Substantive Changes

Updates and announcements

  • Courtesy emails:  In early 2020, due to the pandemic, we began emailing to liaisons the text of substantive change decisions by the Executive Council of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees (excluding closure approvals).  Because this a manual and time-consuming process, we are regrettably unable to continue.  Effective with Executive Council meetings ending after August 19, 2022, we will no longer email courtesy notifications.  However, you may continue to monitor the status of your substantive change submissions through the Institutional Portal.  Printed and signed letters are mailed, as always, immediately after Executive Council meetings (every two weeks). Thank you for your patience.
  • New webinar available:  Understanding the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy: Off-campus Instructional Sites [YouTube] and handout [PDF]. (Recorded April 29, 2022)
  • The SACSCOC Board of Trustees approved revisions to the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures in March 2022.  One material change was made in policy; multiple changes were made in procedures.  Reload your browser to ensure you are reading the most recent version.
    • Summaries of all revisions since the December 2020 major revision are in Appendix D (Summary of Recent Changes).
    • An annotated redline [PDF] version of the March 2022 revision and the December 2021 revision is available.
      Note: This document is in two parts.  Part 1, pp. 1-101, is the entire policy with redline edits approved in December 2021.  Part 2, pp. 102-119, is the edited pages only with redline edits approved in March 2022.
  • Substantive Change Cover Sheet [PDF] has been revised.  Delete any locally-saved copies and use the January 31, 2022 version (see bottom right of form) for submissions dated February 8, 2022 or later. Click your browser’s reload button to ensure the current version is accessed.
  • New webinar available:  Preparing an Off-campus Instructional Site Prospectus for Approval by Extensive Review [Zoom] and handout [PDF].  (Recorded January 20, 2022)
  • Effective July 1, 2021, substantive change submissions may be sent by carrier directly to Dr. Kevin Sightler, Director of Substantive Change, SACSCOC, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097. Don’t email and don’t send copies to other staff:  send one original to substantive change only.
  • Due to unreliability, sending materials by U.S. Postal Service is discouraged. This especially applies to submissions for approval to start (versus notifications and closures).
  • If the coronavirus pandemic will delay implementation of an approved substantive change more than two years after approval, you may request an extension by submitting an Implementation Extension Request Due to COVID-19, [PDF] subject to SACSCOC Board of Trustees approval.
  • Reminders:
    • Substantive changes cannot be submitted by email to the President or to staff members.

Upcoming dates and deadlines

Substantive changes require

  • notification,
  • approval via the Board of Trustees Executive Council (year-around), or
  • approval via the Board of Trustees biannual meeting (June or December)

and the submission deadlines for each are determined by

  • the type of substantive change,
  • the institution’s sanction status, and
  • the institution’s Substantive Change Restriction status.

Carefully review the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures for guidance.

  • January 1, 2023:  Deadline to submit substantive changes to be implemented July 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023, requiring approval by the Executive Council of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.
    Note:  The SACSCOC office is closed and does not receive mail or deliveries
    • from noon Thursday,  December 1, 2022, to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 7, 2022 (all staff are at the Board of Trustees meeting followed by the Annual Meeting) and
    • from noon Wednesday, December 21, 2022, until 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 3, 2023 (winter holiday).
  • March 15, 2023:  Deadline to submit substantive changes requiring approval by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees in June 2023.  Carefully review the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures to determine if a substantive change type requires Board approval at a regularly scheduled biannual meeting or if the change can be approved by the Executive Council of the Board.  See also “Board review pathways” and “Off-campus Instructional Site Approval” by extensive review in the substantive change policy.

Please plan accordingly.

Substantive change policy and related policies


Upcoming webinars:

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