Accreditation | OCTC

Accreditation

Institutional Accreditation

Owensboro Community and Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award the associate degree. Questions about the accreditation of Owensboro Community and Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website.

SACSCOC Accreditation Stamp

Please, visit our Professional Licensure Disclosures webpage for more information. More details are available on the KCTCS Licensure Disclosures webpage.

Each exandable cell below contains a table providing data on various achievement measures for OCTC students. If you would like to request a pdf version of this information, pleae email Dr. Kevin Beardmore.
Retention - First time (KCTCS performance measure/CPE Strategic Agenda) 
Goal:  Top 4 F15-F16 F16-F17 F17-F18 F18-F19 F19-F20 F20-F21
OCTC 56.3% 55.4% 57.3% 57.1% 59.3% 57.4%
KCTCS 52.6% 54.3% 53.3% 55.5% 57.1% 55.5%
KCTCS rank 6th 9th  3rd  7th 6th 8th 
OCTC URM 45.1% 45.6% 51.9% 44.4% 54.1% 53.2%
KCTCS URM 45.1% 47.5% 45.4% 49.5% 50.9% 47.9%
KCTCS rank 8th  12th 3rd  12th 5th 4th 
OCTC Pell 50.8% 52.4% 50.4% 54.4% 54.6% 55.0%
KCTCS Pell 50.5% 53.1% 52.1% 54.5% 55.8% 55.3%
KCTCS rank 9th  11th  10th  8th  11th  10th 
Retention - First time, full-time (IPEDS cohort measure)
Goal:  67% F15-F16 F16-F17 F17-F18 F18-F19 F19-F20 F20-F21
OCTC 59% 58% 61% 62% 65% 62%
IPEDS cohort 60% 60% 57% 61% 59%  

Note:  The peer comparison group selected by IPEDS varies each year.

Graduation in three years - First time, full-time (KCTCS performance measure)
Goal:  Top 4 F13-S16 F14-S17 F15-S18 F16-S19 F17-S20 F18-S21
OCTC 29.8% 33.0% 38.0% 36.0% 40.8% 41.6%
KCTCS 26.8% 27.1% 31.0% 33.9% 36.3% 40.2%
KCTCS rank 7th 5th 5th  9th  6th  8th 
OCTC URM 19.2% 26.7% 17.5% 15.6% 29.5% 27.9%
KCTCS URM 16.6% 17.2% 22.1% 22.7% 24.3% 28.6%
KCTCS rank 9th  7th 13th  15th 5th  10th 
OCTC Pell 24.6% 28.1% 30.7% 33.0% 33.6% 37.8%
KCTCS Pell 23.6% 23.8% 28.1% 31.5% 32.7% 37.6%
KCTCS rank 10th  6th  8th  8th 9th  10th 
Graduation in three years - First time, full-time (IPEDS cohort measure)
Goal:  Better than average F13-S16 F14-S17 F15-S18 F16-S19 F17-S20 F18-S21
OCTC 29.8% 33.0% 38.0% 36.0% 40.8% 41.6%
IPEDS cohort 35% 32% 31% 35% 35%  
OCTC Pell 24.6% 28.1% 30.7% 33.0% 33.6%  
IPEDS Pell   25% 24% 30% 33%  

Note:  The peer comparison group selected by IPEDS varies each year.

Persistence Rate Fall to Spring – Credential-seeking continuing or graduating (OCTC measure) 
Goal: 80% F14-S15 F15-S16 F16-S17 F17-S18 F18-S19 F19-S20 F20-S21
OCTC 71.4% 76.3% 75.3% 76.7% 75.0% 75.1% 73.4%
Persistence Rate Spring to Fall – Credential-seeking continuing or graduating (OCTC measure)
Goal: 75% S15-S15 S15-F16 S17-F17 S18-F18 S19-F19 S20-F20 S21-F21
OCTC 68.8% 72.0% 71.2% 72.4% 72.0% 70.3% 73.2%
Transfer rate – Associate earners enrolled at four-year college next academic year (KCTCS measure)
Goal:  Top 4 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
OCTC 45.6% 36.3% 38.7% 35.9% 41.6% 41.6%
KCTCS 37.9% 38.8% 38.9% 36.3% 38.9% 38.8%
KCTCS rank 2nd  10th  9th 9th  5th  5th 
Transfer GPA at WKU (OCTC/WKU measure)
Better than WKU native 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
OCTC 3.23 2.91 2.94 3.06 3.05 3.20
Native WKU 2.92 2.90 3.91 3.02 3.00 3.03
Job Placement – Perkins 4P1 (KCTCS measure)*
Goal:  Top 4 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
OCTC 77.4% 82.9% 80.1% 86.5%      
KCTCS 74.4% 78.7% 75.3% 77.6%      
KCTCS Rank 9th  2nd  5th  1st       

*Will be replaced by new Perkins V indicator

Licensure Exam Pass Rate (KCTCS performance measure)
Goal: Top 4 VFA 2015 VFA 2016 VFA 2017 VFA 2018 VFA 2019 VFA 2020
OCTC 95.1% 84.9% 90.1% 91.9% 91.7% 89.4%
KCTCS 88.9% 88.8% 90.2% 91.2% 88.9% 84.5%
KCTCS rank 7th  12th  8th  7th  5th  3rd 

Please, visit our OCTC Programs CIP and SOC Codes webpage for more information.

Some academic programs are specialized professional programs accredited independently of the college. For more information, please visit our Independent Program Accreditation webpage.

Owensboro Community & Technical College

REPORTING SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE
POLICY AND PROCEDURE

Responsible Official:  President
Original Approval Date: March 19, 2012
Most Recent Revision Date: March 21, 2022 
Most Recent Revision Summary: The OCTC Substantive Change Policy and Procedure was edited to align with 2021 changes in SACSCOC policy. 

Introduction

Substantive change is a federal term pertaining to any “significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.” Colleges and universities must notify their accrediting body of potential or actual substantive change in a timely fashion and in many cases must receive approval for such change from the accrediting body before the initiative is implemented.

Owensboro Community and Technical College’s (OCTC) institutional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), is required by the federal government to monitor its constituents’ compliance with the substantive change policy and to grant permission for major changes to occur. As an accredited member institution, OCTC shall adhere to the Commission’s substantive change policy located online (Substantive Change). Substantive changes fall into three broad categories: 

  1. Institutional changes
  2. Program changes
  3. Off-Campus Instructional Site/Additional Location Changes

Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to establish the requirements, process, and timeline necessary to ensure timely coordination and notification of substantive changes involving OCTC. Compliance with this policy is mandatory to remain in compliance with the SACSCOC Standard 14.2 which states,

“The institution has a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported in accordance with SACSCOC policy.”

SACSCOC requires all member institutions to have a policy and procedure established to ensure the timely completion of substantive changes. It is the policy of OCTC to be in complete compliance with the Substantive Change Policy and Procedure of SACSCOC.

SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation further states,

“A member institution is responsible for following the substantive change policy by informing the Commission of changes in accord with the Commission’s procedures and, when required, seeking approval prior to the initiation of the change. If an institution fails to follow SACSCOC Substantive Change policy and procedures, it may lose its Title IV funding or be required by the U.S. Department of Education to reimburse it for money received by the institution for programs related to the unreported substantive change. In addition, the institution’s case may be referred to SACSCOC Board of Trustees for the imposition of a sanction or for removal from membership.”

It is imperative that the constituents of OCTC are familiar with the substantive change policy and procedures, so all necessary changes are reported in a timely manner. 

College Policy Statement:

It is the policy of Owensboro Community and Technical College to comply with the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy and procedures as a condition of its continued accreditation by SACSCOC. All academic and administrative areas of the College are governed by this policy. All programs and services of the College, regardless of location and delivery method, are subject to this policy.

OCTC SACSCOC Steering Committee: Roles and Responsibilities

To maintain compliance with SACSCOC Standard 14.2 and OCTC’s Substantive Change Policy and Procedures; and to facilitate the flow of information regarding actions leading to a substantive change notification, institutional substantive change will be a standing item on the schedule for OCTC’s SACSCOC Steering Committee, which will meet four times annually (September, November, February, and April). Additionally, the review of programs, locations, and courses offered will be standing agenda items for this committee. This team includes:

  • President
  • Accreditation Liaison (convener)
  • Chief Academic Officer (CAO)
  • Chief Institutional Officer (CIO)
  • Vice President of Business Affairs
  • Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Vice President of Information Technology
  • Vice President of Workforce Solutions
  • Dean of Academic Affairs-Arts and Sciences
  • Dean of Academic Affairs-Professional Technical Studies
  • Dean of Student Affairs
  • Director of Financial Aid
  • Director of Library Services
  • Coordinator of Distance Education
  • Coordinator of Dual Credit/QEP Director
  • Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator
  • Designated faculty/staff where applicable

It is the responsibility of the OCTC Steering Committee to remain current with SACSCOC Substantive Change Policies. For the committee to understand the many different types of changes that fall within the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy, a copy of the entire policy will be distributed annually to all members in August or as the policy is updated by SACSCOC. Additionally, the Accreditation Liaison will provide a substantive change training during the first month of the fall semester to the steering committee.

The designated roles of specific members of the SACSCOC Steering Committee charged with ensuring compliance with this policy are described below. 

President 
The President is responsible for the overall administration of the College. Along with the College faculty, the President is responsible for the development and implementation of an instructional program commensurate with the purposes of a comprehensive community and technical college. The President is responsible for the enforcement of the substantive change policy and procedure. 

Accreditation Liaison
The Accreditation Liaison communicates with the College President and the appropriate SACSCOC staff regarding the status of each substantive change notification/approval request. The Liaison is responsible for compiling any required notification/approval request documentation, and for ensuring each notification/approval request is submitted within the prescribed timeframe. The Liaison is also responsible for providing professional development to the institution’s leadership, faculty, and staff about the SACSCOC substantive change process, the OCTC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures, and for notifying the Executive Team, Administrative Council, SACSCOC Steering Committee, and campus of any updates to the SACSCOC or OCTC substantive change policies.  The Accreditation Liaison notifies the Director of Financial Aid of any pending substantive change submissions to the Commission on Colleges. Responsibilities of this position also include maintaining the electronic records system used to disseminate information about substantive change notification/approval. 

Chief Academic Officer
The Chief Academic Officer CAO/Vice President of Academic Affairs provides leadership in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the instructional units of the College. The CAO reports any upcoming academic changes that meet the SACSCOC definition of substantive change to the President and Accreditation Liaison by the timeline outlined in this document. The CAO will notify the President and Accreditation Liaison at the time the program planning process begins, normally 9-18 months prior to the implementation of a substantive change.

Chief Institutional Officer
The Chief Institutional Officer (CIO) works collaboratively on special projects and grants across all units of the College. The CIO reports any upcoming academic changes related to special projects and grants that meet the SACSCOC definition of substantive change to the Accreditation Liaison by the timeline outlined in this document. The Chief Institutional Officer notifies the President and Accreditation Liaison at the time the program planning process begins, normally 9-18 months prior to the implementation of a substantive change.

Vice President of Business Affairs
The Vice President of Business Affairs contributes to the steering committee by providing guidance on human and fiscal resources regarding substantive change.

Vice President of Information Technology 
The Vice President of Information Technology contributes to the steering committee by providing guidance on technology issues and resources needed as a result of substantive change. 

Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Student Affairs, and Director of Financial Aid
The Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Student Affairs, and Director of Financial Aid contribute to the substantive change process through input and guidance to provide student support services as a result of substantive change. The Director of Financial Aid is responsible for assessing substantive changes that may require US Department of Education (USDOE) approval, submitting proposed changes to USDOE for approval, and keeping the Accreditation Liaison apprised of the approval process. 

Vice President of Workforce Solutions
The Vice President of Workforce Solutions monitors the proposed schedule of for-credit workforce classes and approves and reports to the CAO/Vice President of Academic Affairs any schedule changes that conform to the SACSCOC definition of substantive change and which might create the need to notify and/or seek approval from the SACSCOC. The Vice President of Workforce Solution is to notify the President and Accreditation Liaison at the time the program planning process begins, 9-18 months prior to the implementation of a substantive change.

Academic Deans
The Deans of Academic Affairs serve to direct curriculum, instruction, and scheduling.  The Deans are responsible for entering courses into PeopleSoft and monitoring the proposed schedule of classes. The Deans also work with the appropriate academic leads, program coordinators, curriculum coordinators, and faculty to determine if new academic programs are a significant departure from existing programs, and if so, work with these groups to gather the information/documentation needed to complete the substantive change process. The Deans approve and report to the CAO and Accreditation Liaison any schedule changes that conform to the SACSCOC definition of substantive change which might create the need to notify and/or seek approval from SACSCOC.  The Deans are to notify the President and Accreditation Liaison at the time the program planning process begins, normally 9-18 months prior to the implementation of a substantive change.

Director of Library Services
The Director of Library Services contributes to the steering committee by providing guidance on access to learning resources needed as a result of substantive change. 

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Director 
The QEP Director provides necessary guidance and reports on efforts related to OCTC’s QEP. 

Coordinator of Distance Learning and Coordinator of Dual Credit 
Coordinators are responsible for ensuring all required approvals and notifications are received prior to scheduling and marketing courses/programs that require substantive change. Coordinators are to notify the President and Accreditation Liaison at the time the program planning process begins, normally 9-18 months prior to the implementation of a substantive change. 

Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator 
The Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness provides necessary research and data support for substantive change decisions. 

Faculty/Staff
Faculty/Staff members appointed by the President to serve on the committee will provide necessary data and program support where applicable.

Definitions

Definitions of SACSCOC terminology related to substantive change can be found in Appendix A.

Local Procedure

All Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) policies and procedures related to curriculum will be followed. 

Per the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures, specific requirements exist for institutional, program, and off-campus instructional sites. A list of specific actions that constitute a substantive change by category is included below. Specific elements pertaining to SACSCOC substantive change reporting requirements for each type of substantive change are found in Appendix A. 

  1. Institutional Changes
    • 1.1 - Change in measure of student progress to completion
    • 1.2 - Competency-based education by course/credit-based approach – Institutional-level approval
    • 1.3 - Distance education – Institutional-level approval
    • 1.4 - Governance change
    • 1.5 - Institution closure
    • 1.6 - Institution relocation
    • 1.7 - Institution, program, or location acquisition
    • 1.8 - Institutional contingency teach-out plan
    • 1.9 - Level change
    • 1.10 - Merger/consolidation
    • 1.11 - Mission change
    • 1.12 - Ownership, means of control, or legal status change
  2. Program Changes
    • 2.1 - Clock-credit hour conversion
    • 2.2 - Competency-based education by direct assessment – approval
    • 2.3 - Competency-based education by direct assessment – notification
    • 2.4 - Cooperative academic arrangement
    • 2.5 - Cooperative academic arrangement with non-Title IV entities – approval
    • 2.6 - Cooperative academic arrangement with non-Title IV entities – notification
    • 2.7 - Correspondence education
    • 2.8 - Dual academic award
    • 2.9 - Joint academic award with non-SACSCOC institution(s) or entity(ies)
    • 2.10 - Joint academic award with SACSCOC institution(s)
    • 2.11 - Method of delivery – approval
    • 2.12 - Method of delivery – notification
    • 2.13 - New program – approval
    • 2.14 - New program – notification
    • 2.15 - Program closure
    • 2.16 - Program designed for prior learning – approval
    • 2.17 - Program designed for prior learning – notification
    • 2.18 - Program length change
    • 2.19 - Program re-open
  3. Off-campus Instructional Site/Additional Location Changes
    • 3.1 - Off-campus instructional site notification
    • 3.2 - Off-campus instructional site approval (including branch campus)
      • 3.2.1 - Extensive review
      • 3.2.2 - Limited review
      • 3.2.3 - Committee visits
    • 3.3 - Off-campus instructional site relocation
      • 3.3.1 - Non-branch campus
      • 3.3.2 - Branch campus
    • 3.4 - Off-campus instructional site name or address change
    • 3.5 - Off-campus instructional site closure
    • 3.6 - Off-campus instructional site re-open 

To monitor compliance with the SACSCOC Substantive Change policy the following will be tracked by the applicable department and maintained on the OCTC SACSCOC Steering Committee SharePoint site: 

  • A tracking file of all off-campus dual-credit sites is maintained by the Coordinator of Dual Credit. This file includes names and complete addresses of all off-campus dual credit sites along with the listing of courses offered, faculty teaching the courses, contact information for the Point of Contact for the dual-credit site, and the percentage of courses towards a credential available by year.
  • A tracking file of off-campus sites, not related to dual credit, is maintained by the Accreditation Liaison. This file includes names and complete addresses of all off-campus sites along with the listing of courses offered, information for the point of contact for the site (if applicable), the percentage of courses towards a credential available by year, and the date the site was approved by SACSCOC.
  • A tracking file of locations where workforce development credits are being offered is maintained by the Department of Workforce Solutions. This file includes names and complete addresses of all workforce sites along with the listing of courses offered, faculty teaching the courses, contact information for the point of contact for the site, and the percentage of courses towards a credential available by year.

The Coordinator of Dual Credit and the Vice President of Workforce Solutions will inform the Accreditation Liaison each time a new course is added to a location. Working in conjunction with the Accreditation Liaison will ensure all documentation needed for substantive change, if necessary, is submitted in a timely manner.

During the regular Steering Committee meeting, the OCTC Accreditation Liaison will solicit feedback concerning any substantive change, new program, or new academic area from the members of the Committee. This includes all program and curriculum changes reviewed as necessary by the local Curriculum Review Committee (CRC).

If any information brought forth is deemed substantive according to the Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions policy, then the Accreditation liaison, in conjunction with the President and CAO/Vice President of Academic Affairs, will determine the type of substantive change needed.

If the Commission requires the institution to write a brief or complete prospectus or prepare any additional documentation, the Accreditation Liaison will work with the appropriate departments and committee members to complete the necessary documents. When all documents are completed for submission, the Accreditation Liaison will prepare the necessary letters and attach all necessary documentation to be submitted to the President of the College to be signed and sent to the Director of Substantive Change at SACSCOC. A copy of the file(s) will be loaded on the OCTC SACSCOC SharePoint site for the Steering Committees records/notification. 

Policy Review

The SACSCOC Steering Committee will review the policy each August or when the Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions policy statement has been updated (whichever is more frequent) to evaluate the effectiveness of the process and to identify any needed improvements. 

Policy Amendment

Policy changes pertaining to substantive change should be submitted to the Accreditation Liaison who will present the proposed change to the college’s SACSCOC Steering Committee, Executive Team, and subsequently to the Administrative Council.

Policy Publication

This policy will be published on OCTC’s website, in the Academic Affairs Handbook, the Discover College Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment Handbook, and the Workforce Solutions Policy and Procedure Manual. The Accreditation Liaison is responsible for providing the policy/procedures to internal constituents for publication.

Additional Information

A list of OCTC SACSCOC approved off-campus sites maintained on the OCTC SACSCOC Steering Committee SharePoint site.

A brief description of OCTC substantive changes approved since the last reaffirmation and pending substantive changes are maintained on the OCTC SACSCOC Steering Committee SharePoint site. Each description includes the date of Commission on Colleges approval.  

Point of Contact

Every SACSCOC member institution has an institutional Accreditation Liaison whose charge is to ensure compliance with accreditation requirements. Questions or clarification regarding this policy should be directed to the institutional Accreditation Liaison. 

Stacy Edds-Ellis, Ph.D.
Dean of Academic Affairs
Accreditation Liaison 
4800 New Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303
270-686-4554
stacy.edds@kctcs.edu 

Document History:

Reviewed and Approved/Effective Date: Executive Team 3/19/12
Reviewed and Approved: Administrative Council 3/19/12
Revision Approved (Formatting): Executive Team 2/19/13
Revision Approved (Format): Administrative Council 2/19/13
Revision Approved (Update organizational structure/general format): Executive Team 9/18/17
Revision Approved (Update organizational structure/general format): Administrative Council 9/18/17
Revision Approved (Update detailed responsibility/roles/procedure/format): Executive Team 8/21/18
Revision Approved (Update detailed responsibility/roles/procedure/format): Administrative Council 8/21/18
Reviewed and Approved: Administrative Council 10/21/19
Revision Approved (Formatting): Executive Team 10/21/19
Revision (minor edits, formatting) Approved: Executive Team: 11/9/2020
Revision (minor edits, formatting) Approved: Administrative Council: 11/16/2020
Revision (updates to align with SACSCOC policy) Approved: Executive Team: 3/21/2022
Revision (updates to align with SACSCOC policy) Approved: Administrative Council: 4/18/2022

 
Term Definition
Approval An official action by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees enabling an institution to implement a proposed substantive change. All changes requiring approval are defined in Substantive Change Policy and Procedures. An institution secures approval by submitting a substantive change prospectus or application subject to satisfactory review by the Board of Trustees. 
Branch campus A special form of off-campus instructional site geographically apart from the institution’s main campus, where instruction is delivered, and is independent of the main campus of an institution. A location is independent of the main campus if the location is permanent; offers courses in educational programs leading to a degree, diploma, certificate, or other for-credit credential; has its own faculty and administrative or supervisory organization; and has its own budgetary and hiring authority.
Closure  The ending of instruction in an educational program, at off-campus instructional site, in an educational program at an off-campus instructional site or main campus, by a method of delivery, or at an entire institution such that a student cannot complete their program of study as planned. Date of closure is defined as closed to admission or entry, not the cessation of instruction.
Competency  A competency is a clearly defined and measurable statement of the knowledge, skill, and ability a student has acquired in a designated program.
Competency-based education  A method of delivery in which competencies are learned through interaction with faculty and an academic credential is earned based on what students demonstrate they can do. A competency is a well-defined statement of what a person can do as a result of learning. Progression and completion are measured by demonstrated attainment of competencies.
Competency-based education by course/credit-based approach In a competency-based education (CBE) program using the course/credit-based approach, demonstrating competencies is embedded in a traditional curriculum with courses completed, credits earned, and a credential awarded. Students typically enroll in an academic term and course credits are awarded at the end of the term by demonstrating mastery of the competencies associated with a course. Students may accelerate learning and demonstration of competencies. Transcripts record courses and grades, though the institution may opt to maintain a separate transcript of competencies. 
Competency-based education by direct assessment approach  Progression and completion of a program is based solely on demonstrating mastery of prescribed competencies. There are no academic terms (i.e., calendars), courses, or credit hours. Students progress through a program’s competencies at their own pace within limits, if any, established by the institution. The academic transcript consists of successfully demonstrated competencies and the level of mastery attained.
Cooperative academic arrangement  An agreement between a SACSCOC-accredited institution and another entity (or entities) to deliver program content recorded on the SACSCOC institution’s transcript as its own (see also Standard 10.9 [Cooperative academic arrangements] of the Principles of Accreditation). Examples include geographic or denominational consortia, statewide distance education agreements, collaborative agreements with international institutions, and contractual instruction.
Correspondence courses Courses in which students and instructors are not in the same locations and in which instructional materials and learning assessments (such as examinations, assignments, creative works, etc.) are delivered electronically or by mail. Interaction between instructor and student is limited, is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student. Courses are usually self-paced within limits.
Distance education Distance education is a method of delivery in which the majority of instruction occurs when students and instructors are not in the same location. It includes synchronous (live or real-time) and asynchronous (lot live or real-time) instruction. 
Dual academic award An arrangement in which a student receives instruction at two (or more) institutions in prescribed curricula leading to each institution granting academic awards at the same credential level.
Implementation date Also known as the “Effective date” is the date established by the institution in the prospectus or application review. In the event of an unreported substantive change, the implementation date is the date of approval granted by SACSCOC. 
Joint Academic award An arrangement in which a student receives instruction at two or more institutions in prescribed curriculum leading to the institutions granting a single academic award bearing the names, seals, and officials’ signatures of each participating institution.
Level change Initiating coursework or a program – including a certificate, diploma, degree, or other generally recognized credit-bearing program – at a different level than previously approved or authorized by SACSCOC. 
Method of delivery The principal method by which instruction is delivered to include competency-based education (all forms), distance education, and face-to-face instruction. 
Mission change A significant change in the established mission of an institution that fundamentally alters the character of an institution and its portfolio of academic programs or other mission-driven activities.
New program A program not previously offered at the institution in which the content is a significant departure from the institution’s existing programs. 
Notification An official communication from an institution to SACSCOC as defined in Substantive Change Policy and Procedures. A notification is complete only when accepted by SACSCOC upon satisfactory review by staff.
Off-campus instructional site A location geographically apart from an institution’s sole main campus and where instruction is delivered. 
Off-campus instructional site closure Off-campus instructional site closure is defined as closed to admission to the site for all programs, not the last date of instruction. 
Off-campus instructional site relocation Moving instruction to a new location geographically separate from – i.e., non-contiguous to – the current location.
Off-campus instructional site name or address change Changing the name or address of an off-campus site with no change in the location at which instruction is delivered. 
Program

A coherent course of study leading to a for-credit credential including a degree, diploma, certificate or other generally recognized credential. 

Exception: General education, for substantive change purposes, is usually considered a program even if a credential is not awarded. See also Standard 8.2.b (Student outcomes: general education) and Standard 9.3 (General education requirements) of the Principles of Accreditation.

Program designed for prior learning

A program requiring students to possess prior learning as a condition of admission.

Program length change

An increase or decrease in program length by 25% or more AND an increase or decrease in students’ expected time to completion by more than one term. 

Substantive change restriction

Alternate substantive change requirements placed on institutions that have been placed on warning, probation, or probation for good cause over the prior three academic years; or is under provisional certification for participation in federal financial aid programs as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 668.13.

Teach-out

The process and time period of a teach-out plan. 

Teach-out agreement

An optional written agreement with an institution or entity under which students covered by a teach-out plan may complete their programs of study. A teach-out agreement may include student eligibility criteria, time limits, fee waivers, tuition parity, or other negotiated terms.

Teach-out plan

A written plan developed by an institution for students to complete their programs of study because it decided to end a program, off-campus instructional site, method of delivery, or to close the institution. A teach-out plan provides an orderly process, the equitable treatment of students, minimal disruption and additional costs to students, and covers all enrolled students regardless of their progress to completion. 

Institutional Changes
Type Approval/Notification Fee Subject to Substantive Change Restriction Submission Requirement* Institutional Due Date SACSCOC Due Date Related SACSCOC Policy
Change in Measure of Student Progress to Completion, pp. 11-12 Approval Yes No Prospectus 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring 

Credit Hours
Competency-based Education by Course/Credit-based Approach – Institutional-level Approval, pp. 12-13 Approval Yes No Prospectus 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Distance Education – Institutional-level Approval, p. 13 Approval Yes No Prospectus 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Correspondence Education– Institutional-level Approval Approval Yes No Prospectus 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 

Governance Change

(Committee Visit), p. 14

Notification & Approval Yes No Prospectus & Notification 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

March 15 for June Board 

Sept. 1 for Dec. Board

Merger/ Consolidation, Acquisition, etc. 
Institution Closure, p. 15 Approval No No Teach-Out Plan 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Institution Relocation, p. 16 Approval Yes No Prospectus 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 

Institution, Program, or Location Acquisition 

(Committee Visit), pp. 16-17

Notification & Approval Yes No Prospectus & Notification 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

March 15 for June Board 

Sept. 1 for Dec. Board

Merger/ Consolidation, Acquisition, etc.
Institutional Contingency Teach-out Plan, p. 17 Approval No No Teach-Out Plan 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Level Change 
*Additional Requirements and Deadlines (Committee Visit), pp. 18-21
Approval Yes No Level Change Application 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Level II Change

March 15 for June Board

Sept. 1 for Dec. Board

Seeking Accreditation at a Higher or Lower Degree Level

Merger/Consolidation

(Committee Visit), p. 21

Notification & Approval Yes No Prospectus & Notification 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

March 15 for June Board 

Sept. 1 for Dec. Board

Merger/ Consolidation, Acquisition, etc.
Mission Change, p. 22 Approval No No Prospectus 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 

Ownership, Means of Control, or Legal Status Change

(Committee Visit), pp. 22-23

Notification & Approval Yes No Prospectus & Notification 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

March 15 for June Board 

Sept. 1 for Dec. Board

Merger/ Consolidation, Acquisition, etc.
Program Changes
Type Approval/Notification Fee Subject to Substantive Change Restriction Submission Requirement* Institutional Due Date SACSCOC Due Date Related SACSCOC Policy
Clock-Credit Hour Conversion, pp. 24-25 Approval No No Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date 

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

Credit Hours
Competency-based Education by Direct Assessment – Approval (50% or more; Committee Visit), p. 25 Approval Yes No Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

March 15 for June Board 

Sept. 1 for Dec. Board

Direct Assessment Competency- Based Educational Programs 
Competency-based Education by Direct Assessment – Notification (25-49%), pp. 25-26 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation  Direct Assessment Competency- Based Educational Programs
Cooperative Academic Arrangement, p. 26 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation  
Cooperative Academic Arrangement with Non-Title IV Entities – Approval (25% or more), p. 27 Approval Yes Yes Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Cooperative Academic Arrangement with Non-Title IV Entities – Notification (less than 25%), pp. 27-28 Notification No Yes Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation  
Correspondence Education – Approval, p. 28 
*Approval only required if on restriction
Approval No Yes Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

Distance and Correspondence Education 
Correspondence Education- Notification, p. 28 Notification No Yes Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation Distance and Correspondence Education 
Dual Academic Award, pp. 29-30 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards 
Joint Academic Award with non-SACSCOC Institution(s) or Entity(ies), p. 30 Approval Yes No Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards 
Joint Academic Award with SACSCOC Institution(s), pp. 30-31 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards 

Method of Delivery – Approval, p. 31

*Approval only required if on restriction

Approval No Yes Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

Distance and Correspondence Education 

Method of Delivery – Notification, pp. 31-32

Notification No Yes Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation Distance and Correspondence Education 

New Program – Approval, pp. 32-33

Approval Yes Yes Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 

New Program – Notification, pp. 33-34

Notification No Yes Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation  

Program Closure, p. 34

Approval No No Teach-out Plan 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 

Program Designed for Prior Learning – Approval, p. 35

*Approval only required if on restriction

Approval Yes Yes Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 

Program Designed for Prior Learning – Notification, pp. 35-36

Notification No Yes Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation  

Program Length Change, pp. 36-37

Approval Yes Yes Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 

Program Re-open, p. 37

Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation  
Off-Campus Instructional Site/Additional Location Changes
Type Approval/ Notification Fee Subject to Substantive Change Restriction Submission Requirement* Institutional Due Date SACSCOC Due Date Related SACSCOC Policy
Off-campus Instructional Site Notification (25-49%), pp. 39-40 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation  Prior to Implementation   
Off-campus Instructional Site Extensive Review Approval (50% or more; includes branch campus, possible Committee Visit), pp. 40-42 Approval Yes Yes Prospectus 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

March 15 for June Board 

Sept. 1 for Dec. Board

 
Off-campus Instructional Site Limited Review Approval (50% or more; includes branch campus, possible Committee Visit), pp. 42-43 Approval Yes Yes Prospectus 6 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Off-campus Instructional Site Relocation – Non-Branch Campus, p. 44 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation  Prior to Implementation   
Off-campus Instructional Site Relocation – Branch Campus, p. 45 Approval Yes No Prospectus N/A –  OCTC does not have a branch campus

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Off-campus Instructional Site Name or Address Change, pp. 45-46 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation  Prior to Implementation   
Off-campus Instructional Site Closure, pp. 46-47 Approval No No Teach-out Plan 12 months prior to SACSCOC due date

Jan. 1 for Fall

July 1 for Spring

 
Off-campus Instructional Site Re-open, pp. 47-48 Notification No No Notification Prior to Implementation Prior to Implementation  

To be used for decision making when adding a new program to OCTC's academic inventory.

Appendix C

To be used for decision making when offering courses at sites other than approved OCTC campus/instructional sites.

Appendix D

To request a PDF copy of this document, please email veena.sallan@kctcs.edu.