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Lindsey Wilson College Review of Program/Policy Change
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Lindsey Wilson College Review of Program/Policy Change

Any change in a program or policy at Lindsey Wilson College that involves a significant modification or expansion of the overall scope of the institution is considered a substantive change.  Specifically, the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges and the federal government define substantive change to include:

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

  • Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution.
  • The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure, either in content or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the institution was last evaluated.
  •  The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution's current accreditation or reaffirmation.
  • A change from clock hours to credit hours.
  • A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program.
  • The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program.
  • The establishment of a branch campus.
  • Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution.
  • Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement such as a dual degree program or a joint degree program with another institution.
  • Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution.
  •  Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution.
  • Entering into a contract by which an entity not eligible for Title IV funding offers 25 percent or more of one or more of the accredited institution's programs.

Such changes require notification from the institution's chief executive officer or his/her designated representative, the SACSCOC liaison (VPAA), to the President of the Commission summarizing the proposed change, providing the intended implementation date, and listing the complete physical address, if the change involves the initiation of an off-campus site or branch campus.  Such changes may also require the submission of a substantive change prospectus.

To insure compliance with the requirement for notification, proposals for new or changed programs and policies must be reviewed to determine if they involve substantive change.  Specifically, a proposal from an academic or administrative unit, council or committee which results in a new or changed program or policy must include the Lindsey Wilson Approval Form for New/ Changed Programs and Policies.  The approval form must be signed by the chair/head of the unit, council or committee proposing it and include the documentation on which the body based approval.  The documentation should include a needs assessment and an estimate of costs associated with implementation.  The approval form must be forwarded to SACSCOC liaison (VPAA) for determination of substantive change and proper SACSCOC notification.  In addition, theSACSCOC liaison will review the minutes of all committees and councils with the authority to approve changes in policies and programs to insure that such changes have been reported to the Office of Academic Affairs.

There are three procedures which are required for addressing the different types of substantive change:

  • Procedure One -- Review of Substantive Changes Requiring Notification and Approval Prior to Implementation
  • Procedure Two -- Review of Substantive Changes Requiring Only Notification Prior to Implementation
  • Procedure Three -- Review and Approval of Consolidations/Mergers


The VPAA (SACSCOC liaison) will determine which procedure is required and make the appropriate recommendation.   If it is unclear as to whether a change is substantive in nature, the VPAA will contact the Commission liaison for consultation. Upon determination of the appropriate procedure, the SACSCOC liaison (VPAA) will submit the proposal to the President for approval and, for submission to the board of trustees for consideration.   Notification to SACS of the intent to seek substantive change may occur prior to Board approval if required to meet SACSCOC timelines but submission of a substantive change prospectus may not occur until the board of trustees has approved the proposed program or policy change.

 After board of trustees approval, the SACSCOC liaison (VPAA) will forward the approved change and proper documentation to SACSCOC for final approval.  Prior notification to SACSCOC must take place before the implementation of any significant changes as required by Comprehensive Standard 3.12. 

A substantive change will not be implemented until the President and SACS liaison have received official SACSCOC approval from the President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.  Upon receiving approval from SACSCOC, a date for implementation, normally the date specified in the notification to SACSCOC, will be determined and announced by the SACSCOC liaison (Vice President for Academic Affairs).


Revised June 12, 2012

pending faculty and board approval

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