BSCC is accredited by the SACSCOC. The accreditation indicates that the College “has 1) a mission appropriate to higher education, 2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and 3) maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.”
In addition to the College’s five-year and ten-year reviews by the Commission, the College should follow substantive change procedures established by the Commission and “notify the SACSCOC of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of changes.”2 The term “substantive change” is defined by the SACSCOC as a “significant modification or expansion of the nature or scope of an accredited institution.”3 Failure to comply with the SACSCOC substantive change policy and procedures may result in serious consequences for the College which may include suspending the activity until SACSCOC approval is received, repayment of financial aid funds dispersed to students, placing the College on sanctions, or removing the College’s accreditation entirely. Substantive changes can include, but are not limited to:
- Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution
- Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution
- 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
- The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution’s current accreditation or reaffirmation.
- A change from clock hours to credit hours
- A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program
- The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50% of an educational program.
- The establishment of a branch campus
- Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution • Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement that includes only the initiation of a dual or joint academic program with another institution
- Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution
- Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach- out program for a closed institution
- Entering into a contract by which an entity not eligible for Title IV funding offers 25%or more of one or more of the accredited institution’s programs
Certain substantive changes require prior notification to the SACSCOC. Other substantive changes require submission of a substantive change prospectus prior to implementation of the substantive change. A substantive change may also require on-site committee reviews by the SACSCOC. In consultation with the SACSCOC policies and staff members, the Accreditation Liaison determines the applicability of the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy to the activities described above.
1 See The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, p. 3
2&3 See Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on College: Policy Statement, p. 1