Substantive Change Policy
Loyola University New Orleans is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and complies with the Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges Policy Statement, requiring the university to report all substantive changes accurately and efficiently to the Commission. The purpose of this policy is to provide a description of Loyola's process and procedures for any intended substantive change. Depending on the nature of the change, SACSCOC requires prior notification and approval of the change before implementation. In other cases, only prior notification is required. See the complete Substantive Change Policy for additional details.
The Commission defines a substantive change as “a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.” Under federal regulations, substantive change includes, but is not limited to:
- 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 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
- The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program.
- The establishment of a branch campus
- Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution
- Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement such as a dual degree program or a joint degree program with another institution
- 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
To ensure compliance with SACSCOC requirements Loyola University has a program proposal process in place, consisting of criteria for proposals, approval protocols, and assessment of new and existing programs determining the need for the proposed changes for any program change, whether revised or new.
Criteria for Proposals
- Criteria for program approval, review, and discontinuance, approved by the Standing Council for Academic Planning (SCAP), can be found on the Academic Affairs website.
- The new program proposal process is outlined by the curricular proposal approval and routing form, which ensures approval by appropriate curricular committees.
- Consistent with university policy, the proposal for new degree programs will be reviewed and voted upon by SCAP, recommended by the provost, and may require the approval of the Board of Trustees and the President.
- A program change begins in its respective department. College curriculum committees review and approve or reject the proposals; the respective college dean then approves or rejects the proposal. Once approved at the departmental and college levels, proposals are reviewed by additional committees depending on the proposal and approval by the University Courses and Curriculum Committee (UC&CC).
- Once course/programmatic change proposals are approved by the UC&CC, they are forwarded to SCAP and depending on the nature of the change, advanced to the Provost, the President and/or the Board of Trustees for final approval.
- Comprehensive Program Review Process
The majority of academic programs are required to conduct 5-year comprehensive programmatic reviews; those programs that are in colleges and programs that are accredited or certified by external accreditation agencies follow the cycle of their respective accrediting body. Departmental comprehensive program review reports are submitted to their respective college deans and appropriate curricular review bodies following college protocols; then they are submitted to the Standing Council on Academic Planning (SCAP) following the university protocol and finally to the provost for review and approval (see SCAP Comprehensive Program Review Protocol/Criteria). The university provides guidelines with respect to minimum standards and assessment expectations as well as support to meet the informational and assessment needs of the respective programs/departments undergoing the comprehensive review process; however, the university requirements are flexible enough to allow colleges and programs to determine the specification of their student learning outcomes and the types of planning and assessment strategies they pursue to meet their respective academic goals.
- Annual Program Review Process
Annual reports are required by all academic departments and educational programs. The annual report templates are available on the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness website. The templates are designed to mimic the cycle of ongoing improvement beginning with the previous year’s goals and student learning outcomes (SLOs), the assessment and results of the progress toward those goals and SLOs, and plans for the upcoming year.
- The Commission's procedures for requesting approval along with the university's directives are located in the Substantive Change Protocol table listed below.
The university’s guiding values and principles pertaining to planning and assessment, which include the assessment templates, resources, and reporting cycle are described.