Substantive Change

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) defines a substantive change as “a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution.” There are two major types of substantive change: institutional-related substantive change and academic-related substantive change.

The UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures addresses both types of substantive change in Section 2.35, Substantive Change Procedures Required to Obtain Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Approval. All substantive changes must be submitted to SACSCOC, through the Office of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation, either as a notification or as an approval, depending on the nature and complexity of the change involved.

Quick Reference by Substantive Change Type with Requirements/Restrictions

Academic-Related Substantive Changes

Reference Guide for Academic-Related Substantive Changes

***To start the process at UTSA, all proposals for academic-related substantive changes must be submitted through the CourseLeaf system on the Academic Programs and Agreements Website.***

Below are the types of academic-related substantive change most frequently seen at UTSA and resources to aid you in obtaining SACSCOC approval:


Academic Agreements

UTSA has SACSCOC notification and approval obligations for cooperative academic arrangements and joint and dual academic awards. Upon submission to the CourseLeaf system, the UTSA Accreditation Liaison will be notified and will work with you to obtain SACSCOC approvals.

SACSCOC ‘Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards’ Policy

Annual Assessment and Periodic Review Report

Altering Significantly the Length or Scope of a Program (increase or decrease in semester credit hours)

UTSA Instructions and Process for SACSCOC Approval

New Academic Program
A program includes a degree, diploma, certificate, or other for-credit credential.

UTSA Instructions, Process, and Prospectus Template for SACSCOC Approval

Adding a Method of Delivery

  • Face-to-Face (51-100% in person)
  • Hybrid/Blended (51-85% online)
  • Fully Online (86-100% online)
  • 100% Online (no face-to-face on-campus instruction)
  • Competency-based Education

UTSA Instructions and Process for SACSCOC Notification

Ending a Completion Option

  • Closing a program
  • Closing an Off-Campus Instructional Site
  • Ending a program at an Off-Campus Instructional Site
  • Ending a Method of Delivery

SACSCOC “Closing a Program, Site, Branch or Institution” – Good Practices
UTSA Instructions and Process for SACSCOC Approval
Teach out Agreement Template (if program closing involves another institution)

Initiating Off-Campus Instructional Sites (including dual-enrollment high school sites)

List of SACSCOC-approved off-campus sites
SACSCOC “Dual Enrollment” Policy
List of dual enrollment sites (currently no dual enrollment sites meet the 25% mark for notification to SACSCOC)
UTSA Instructions, Process, and Prospectus Template for SACSCOC Approval

For questions, to request a meeting, or for information about other substantive changes not listed here:

Please contact us:

Office of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation

Kasey Neece-Fielder, Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Assessment and SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison
kasey.neece-fielder@utsa.edu

Lorrie Smith, Director, Accreditation and Process Improvement
lorrie.smith@utsa.edu