Notification of Substantive Change to the Commission of Colleges, SACS

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PolicyREG02.07.03
TitleNotification of Substantive Change to the Commission of Colleges, SACS
CategoryAcademic Affairs
Sub-categoryAccreditation, Assessment and Other Academic Matters
AuthorityProvost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
History

July 1, 2009

Related Policies
Additional References

SACS Substantive Change Standards 3.12.1 and 3.12.2: 3.12.1: The institution notifies the Commission of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seeks approval prior to the initiation of changes. 3.12.2: The institution has a policy and adequate procedures to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission on Colleges (Internal policy).


1. Introduction

East Carolina University adheres to the substantive change policy of the SACS Commission on Colleges. The university notifies the commission of any significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of changes and seeks prior approval of changes as required. The Office of Academic Program Planning and Development in the Division of Academic Affairs reviews program and curricular changes in all divisions for instances that constitute substantive change.

1.1 Office of Academic Program Planning and Development, Division of Academic Affairs. The office facilitates university-wide undergraduate and graduate degree program development and refinement in the academic affairs and health sciences divisions. The office assures that new and revised academic programs are in compliance with the rules and regulations of East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina system, our regional accrediting body, and the state legislature.

1.2 Academic Program Development Collaborative Team

The Academic Program Development Collaborative Team (APDC Team) is an advisory body to the Academic Council. A unit proposing a new degree program begins the on-campus review process by presenting the appropriate documents to the APDC Team, which will collaborate with the unit to strengthen the proposal. The APDC Team advises the provost and Academic Council on all new academic program proposals submitted as well as advises the dean of the Graduate School on graduate programs under consideration. APDC Team also advises the Educational Policies and Planning Committee of its recommendations.

1.3 Academic Council

The Academic Council consists of the provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, the vice chancellor for health sciences, and the vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. The Academic Council considers the APDC Team’s recommendations on new academic degree program proposals and makes recommendations to the chancellor.

1.4 Educational Policies and Planning Committee

[The charge and membership roster of the Educational Policies and Planning Committee, a standing committee of the Faculty Senate, may be accessed at: http://www.ecu.edu/csacad/fsonline/ep/educationalpolicies.cfm.] EPPC considers new program proposals, minors, certificates, and concentrations, and makes recommendations to the chancellor. The Chair of EPPC serves as a member of the APDC Team.

2. Relevant Applications

2.1 The Office of Academic Program Planning and Development, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate and the Office for Faculty Excellence, offers academic program development workshops annually for faculty and administrators. Substantive change requirements are included as agenda items for these workshops.

2.2 New Degree Programs

Effective July 1, 2009, the APCD Team will identify proposed degree programs that constitute a substantive change as defined by SACS at the planning stage [Appendix A, Notification of Intent to Plan for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs | http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php?pg=dl&id=3786&format=pdf&inline=1.] If the proposed program constitutes a substantive change, the Office of the Provost through the Office for Academic Program Planning and Development will notify SACS by written correspondence. If it is unclear whether a substantive change will occur or whether a change qualifies as substantive, ECU will err on the side of caution and notify SACS of the proposed degree program. If SACS requests additional information, the Office of the Provost will forward a copy of the form required by [Appendix C: Request for Authorization to Establish a New Degree Program | http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php?pg=dl&id=3788&format=pdf&inline=1], when it is submitted to UNC-GA for final approval and any other information requested by the Commission on Colleges.

2.2 Existing Programs Offered Through Distance Education (off-site and technology-based):

Effective July 1, 2009, the APDC Team will identify off-campus sites and distance learning programs that constitute a substantive change as defined by SACS when [Appendix F, The Notification of Intent to Plan a New Distance Education Degree Program | http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php?pg=dl&id=3793&format=pdf&inline=1] is submitted to UNC-GA for review. If the proposed program constitutes a substantive change, the Office of the Provost through the Office of Academic Program Planning and Development will notify SACS by written correspondence and if further information is requested, the Office of the Provost will forward a copy of the [Appendix G, Request for Authorization to Establish a New Distance Education Degree Program | http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php?pg=vs&id=3794] when it is submitted to UNC-GA for final approval.


3. Other Related Policies

At East Carolina University, approval of departmental certificates is considered to be a curricular/curriculum development matter. Faculty complete proposals for certificate programs, which are reviewed by the appropriate institutional curriculum committee (Graduate Curriculum Committee or University Curriculum Committee). Upon receiving curriculum committee approval, certificate proposals are reviewed by EPPC, the Academic Council, and submitted to the Chancellor for approval. Since July 2010, the US. Department of Education has required the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to be notified of all departmental certificate programs approved by the university. Once a certificate has been approved by the Chancellor, SACS is notified by the Office of the Provost (Office of Academic Program Planning and Development) prior to the campus “…Initiating a certificate program... (typically for workforce development).” (Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change, COC, SACS, July 9, 2010)