Technical Amendments to the Substantive Change Guidelines and Complex Substantive Change Procedures Announced
The Commission made technical amendments to the Substantive Change Guidelines and Complex Substantive Change Procedures and updated the related templates-request forms, effective August 1, 2021. Upon the effective date, the documents are available on the Browse Policies and Procedures page and can be found using the search filter.
The Substantive Change Guidelines were updated to provide general clarifications in the examples and descriptions of the types of substantive changes. Additional clarifications were added to the examples under the sub-types of complex substantive change. Finally, it is noted that a branch campus or additional location must be in existence at least two years before it may be reclassified into a main campus/branch campus.
For Complex Substantive Change Procedures, the process for the preliminary review of a complex substantive change is clarified on page 2. The submission of the Complex Substantive Change Preliminary Review Form is required for changes in legal status, form of control, or ownership. The preliminary review form is reviewed by the policy unit and outside legal counsel. It is highly likely that the Commission will request additional information; the review may take several months to complete.
In addition, on page 2, the procedures now specify the process for when a substantive change is changed to a complex substantive change. Changes in legal status, form of control, or ownership are always considered complex. However, in addition to these, any of the types of substantive change may be considered “complex” depending on the nature and scope of the change, at the discretion of the Commission staff. Examples include (but are not limited to) a change in the status of multiple locations, multiple types of change that are submitted simultaneously, and some institutional closures. The institution should only complete the Preliminary Review Form for a change in legal status, form of control, or ownership. The institution will be billed for the preliminary review form at the completion of the preliminary review. A complex substantive change is reviewed by peer evaluators with specialized experience and may take up to a year to complete. The institution will be billed for a complex substantive change upon completion of the review.
There were minor updates to some citations to the federal regulations in the definitions section and the definition for main campus was updated.
All Substantive Change Request Forms were reviewed and updated as necessary. They are available on the Commission’s website at https://www.msche.org/substantive-change/.
Categories: Accreditation, Policy and Procedures