Substantive Change Policy

Lee College will be proactive in ensuring all incidences of substantive changes be reported in a timely manner as required by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges. The complete SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy Statement can be found online at http://www.sacscoc.org/SubstantiveChange.asp.

Educational Accreditation Agencies Substantive Change

Purpose: The following guidelines have been developed to provide all departments within Lee College with a process for maintaining compliance with the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Lee College Policy GK (attached) that includes substantive change. The procedures within these guidelines apply to all Lee College departments.

The Office of Instruction and Vice President of Instruction are responsible for notifying SACSCOC of any and all substantive changes.

Responsibility: Responsibility for compliance with the SACSCOC substantive change policy rests with the administration. It is the responsibility of the SACSCOC Liaison to inform all members of the Lee College campus of the substantive change requirements.

Procedures

New Programs, Degrees or Certificates; Or significant changes to credit hours required for a degree or certificate

It is the responsibility of the Chief Academic Officer, Vice President of Instruction, to ensure that substantive changes related to curriculum are communicated to the SACSCOC Liaison for submission to SACSCOC. New programs, degrees, and certificates, or significant changes to the number of credit hours required for a program, degree or certificate must follow the approval process as outlined by the Lee College curriculum maintenance process. Proposed curriculum changes must be accompanied by documentation showing program faculty approval, division support and the program’s Advisory Board approval, if applicable. Program faculty are advised to consult with the appropriate Dean and registrar before proposing a major curriculum change to ensure the change is within permitted accreditation guidelines.

LC Curriculum Development and Maintenance Process

  1. Request (all new requests will start at this level)
  2. Division Approval (represents that the Division approved this request and is ready for submission to CAAC)
  3. CAAC Approved (CAAC Committee approved the request)
  4. Instructional Dean Reviewed
  5. VP-Learning Reviewed
  6. Board of Regents Approval (new workflow notifications 2017)
  7. SACSCOC Approval (new workflow notifications 2017)
  8. Coordinating Board Approval (new workflow notifications 2017)
  9. Entered into PeopleSoft/Catalog (new workflow notifications)

Governing Boards and External Educational Accrediting Agencies

  1. Once a proposal completes step #5 and has been reviewed by the Vice President of Instruction (VPI), notice of the proposal will be sent to the SACSCOC liaison and the secretary for the Board of Regents for a future agenda item step #6, if necessary. If it is determined that Board of Regents approval is required, the VPI will prepare the Board Action Item for consideration. If it is determined that Board approval is not necessary, it may be processed as an informational item or removed from agenda consideration. Once the determination is made, the appropriate action will be taken in the Curriculum Maintenance System with documentation attached.
  2. Once a proposal completes step #6, workflow notices will be sent to the VPI, SACSCOC Liaison and the President’s Office for consideration of SACSCOC substantive change reporting, step #7. If the VPI and SACSCOC liaison determine the proposal to be a substantive change, the SACSCOC liaison will ensure changes are properly reported to SACSCOC in a timely manner. If the substantive changes warrant a prospectus, the prospectus for a curriculum change planned for the fall semester must be submitted to in SACSCOC no later than the previous January 1st. The prospectus for curriculum changes planned for the spring or summer semester must be submitted to SACSCOC no later than the previous July 1st. These deadlines inform the timeline that the VPI and SACSCOC liaison set for the affected faculty and approving entities.
  1. If the change merits a prospectus, the program faculty shall create the prospectus in collaboration with personnel from the Office of Instruction and the SACSCOC liaison.
  2. Once the prospectus is finalized with all supporting documentation and approved by the Vice President of Instruction, the SACSCOC liaison will submit all documentation to SACSCOC for approval. All SACSCOC submissions will be provided in electronic form to the President’s office and maintained in the Lee College Curriculum Maintenance system.
  3. If the change does not merit a prospectus, the SACSCOC liaison is provided a description of the change with the appropriate documentation. Upon approval by the Vice President of Instruction, SACSCOC will be notified of the change. The President’s office will be copied on all electronic communications regarding notifications and receive an electronic copy of submissions including documentation. Notifications will also be saved electronically in the Lee College Curriculum Maintenance system.
  4. When SACSCOC approves the change described in the prospectus or acknowledges the notification of change, the SACSCOC liaison will notify the Office of Instruction and the President’s Office. Upon notification, the Office of Instruction takes the appropriate action in the Curriculum Maintenance system moving the item to the next step.
  5. No substantive change is effective until approval from SACSCOC.
  6. Once step #7 is completed, notices will be sent to the Office of Instruction and the Office of Student Affairs to initiate Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) procedures for approval, step #8. The Office of Instruction will complete the changes in the state inventory for state approval. The Office of Student Affairs will begin processing the changes for federal aid and reporting purposes. When a decision regarding the changes is received from THECB, the Office of Instruction will take the appropriate action in the LC Curriculum Maintenance System.
  7. Once step #8 is completed, notices will be sent to the Office of Instruction and the Lee College Registrar and the Office of Financial Aid to initiate changes to the Student Information System, PeopleSoft, and Federal Aid System. The Office of Instruction will make the changes to the Catalog and PeopleSoft.

These steps are intended to be sequential. Only step #7 SACSCOC notification/approval and step #8 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board notification/approval may be initiated simultaneously due to the long approval process. All steps must be completed prior to implementation.

Deactivated and Closed Programs, Degrees, and Certificates (With or without agreements)

It is the responsibility of the Office of Instruction to ensure that substantive changes related to deactivation or closure of programs, degrees or certificates are submitted to the SACSCOC liaison for reporting to SACSCOC

If the program faculty and/or advisory board have made the recommendation to deactivate or close a program, degrees or certificates from a program, the deactivation approval process must be followed as outlined by the LC Curriculum Maintenance System requiring all steps be completed.

The Office of Instruction and Registrar will ensure Teach-out Plans are developed and carried out for each program closure.

The program/award is not officially deactivated or closed until acknowledgement is received from SACSCOC.

New facilities, relocation or closure of existing facilities; Name change of new facilities owned by the College District

When the name of a facility is changed, but not closed or moved, the name change will be reported to SACSCOC along with the date that the name change goes into effect.

  1. When a new facility is proposed or when it is proposed that an existing major facility be moved, the approval of the Lee College Board of Regents is required. The Vice President of Instruction will notify the SACSCOC liaison of new facility approvals. The SACSCOC liaison will submit all required documentation which includes the name, address of the site and the approximate date that the new structure will be completed, acquired, or moved.
  2. The SACSCOC liaison will be responsible for submitting the required prospectus to SACSCOC prior to January 1 the year before the fall semester instruction is proposed to begin at the site. A July 1st deadline is required for proposals intended for spring implementation. A prospectus is not required for new buildings that will be part of an existing, previously reported campus.

Minor sites leased or owned by the College District

  1. The Vice President of Instruction, Vice President of Student Affairs and Vice President of Student Success will notify the SACSCOC liaison whenever a new instructional site is added to the College District. This notice will include the name and address of the site.
  2. The SACSCOC liaison will notify SACSCOC of the names and addresses of the minor instructional sites. In addition, SACSCOC will also be notified of any instructional sites where 25% of a program is being taught.

Minor sites not leased or owned by Lee College

The most common type of instructional site not leased or owned by Lee College is a high school engaged in dual credit with Lee College. The Office of Instruction will be responsible for the prospectus once instruction at a dual credit site reaches 40%.

  1. The Office of Student Affairs, Office of Instruction and Office of Student Success will notify the Office of the President and SACSCOC liaison whenever a new instructional site is added to the District. This notice will include the name and address of the site.
  2. The SACSCOC liaison will notify SACSCOC of the names and addresses of the instructional sites. In addition, SACSCOC will also be notified of any instructional sites including dual credit sites, where 25% of a program is being taught.
  3. When a site reaches the 40% of program instruction, the Vice President of Instruction (VPI) is notified by the Vice President of Student Affairs or the Dual Credit Director to prepare a prospectus for that site. Once completed, the prospectus is sent to the SACSCOC liaison, if not the VPI, for submission to SACSCOC prior to January 1 for any site expected to reach 50% of program instruction in the subsequent fall semester. Prospectus are due by July 1 for any site expected to reach 50% in the subsequent spring semester. Approval must be received prior to exceeding 49% program completion potential.

Facility Closure

Closing major facilities requires Board approval. The Vice President of Instruction will inform the SACSCOC liaison of such approvals. The SACSCOC liaison will submit all required documentation informing SACSCOC that the site has closed as soon as possible following the decision to close.

Current sites owned or leased by the College District at 25% to 40% threshold

  1. The SACSCOC liaison will notify SACSCOC when 25% to 40% of a program instruction is reached. The SACSCOC liaison will make note of the date of the 25% threshold and maintain the list for submission to SACSCOC when the next substantive change notification is reported.
  2. When a site reaches the 40% mark of instruction, the SACSCOC liaison will prepare a prospectus for that site. A prospectus will also be prepared when there are at least 8 general education courses offered at a site or a mixture of general education and workforce courses equating or exceeding 24 SCH. Once completed, the prospectus is sent to SACSCOC adhering to the January 1st deadline for fall implementation and July 1st for spring prior to reaching 50% of program instruction.

Early College High School

  1. When a new Early College High School is proposed, the approval of the College District Board of Regents is required. The Vice President of Instruction and Vice President of Student Affairs will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the partner school district for operation of an Early College High School for Board approval and will notify the SACSCOC liaison once approved. The SACSCOC liaison will submit all required documentation which includes the name, address of the site and the approximate date that the new structure will be completed, acquired, or moved.
  2. When the Early College High School reaches the 40% of program instruction, the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Vice President of Instruction develop the prospectus to be submitted by the SACSCOC liaison in a timely manner. Once completed, the prospectus is sent to SACSCOC adhering to the January 1st deadline for fall implementation and July 1st for spring prior to reaching 50% of program instruction.

Other substantive changes: For all other types of substantive changes, especially those involving significant changes in terms of institutional mission, level of program or course offerings, and partnerships with other institutions, the President will initiate the substantive change process, securing Board and/or State approval (THECB, State Legislature) when required.

Coursework at different level: This type of change would require statutory authorization by the legislature. Prior to placing this measure on the College District’s legislative agenda, the President must first secure approval from the College District Board of Regents followed by approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Once approved and authorized by statute, the details of the curriculum would have to follow the internal approval processes as outlined in the Lee College Curriculum Development and Maintenance Process. The Vice President of Instruction would oversee the approval processes and ensure that sufficient time is allowed to accommodate the twelve months advanced notice and prior approval required by SACSCOC before the implementation.

Altering the Institution’s Educational Mission: The fundamental educational mission of Texas community colleges is determined by the State Legislature and overseen by the THECB. With each new Strategic Plan, the Lee College revisits the Lee College Mission Statement to ensure its alignment with state law, THECB rules and regulations, and to phrase it in terms that best serve the interests of the community. Any significant change in the educational mission would necessarily require concurrent conversations and approval by all governing bodies (Lee College Board of Regents, THECB, and the State Legislature). The President will communicate the desire of the Board to make any significant changes in the educational mission of the institution to the Vice President of Instruction and SACSCOC liaison for subsequent notification to SACSCOC.

Joint or Dual Degrees with another Institution: This type of change would come as a result of a contract or agreement originated by the President and would require approval of the Lee College Board of Regents. Upon Board approval, the President would direct the SACSCOC liaison to notify SACSCOC and request approval.

Programs or Courses offered through contract or consortium: This type of arrangement is likely to begin at the program level in the instructional departments. A dean, director and/or a lead instructor would be involved in the initial stages, however any agreement(s) must signed and executed by the President in accordance with Lee College policy and subject to Board of Regent approval and THECB approval where required. Once approved, the President will notify the Vice President of Instruction to submit the proposal through the Curriculum Development and Maintenance System and work with the SACSCOC liaison to notify SACSCOC in a timely manner.

Contracting with Non-credited Entities: Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title IV programs may be initiated by the President and may require Board of Regents and THECB approval. Once approved, the President will notify the Vice President of Instruction to submit the proposal through the Curriculum Development and Maintenance System and work with the SACSCOC liaison to notify SACSCOC in a timely manner.

Acquiring a Program or adding a permanent location site: Taking over another institution’s governance, building(s) or programs or teaching-out another institution’s programs are activities that would be initiated by the President and would require the approval of the Lee College Board of Regents and THECB. Once approved, the President will notify the Vice President of Instruction to submit the proposal through the Curriculum Development and Maintenance System and work with the SACSCOC liaison to notify SACSCOC in a timely manner.

Merger or consolidation with another institution: Merging with another institution would be initiated by the President and would require the approval of the Board of Regents and THECB. Once approved, the President will notify the Vice President of Instruction to submit the proposal through the Curriculum Development and Maintenance System and work with the SACSCOC liaison to notify SACSCOC in a timely manner.

Teaching-Out: If Lee College closes a program, a site, or decides to close altogether, and contracts with another institution to teach-out Lee College’s students, the decision to do so will be made by the president and would require the approval of the Board of Regents and THECB. The Vice President of Instruction would inform the SACSCOC liaison of this event. From that point the procedures for notifying SACSCOC would be followed.


Lee College SACSCOC Liaison
DeDe Griffith, Vice President of Instruction (interim)
Chief Academic Officer
dgriffith@lee.edu
281.425.6867