Grayson College Substantive Change Policy and Procedure
The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance and timely reporting of Substantive Changes as defined by the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy. SACSCOC defines substantive change as“a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.” For Grayson College, a substantive change would address the following:
Institutional Substantive Changes
The College President is ultimately responsible for monitoring and reporting institutional substantive changes. Changes at the Institution that may require a substantive change notification include the following:
o Initiating a branch campus;
o Altering significantly the educational mission of the institution;
o Initiating a merger/consolidation with another institution;
o Changing governance, ownership, control, or legal status of an institution;
o Relocating a main or branch campus;
o Moving an off-campus instructional site (serving the same geographical area);
o Changing from clock hours to credit hours;
o Acquiring any program or site from another institution;
o Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out for students from another institution that is closing;
Once a change has been identified, the College President will work with the SACSCOC Liaison to identify the appropriate individual to facilitate the substantive change notification required by SACSCOC.
Program Substantive Changes
The Vice President of Instruction is ultimately responsible for monitoring and reporting program substantive changes. Each semester, during monthly Instructional Services meetings, the Vice President of Instruction will schedule a time for the SACSCOC Liaison to meet with Deans and Department Chairs in order to identify any program changes that may meet the definition of "substantive change." Any changes that are in progress, planned for the future, or anticipated to be required at some later date, will be identified. Specifically, the following changes will be identified.
o Initiating coursework or programs at a different level than currently approved;
o Expanding at current degree level (significant departure from current programs);
o Initiating a certificate program at employer's request and on short notice;
o Initiating other certificate programs;
o Initiating joint or dual degrees with another institution;
o Altering significantly the length of a program;
o Initiating degree completion programs;
o Closing a program approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution.
Once a change has been identified and an anticipated date of implementation has been estimated, the Vice President of Instruction, the Deans, and the SACSCOC Liaison will work with the program(s) involved in order to submit the required notification to SACSCOC. Such notification may require:
o Letter of Notification and request for approval prior to implementation
o Letter of Notification prior to implementation
o Prospectus or Modified Prospectus with approval prior to implementation
The SACSCOC Liaison will serve as an Ex-Officio member of the Curriculum Committee to ensure that these steps are taken.
Monitoring and Reporting Conditions Requiring Substantive Changes
The Office of Planning, Research, Assessment and Accreditation will maintain and publish a list of currently approved courses and off-site locations. The Vice President of Instruction is ultimately responsible for monitoring and reporting program substantive changes as reported by the college deans and program directors/department chairs. Each semester, prior to the finalization of the upcoming schedule of classes, each program director/department chair will complete a Substantive Change Verification Form which will be used to identify potential substantive changes which would require notification to SACSCOC.
In addition, any schedule changes made after the finalization of the course schedule will require the completion of a Schedule Change Form to ensure these changes will not require a Substantive Change notification to SACSCOC. The course schedule will not be released until all program Substantive Change Verification Forms have been reviewed and approved. Additionally, no changes in program course offerings after final approval of the course schedule will be made until all appropriate approvals and notifications are made. Any program changes requiring notification to SACSCOC will be forwarded to the SACSCOC Liaison by the Vice President for Instruction for submission to SACSCOC. The following individuals are responsible for monitoring and reporting potential substantive changes to the SACSCOC Liaison.
The SACSCOC Liaison will be responsible for annually reviewing with the Executive Council, Dean’s Council, Curriculum Committee, and Instructional Council the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and any changes in reporting requirements. The Liaison will serve as an Ex-Officio on the Curriculum Committee to ensure program changes are in compliance with the Substantive Change Policy. In addition, the SACS Liaison will serve as a resource to all college personnel to assist them in substantive change reporting.
Vice President for Instruction
The Vice President for Instruction (VPI) has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring substantive changes for academic and workforce education programs are approved and submitted to the SACS Liaison for timely reporting. The VPI will approve all program changes related to SACSCOC Substantive Change and will provide all necessary documentation to the SACSCOC Liaison for submission to SACSCOC. The VPI will be responsible for communicating all approvals to the Deans.
The Dean will be responsible for monitoring and advising programs on issues related to substantive change. The Dean will review and approve all program changes, additions, deletions, calculations of program availability via distance learning and at off-campus locations, including dual credit. The Dean will ensure that all proposed changes are approved and reviewed by the Dean of Teaching & Learning and the Director of Dual Credit and College Connections prior to being submitted to the Vice President of Instruction within the required timeframe to ensure timely and accurate reporting to SACSCOC. The Dean will be responsible for ensuring that no changes are made until all of the appropriate approvals have been received by the SACSCOC Liaison through the Vice President of Instruction.
Dean of the South Campus
The Dean of the South Campus will be responsible for ensuring that verifying all program offerings at the South Campus are within the approved SACSCOC percentages and will report any discrepancies to the Vice President of Instruction.
Dean of Teaching & Learning
The Director of E-Learning will be responsible for verifying the calculation of program availability via distance learning and for reporting to the Vice President of Instruction any unreported changes in these calculations.
Director of Dual Credit and College Connections
The Director of Dual Credit and College Connections will be responsible for verifying the calculation of program availability at dual credit instructional sites to ensure they are within the SACSCOC approved percentages. Any changes in course offerings at these locations must be approved by the Director prior to implementation.
Program Directors/Department Chairs
Each Program Director or Department Chair will be responsible for tracking, calculating, and reporting any changes in program offerings to include: (1) new programs, (2) changes in current program offerings, (3) the percentage of their programs available via distance learning, (4) the percentage of their programs available at all off-campus locations, and (5) program deactivations. The Director/Chair will be responsible for monitoring current approved percentages for their programs and will ensure that all changes are reported prior to implementation following the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy. The Director/Chair will use the Substantive Change Form to report all program changes and will ensure changes are implemented only after receiving the completed and approved Substantive Change Form back from the Vice President of Instruction and the appropriate Dean.
Dissemination of Substantive Change Policy and Procedure
Grayson College recognizes the importance of timely identification of potential substantive changes so that SACSCOC may be notified within the required time frame (usually 6 or 12 months). There are three bodies at Grayson College that may make changes that meet the definition of a "substantive change." In order to ensure that these bodies are aware of the requirements of the Reporting of Substantive Change Policy and Procedure, the following actions will be taken.
Annually, the SACSCOC Liaison will review the Reporting of Substantive Change Policy and Procedure with:
o The President's Executive Council, as the Council is the body that might make changes that result in Institutional Substantive Changes.
o The Dean's and Director’s Council, as the Council is the body that might make changes that result in Program Substantive Changes.
o The Curriculum Committee, as the Committee is responsible for approving changes to Educational Programs.
An annual review of the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy will be conducted by the SACSCOC Liaison for any necessary changes to this policy. This policy shall be updated and posted to the Grayson College, Office of Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness website located: here. When updated and posted, an email will be sent by the SACSCOC Liaison to all GC employees with a link to the policy on the college website.
Deans Council, March 2014
Executive Council, March 2014