Substantive Change Policy (Draft)

The following policy on substantive changes in an education unit was adopted by the UAB. This policy is being disseminated for comment by the field before the UAB finalizes it in October. Comments should be submitted to NCATE at by September 15, 2008.

NCATE accreditation recognizes the unit as having the capacity to respond to changes affecting the educational environment in institutions between visits. This capacity includes dealing with changes in state and national standards, the delivery of the curriculum, resources, and the marketplace. Substantive changes may impact on the unit’s ability to continue to meet NCATE standards and will require institutions to submit additional information to NCATE and sometimes host a special visit. The following changes must be reported in Part C of the Annual Report:

  1. change in Title II data that indicates the unit no longer meets the required state pass rates on licensure exams

  2. change in the state-approved status (e.g., probation or low-performing) of the professional education unit as identified by the state licensing agency

  3. change in institutional accreditation status

  4. the addition or removal of programs.

  5. changes in program delivery, particularly when traditionally delivered programs become distance learning programs. NCATE defines distance learning programs as programs in which more than 50 percent of the courses are not delivered face-to-face.

  6. addition or removal of a level of preparation (e.g., a master’s degree)

  7. change in status of institution (i.e., merged, separated, etc.)

  8. increased offering for the preparation of education professionals in off-campus sites

  9. increased offerings for the preparation of education professionals outside the United States

  10. changes in institutional and unit leadership

  11. significant change in budget, which is defined as a 25 percent decrease in the overall unit budget from the previous reporting year

  12. significant change in the size of the full-time faculty, which is defined as a 25 percent decrease from the previous reporting year

  13. delivery of a program in whole or in significant part by a non-profit or for-profit partner

  14. change in institutional control or ownership

  15. significant change as a result of unforeseen conditions such as a natural disaster

When an institution indicates that one or more of the substantive changes has occurred over the past year, an explanation should be provided. The response should indicate (1) what the change is; (2) the purpose of the change; (3) how the change will be implemented; and (4) the potential impact of the change on the quality of programs. All substantive changes may require an additional report. Staff will review the substantive changes reported on the annual report and determine whether additional reports are required. The Annual Report and Precondition Audit (ARPA) Committee reviews these reports annually at its spring meeting and makes recommendations to the UAB regarding subsequent actions. The ARPA Committee may recommend to the UAB that an institution submit additional information, a special visit take place, or the investigation be closed. In cases when the institution is scheduled for a visit during the spring semester in which ARPA considers these cases, or during the following fall semester, the Board of Examiners team will be asked to follow-up on these concerns as part of its regular accreditation review. In cases when the institution hosted a visit during the fall semester prior to ARPA’s meeting, the Unit Accreditation Board’s audit committee will review these concerns as part of its regular accreditation review.

Drafted: 04/08