The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) POLICY ON SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE
Saint Paul’s College has established the following procedures to ensure that the College is at all times in compliance with the SACS Comprehensive Standards, 3.2.1, Substantive Change. The following is a statement which was approved by the Commission on Colleges in December 2006 regarding Comprehensive Standard 3.2.1. It states “The institution notifies the Commission of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and when required seeks approval prior to initiation of the changes.” Under federal regulations, substantive change includes:
SECTION I: DESCRIPTION OF SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE
1. Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution
2. Any change in legal status, form of control or ownership of the institution
3. The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure either in content or method of delivery from those that were offered when the institution was last accredited
4. The addition of courses or programs at a degree or credential level above that which is included in the institution’s accreditation or reaffirmation
5. A change from clock hours to credit hours
6. A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program
7. The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program
8. The establishment of a branch campus
Saint Paul’s reaffirms its commitment to adherence to Comprehensive Standard 3.2.1, Substantive Change by instituting the following procedures:
SECTION II: PROCEDURES FOR SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE
1. The President has appointed the Chairperson of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics to serve as the College Liaison Officer to the Commission on Colleges. This person will be responsible to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs on all matters related to substantive change at the College. He will conduct an audit of all existing programs to ensure that the College has followed all procedures in the area of substantive change and will prepare a report documenting compliance with Comprehensive Standard 3.2.1 for the Provost and the President. He has been assigned the responsibility of monitoring any future proposals emanating from various units within the College and advising the Provost and the President if they fall within the substantive change category. THEREFORE, THE PRESIDENT WILL SEEK APPROVAL OF THE COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, PRIOR TO SEEKING APPROVAL FROM SACS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROPOSED CHANGE.
2. I have directed the College Liaison Officer to attend one of the Spring work-shops on substantive change sponsored by the Commission.
3. We have determined that there are five types of substantive changes that are most likely to occur at Saint Paul’s College. Recent history and conferences with key administrators, faculty, and staff cause us to agree on the following:
A. Expanding and/or adding different programs at an approved off-campus site
B. Offering courses which involve a significant departure in the instructional delivery mode
C. Altering significantly the length of programs
D. Moving a program from an approved off-campus location to another site in the same geographical area
E. Initiating of off-campus sites offering an educational program at which a student can obtain 50 percent or more credits toward a degree
Even though the SACS Liaison Officer is responsible for monitoring all aspects of the substantive change policy, he will be particularly alert to proposals from within the College which involve one of the aforementioned.
4. Whenever an action to be taken by the College could possibly represent a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of Saint Paul’s College, form will be provided to the proposing entity by the SACS Liaison Officer to be completed and returned for review. This form will request information on the proposed initiative, benefits to the institution and its students, timeline for instituting the change and costs. In addition, the following statement will appear on the form.
DOES THIS PROPOSAL CONSTITUTE A SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE ACCORDING TO THE COMMISSION ON COLLEGES OF THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS?
YES ___________ NO______________
5. The SACS Liaison Officer will review the information and follow-up accordingly. If the answer is in the affirmative, he will consult with the Provost and the President and implement substantive change procedures with the Commission. If it is determined that written notification to the Commission is in order, this will be done and approval for the program to proceed will be given. If it is determined that the change requires prior approval by the Commission, a Substantive Change Prospectus will be prepared and forwarded to the Commission for action. No further action will be taken on the proposal by the College until written approval has been received from the Commission. The SACS Liaison Officer will maintain contact with the College’s SACS Representative throughout this process for advice and guidance on issues, procedures, and timelines.
6. The SACS Liaison Officer, with support from the College’s IT Department, will develop a Tracking and Reporting System on all future actions involving substantive change. The electronic system will (a) allow for tracing an action through all intermediate steps to implementation; (b) be linked to a central file system in the Provost’s and the President’s Offices; (c) make provision for historical records to be entered; (d) create management reports at different levels summarizing type, source and frequency of actions; (e) create staff reports detailing completed steps and due dates.
Future actions include exploring more effective ways to utilize the technology and the electronic medium to initiate proposed actions and to communicate decisions and appropriate follow-up throughout the process.
SAINT PAUL’S COLLEGE
SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE FORM
Name of the department seeking a change to their program. Benefits to the College? Benefits to students? Timeline for instituting the change and related costs?
Type of change sought:
a). Expanding and or adding different programs at an approved off-campus site;
b). Offering courses which involve a significant departure in the instructional delivery mode;
c). Altering significantly the length of programs;
d). Moving a program from an approved off-campus location to another site in the same geographical area;
e). Initiating of off-campus sites offering an Educational program at which a student can obtain 50 percent or more credits toward a degree.
Does this proposal constitute a substantive change according to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools? Yes___________ No____________
Request being made by the Department of __________________________
Name of Chairperson of this Department__________________________________________
Date of request_______________________________________________________