SACSCOC Institutional Portal & New USDE Federal Requirements


TO: SACSCOC Membership

FROM: Belle S. Wheelan, President

DATE: March 15, 2021

SACSCOC has developed an “Institutional Portal” for institutions to review and update information that is used by the Commission in the reaffirmation and other processes. Permissions to this portal are reserved for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Institutional Accreditation Liaison (IAL) of the institution. Using this portal, the CEO and IAL are able to update portions of the institution’s annual Institutional Profile; manage the institution’s Key Roles; review Visits, Substantive Change Reviews, and Off‐Campus Instructional Sites; and manage the evaluators who represent the institution.

It is important that institutions maintain up‐to‐date information in the Institutional Portal and for the individuals who serve in “Key Roles.” These Individuals are the CEO, IAL, Chief Academic Officer (CAO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and the Board Chair. The following is the link to the Guidelines for accessing the Institutional Portal:

In addition, effective July 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education released new federal regulations for accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. One aspect of the new regulations created ligations and restrictions for accredited institutions on provisional certification for participating in federal financial aid programs (see 34 CFR Sect. 668.13). SACSCOC member institutions are now responsible for maintaining this information with SACSCOC through the Institutional Portal.

An institution under provisional certification for federal financial aid is (1) required to submit for SACSCOC Board of Trustees’ approval an Institutional Contingency Teach‐out Plan, and (2) placed on Substantive Change Restriction as defined in policy. Please review these requirements and obligations in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures. Webinars and other training materials will be available in the coming months on the substantive change webpage.

Under the “Institutional Characteristics” tab in the Institutional Portal, you will find a new checkmark field to indicate provisional certification for federal financial aid: “Provisional certification Fed fin aid.” If the institution is placed on or removed from provisional certification, the institution will indicate the change by updating this field. Neither the U.S. Department of Education nor its Office of Federal Student Aid provides this information to SACSCOC; therefore, it is the institution’s responsibility to maintain this information via the Institutional Portal.

Your SACSCOC staff representative is available to assist as needed.

Thank you as we adapt to all of the new federal requirements for accrediting agencies and our member institutions.