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AA/PPS 02.01.41 - Reporting Substantive Changes to SACSCOC

Reporting Substantive Changes to SACSCOC

AA/PPS No. 02.01.41 (2.19)
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 9/29/2014
Next Review Date: 9/01/2016 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness


    1. Texas State University (Texas State) welcomes the expansion of academic opportunities through the development and implementation of new programs and/or courses. Texas State is also committed to adhering to the policies and requirements of its regional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In accordance with such policy, Texas State will notify SACSCOC of potential or actual substantive change to its role and scope in a timely manner, and in some cases, will seek approval for change before the initiative is implemented.

    2. SACSCOC is recognized by the United States (U.S.) Department of Education as an agency whose accreditation enables its members to seek eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.

    3. SACSCOC is responsible for reviewing all substantive changes that occur between an institution’s decennial reviews to determine whether or not the change has affected the quality of the total institution and to assure the public that all aspects of the institution continue to meet defined standards. Therefore, Texas State is also committed to establishing procedures to ensure compliance and to providing guidance and expectations regarding those curricular and organizational changes requiring notification and/or approval.


    1. Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Examples of potential substantive change include initiating courses or programs that represent a significant departure from those currently approved, establishing an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50% of a program, initiating joint degrees with another institution, closing a program, and changing the established mission of the Institution.

    2. There are three different types of substantive change, including (1) substantive change requiring notification and approval prior to implementation, (2) substantive change requiring only notification prior to implementation, and (3) review and approval of teach-out plans when closing a program or institutional site. Reporting Substantive Changes to SACSCOC provides examples of different types of substantive change and the procedures used in meeting notification and/or approval requirements.

  3. ROLES

    1. Role of President. The chief executive officer of Texas State notifies the President of SACSCOC of substantive changes at the institution.

    2. Role of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Substantive changes are typically the result of activities in the Division of Academic Affairs, for which the Provost has oversight. All curriculum proposals must be submitted to the Provost’s office for approval and reporting, when necessary, to SACSCOC. See AA/PPS No. 02.01.10, Academic Programs: Additions, Changes, and Deletions, and AA/PPS No. 02.01.30, Distance Education Courses and Programs. The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs adheres to the prescribed procedures and timeframe and provides appropriate documentation regarding substantive changes to SACSCOC.

    3. Role of Accreditation Liaison. The Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness serves as Texas State’s SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison, whose charge is to ensure compliance with accreditation requirements. The Accreditation Liaison is familiar with SACSCOC’s policies and procedures and consults with the institution’s SACSCOC staff member about any questions.

    4. Role of Faculty and Academic Administrators. In order to ensure compliance, all faculty and administrators involved in making a curricular or organizational change should review this policy as well as other policies pursuant to the specific type of change (e.g., requesting new academic program, adding new courses, or adding online courses to an existing program).


    1. Reviewers of this PPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness September 1 E2Y

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness; senior reviewer of this PPS