Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope
of an accredited institution. Texas Tech University complies with the policy statement
on Substantive Change for Accredited institutions of the Commission on Colleges by:
- Notifying SACSCOC of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and,
when required, seeking approval prior to the initiation of changes.
- Having instituted policy and procedures to ensure that all substantive changes are
reported to the Commission in a timely fashion.
Substantive change requires one of the three following procedures:
Procedure One (1): Review of substantive changes requiring notification and approval
prior to implementation
Procedure Two (2): Review of substantive changes requiring only notification prior
Procedure Three (3): Closing a program, site, branch campus, or institution NA: Not
It has been recognized that substantive change may be more interpretable and applicable
by institutions of higher education when categorized by organizational level. These
organizational levels are: (1) Program/Course level, (2) School/College/Department
level, and (3) Institutional level.
Substantive changes considered at the Program/Course level include:
- Initiating coursework or programs at a different level than currently approved;
- Expanding at current degree level (significant departure from current programs);
- Initiating a certificate program at employer's request and on short notice;
- Initiating other certificate programs;
- Initiating joint or dual degrees with another institution;
- Altering significantly the length of a program;
- Initiating degree completion programs;
- Closing a program approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution.
Substantive changes considered at the School/College/Department level include:
- Initiating an off-campus sites (including Early College High School programs offered
at the high school);
- Expanding program offerings at previously approved off-campus sites;
- Initiating distance learning;
- Initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium;
- Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title
Substantive changes considered at the Institutional Level changes:
- Initiating a branch campus;
- Altering significantly the educational mission of the institution;
- Initiating a merger/consolidation with another institution;
- Changing governance, ownership, control, or legal status of an institution;
- Relocating a main or branch campus;
- Moving an off-campus instructional site serving the same geographic area;
- Changing from clock hours to credit hours;
- Acquiring any program or site from another institution;
- Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out
for students from another institution that is closing.
The following matrix has been edited from the original to aid in decision making relative
to substantive changes procedures, documentation and timelines, and responsible offices.
For more information on substantive change, visit the SACSCOC substantive change policy site or contact the Texas Tech University SACSCOC Accreditation liaison, Dr. Catherine
Parsoneault at firstname.lastname@example.org and 806-742-2184.
Substantive Change Decision Guide
Substantive Change Supplemental Documents