Substantive Change

  • Here you will find an overview of the Substantive Change process. You will also find a link to the Substantive Change Manual that is used to guide institutions in developing substantive change proposals and the meeting schedule of the Substantive Change Committee.

    The Substantive Change policy can be found on the ACCJC website on the Publications and Policies page in the Accreditation Reference Handbook and the Substantive Change Manual.

    Substantive Change Committee Meetings

    Dates of scheduled meetings for the ACCJC Committee on Substantive Change for 2016-17 are:

    February 24, 2017 – Applications due by January 10, 2017 

    April 21, 2017 – Applications due by March 7, 2017

    Substantive Change Proposal

    The Commission expects accredited institutions to undertake change responsibly and to continue to meet the Eligibility Requirements, Accreditation Standards and Commission policies even as they make changes.  To provide assurance of institutional quality to the public and to maintain Title IV financial aid funds for students of the institution, a Substantive Change Proposal must be reviewed and acted upon by the Commission’s Committee on Substantive Change, or the Commission as a whole.

    For purposes of scheduling, and for an initial staff determination about the nature of the substantive change in question, it is important to contact staff before submitting a Substantive Change Proposal.  Proposals must be completed according to the requirements as detailed in the ACCJC Substantive Change Manual.   At the time the institution submits a draft proposal to the ACCJC office for review, the institution will be invoiced a $1,000 fee.  The Committee reserves the right to return incomplete final proposals which will incur additional fees.  ACCJC Fees Schedule available for download here.

    Review of a draft proposal, instructions for submission, and the outcome of the Committee’s review will be provided to the institution by ACCJC staff.  Staff assigned to facilitate and assist with the substantive change process is Dr. Norv Wellsfry,

    One example of a substantive change is if an institution offers courses that constitute 50% or more of a program, degree, or certificate, including general education requirements, through a distance mode, electronic delivery, or correspondence education.  A complete list of changes that require a Substantive Change Proposal can be found in the Substantive Change Manual.

    Guide for Preparing an ACCJC Baccalaureate Degree Substantive Change Proposal
    The College’s Substantive Change Proposal must include the following elements, including evidence.  (The new Accreditation Standards now reference the Baccalaureate degree criteria and must be used for the proposal.)

    Guide for Preparing a Competency-Based Education Substantive Change Proposal

    Common Framework for Defining and Approving Competency-Based Education Programs

    Policy on Direct Assessment of Learning

    The following other Commission resources can be found in the Accreditation Reference Handbook:

    * Policy on Substantive Change

    * Policy on Distance Education and on Correspondence Education

    * Policy on Contractual Relationships with Non-Regionally Accredited Organizations

    * Policy on Institutions with Related Entities

    * Policy on Interregional Policies on the Accreditation of Institutions Operating Across Regions