A.9 Institutional Effectiveness: Reports

A.9.1 Governance Institutional Effectiveness: Reports

Responsible Department: Board of Trustees

Date Approved/Amended: December 2, 2010

The Board will engage in actively monitoring the College through ongoing and institution-wide evaluation processes that (1) incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals and outcomes; (2) result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and (3) demonstrate the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission.

See Exhibit A for Institutional Effectiveness reports as required by state and federal law.

A.9.2.1 Substantive Change

Date Approved/Updated: October 2011
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 for Title IV funding offers 25% or more of one or more of the accredited institution’s programs

Purpose: The purpose of a Houston 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 inSubstantive 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 Liaison.  In 2007, the Chancellor designated the Vice Chancellor of Instruction as the HCC SACSCOC Liaison. The Vice Chancellor of Instruction has created a SACSCOC office within his administrative unit and has hired an Accreditation Compliance Director.  The Vice Chancellor of Instruction has delegated the responsibility for the substantive change reporting process to the Accreditation Compliance Director. 

Responsible party

Area of responsibility

SACSCOC Liaison (HCC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs) Delegation of substantive change duties to Accreditation Compliance Director
Accreditation Compliance Director Overall substantive change process

Steps to complete common types of Substantive Changes:

  1. New programs, degrees, certificates or significant changes to the length of a program or certificate
    1. Any program faculty proposing curriculum changes as described above must follow the procedures as detailed in the HCC Curriculum Handbook, found online at: http://www.archive.hccs.edu/hccs/faculty-staff/curriculum/curriculum-development/curriculum-handbook .
      1. New programs or significant changes to programs require a prospectus or modified prospectus as part of required documentation for approval.  The HCC template for preparation of the prospectus or modified prospectus is available at:http://www.curricunet.com/HCCS/forms.cfm
      2. Proposed curriculum changes that qualify as substantive changes will not be approved by the HCC Curriculum Committee without a prospectus.
    2. If the curriculum change is approved, the chairman of the Curriculum Committee will copy the prospectus that accompanied the request for approval by the Curriculum Committee and forward the copy of the prospectus to the Accreditation Compliance Director.
    3. The prospectus copy will be filed in the SACSCOC office until the next regular substantive change letter of notification is written to SACSCOC.  The prospectus in that file will provide the information needed to notify SACSCOC of substantive changes to the curriculum.

Responsible party

Area of responsibility

Faculty proposing curriculum change Completion of form containing prospectus information; submitting it to the curriculum committee
Chairman of the Curriculum Committee Approval of proposed change; non-approval of proposed curriculum change without an accompanying prospectus; delivery of copy of prospectus to Accreditation Compliance Director
Accreditation Compliance Director Compilation of prospectuses to be sent to SACSCOC

 

2.  Deactivated and closed programs and certificates (with or with-out teach-out agreements)

  1. Faculty (usually a program chair) notifies the HCC Curriculum Office of plans to close or deactivate programs or certificates so that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board can be notified.
  2. The CTE Director will notify the Accreditation Compliance Director’s office, in writing, of all plans to close or deactivate a program or certificate at the time the Coordinating Board is notified.  If there are students in the certificate or program, a teach-out plan must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director for Curriculum.
  3. The Accreditation Compliance Director will file all such notices and teach out plans until the next regular substantive change letter of notification is written to SACSCOC.

Responsible party

Area of responsibility

Program chair of deactivating certificate or program Notification of HCC Curriculum Office  of plans to close certificate or program
Executive Director for Curriculum Delivery of written notice and/or teach out agreement to Accreditation Compliance Director
Accreditation Compliance Director Compilation of notices and plans to be sent to SACSCOC

3. New Facilities, Instructional Sites or Campuses or relocation of any site

The SACSCOC office in Atlanta keeps a record of the name and address of every instructional site at which an HCC credit class is offered.  All sites are reported, both owned and leased; where credit or dual credit classes are offered.

  1. All major new facilities are approved by the HCC Board of Trustees.
  2. When a major new facility is approved, the Vice-Chancellor of Instruction (the SACSCOC Liaison) will give a copy of the Board Agenda page with the name and address of the facility to the Accreditation Compliance Director.
  3. The Accreditation Compliance Director will notify the President, the COO and the appropriate program or department chair (if applicable) if and when a prospectus for the new facility is needed and establish a deadline for the receipt of the prospectus in the Accreditation Compliance Director’s office.  This would be the case when a new site approaches the point at which students might earn 50percent of the program credits.
  4. The Accreditation Compliance Director will file the information about the new facility and the prospectus until next regular substantive change letter is written to SACSCOC.
  5. The Assistant Registrar maintains the tables in the PeopleSoft system for all instructional sites.  It is part of her regular process to notify the Accreditation Compliance Director of the name and address of any new instructional site that is added to PeopleSoft at any time.  This will notify the Accreditation Compliance Director of any instructional site added (including all dual credit high schools) even if it is not a major site that required HCC Board approval and at which not more than 50 percent of any program is offered.

Responsible party

Area of Responsibility

Vice-Chancellor of Instruction Notify Accreditation Compliance Director of new facilities approved by the HCC Board of Trustees
College President, COO, and Program Chair Preparation of prospectus for new facilities when instruction of 40percent of a program is offered
HCC Assistant Registrar Notify Accreditation Compliance Director of name and address of any new facility added to PeopleSoft for HCC instruction
Accreditation Compliance Director Compilation of names and addressed of all new instructional sites; work with college administrations on prospectuses for major sites

4. Current sites that have reached the 25 percent and are approaching the 50 percent thresholds

SACSCOC will be notified by letter when the college begins to offer 25-49 percent of any program at a site.  The letter will contain the date on which the threshold was reached.  HCC will notify SACSCOC of a site reaching this mark in the college’s next substantive change letter.  A prospectus for a site and a substantive change letter to SACSCOC will be prepared when the college approaches the 50 percent threshold.

  1. The HCC PeopleSoft student system report “Schedule by Campus” collects data including individual classes offered at all sites, the date each class started, and the instructors’ names.
  2. The personnel in the Accreditation Compliance Director’s office will run a Schedule by Campus” report on the official day of record each semester (including flex entry dates within semesters) to determine if any site has crossed the 25 percent threshold or is approaching the 50 percent threshold that semester. 
  3. Site that have crossed the 25 percent threshold are listed with the date of the beginning of classes at that site that semester.  The list will be held in the Accreditation Compliance Director’s office until the next substantive change letter is mailed to SACSCOC.
  4. Because it is difficult to predict exactly when a site will exceed the 50 percent mark for any program and because HCC must notify SACSCOC six months in advance of such mark and provide a prospectus three months in advance, HCC will prepare a prospectus for all sites reaching 40 percent of instruction.  Half of an associate degree is 30 SCH or 10 courses.  Therefore a prospectus will be prepared when there are at least 8 general education courses offered at a site or a mixture of general education and workforce courses equaling or exceeding 24 SCH. 

Responsible party

Area of Responsibility

Accreditation Compliance Director Run the “Schedule by Campus” report on official day of record for each semester (including flex entry dates within semesters)
Accreditation Compliance Director Keep list of sites offering 25-40 percent of a program until that semester’s substantive change letter is written
Accreditation Compliance Director Determine if any site has crossed the 40 percent threshold and notify the colleges of need to prepare prospectus
College Deans and COO Prepare prospectus for sites that have crossed the 40 percent threshold and retune them to the Accreditation Compliance Director
Vice Chancellor for Instruction Prepare a substantive change letter for SACSCOC and notify it of sites that offer 25 percent of a program and send prospectuses for sites that have crossed the 40 percent threshold

5. Early college high schools

SACSCOC will be notified by letter of the initiation of an early college high school.  When more than 50 percent of any HCC program credit may be obtained at the high school SACSCOC must be sent a prospectus.  The HCC Board of Trustees must approve the MOU of any early college high school that is created.  The SACSCOC Liaison/Vice-Chancellor of Instruction attends all Board meetings and would be made aware of a new early college high school.  He notifies the Accreditation Compliance Director.  The Accreditation Compliance Director monitors the high school so that when it approaches the 50percent mark, the appropriate college president and COO can be notified to prepare a prospectus.

Responsible party

Area of responsibility

SACSCOC Liaison/Vice-Chancellor of Instruction Notification of Accreditation Compliance Director of creation of new early college high school
Accreditation Compliance Director Monitor early college high school for requirements of letter of notification and/or prospectus