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Louisiana Tech University


Policies & Procedures

Policy 1307 - Policy and Procedure for Substantive Change

Effective Date: 1/28/2014

Responsible Office: Office of the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Reference: Council for Academic Deans


Institutional Obligations:

  1. Member institutions are required to notify the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of changes.
  2. Member institutions are required to have a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely fashion.

Definition: Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive change includes

University Responsibilities:

It is the responsibility of the President of Louisiana Tech University to notify Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) of substantive changes described above. It is the obligation of the University faculty and staff to assist the President in recognizing and reporting substantive changes. Failure to report these changes and any planned substantive changes can result in loss of the University’s accreditation for certificate and degree programs. Henceforth, the following policies and procedures have been established for recognizing and reporting substantive changes.

Administrative Heads of Academic and Non-Academic Units:

These individuals are responsible for understanding the nature of what SACSCOC considers significant modifications, expansion of programs, and scope/nature of an accredited institution. Administrative Heads should become familiar with the SACSCOC website (www.sacscoc.org) and Substantive Change documentation (http://www.sacscoc.org/SubstantiveChange.asp).

President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Directors, and Administrators:

It is the duties of these individuals to ensure the University SACSCOC Liaison is notified of any planning for a modification that may require a submission for a substantive change to SACSCOC for approval as some changes cannot be implemented until approval has been received.

University Approval Process

Standard University Policies and Procedures are to be followed during the process of implementation of new programs, curriculum, etc. and are to be done so PRIOR to submission of documentation to the SASCOC main office. That is, all programmatic changes initiated at the Departmental or University level must continue to follow University Policies and Procedures for approvals at the College, University (Instructional Policy Committee, Graduate Council, Advisory Planning Council) and Presidential levels (e.g., see Policy 2301: Policies and Procedures of the Instructional Policies Committee and Policy 2311 Policies and Procedures of the Graduate Council).

Approval from the University of Louisiana System and/or Board of Regents, as in each case as is appropriate, will be sought at the earliest scheduled meeting of the Board(s) after University approvals.

NOTE: PROGRAMS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ADVERTISE, ADMIT, OR INITATE A NEW PROGRAM UNTIL THIS FINAL STEP HAS BEEN COMPLETED-SUBMISSION TO SASCOC OFFICE FOR A SUBSTATIVE CHANGE.

Substantive Change Policy

The table below describes the procedure for submission for documentation to SASCOC main office. All submissions to the University SACSCOC Liaison will be reviewed for completeness. All documents prepared by University SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison will be reviewed by Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to final submission to the SACSCOC main office, the University SACSCOC Committee will review documentation. Upon approval, documentation will be submitted to the President of SACSCOC. Please see footnotes for each column for important information, forms, and timelines.

University personnel are to be reminded that all correspondences are to made with the University SASCOC Liaison and NOT with the SASCOC main office.

Types of Changea Prior Notification Required to SACSCOCb Time Frame for Contacting SACSCOCc Change Reported to University's SACSCOC Liaison byd Prior Approval Requirede Documentationf Documentation prepared byg

Initiating coursework or programs at a different level than currently approved

N/A

N/A

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Yes

Application for Level
Change

Due dates to SACSCOC: April 15 or
September 15

Department Chair

Due to University Liaison 3 months prior to deadline to SACSCOC

Expanding at current degree level (significant departure from current programs)

Yes

6 months

Dean of College offering program

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to University Liaison

Initiating a branch campus

Yes

6 months

President

Yes

Prospectus

University SACSCOC Liaison

Initiating a certificate program at employer’s request and on short notice

           

…using existing approved courses

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

…at a new off-campus site (previously approved program)

N/A

N/A

Dean of College offering program

Yes

Modified prospectus

Department Chair to University Liaison

…that is a significant departure from previously approved programs

Yes

Approval required prior to implementation

Dean of College offering program

Yes

Modified prospectus

Department Chair to University Liaison

Initiating other certificate programs

           

… using existing approved courses

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

… at a new off-campus site (previously approved program)

N/A

N/A

Dean of College offering program

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to University Liaison

…that is a significant departure from previously approved programs

Yes

6 months

Dean of College offering program

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to University Liaison

Altering significantly the educational mission of the institution

N/A

N/A

President

Yes

Contact Commission Staff

University SACSCOC Liaison

Joint programs

           

…….with another SACSCOC accredited institution

Yes

Prior to implementation

President

N/A

Copy of signed agreement and contact information for each institution

University SACSCOC Liaison

…….with an institution not accredited by SACSCOC

Yes

6 months

President

Yes

Prospectus

University SACSCOC Liaison

Dual programs

Yes

Prior to implementation

President

No

Copy of signed agreement and contact information for each institution

University SACSCOC Liaison

Initiating off-campus sites (including Early College High School and dual enrollment programs offered at the high school)

           

…Student can obtain 50% or more credits toward program

N/A

N/A

Department Chair

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

…Student can obtain 25-49 % of credit

Yes

Prior to implementation

Department Chair

N/A

Letter of notification

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

…Student can obtain 24% less

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Expanding program offerings at previously approved off-campus sites

           

…Adding programs that are significantly different from current programs at the site

N/A

N/A

Department Chair

N/A

N/A

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

…Adding programs that are NOT significantly different from current programs at the site

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Altering significantly the length of a program

N/A

N/A

Department Chair

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

Initiating distance learning…

           

…Offering 50 % or more of a program for the first time

N/A

N/A

Department Chair

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

…Offering 25-49 %

Yes

Prior to implementation

Department Chair

No

Letter of Notification

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

…Offering 24 % or less

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium

Yes

Prior to implementation

Vice President for Academic Affairs

N/A

Letter of notification and copy of signed agreement

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title IV programs

           

… if the entity provides 25% or more of an educational program offered by the COC accredited institution

N/A

N/A

Department Chair

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

… if the entity provides less than 25% of an educational program offered by the accredited institution

Yes

Prior to implementation

Department Chair

N/A

Copy of the signed agreement

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

Initiating a merger/consolidation with another institution

Yes

6 months

President

Yes

Prospectus
Due dates: April 15 or
September 15

University SACSCOC Liaison

Changing governance, ownership, control, or legal status of an institution

Yes

6 months

President

Yes

Prospectus
Due dates: April 15 or
September 15

University SACSCOC Liaison

Relocating a main or branch campus

Yes

6 months

President

Yes

Prospectus

University SACSCOC Liaison

Moving an off-campus instructional site (serving the same geographic area)

Yes

Prior to implementation

Vice President for Academic Affairs

N/A

Letter of notification with new address and starting date

University SACSCOC Liaison

Changing from clock hours to credit hours

N/A

N/A

Registrar

Yes

Justify reasons for change, indicate calculation of equivalency, and other pertinent information

University SACSCOC Liaison

Altering significantly the length of a program

N/A

N/A

Department Chair

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

Initiating degree completion programs

N/A

N/A

Dean of College offering program

Yes

Prospectus

Department Chair to SACSCOC Liaison

Closing a program, approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution

   

Vice President for Academic Affairs

   

University SACSCOC Liaison

…Institution to teach out its own students

Yes

Immediately following decision to close

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Yes

Description of teach-out plan included with letter of notification

University SACSCOC Liaison

…Institution contracts with another institution to teach-out students (Teach-out Agreement)

Yes

Immediately following decision to close

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Yes

Description of teach-out plan, copy of signed teach- out agreement detailing terms included with notification

University SACSCOC Liaison

Acquiring any program or site from another institution

Yes

6 months

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Yes

Prospectus

University SACSCOC Liaison

Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out for students from another institution that is closing

Yes

6 months

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Yes

Prospectus

University SACSCOC Liaison

Detailed explanation of each column.

  1. Types of Changes: The change at the University requiring a notification to SASCOC main office
  2. Prior notification needed to SASCOC: If the column indicates YES, the “Type of Change” in column ‘a’ cannot be implemented until approval is received from SASCOC. If N/A, then the “Type of Change” in column ‘a’ can be initiated.
  3. Timeframe for Contacting SASCOC: This is the period of time (e.g., 6 months, prior to implementation) at which SASCOC must be notified of the intended “Type of Change” in column ‘a’
  4. Change Reported to SASCOC Liaison by: This is individual responsible for contacting the University Accreditation Liaison of the impending “Type of Change” in column ‘a’. This should be done as soon as change is being discussed.
  5. Prior Approval Required: If this column indicates “Yes”, the “Type of Change” requires prior approval from the SASCOC main office prior to initiation of the change listed in column ‘a’.
  6. Documentation: Templates and samples are located at the following:
  7. Documentation Prepared by: This is the individual responsible for preparing the document in column ‘f’. It is best to prepare this document parallel to the University Approval Process. This document is due to the SASCOC University Accreditation Liaison 3 months prior to the deadline and/or submission to SASCOC main office.

    Approval process of SASCOC documentation PRIOR to submission to SASCOC main office:

    1. Document prepared by individual designated in column ‘f’ in collaboration with University SASCOC Accreditation Liaison. Document to be finalized 3 months prior to submission to the SASCOC main office.
    2. If prepared by Department Chair, document is reviewed and approved by Dean of College under which “Type of Change” is being requested.
    3. University SASCOC Accreditation Liaison seeks final approval from appropriate University Committees and/or Administrators prior to submission to the SASCOC main office.

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