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Substantive Change

by Martin,Kenyatta N last modified Jul 23, 2014 11:35 AM


University Policy Statement

The University of Louisville must report, in writing, any actions defined as a substantive change to the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC).  This policy and procedure statement sets forth the steps and requirements to monitor and report substantive changes occurring at UofL including changes to programs, where and how programs are offered and institution-level changes.  The Office of Academic Planning and Accountability, a unit of the Executive Vice President and University Provost, coordinates academic program approval, program reviews and will work with the accreditation liaison to insure accurate reporting to SACS/COC. This policy statement will be reviewed and updated as needed on an annual basis and distributed widely.

SACS/COC Reporting Policy

The SACS/COC Policy on Substantive Change also provides information on what is reportable and the process for that report. If an institution fails to follow the substantive change policy and procedures of the SACSCOC, it may lose its Title IV funding or be required by the U.S. Department of Education to reimburse it for money received by the institution for programs related to Unreported Substantive Change.  In addition, the institution's case may be referred to the Commission for the imposition of a sanction of for removal from membership.  

Examples of a substantive change are:

  • changing the mission and objectives of the institution

  • establishing an off-campus instructional site

  • establishing a new campus

  • establishing a dual, joint, and/or cooperative degree program

  • expanding offerings at a previously approved off-campus location or online

  • delivering new or existing courses and/or programs off-campus or online

  • initiating a merger or consolidation with another institution

  • initiating a degree completion program

  • adding sites for existing courses/programs to off-campus sites, (including dual enrollment courses).


The UofL Substantive Change Policy and Procedures document was submitted to SACS on April 15, 2013. All units should review this policy prior to any significant institutional implementation or program change. To discuss whether any actions under consideration in your academic area could be a substantive change, please contact Connie C. Shumake, Assistant University Provost and the SACS/COC Accreditation Liaison.


Additional Information


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       -   Request Form 

       -   Prospectus Form  (Contact Accreditation Liaison before completing)

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