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SACSCOC Substantive Change Timeline


The following is a list of examples, but not intended to serve as a complete list of substantive changes and their appropriate timeline for notification to the Accreditation Liaison.

  1. No SACSCOC notification necessary (contact Accreditation Liaison to ensure that this development is tracked accurately):
    1. Initiating an off-campus site where students can obtain 24% or less of credits/clock hours of certificate/degree 
    2. Offering courses via distance education* (no SACSCOC notification is required since APSU is already a SACSCOC approved distance education provider)
    3. Expanding program offerings at a previously approved off-campus site(please note new programs to the institution may be subject to new program approval)
    4. Initiating a certificate program using existing approved courses
  2. Written SACSCOC notification prior to implementation of change (contact Accreditation Liaison two months prior to implementation):
    1. Initiating an off-campus site where students can obtain 25 - 49% of credits/clock hours of certificate/degree (including dual enrollment sites)
    2. Initiating programs/courses offered through Cooperative Academic Arrangement
    3. Relocating an approved off-campus site
    4. Initiating a joint program(s) with another SACSCOC accredited institution
    5. Initiating dual academic awards
  3. SACSCOC approval required prior to last date that APSU will cease admitting new students to the program:
    1. Inactivating (closing) a program with internal teach-out protocol**
    2. Inactivating (closing) a program with teach-out agreement with another institution**
  4. Approval of a full prospectus (contact Accreditation Liaison nine months prior to implementation):
    1. Offering a majority (50% or more) of the credit hours/clock hours needed to complete a degree, certificate, or diploma at off-campus site (new) (there are exceptions to this guideline)
    2. Altering significantly the length of a program (rule of thumb is increasing or decreasing the number of credit hours/clock hours by 25% or more and increasing the expected time for completion)
    3. Initiating joint degrees with another institution not accredited by SACSCOC
    4. Adding significantly different programs to the academic curriculum at the College ~
    5. Initiating a new branch campus
    6. Relocating a campus




^Contact the Provost's Office.

*Distance Education is defined by SACSCOC as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. A distance education course may employ correspondence study, or audio, video, or computer technologies.

** A teach-out plan is a written plan developed by an institution that provides for the equitable treatment of students if an institution, or an institutional location that provides fifty percent or more of at least one program, ceases to operate before all students have completed their program of study, and may include, if required by the institution's accrediting agency, a teach-out agreement between institutions. Teach-out plans must be approved by SACSCOC in advance of implementation.

~SACSCOC provides a list of questions to help institutions determine whether the program is a significant departure from existing approved programs. Please contact the Provost's Office for more information.