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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 with a completed prospectus, depending on the nature and complexity of the change involved. Substantive changes requiring a prospectus must be reviewed and approved by SACSCOC before those changes can be implemented at UTSA.

For changes to be effective in a spring term, all materials need to be received by the Office of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation by June 1 to meet the SACSCOC deadline of July 1. For changes to be effective in a fall term, all materials need to be received by December 1 to meet the SACSCOC deadline of January 1. Click here to begin the process by indicating the type of change and implementation term desired. For more information, please contact Lorrie Smith or Kasey Neece-Fielder.

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


Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards

SACSCOC ‘Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards’ Policy

Annual Assessment and Periodic Review Report

Helpful information for steps prior to SACSCOC approval:
Proposals for Academic Program Changes

Altering Significantly the Length or Scope of a Program

UTSA Instructions and Process for SACSCOC Approval

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

Note: Adding an additional method of delivery to an existing program also requires SACSCOC notification.

UTSA Instructions, Process, and Prospectus Template for SACSCOC Approval

Helpful information for steps prior to SACSCOC approval:
Proposals for Academic Program Changes

Methods of Delivery

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 that is closing involves another institution)

Initiating Off-Campus Instructional Sites (including dual-enrollment high school sites)
Sites where students may earn at least 25% but no more than 49% of credits toward a program require SACSCOC notification only.
Sites where students may earn 50% or more of credits toward a program require a prospectus be submitted to SACSCOC for approval.

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

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 Liaison
kasey.neece-fielder@utsa.edu

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