Substantive Change

Substantive Change

The University is required to notify SACSCOC of changes consistent with SACSCOC’s substantive change policy and when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of changes.  Substantive change is defined as a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive change includes:

  • Substantially changing the established mission or objectives of an institution or its programs.
  • Changing the legal status, form of control, or ownership of an institution
  • Changing the governance of an institution.
  • Merging / consolidating two or more institutions or entities.
  • Acquiring another institution or any program or location of another institution.
  • Relocating an institution or an off-campus instructional site of an institution (including a branch campus).
  • Adding a program that is a significant departure from the existing programs, or method of delivery, from those offered when the institution was last evaluated.
  • Initiating programs by distance education or correspondence courses.
  • Adding an additional method of delivery to a currently offered program.
  • Awarding dual or joint academic awards.
  • Re-opening a previously closed program or off-campus instructional site.
  • Adding a new off-campus instructional site/additional location including a branch campus.
  • Closing an institution, a program, a method of delivery, an off-campus instructional site, or a program at an off-campus instructional site. 

    Please read UVA's Substantive Change for Regional Accreditation Policy for additional information.

The following are examples of substantive changes submitted to SACSCOC:

  • Approval of the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, VA.
  • Master of Science in Athletic Training degree program to replace the Master of Education in Kinesiology.
  • Relocation of the Master of Science in Management Information Technology from Roslyn, VA to McLean, Virginia.
  • Dual Degree Program Agreement between the University of Virginia (Darden School of Business) and Johns Hopkins University Advanced International Studies
  • Closure of an off-campus site in Newport News, VA
  • Closure of an undergraduate certificate in Human Resource Management
  • Closure of the Doctor of Philosophy in Slavic Languages and Literature