Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation
Florida State College at Jacksonville – An Overview of SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy
Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. The types of substantive change and the procedures for addressing them appropriately may be found in the SACS Commission on College's (COC) Policy on Substantive Change. The College President or a designated representative (accreditation liaison) will notify the COC of substantive changes. The accreditation liaison should ensure that substantive changes are recognized and reported in a timely fashion to SACSCOC via the substantive change notification process.
Why is this important? SACSCOC Substantive Change standards are based on federal requirements that impact the College.
The substantive change timeline includes a list of examples of substantive change, but is not intended to serve as a complete list of substantive changes and their appropriate timeline for notification to the accreditation liaison in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation:
Please take a moment to view a brief overview video regarding substantive change at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
The College has authorized APM 02-1104 that provides guidance on compliance with the substantive change procedures of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (“SACSCOC” or “Commission”). This policy is applicable to all units, departments, centers and campuses.
The College has developed a visual representation of the substantive change process and adheres to the academic substantive change procedure.
Programs and Certificates
If you are involved with an academic program or certificate, please answer the following questions to determine if you should complete the substantive change intake form:
- Does this involve development of a new degree or certificate program ?
- Does this new degree or certificate program involve a contract, MOU, grant, or consortium for the development or construction of all or part of a program or certificate? (This applies whether the College is outsourcing instruction or our College is providing the instruction for another organization or company.)
- Will this new degree or certificate program be offered via distance education?
- Does this involve instruction of courses delivered by Florida State College at Jacksonville instructors/employees at an off-campus location?
- Does this involve the deactivation of a program or certificate?
If you answered yes to one or more of the self-assessment questions above, please complete the substantive change intake form and return it via email to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation.
New Embedded Technical Certificates
If you are involved with the development of a new embedded technical certificate, please complete the embedded technical certificate substantive change intake form.
If you are involved with an administrative department, please answer the following questions to determine if you should contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation regarding a potential substantive change:
- Does this include initiating a contract, MOU, grant, or consortium regarding outsourcing instruction or regarding the College’s provision of instruction for another organization or company?
- Does this potential substantive change include buying new property for the College?
- Does this potential substantive change include opening a new College owned campus or center?
- Does this potential substantive change involve a new off-campus instructional site?
- Does this potential substantive change include the relocation of an off-campus instructional site? (For example, the College offers some nursing courses at the XYZ Building at a specific street address provided to SACSCOC. If XYZ Building wants the College to move the instruction to another street address, then this could be considered a substantive change.)
If you answered yes to one or more of the self assessment questions above, please contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation at (904) 632-5066 or (904) 361-6252 for information regarding SACSCOC approval of your potential substantive change.
- What is a contractual agreement? A contractual agreement typically is one in which an institution enters an agreement for receipt of courses/programs or portions of courses or programs (i.e., clinical training internships, etc.) delivered by another institution or service provider.
- What is a consortial relationship? A consortial relationship typically is one in which two or more institutions share in the responsibility of developing and delivering courses and programs that meet mutually agreed upon standards of academic quality.
- Notification of initiating program/courses delivered through contractual agreement or a consortium does not apply to articulation agreements with other institutions, clinical agreements, or internship agreements.
- What is a significant departure? A program that is not closely related to previously approved programs at the institution or site or for the mode of delivery in question. To determine whether a new program is a “significant departure,” it is helpful to consider the following questions:
- What previously approved programs does the institution offer that are closely related to the new program and how are they related?
- Will significant additional equipment or facilities be needed?
- Will significant additional financial resources be needed?
- Will a significant number of new courses be added to the curriculum?
- Will a significant number of new faculty members be required?
- Will significant additional library/learning resources be needed?
- What should I consider a substantive change in my program modification? A good rule of thumb is increasing or decreasing the number of credit hours/clock hours by 25% or more. It’s also important to determine if any of the above questions regarding “significant departure” are relevant, such as if 25% of the courses are being replaced, additional equipment, new faculty, or additional library, facilities or financial resources.
- What information must you provide as part of the teach-out plan for closing a program? SACSCOC must approve all program closures prior to implementation. The written plan must provide equitable treatment of students and must also include the following information:
- Date of closure (date when new students will no longer be admitted)
- An explanation of how affected parties (students, faculty, staff) will be informed of the impending closure
- An explanation of how all affected students will be helped to complete their programs of study with minimal disruption
- An indication as to whether the teach-out plan will incur additional charges/expenses to the students and, if so, how the students will be notified
- Signed copies of teach-out agreements with other institutions, if any
- How faculty and staff will be redeployed or helped to find new employment
- What is a dual degree? A separate program completion credentials each of which bears only the name, seal, and signature of the institution awarding the degree to the student.
- What is a joint degree? A single program completion credential bearing the names, seals, and signatures of each of the two or more institutions awarding the degree to the student.
Please contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation at (904) 632-5066 or (904) 361-6252 for information regarding any questions you have pertaining to a potential substantive change or the substantive change intake form.