SACS Compliance Certification

3.12.1 Substantive Change

The institution notifies the Commission of changes in accordance with the Commission’s substantive change policy and, when required, seeks approval prior to the initiation of changes. (See Commission policy “Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions.”) (Substantive change)

Judgment check box Compliance



Reinhardt University’s current internal substantive change policy defines the purpose of the policy, designates responsibility for reporting substantive changes, outlines the procedures for implementation, and prescribes timelines for submission of changes. [1] The substantive change policy along with the curriculum change guidelines and the curriculum change cover sheet were revised in Spring 2017 as a response to the revisions made to the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy. [2] The changes to the Reinhardt’s Substantive Change Policy served four purposes:

  • to prescribe internal timelines that meet the newly revised SACSCOC deadlines for submission of substantive changes;
  • to integrate the previous Substantive Change form within the Curricular Change Cover Sheet Form so that paperwork for new program proposals is streamlined; [34 ]
  • to designate roles and responsibilities across the university regarding the reporting of substantive changes;
  • to adopt an internal program proposal template that mirrors the structure used by the SACSCOC Prospectus so that reviewers at the university can have a comprehensive understanding of the proposed program.  [5]

The supporting documents include the previous Substantive Change Policy and Curriculum Change Guidelines, which were in effect through 2016-17. [6 ] The new policy and forms become effective in August 2017.

The Substantive Change Policy is published on the OIRE tab in EagleWeb, which is maintained by the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness. [7] In addition, through the Provost Council meetings, the Provost communicates changes to the policy to the Deans along with timelines for submitting a prospectus so that Reinhardt can meet the SACSCOC deadlines. [8] The Deans further discuss the policy with their faculty at the school meetings.

The Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness maintains a log of all institutional correspondence with SACSCOC related to substantive changes including letters of notification, submission of prospectus proposals, and letters of approval. [9] The office also maintains electronic copies of the institutional correspondence with SACSCOC related to substantive changes. See sample substantive change cover letter, prospectus, and SACSCOC approval letter. [101112]

In addition, the Director of Institutional Research & Effectiveness communicates regularly with the Financial Aid Office regarding SACSCOC substantive change approvals related to off-campus sites for required reporting to the U.S. Department of Education. [13]


Supporting Documents

[1] RU Substantive Change Policy (revised April 2017)

[2] SACSCOC Updates Information regarding Substantive Changes (August 2016)

[3] Curricular Change Cover Sheet (revised April 2017)

[4] Guidelines for Curricular Changes (revised April 2017)

[5] New Program Prospectus Template (revised April 2017)

[6] RU Substantive Change Policy (revised May 2011)

[7] OIRE Tab Screenshot

[8] Provost Council Agenda 3-6-17

[9] Log of SACSCOC Substantive Changes, 2008-2017

[10] RU MFA in Creative Writing Response Letter 1-27-16

[11] RU MFA in Creative Writing Prospectus 1-27-16

[12] SACSCOC Response to MFA in Creative Writing 1-5-2016

[13] OIRE Email to Director of Financial Aid