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Substantive Change

Substantive Change is a term used by our accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC), to describe "any significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution." Some of the most common changes that would apply to CCCC are:

  • adding new types of curriculum programs
  • adding locations where CCCC holds curriculum courses
  • expanding a program from one campus to an additional location (even if we already have approval for other programs at that location)
  • changing the method of delivering instruction to students
  • forming collaborative arrangements with other colleges or schools
  • moving or closing a location where CCCC holds curriculum courses

Any change in the curriculum programs that CCCC offers, or the locations where curriculum courses meet (including a change from seated to distance courses), needs to be evaluated to determine whether the change needs to be reported. At CCCC, the Institutional Effectiveness Office reviews any and all proposed changes and recommends appropriate communication of the plan to SACSCOC for approval.

If you have an initiative that you feel may constitute a substantive change, please contact Kevin Pearson, Coordinator of Accreditation and QEP, to discuss the matter. He will research the appropriate guidelines to follow and will work to organize the submission of appropriate notification.

Types and Timing of Notification

Substantive changes generally require a notification of the change be submitted to SACSCOC six months prior to the implementation AND a prospectus submitted the prior January for a fall implementation and by June for a Spring implementation.

  • The notification letter simply demonstrates our intent to make a change and includes the proposed implementation date and the physical address(es) of the change.
  • The prospectus documents and demonstrates in great detail the need for the change, the plan for the change and the college's ability to support the change under property authority, through adequate resources, facilities and faculty, and with appropriate evaluation and assessment.

Details about what constitutes a substantive change and what CCCC needs to send to SACSCOC in response to a substantive change are available in the Substantive Change Charts.


Please contact us if you have any questions about substantive change or if you would like to report a possible substantive change. Requests can also be submitted on our IE Request Form.