REG - 10.01.5 Substantive Change Regulation

Responsible Office:
Academic Affairs
Office of University Accreditation, 919-530-6900, [email protected]
Effective August 23, 2018

1.  Purpose

1.1 The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the accrediting body for North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Within the Substantive Change Policy for SACSCOC accredited institutions (Revised, July 2016), the expectation of compliance is stated as:

It is the responsibility of an institution to follow SACSCOC substantive change procedures and inform SACSCOC of substantive changes as specified in those procedures. If an institution is unclear as to whether a change is substantive in nature, it should contact SACSCOC staff for consultation. SACSCOC accredits institutions, not systems. While a system may provide SACSCOC with important information regarding changes planned or underway at its institutions, it is expected that each institution will follow the reporting requirements of the substantive change policy. Failure of an institution to gain approval for substantive

changes involving programs that qualify for federal financial assistance could result in the institution jeopardizing such funding.”

Specifically, Section 14.2 of the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement states: “The institution has a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported in accordance with SACSCOC policy.”

1.2  NCCU is required to notify SACSCOC of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the implementation of changes. This regulation is intended to ensure all substantive changes are reviewed by the NCCU Office of University Accreditation and submitted to SACSCOC in a timely manner.

1.3 The purpose of this regulation is to provide the procedures for reporting a substantive change to the NCCU Office of University Accreditation for review and subsequent notification and/or submission of a prospectus, or closure to SACSCOC for approval.

2.  Scope

This regulation applies to all degree programs proposed and subsequently approved at North Carolina Central University.

3.  Definitions

3.1    Substantive Change: A substantive change is defined as follows:

3.1.1    A significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution.

3.1.2    Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution.

3.1.3   Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution.

3.1.4   The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure, either in content or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the institution was last evaluated.

3.1.5   The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution’s current accreditation or reaffirmation.

3.1.6   A change from clock hours to credit hours.

3.1.7   A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program.

3.1.8   The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50% of an educational program.

3.1.9   The establishment of a branch campus.

3.1.10  Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution.

3.1.11  Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement that includes only the initiation of a dual or joint academic program with another institution.

3.1.12  Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution.

3.1.13  Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution.

3.1.14  Entering into a contract by which an entity not eligible for Title IV funding offers 25% or more of one or more of the accredited institution’s programs.

4.  Regulation

4.1   Departments initiating a substantive change must notify the NCCU SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison immediately upon consideration of the change. To ensure timely submission and approval, this notification should occur 6-9 months in advance of the proposed change. The Liaison will review the proposal to determine if it meets specified criteria of substantive change and notify the unit of the procedures that must be followed.

4.2   If a substantive change is confirmed, the Accreditation Liaison will provide instructions on which of the three different procedures for processing a substantive change must be followed by the institution to implement the substantive change.  As per the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy, the substantive change procedures include:

4.2.1 Procedure One.  Review of Substantive Changes Requiring Notification and Approval Prior to Implementation.

4.2.2 Procedure Two.  Review of Substantive Changes Requiring Only Notification Prior to Implementation.

4.2.3 Procedure Three.  Closing a Program, Site, Branch Campus, or Institution, Teach Outs, and more.  

4.3  Required Approval

4.3.1  Prior to submission of any requests to SACSCOC for a substantive change, all internal NCCU and University of North Carolina System (where applicable) approvals must be secured. Substantive change proposals must obtain approval from the following areas prior to submission to the NCCU Office of University Accreditation:  Academic Department(s);  College(s) or School(s);  University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council;  Academic Planning Council; and  University Planning Council (for new degree programs only).

4.3.2  For substantive change proposals involving programs and instructional sites, approval is required by the NCCU Board of Trustees following internal approval and review by the NCCU Office of University Accreditation,

4.4  Correspondence with SACSCOC

Correspondence with SACSCOC regarding a substantive change is submitted by the Chancellor, or designee, of North Carolina Central University through the NCCU SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison.