The University is obligated to comply with the substantive change requirements of the U.S. Department of Education (34 C.F.R. § 602.22). According to the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a substantive change is defined as:
“any significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Substantive change includes high-impact changes and change that can impact the quality of educational programs and services.”
The Commission oversees institutional compliance with this regulation and is responsible for reviewing all substantive changes that occur between the University’s Reaffirmation Reviews. These reviews are used to assist with determining whether the changes have affected the quality of the total institution and assuring the public that all aspects of the institution continue to meet defined standards.
The University’s responsibility is to inform the Commission of all substantive changes as specified SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedure. Failure of an institution to gain approval for substantive changes could result in the institution jeopardizing its funding.
The SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison is the individual designated by the President of the University to serve as the University’s representative to SACSCOC and to communicate with SACSCOC concerning substantive change and other accreditation requirements.
The Accreditation Liaison will review any reported potential substantive changes in relation to current SACSCOC policies, provide advice concerning requirements and dates by which a notification or prospectus must be submitted, and work with program faculty to prepare the documentation and letter of transmittal for the President’s signature.
To ensure that SACSCOC reporting deadlines are met, questions and requests for review should be directed to the Accreditation Liaison as early as possible in the planning process.
Relevant Documents and Information Sources
U.S. Department of Education Regulations Concerning Substantive Change (34 C.F.R. §602.22.) Page 12
SACSCOC’s Substantive Change Policy (subject to change without notice)
UM’s Curriculum Change Policy