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: Institutional Research and Assessment
: President
: 09/09/2019
: 09/09/2019
: 09/09/2020

Substantive Change Policy

Comment on Policy


All University employees


This policy is designed to ensure the University's compliance with the following:


Academic Program: An academic program is defined as the combination of degree/award level (master, bachelor, associate, certificate), degree designation (MA, BA, BS, postsecondary certificate, etc.), and major (CIP code) for the attainment of broad educational objectives.  

CIP Code: Classification of Instructional Program – six-digit code in the form of xx.xxxx that identifies instructional program disciplines.  The CIP code supports the accurate tracking and reporting of program offerings and completions as required for reporting.  CIP codes are assigned to degrees and certificates.

Instructional location/teaching site: A teaching site is an instructional site or campus that is located physically apart from the main campus of the institution

Instructional method: Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education classifies programs according to the following:

Substantive Change: According to SACSCOC Policy, substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive change includes


Thomas More University is required to notify SACSCOC of changes in accordance with the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy, and when required, seek approval prior to the initation of such changes. Approval or notification may also be required for other government or accredition organizations.  The SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison and Institutional Liaison with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education are responsible for identifying changes at the University that require advanced approval or notification prior to implementation.   In order to accomplish this, each Liaison is an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty.

All of the following must complete the appropriate process and approval procedure according to the Academic Program Definitions and Process Guide, linked in the Appendix: 

Any other substantive changes must be approved by the President and submitted to the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison for review prior to implementation.


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Substantive Change Policy

34 CFR 602.22

Kentucky Revised Statue, Private College Licensing, 13 KAR 1:020

US Department of Education, Federal Student Aid regulations

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Student and Exchange Visitor Program regulations 

National Council for State Authority Reciprocity Agreements


All prodecures are listed in the appropriate process according to the Academic Program Definitions and Process Guide.


Not applicable



Supersedes Policy

Summarize Change

September 9, 2019

Substantive Change Policy

Added language regarding agreements with other institutions; updated process in appendix

June 19, 2019

Substantive Change Policy

Defined SACSCOC Substantive Change

October 22, 2018


New policy


Academic Definitions and Program Process Guide


Kelly French, Director of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment (serving as the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison and the Liaison with Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education)

Mark Messingschlager, Director of Financial Aid

Chris Powers, Vice President for Enrollment Management (serving as the Primary Designated School Official for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program)

María C. Garriga, Acting Provost

Joseph L. Chillo, President