Substantive Changes

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Upcoming dates and deadlines

  • September 1, 2020:
    • Deadline to submit prospectus for approval to offer 50% or more of the institution’s first distance learning program to be implemented January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021,requiring approval by the Executive Council of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees. The deadline exception is to accommodate institutions moving in-person instruction to distance learning due to the coronavirus outbreak. Approval is required only for institutions not previously approved for distance learning.
    • Deadline to submit substantive changes requiring approval by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees in December 2020: governance change; institution, program, or location acquisition; level change; merger/consolidation; ownership, means of control, or legal status change; offering 50% or more of a direct assessment competency-based education program; review of substantive change policy and procedures; any substantive change requiring approval from institutions on sanction (except program or site closures).
  • January 1, 2021: Deadline to submit substantive changes to be implemented July 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, requiring notification or 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 Wednesday, December 2, 2020, to 8:30 a.m. Friday, December 11, 2020 (all staff at the Board of Trustees meeting then the Annual Meeting) and
    • from noon Tuesday, December 22, 2020,until 8:30 a.m. Monday, January 4, 2021 (winter holiday).

      Please plan accordingly

Updates and announcements

  • Monitor the Coronavirus and SACSCOC webpage for new information and developments.
  • If the Coronavirus 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.
  • Substantive change reviews are proceeding without delay. Existing deadlines apply.
  • We understand the challenges of creating submissions while working remotely.  Wet signatures and letterhead stationery aren’t necessary; simply ensure you clearly identify yourself and your institution.  Submit as PDFs on a flash drive; paper isn’t necessary.  Do not email submissions to the president or staff members.  Monitor the status of submissions in the online institutional portal.
  • If state coordinating agency and/or governing board approval is required but not available at the time of submission, note that in the prospectus.  We’ll contact you by email at the time of review for documentation.  Please DO NOT mail it or email it until requested.

Substantive change policy and related policies


The webinar series is designed for liaisons and others with substantive change responsibilities.  Webinars are one hour including interactive Q+A.  Each webinar address a single topic that often presents challenges in managing an institution’s substantive change obligations.  Registration is required for each webinar.

Webinars require either Adobe Connect application for desktop (recommended) or Flash Player for browser. Test your computer and network connections before joining a webinar.

Upcoming webinars:

  • All 2019-20 webinars have been delivered and are available on-demand below.
  • A new substantive change policy is forthcoming. We’ll offer webinar training this summer and early fall. Sign-up to be notified by email when new webinars are available on this web page.

On-demand Webinars:

Documents and Templates