Revised from Policy Adopted by President’s Cabinet 10/23/18
Revisions Adopted by President’s Cabinet 2/18/20

EGSC Policy Statement on Substantive Change Notification

All substantive changes will be reported to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) on a timely basis consistent with the Commission's policy on substantive changes.

Substantive Change Definition and Resources

Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution, as defined in SACSCOC substantive change policy. The Commission on College's substantive change policy may be accessed at A number of SACSCOC substantive change documents and other resources are available on this webpage, including the following on-demand Focused-Topic Webinars:

    • Determining Significant Departure 
    • Dual Enrollment and Instructional Sites
    • How to Write a Prospectus
    • Managing Off-campus Instructional Sites

SACSCOC substantive change documents may also be accessed at the College’s SACSCOC Substantive Change webpage here.

Substantive Change Notification Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all college personnel to be aware of the requirements to notify SACSCOC (and, in some cases, obtain advanced approval) concerning all substantive changes. The determinations about whether a proposed action is a substantive change, what type of notice is required, when that notice is required and whether SACSCOC must give advance approval will often require advance consultation with the college’s SACSCOC liaison. This policy establishes procedures to assure that such consultation takes place in advance to enable these discussions about compliance with the SACSCOC substantive change policy to take place on a timely basis.

East Georgia State College's (EGSC) SACSCOC liaison is responsible for coordinating the College's substantive change notification actions. The College's SACSCOC liaison will present an overview of the SACSCOC substantive change policy to the President's Cabinet at the beginning of each academic year and inform the Cabinet of important updates as necessary. The SACSCOC liaison will maintain a link on the College's Website to this substantive change notification policy and a worksheet that will aid in the identification of substantive changes and preparation of required documentation.

In addition, the SACSCOC liaison will consult with the President of the College and the President's Cabinet concerning strategic initiatives that may be classified as substantive changes according to SACSCOC policy.

SACSCOC Procedures for Reporting Substantive Changes

According to the SACSCOC policy, there are three procedures for addressing the different types of substantive change:

    • Procedure One for the Review of Substantive Changes Requiring Approval Prior to Implementation (Notification may also be required).
    • Procedure Two for the Review of Substantive Changes Requiring Only Notification Prior to Implementation (some changes also require submission of additional documents).
    • Procedure Three for Closing a Program, Site, Branch Campus or Institution.

In recent years, EGSC has made several different types of substantives changes. Some of these changes have been reported to SACSCOC using Procedure One and others using Procedure Two. For example, Procedure Two was used to report to SACSCOC the offering of 10 associate of arts and 5 associate of science degrees with disciplinary distinctions beginning in Fall Semester 2017. Another example of using Procedure Two is the reporting of dual enrollment courses taught by the College at area high schools. In contrast, Procedure One has been followed for reporting each new baccalaureate program and to report the expansion of course offerings at EGSC Augusta beyond 50 percent of credits required to complete an associate degree. In the case of the baccalaureate programs, prior SACSCOC approval was required because new curricula were to be offered by the College. For the EGSC Augusta expansion, prior SACSCOC approval was required because the number of core curriculum course offerings were being expanded at a new location.

Timing of Internal Reporting of Potential Substantive Changes

The due dates for notifying SACSCOC vary according to the type of substantive change being proposed. In some cases, notice must be given to SACSCOC significantly in advance of implementation of the change. Accordingly, proposals which may be substantive changes should be reported by the college personnel initiating that proposal at the time of initial development of the proposal. This would enable the person reporting the potential change and the SACSCOC liaison to determine the appropriate due date.

EGSC Internal Process for Reporting Substantive Changes

    1. Academic Changes
      All proposals for curricular modifications, new degree programs, and/or academic work on levels previously not included within the scope of EGSC’s SACSCOC accreditation must be reviewed within the context of SACSCOC and EGSC substantive change criteria and policies by the School’s Academic Dean and the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs prior to submission to the Academic Policies and Curriculum Committee (APCC).
      1. The dean and VPASA will complete the substantive change checklist and outline forms presented below prior to initiating review of the proposal. The VPASA must send the forms to the SACS liaison and the Cabinet to alert them to any potential substantive change issues that may arise in connection with new academic proposals prior to any submission to the APCC.
      2. Any academic proposal to the APCC must include a section indicating the need (or not) for a substantive change proposal(s) to SACSCOC and must provide sufficient information for the committee to determine whether the institution can meet the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation deemed to be necessary for substantive change approvals. Proposals to APCC should not be approved if the proposal cannot document that the substantive change involved cannot support and adhere to SACSCOC Principles. Faculty senate reviews should also take into account the substantive change issues documented in the proposal.
    2. All other changes In consultation with the College's SACSCOC liaison and the President's Cabinet, initiatives to be presented to the Cabinet will be reviewed based on SACSCOC substantive change policy criteria prior to presentation to Cabinet.
      1. EGSC personnel responsible for implementing a substantive change will complete the substantive change checklist and outline forms presented below.
      2. The College's SACSCOC liaison in conjunction with the appropriate Vice President will prepare a timeline for each approved initiative that has been identified as a substantive change, including when the College will submit the initiative to its governing board, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents (USG BOR); when SACSCOC must be notified; and when any supporting documentation needs to be submitted to both agencies.
    3. Depending upon the substantive change to be reported, the appropriate academic and institutional committees will take the necessary actions to implement the substantive change. The development of new academic programs will be supported by the work of the APCC and the Faculty Senate.

EGSC Process for Reporting Substantive Changes to SACSCOC

    1. The SACSCOC liaison, in conjunction with the appropriate Vice President, will prepare any required notification of SACSCOC and any required request for approval by SACSCOC for the President of the College to review, approve, sign. The SACSCOC liaison will then notify SACSCOC of the substantive change in the manner and by the date required by the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy.
    2. All required documentation to obtain approval for the substantive change will be prepared under the leadership of the divisional Vice President or Dean of the School in consultation with the EGSC SACSCOC liaison. The documentation must be submitted by the Vice President or Dean in charge of the initiative to the President of the College and the EGSC SACSCOC liaison for review at least one month in advance of any deadlines published by SACSCOC.
    3. 3. All communication between EGSC and SACSCOC concerning any notice of a substantive change or request for approval of a substantive change will be carried out by the SACSCOC liaison or the President.

Substantive Change Checklist and SACSCOC Prospectus Outline (PDF)