MSCHE Policy Update

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education recently completed a technical amendment of the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures. The documents are currently available on the Policies Under Review page. The amended policy and procedures are effective as of July 1, 2019, and will be accessible in the Browse Policies after that time.

The Commission staff made several clarifications and reformatted the document but the fundamental policy statement remains the same. A summary of the changes is provided below:

  • Clarified and added definitions including location status, main campus, and scope of accreditation, etc.;
  • Moved the definitions of the 14 different types of substantive change into a separate guidelines document (this document will be posted on the website shortly);
  • Separated the procedures for Complex Substantive Change into a separate document;
  • Removed any language related to provisional approval. While the Commission will include a substantive change within the scope of accreditation pending notification of other required approvals, the Commission action no longer refers to provisional approval;
  • Incorporated the procedures for substantive change site visits;
  • Clarified that a teach-out agreement is a separate review and action by the Commission;
  • Codified the process used by Executive Committee to allow a substantive change request to be considered when institutions are in a non-compliance status;
  • Codified the process for requesting additional information by staff and peer evaluators;
  • Clarified the process to waive a site visit to an international location under extraordinary circumstances;
  • Clarified that as part of ongoing monitoring activities, institutions will report certain data related to substantive change in the Institution portal. Data reported in the portal will update the “location status” of a branch campus or additional location.

In addition, the Commission recently completed a substantive revision of two other policies: (1) Communication in the Accreditation Process Policy, and (2) Public Disclosures Policy (formerly Published Information). In accordance with Commission policy, the Chief Executive Officers (CEO) from member institutions are entitled to vote to approve new or substantive revisions to accreditation policy. The Commission staff will conduct a member ballot on these policies from July 15 – August 5, 2019. CEOs should complete the ballot on behalf of the institution.