3.6.2 Reporting Substantive Changes

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to comply with the requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) regarding substantive changes.

B. Persons Affected

All administrators, faculty, and staff.

C. Definitions

A substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.

Substantive changes include: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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. A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program.
  4. Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution.
  5. Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution.
  6. Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution.
  7. A change from clock hours to credit hours.
  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.
  9. The establishment of a branch campus.
  10. Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement that includes only the initiation of a dual or joint academic program with another institution.
  11. Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution.
  12. Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution.
  13. 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 institutions programs.



D. Policy 

Employees of The University of Texas at Tyler follow the expectations of SACSCOC and the procedures that follow regarding the processing of substantive changes.

E. Responsibilities

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, President

F. Procedures

Substantive changes that fall under the first four categories and category 10 above, must be approved through established curriculum review procedures. Requests originate in the academic unit in which a program is offered or will be offered, they are reviewed and approved by the head of the department/schools, reviewed and approved by faculty within the home college, approved by the dean of the college, recommended by the Graduate Council or Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and finally approved by the Provost. In the case of substantive changes to graduate programs, the approval of the Dean of The Graduate School is sought prior to consideration by the Provost.

When an academic unit is considering proposing a substantive change, advice should be sought from the University’s SACSCOC liaison before beginning the process. 

Some substantive changes (for example, the addition or deletion of a degree program) must also be reviewed The University of Texas System and/or Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 

Any substantive changes to the mission or objectives or to items 7- 9, and 11-13 above must be approved through appropriate, established processes that may vary depending on the nature of the change. 

Completion of the on-campus review and approval process for any substantive change must be completed at least 60 days prior to the date expected for submission to SACSCOC for notification/approval. Exceptions may be granted by the Provost or designee.

Documentation for all substantive changes must be submitted to Academic Affairs where it will be archived. When a Prospectus is required, it must be received by the SACSCOC liaison by May 1, for proposed implementation the following January and by November 1 for implementation July 1-December 31. All substantive changes must be directed to the SACSCOC liaison for final preparation for submission by the President of The University of Texas at Tyler to SACSCOC.

G. Review

The Divisional Head for this policy is the Provost. This policy shall be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Faculty Senate.

H .Reference Documents

Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions