Substantive Change Compliance Policy

University Policy: 

I. Policy

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte will maintain compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges Policy Statement through appropriate and timely reporting on areas of Substantive Change, as that term is defined below.

The Chancellor shall appoint a SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. The Chancellor and/or SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison will notify the Commission of any Substantive Changes in accordance with the UNC Charlotte Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Substantive Change Compliance Procedures supplemental to this policy. No Substantive Change will be implemented until a letter of approval or an acceptance of notification is received from the SACSCOC. Prior to receipt of the letter of approval, any distribution of information regarding a Substantive Change, including advertising, will include wording that the program is pending SACSCOC approval.

II. Definition

A “Substantive Change” is defined as a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution as defined by SACSCOC. Substantive Changes include:

  • Any change in the established mission or objectives of the university
  • Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the university
  • 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 university was last evaluated by SACSCOC
  • The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the university’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 university offers at least 50 percent of a degree program.
  • The establishment of a branch campus
  • Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or the university
  • 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 university 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% or more of one or more of the university’s programs


III. Related Policies, Procedures and Resources


Revision History: 

Initially Approved:

  • February 22, 2012
  • Updated January 8, 2015
  • Updated October 4, 2016

Authority: Chancellor

Responsible Office: Academic Affairs

Related Resources: