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Substantive Changes

The USDE requires MEAC to ensure that substantive changes to the educational mission or program(s) of an institution/program accredited or pre-accredited by MEAC must not adversely affect the capacity of the institution/program to meet MEAC’s standards. Certain substantive changes are identified in the Code of Federal Regulations found in Part 602 of Title 34 of the Higher Education Act.

The types of changes considered “substantive” include:

substantive changes table image

For more detailed information (and examples) about each type of substantive change, see the MEAC Policies and Procedures, (Section G of the Accreditation Handbook) /III. Accreditation Activities/M. Approval for Substantive Changes

Some things to keep in mind:

  • MEAC requires an institution/program considering a substantive change to submit an application form and fee specific to the planned change at least six months in advance of the planned change. If the change must be made in a shorter timeframe, the institution/program may request an exception to this timeline and pay an additional fee. See the MEAC Policies and Procedures, (Section E of the Accreditation Handbook) /for the details on the application fees.
  •  If an institution/program makes four or more substantive changes within any consecutive twelve month period, MEAC will require a new accreditation review, including Self-Evaluation Report and site visit. (See MEAC Policies and Procedures III. E. Accreditation Process for Determining Compliance with MEAC Standards).
  • The substantive change application is reviewed by an Accreditation Review Committee, which may request additional information from the institution/program.
  • After reviewing all materials (including any site visit reports) the ARC will provide a report to the MEAC Board of Directors which may approve, deny, or defer a decision about the proposed change.
  • MEAC will specify an effective date, which is not retroactive, on which the change is included in the program’s or institution’s accreditation. MEAC may designate the date of a change in ownership as the effective date of its approval of that change if the accreditation decision is made within 30 days of the change in ownership.
  • The school will be notified of the Board’s decision.
  • If a site visit is required to verify the information provided by the institution/program, one or more members of the ARC will visit the institution/program and/or new branch campus or additional location. The institution/program is required to submit the site visit fee prior to scheduling the site visit.
  • Contact Amari Fauna, Director of Accreditation if you have questions or if you are ready to receive an application for a substantive change.