Substantive Change Academic Procedures
The following guidelines should be followed when developing and delivering APSU credit-bearing courses off-site, electronically, or for a new program and program level. The Provost's Office will monitor the implementation of these procedures by tracking governance action items, curriculum items, and course scheduling reports.
Substantive changes requiring notification only prior to implementation include, but are not limited to:
- offering 25%-49% of a program at an off-campus site (including dual enrollment sites)
- offering programs or courses through contractual agreement or consortium
- initiating joint programs with another SACSCOC-accredited institution
- initiating dual programs
Substantive changes requiring approval include, but are not limited to:
- adding significantly different programs to the academic curriculum at APSU
- initiating off-campus sites (including dual enrollment sites) where students can obtain 50% or more of the credits toward a program
- closing (inactivating) a program
- initiating joint or dual degrees with another institution not accredited by SACSCOC
The University's first step is determination of the type of substantive change and reporting requirements. Initial information will be requested from the department or unit initiating the change. The next step is a letter of intent or notification to SACSCOC signed by the University President (or the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison) with basic information regarding the change. SACSCOC will then determine if a formal prospectus is required. If so, the Provost's Office will provide the unit/department desiring to institute the change a template to use for the prospectus and will assist in preparing the prospectus for submission to SACSCOC. The time frame for submitting the prospectus information to the Provost's Office must accommodate an adequate review timeline by SACSCOC Substantive Change office, which is generally nine (9) to twelve (12) months in advance of the possible change.
All questions about whether a change is substantive should be directed to the Provost's Office for guidance.
All correspondence with SACSCOC will be submitted by the University President or designee, the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. Given their significance to the continued accreditation status of APSU, all substantive change requests that require SACSCOC approval shall be reported to the University President.
Process for Review: The Academic Program Intake Form will be reviewed by the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. If the proposed change requires prior approval from SACSCOC, the Substantive Change Intake Form and supporting documentation will be reviewed by the Provost/Vice President prior to development of a prospectus, and prior to submission of the prospectus to SACSCOC. Any further actions required to be filed with the SACSCOC will be coordinated by the University's SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison.