Excerpts from the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy
- What is a contractual agreement?
A contractual agreement typically is one in which an institution enters an agreement for receipt of courses/programs or portions of courses or programs (i.e., clinical training internships, etc.) delivered by another institution or service provider.
- What is a consortial relationship?
A consortial relationship typically is one in which two or more institutions share in the responsibility of developing and delivering courses and programs that meet mutually agreed upon standards of academic quality.
- Notification of initiating program/courses delivered through contractual agreement or a consortium does not apply to articulation agreements with other institutions, clinical agreements, or internship agreements.
- What is a significant departure?
A program that is not closely related to previously approved programs at the institution or site or for the mode of delivery in question. To determine whether a new program is a "significant departure", it is helpful to consider the following questions:
- What previously approved programs does the institution offer that are closely related to the new program and how are they related?
- Will significant additional equipment or facilities be needed?
- Will significant additional financial resources be needed?
- Will a significant number of new courses be added to the curriculum?
- Will a significant number of new faculty members be required?
- Will significant additional library/learning resources be needed?
- What should I consider a substantive change in my program modification?
A good rule of thumb is increasing or decreasing the number of credit hours/clock hours by 25% or more. It's also important to determine if any of the above questions regarding "significant departure" are relevant, such as if 25% of the courses are being replaced, additional equipment, new faculty, or additional library, facilities or financial resources.
- What information must you provide as part of the teach-out plan for closing a program?
SACSCOC must approve all program closures prior to implementation. The written plan must provide equitable treatment of students and must also include the following information:
- Date of closure (date when new students will no longer be admitted)
- An explanation of how affected parties (students, faculty, staff) will be informed of the impending closure
- An explanation of how all affected students will be helped to complete their programs of study with minimal disruption
- An indication as to whether the teach-out plan will incur additional charges/expenses to the students and, if so, how the students will be notified
- Signed copies of teach-out agreements with other institutions, if any
- How faculty and staff will be redeployed or helped to find new employment
- What is a dual degree?
A separate program completion credentials each of which bears only the name, seal, and signature of the institution awarding the degree to the student.
- What is a joint degree?
A single program completion credential bearing the names, seals, and signatures of each of the two or more institutions awarding the degree to the student.