standard 3.12.1


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3.0 Comprehensive Standards
4.0 Federal Requirements



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3.12     Responsibility for compliance with the Commission's substantive change procedures and policy. The Commission on Colleges accredits the entire institution and its programs and services, wherever they are located or however they are delivered. Accreditation, specific to an institution, is based on conditions existing at the time of the most recent evaluation and is not transferable to other institutions or entities.

When an accredited institution significantly modifies or expands its scope, changes the nature of its affiliation or its ownership, or merges with another institution, a substantive change review is required. The Commission is responsible for evaluating all substantive changes to assess the impact of the change on the institution's compliance with defined standards. If an institution fails to follow the Commission's procedures for notification and approval of substantive changes, its total accreditation may be placed in jeopardy. (See Commission policy, "Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions"). If an institution is unclear as to whether a change is substantive in nature, it should contact Commission staff for consultation.

An applicant or candidate institution may not undergo substantive change prior to action on initial membership.

     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. (Substantive change)

 Compliance             Partial Compliance         Non-Compliance


Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) is in compliance with this comprehensive standard. The College

  1. created a Substantive Change Procedures Manual that demonstrates the various internal process flows required at FTCC,
  2. incorporated substantive change triggers into the College curriculum approval process, and
  3. developed a comprehensive substantive change training workshop for faculty and staff to ensure timely identification of substantive changes.

Substantive change documentation is closely monitored by the SACS liaison and is maintained in two locations.


FTCC has developed a Substantive Change Procedures Manual to inform faculty and staff of the requirement for timely notification of substantive change actions. This manual devotes a separate chapter to the various situations that could result in a possible substantive change.  The manual was presented to the Commission on Colleges (COC) and received full acceptance during the December 2008 Commission meeting.  The Substantive Change Procedures Manual is posted to the Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment website.  

As indicated on the List of Substantive Changes Approved Since the Last Reaffirmation, FTCC has submitted more than 100 notifications and several prospectus applications. All submissions have been accepted by the COC.

FTCC has created a substantive change timeline that is monitored by the Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee considers program change recommendations only when there is evidence of proper substantive change notification.  The local Curriculum Program Change includes a section for documenting whether or not the proposed change has a substantive change implication.  The Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment, as a voting member of the Curriculum Review Committee, addresses all substantive change implications. Additionally, the North Carolina Community College System Office monitors substantive change submissions. 

A substantive change training workshop is conducted each semester for faculty and staff. This training program ensures continuity of the substantive change program as new employees join the College. The Human Resources Office maintains an attendance roster.

FTCC has a comprehensive substantive change process that includes a process flow charts associated with each possible type of substantive change action. The College has implemented checks-and-balances that coincide with the Substantive Change Manual.

Supporting Documentation

# Source Location
1 Substantive Change Procedures Manual http://sacs.faytechcc.edu/Documents/


December 2008 Letter



Substantive Change Procedures Manual posted on Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment Website



List of Substantive Changes Approved






Curriculum Program Change


7 Curriculum Review Committee http://sacs.faytechcc.edu/Documents/


North Carolina Community College System Office Monitoring



Substantive Change Training Workshop


10 Substantive Change Training Attendance Roster http://sacs.faytechcc.edu/Link.html

11 Substantive Change Process Flow Charts http://sacs.faytechcc.edu/Documents/

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