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PS-03.A.32 - Monitoring and Reporting of Substantive Changes

​EFFECTIVE DATE: August 15, 2016

ISSUE #: 2

PRESIDENT:​  Michael A. Olivas (Interim)


As part of the requirements for regional accreditation, the University of Houston-Downtown is obligated to follow the substantive change procedures of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools- Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and to inform SACSCOC of any changes in its programs and activities in accordance with those procedures. This PS establishes guidelines to ensure that UHD remains in compliance with these requirements.


2.1 Academic administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Associate and Assistant Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, Deans, Associate and Assistant Deans, Department Chairs, Assistant Department Chairs, Degree Program Coordinators. 

2.2 SACSCOC Liaison: SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. The person, appointed by the President, who serves as the primary and official intermediary between the university and SACSCOC. 

2.3 SACSCOC substantive change policy: Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges

2.4 Substantive change: According to the SACSCOC substantive change policy, “a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.” Examples include but are not limited to the following: 

2.4.1 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 institution was last evaluated. 

2.4.2 Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution. 

2.4.3 The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50% of an educational program. 

2.4.4 Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement that includes only the initiation of a duel or joint academic program with another institution. 


3.1 All academic administrators and SACSCOC liaison whose responsibilities may involve them in actions that could constitute substantive changes will maintain a current understanding of the SACSCOC substantive change policy and of this policy. They will especially be knowledgeable about the types of actions that constitute substantive changes, the procedures required for each type, and the time frames for each type (Types of Substantive Change and Procedures). 

3.2 A Compliance Standing Committee of at least 6 academic and non-academic administrators and faculty, excluding the SACSCOC Liaison will be appointed by the Provost for 3-year staggered terms with shorter terms as needed upon first appointments. 

3.2.1 Conduct regular review of any policies, recommendations or requirements from SACSCOC and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) that are required for compliance. 

3.2.2 Share knowledge of, and information about, actions and proposed actions that may constitute changes based on the review, with academic and non-academic administrators and other relevant stakeholders. 


4.1 Academic administrators (Deans/Provost/President) will complete UHD Compliance Change form and will: 

4.1.1 Review the SACSCOC substantive change policy annually. 

4.1.2 Inform the SACSCOC Liaison of actions and proposed actions that may constitute substantive changes according to the SACSCOC policy and complete the substantive change form. 

4.1.3 Assist the SACSCOC Liaison in preparing and submitting to SACSCOC any letter of notification, prospectus, application, or other materials that are required for compliance with the SACSCOC substantive change policy. 

4.2 The SACSCOC Liaison will:

4.2.1 Review the SACSCOC substantive change policy annually.

4.2.2 Provide academic administrators with information about the SACS substantive change policy. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining a section of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness web site concerning substantive change and sending information about substantive change to academic administrators at least annually; 

4.2.3 Work with academic administrators to determine whether actions or proposed actions constitute substantive changes;

4.2.4 Determine what interaction with SACSCOC is needed when a change is substantive;

4.2.5 Coordinate the preparation and submission to SACSCOC of any letter of notification, prospectus, application, or other materials that are required for compliance;

4.2.6 Coordinate any follow-up actions that may be required in order to remain in compliance.


There are no exhibits associated with this policy.


Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Review: Every three years on or before August 1.

Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations.


Issue #1: 09/28/10


SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy

UHD Compliance Change Form

Last updated 3/6/2022 3:22 PM