Accreditation Compliance (SACSCOC)
The Houston Community College District is accredited as one body by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) to award the associate degree. SACSCOC is one of six nationally regional accreditation agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission oversees accreditation of colleges in eleven southern states. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the Houston Community College District.
The Houston Community College District was first admitted into membership in SACS on December 19, 1977. Accreditation was granted provisionally and yearly for five years until a full Self-Study was completed and reaffirmation of accreditation was received for the ten years following December 17, 1982. HCC received its last reaffirmation of accreditation in June 2012.
Fifth Year Interim Report
HCC’s reaffirmation of accreditation was received from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in 2012. SACSCOC developed the Fifth Year Interim Report to respond to the U.S. Department of Education’s requirements (1) that accrediting bodies continuously monitor institutions to ensure compliance with SACSCOC standards and requirements and (2) that accrediting bodies have a mechanism for reviewing multiple sites initiated since last reaffirmation. HCC’s Fifth Year Interim Report will be due to SACSCOC in September 2017 (five years after HCC’s last reaffirmation).
The Fifth Year Interim Report does not cover every SACSCOC standard or requirement, but the potential consequences of the report are the same as those of the Compliance Report HCC wrote for the 2012 SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation. The Fifth Year Interim Report that HCC submits to SACSCOC might be accepted with no further questions, monitoring reports on some standards or requirements might be requested, or the institution might be sanctioned.
Because of the weight attached to the Fifth Year Interim Report, HCC has created committees (called “workgroups”) to study each standard or requirement that SACSCOC requires be addressed in the Report and to write a compliance narrative for each of them. The workgroups began to meet and document HCC’s compliance with each standard or requirement in January 2016. The first draft of each compliance narrative is due to the office of the Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services in January 2017.
The QEP Impact Report forms a section of the Fifth Year Interim Report. The QEP Director and Assistant Director will submit their draft of the QEP Impact Report to the office of the Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services in August 2017 when HCC’s QEP (described elsewhere on this web page) officially ends.
Timeline for Fifth Year Interim Report
Substantive Change Policy
Date Approved/Updated: October 2011; May 2014
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: A: 9. 2 Substantive Change
Background: Member institutions of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) are required to notify the Commission of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of changes. Further, member institutions are required to have a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely fashion.
Definition: Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive change includes
- 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
Purpose: The purpose of aHouston Community College (HCC) Substantive Change Procedure is to ensure HCC compliance with SACSCOC policy on substantive change as detailed in The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, Principle 3.12. Rules for substantive change and the notification procedures are to be found in Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges: Policy Statement, located online at: http://SACSCOCcoc.org/pdf/081705/Substantivepercent20changepercent20policy.pdf.
Responsibility: Responsibility for notifying SACSCOC of substantive changes that have occurred or will occur officially rests with the HCC SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. In 2013, the Chancellor appointed the Director of Accreditation Compliance as the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison and SACSCOC approved this change.
|Responsible party||Area of responsibility|
|Accreditation Complianec Director/SACSCOC Accreditation Liason||Overall substantive change process|
Substantive Change Procedure
- View the Substantive Change Procedure.
Substantive Change Submission/Approval Form
Current degrees and certificates