Deciding if you might have a SACSCOC substantive change
Programs and Certificates
If you are involved with an academic program or certificate, please answer the following questions to determine if you should complete the substantive change intake form:
- Does this involve development of a new degree or certificate program?
- Does this new degree or certificate program involve a contract, MOU, grant, or consortium for the development or construction of all or part of a program or certificate? (This applies whether APSU is outsourcing instruction or APSU is providing the instruction for another organization or company.)
- Does this involve instruction of courses delivered by APSU instructors/employees at an off-campus location?
- Does this involve the deactivation of a program or certificate?
If you answered yes to one or more of the self-assessment questions above, please
complete the Academic Intake Form in Curriculog. Academic Affairs will review the
completed form and utilize the information to determine the type of substantive change
(notification or approval) required. Once the determination has been made, the Academic
Affairs Curriculum Coordinator will contact you with next steps in the process and
information for SACSCOC submission.
If you are involved with an administrative department, please answer the following questions to determine if you should contact the Academic Affairs Curriculum Coordinator regarding a potential substantive change:
- Does this include initiating a contract, MOU, grant, or consortium regarding outsourcing instruction or regarding APSU's provision of instruction for another organization or company?
- Does this potential substantive change include buying new property for APSU?
- Does this potential substantive change include opening a new university-owned campus or center?
- Does this potential substantive change involve a new off-campus instructional site?
- Does this potential substantive change include the relocation of an off-campus instructional site? (For example, APSU offers some nursing courses at the XYZ Building at a specific street address provided to SACSCOC. If XYZ Building wants APSU to move the instruction to another street address, then this could be considered a substantive change.)
If you answered yes to one or more of the self-assessment questions above, please complete the Academic Intake Form in Curriculog. Academic Affairs will review the completed form and utilize the information to determine the type of substantive change (notification or approval) required. Once the determination has been made, the Academic Affairs Curriculum Coordinator will contact you with next steps in the process and information for SACSCOC submission.
What is a Cooperative Academic Arrangement?
A Cooperative Academic Arrangement is an agreement between a SACSCOC accredited institution and another entity to deliver program content recorded on the SACSCOC institutions transcript as its own.
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 program(s) does the institution offer that is 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 and increasing the time to degree completion. 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 Academic Award?
A Dual Academic Award is an award in which the student receives instruction at two (or more) institutions in prescribed curricula leading to each institution granting academic awards at the same credential level.
What is a Joint Academic Award?
A Joint Academic Award is an award in which the student receives instruction at two (or more) institutions in prescribed curricula leading to the institutions granting a single academic award bearing the names, seals, and officials' signatures of each participating institution.