quality or an on-going program of improvement that ensures fulfillment of their stated mission.” http://sacscoc.org

From the SACSCOC Substantive Change Website, http://sacscoc.org/SubstantiveChangeFAQs.asp

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits an entire institution, including all of its programs and services, wherever they are located or however they are delivered. The Commission is interested in significant changes that are occurring at member institutions because the scope of accreditation extends to the total college or university. Significant changes are illustrated in the Commission’s policy Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions…

The most common substantive changes reported are new off-campus sites where 50% or more of the credits in a program are offered, offering for the first time 50% or more of an educational program delivered via technology-based instruction, and the addition of new site-based programs that are significantly different from current offerings (program expansion at the current level)…

Some substantive changes require only prior notification to the Commission, some require prior notification and submission of a prospectus for approval, and some allow for the submission of a prospectus for approval to serve as the only notification of the change. In the Substantive Change Policy, changes requiring submission of a prospectus for prior approval are known as Procedure 1 changes, and those requiring prior notification but not prior approval are Procedure 2 changes. These are detailed in the policy document Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions.

To ensure that HCC adheres with SACSCOC Substantive Change reporting procedures, the HCC SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison will be consulted prior to any change in program, delivery method, location coursework is offered, or other change that may result in the need to notify SACSCOC (note Attachment I, Substantive Change Checklist for HCC). The HCC President or the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison will report any substantive change to the Commission in accordance with the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy.

If a division or program area is considering a change to a program’s length, its structure, its delivery mode, or the location where coursework is delivered, the Division Chair should first review the Substantive Change Checklist with the Chief Academic Officer/SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison to determine if the proposed modifications may constitute a substantive change. If the change meets the criteria for any level of change, as documented in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy, https://sacscoc.org/accrediting-standards/substantive-changes/, then the HCC Accreditation Liaison will communicate with the SACSCOC Vice President for HCC to ensure that proper notification procedures/documentation are followed well in advance of the change and within the timeline specified by SACSCOC. SACSCOC often needs 6- 12 months notification prior to the implementation of a substantive change—it is important to be working ahead with SACSCOC before HCC initiates any new changes. A cost for review from SACSCOC is also assigned to the substantive change review; this should be considered when developing budgets to support new programs.

If a Prospectus is deemed necessary to request the substantive change, the Division Chair or Program Coordinator initiating the change will work with the Accreditation Liaison to ensure the Substantive Change Prospectus is completed. The Accreditation Liaison will be responsible for consulting with the initiating administrator on the level of the Prospectus (1 - 3), helping to develop the Prospectus, reviewing the Prospectus, and answering related questions. The Accreditation Liaison will make a recommendation to the President when the Prospectus is complete and standards are thoroughly covered. The Accreditation Liaison will then submit the Prospectus to SACSCOC following the guidelines set forth in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy.

Late Notification of Substantive Change: If a substantive change has occurred prior to notifying SACSCOC, the Chief Academic Officer/SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison will work with the SACSCOC Vice President to understand how best to address the issue. Not reporting a substantive change can place the institution in jeopardy of its accreditation and ability to award federal financial funds.


Approved by College Leadership Team, 10/23/2017
Approved by Faculty Council, 10/27/2017


Appendix 1

Henderson Community College
SACSCOC Substantive Change Checklist

HCC’s Division Chairs, Chiefs, Chief Academic Officer, and President are to review this checklist with any program or institutional/administrative change (course location; new certificate, diploma, degree, change in mission, etc.).

If a YES is checked for any entry, or it is not understood whether the change meets the guidelines or not, the HCC Accreditation Liaison must review the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy at https://sacscoc.org/accrediting-standards/substantive-changes/ speak with the SACSCOC Liaison Vice President for HCC.

For questions pertaining to any of these statements, contact Brian McMurtry, 270-831-9674, Director of Knowledge Management and SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. Also, consider reviewing the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy Statement.

The SACSCOC Vice President supporting HCC is Patricia Parrish, (404) 994-6623 ext. 4541.