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Substantive Change Policy

Issuing Office:

Office of the Provost


Liberty University, as a member institution, must notify the Southern Association of the Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) of changes in accordance with the SACSCOC published substantive change policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of the changes in a timely fashion.

Under federal regulations, substantive change includes the following:


  • The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure, either in content or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the institution was last evaluated
  • The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution’s current accreditation or reaffirmation.
  • A change from clock hours to credit hours
  • A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program
  • Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution
  • Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement that includes only the initiation of a dual or joint academic program with another institution


  • Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution
  • Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution
  • The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50% of an educational program.
  • The establishment of a branch campus
  • Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution
  • Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution
  • Entering into a contract by which an entity not eligible for Title IV funding offers 25% or more of one or more of the accredited institution’s programs

It is the responsibility of Liberty University to follow SACSCOC procedures and inform SACSCOC of substantive changes as specified in those procedures.


August 8, 2016