Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Substantive Change Compliance Policy (Policy 1.270)

Authority:F.S. 1001.64
Date Adopted:08/2010, 04/2013
Date of Review:08/11, 01/13, 08/2021


  1. It is the policy of the College to maintain compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) substantive change policy and procedures through appropriate and timely reporting on areas of substantive change.
  2. According to the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures, “substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive changes include:
    • Substantially changing the established mission or objectives of an institution or its programs.
    • Changing the legal status, form of control, or ownership of an institution.
    • Changing the governance of an institution.
    • Merging/consolidating two or more institutions or entities.
    • Acquiring another institution or any program or location of another institution.
    • Relocating an institution or an off-campus instructional site of an institution (including a branch campus).
    • Offering courses or programs at a higher or lower degree than currently authorized.
    • Adding graduate programs at an institution previously offering only undergraduate programs (including degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other for-credit credential).
    • Adding a program that is a significant departure from the existing programs, or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the institution was last evaluated.
    • Initiating programs by distance education or correspondence courses.
    • Adding an additional method of delivery to currently offered program.
    • Entering into a cooperative academic arrangement.
    • Entering into a written arrangement under 34 C.F.R. § 668.5 under which an institution or organization not certified to participate in the title IV Higher Education Act (HEA) programs offer less than 25% (notification) or 25-50% (approval) of one or more of the accredited institution's educational programs.
    • Changing the way an institution measures student progress, whether in clock hours or credit-hours; semesters, trimesters, or quarters; or time-based or non-time based methods or measures. 
    • Substantially increase or decreasing the number of clock or credit hours awarded or competencies demonstrated, or an increase in the level of credential awarded, for successful completion of one or more programs.
    • Adding competency-based education programs.
    • Adding each competency-based education program by direct assessment.
    • Adding programs with completion pathways that recognize and accommodate a student's prior or existing knowledge or competency.
    • Awarding dual or joint academic awards.
    • Re-opening a previously closed program or off-campus instructional site. 
    • Adding a new off-campus instructional site/additional location including a branch campus.
    • Adding a permanent location at a site at which an institution is conducting a teach-out program for students of another institution that has ceased operating before all students have completed their program of study.
    • Closing an institution, a program, a method of deliver, an off-campus instructional site, or a program at an off-campus instructional site. 
  3. The College is required to notify or secure SACSCOC approval prior to implementing a substantive change. 
  4. The College is responsible for maintaining compliance at all times with Standard 14.2 (Substantive Change) of the Principles of Accreditation and with the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures and related policies. 
  5. The President will notify SACSCOC of any Substantive Changes.
  6. The President shall cause a Procedure to be developed for the implementation of this Policy.