Skip to Content

Office of the Provost

Skyline with Dome of Melton Observatory and front of Davis College

SACSCOC Requirements

Substantive Change Reporting

A substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. See ACAF 2.11 for Substantive Change definitions and information.

Determing whether a new program is "significant departure," by considering the following questions:

  1. What previously approved programs does USC offer that are closely related to the new program and how are they related?
  2. Will significant additional equipment or facilities be needed?
  3. Will significant additional financial resources be needed?
  4. Will a significant number (greater than 25%) of new courses be required?
  5. Will a significant number of new faculty be required?
  6. Will a significant number of additional library/ learning resources by required?


SACSCOC Requirements by Program and Change Type

Program Type ACAF Policy Type of Change SACSCOC Requirement Keywords
(hidden column)
Academic Programs (New Programs)    ACAF 2.00 Initiate a new program (significant departure) Approval  
Academic Programs (New Programs)   ACAF 2.00 Initiate a new program (not a significant departure) No action required  
Academic Programs  (Credit-Bearing)  ACAF 2.00, ACAF 2.03 Initiating coursework or programs at different level than currently approved Approval  
Academic Programs (Program Termination) ACAF 2.00 Close a program Approval  
Academic Programs (Program Modification) ACAF 2.00 Change curriculum (already approved program, non-substantive change in credit hours) No action required   
Academic Programs (Program Name Change) ACAF 2.00 Change program name No action required   
Academic Programs (Concentrations) ACAF 2.00 Add/Remove Concentration/Track within approved program No action required   
Academic Programs   Initiating degree completion programs Approval  
Academic Programs  (Credit-Bearing) ACAF 2.00,  ACAF 2.11 Altering significantly the length of a program Approval  
Academic Programs  (Credit-Bearing)  ACAF 2.11 Expanding at current degree level (significant departure from current programs) Approval  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Not Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Initiate <25% of a program No action required   
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Not Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Initiate < 25-49% of program Notification   
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Not Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Initiate 50% or more of a program Approval  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Not Previously Accepted or Approved)   Initiating a branch campus Approval  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Change of Address  Notification  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Relocation Notification   
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Closure (when admission stops) Approval  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Closure with teach out of students by institution Approval, Notification  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Closure with contract with another institution to teach out students (Teach-out Agreement) Approval, Notification  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Adding a site under a U.S. military contract Approval  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Expanding program offerings by adding programs that ARE significantly different from current programs at the site AND the institution  Approval  
Off-Campus Instructional Sites(Previously Accepted or Approved) ACAF 2.00 Expanding program offerings by adding approved programs that ARE significantly different from current programs at the site but NOT at the institution No action required   
Academic Programs  (Certificate Programs) ACAF 1.71ACAF 2.00 Initiating a certificate program at employer’s request and on short notice using existing approved courses and location No action required   
Academic Programs  (Certificate Programs) ACAF 1.71ACAF 2.00 Initiating certificate program (not at employer’s request and not on short notice) using existing approved courses and location No action required   
Academic Programs  (Certificate Programs) ACAF 1.71ACAF 2.00ACAF 2.11 Initiating a certificate program that is a significant departure from previously approved programs at employer’s request and on short notice Approval  
Academic Programs  (Certificate Programs) ACAF 1.71ACAF 2.00 Initiating a certificate program at a new off-campus site at employer’s request and on short notice (previously approved program) Approval  
Distance Learning   Initiating distance learning by offering <24% of any program for the first time No action required   
Distance Learning   Initiating distance learning by offering 25-49% of the first program for the first time Notification  
Distance Learning   Initiate additional programs offered via distance learning (institution is already approved for distance learning) No action required   
Distance Learning ACAF 2.00 Close an academic program offered via distance learning Approval  
Dual Degree/ Joint Programs ACAF 2.00 Initiating dual or joint degrees with other SACSCOC accredited institution(s) Notification   
Dual Degree/ Joint Programs ACAF 2.00 Initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium Notification   
Dual Degree/ Joint Programs ACAF 2.00 Initiating dual or joint degrees involving program expansion (significant departure) Approval  
Dual Degree/ Joint Programs ACAF 2.00 Initiating a new site where students can obtain 50% or more credits toward a program Approval  
Dual Degree/ Joint Programs ACAF 2.00 Initiating dual or joint degree with at least one institution not accredited by SACSCOC Approval, Notification  
Dual Degree/ Joint Programs ACAF 2.06 Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title IV programs if the entity provides less than 25% of an educational program offered by the SACSCOC accredited institution Notification   
Mission Statement Revision /Institutional Policy /Administration BRTU - Coming Soon Change in Mission Statement (minor-e.g., editorial) No action required   
Mission Statement Revision /Institutional Policy /Administration BRTU - Coming Soon Change in Mission Statement (major-e.g., direction) Approval  
Level Degree /Institutional Policy /Administration ACAF 2.11 Change the highest degree offered  (Level Change)- From Level V to VI Adding a fourth Doctorate (not a significant program departure)  Notification   
Level Degree /Institutional Policy /Administration ACAF 2.11 Change the highest degree offered  (Level Change)- From Level V to VI- Adding a fourth Doctorate (significant program departure) Approval, Notification  
Level Degree /Institutional Policy /Administration ACAF 2.11 Change the highest degree offered (Level Change)- higher or lower (except Level V- VI see above) Approval  
Institutional Policy /Administration ACAF 2.11 Changing from clock hours to credit hours Approval  
Institutional Policy /Administration   Initiating a direct assessment competency-based program Approval, Notification  
Institutional Policy /Administration   Initiating a merger/ consolidation with another institution Approval  
Institutional Policy /Administration   Changing governance, ownership, control or legal status of an institution Approval  

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

©