Substantive Change

Number: 4.1.1 printable version Policy/Operational Procedure Name:
Substantive Change Policy
Sponsor: Tina Bryant-Allen,
Assistant Vice President, REAP/SACSCOC Liaison
Custodian: SACS Accreditation Liaison
Effective Date(s): June 2012 Next Review Date: 2018 - 2019
Location: http://www.durhamtech.edu/policiesprocedures/substantivechange.htm Citation: SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy
Policy Statement: Durham Technical Community College provides written notification to its accrediting agency, SACSCOC, of substantive changes at the college in accordance with Commission policies and timetables.
Procedure:

The procedure for notifying SACSCOC about a substantive change is as follows:
  • The Accreditation Liaison is responsible for providing information about the SACSCOC substantive change policy to the college’s President, division heads, deans, and directors at the beginning of the academic year or more frequently if updates are required by SACSCOC action.

  • The SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison is a member, by virtue of position, of the college’s Program Development Committee, a committee under the Enrollment Management Council. This allows for first-hand knowledge of proposed programs and discontinuation of programs for the college. New programs and discontinuation of programs are the more frequent sources of substantive change for the college. The Vice President of Student Learning and Instructional Services, or his/her designee, is responsible for providing the Accreditation Liaison with the following details of proposed programs or discontinued programs:
    1. A description of the educational program(s) involved;
    2. The nature of the change;
    3. The academic and professional qualifications of faculty members assigned to coordinate and teach in the program(s);
    4. The manner in which the college will provide educational and academic support for students enrolled in the program(s) involved; and
    5. The plans for ensuring students enrolled in programs being discontinued will be able to complete the program in good order (“Teach-Out Plans”).
  • All division heads, Deans, and directors, or their designees, are responsible for informing the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison of other changes to the college’s educational programs, services, or operations that might prompt the initiation of a substantive change notification pursuant to the annual training.

  • The Accreditation Liaison is responsible in turn for notifying the President of proposed changes in the college’s educational programs, services, or operations that might prompt the substantive change.

  • The President is responsible for notifying SACSCOC of possible substantive changes; for ensuring the Board of Trustees is properly notified of planned revisions to educational programs, services, or operations; and, when applicable, for seeking Board approval for adding significantly different programs to the academic curriculum or other substantive changes to college programs or services.

  • The Accreditation Liaison is responsible for coordinating any required follow-up action requested by SACSCOC in response to substantive change notification, including any on-site visits to the campus, as applicable.
The following is a list of possible notices the college will provide SACSCOC:
  • The college will submit a “Letter of Notification” to SACSCOC when the change involves adding online coursework to an existing program such that students can complete between 25 percent and 49 percent of the required coursework for the degree online. The college will also provide a “Letter of Notification” when it adds a degree program that is clearly aligned with and similar to existing approved programs and does not require significant new investment in personnel, equipment, or space. Should the change require a “Letter of Notification,” the Accreditation Liaison is responsible for providing the President with a draft.

  • The college will submit a “prospectus” for larger scale changes, such as adding significantly different programs to the academic curriculum or offering a majority of the coursework needed to complete a degree, certificate, or diploma online. Should the change require submission of a prospectus, the Vice President of Student Learning and Instructional Services, or his/her designee, is responsible for coordinating the preparation of the prospectus. The prospectus should be submitted to the President at least six weeks prior to a regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting to ensure the Board has sufficient time to take action to approve new program offerings. The college will provide written notification to SACSCOC at least six months in advance of implementation of a substantive change requiring a prospectus and will submit the prospectus at least three months in advance of the initiation of the proposed program.
Purpose/Definitions:

Durham Technical Community College is a constituent member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which serves as the college’s regional accrediting body. SACSCOC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an agency whose accreditation enables its member institutions to seek eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. To maintain its recognition with the U.S. Department of Education, the SACSCOC has incorporated federal requirements into its substantive change policy and procedures. Some of those requirements specify that an institution seek and receive approval prior to the initiation of a substantive change so that the change can be included in the institution’s scope of accreditation.

Accreditation Liaison – The college employee appointed by the President to oversee the college’s compliance with SACSCOC accreditation requirements and policies.

Prospectus – A concisely worded narrative that describes a proposed substantive change and is written in the format which SACSCOC specifies.

Substantive change – A significant modification or expansion in the college’s nature and scope.

Review Action Reviewed Approved
College Council or Committee Review 7/30/2015 (LC) 8/28/2015
College-Wide and Legal Review 8/4-8/17/2015 NA
Senior Vice President’s Review NA NA
President’s Review NA NA
Board of Trustees Review NA 6/26/2012