Hinds Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Applied Science degree and Technical and Career certificates.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Hinds Community College. Inquiries about admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc., should be addressed directly to Hinds Community College and not to the Commission’s office. The Commission is to be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support an institution’s significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard.
To ensure its compliance with the SACSCOC Substantive Change requirements, Hinds community College has developed and implemented the following Substantive Change Policy (#314) and Procedure (#314).
Based upon SACSCOC Policy Title: Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges (visit SACSCOC.org)
Hinds Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). As a standard of accreditation (Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement, January 2018 edition, Standard 14.2) the college must:
- Have a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely manner in accordance with SACSCOC policy; and
- Notify the Commission of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of changes.
See Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions Policy Statement for more detailed information and the list of substantive changes.
The purpose of this policy is to establish the requirements, procedures and processes necessary to ensure timely coordination and notification of substantive changes involving Hinds Community College to the college’s regional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Substantive change is based on the concept of “significant departures” from previously approved programs, instructional sites, or modes of delivery. The majority of program modifications, changes in curriculum, or changes to courses do not require a notice of substantive change to SACSCOC. The Institutional Accreditation Liaison serves as the advisor for the substantive change process and will consult as needed with the college’s representatives at SACSCOC.
At no time will any area of the college implement changes that are construed as substantive without following proper internal protocol and without following SACSCOC policy.
- President, Vice Presidents, and instructional deans – report institutional changes to the Institutional Accreditation Liaison.
- Institutional Accreditation Liaison – monitors all institutional changes reported and provides training on substantive change as needed. The Institutional Accreditation Liaison also provides a timeline including dates for internal processes regarding substantive change.
- Semi-annually, the Institutional Accreditation Liaison will send the Substantive Change Notification Request to Vice-Presidents and instructional leaders requesting information on any institutional changes that have taken place in their areas since last report.
- For each change identified as substantive, the supervising Vice President will assign responsibility to appropriate divisional personnel to work with the Institutional Accreditation Liaison to complete the required materials for submission (e.g., prospectus and letters) within established deadlines set by the Hinds Community College Office of Accreditation.
- The Institutional Accreditation Liaison will review the substantive change request for completeness, appropriateness and consistency with SACSCOC policies and standards.
- The Substantive Change Committee at Hinds Community College will meet in November and April to review items submitted to the committee for the purpose of determining whether the proposed action meets the criteria for Substantive Change as described by SACSCOC.
- The college President or Institutional Accreditation Liaison is then responsible for preparing the formal transmission to SACSCOC.
- All substantive changes that are approved by SACSCOC will be announced by the Institutional Accreditation Liaison during the next monthly Instructional Affairs Committee meeting after the approval by SACSCOC AND given during the accreditation read-out report as part of the District Student Services Council meeting. (DSSC only meets during the months of Sept, Nov, Jan, March and June). The Institutional Accreditation Liaison is a member of both committees.
Late Notification of Substantive Change
If a substantive change has been implemented without notification to the Institutional Accreditation Liaison, the appropriate official has the responsibility to notify the Institutional Accreditation Liaison of any changes immediately and the Liaison is responsible for notifying SACSCOC of the change as provided in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy. To ensure that this does not occur, all program administrators must review the internal processes and timelines to ensure timely reporting of substantive changes.
Failure to Notify SACSCOC of Substantive Change
“A failure to report substantive changes properly means that SACSCOC has based its accreditation of an institution on an incorrect impression of the institution’s programs, character or structure; furthermore, SACSCOC would have, in turn, unintentionally misrepresented the institution’s character and structure to other constituencies, including the U.S. Department of Education.” “If an institution fails to follow SACSCOC substantive change policies and procedures, it may lose its Title IV funding or be required by the U.S. Department of Education to reimburse it for money it has received for programs related to the unreported substantive change.” “In addition, the institution’s case may be referred to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees for the imposition of a sanction or removal from membership” (SACSCOC Standard 14.2)
Thus, it is important that Hinds Community College has policies and procedures that ensure correct and timely reporting of all substantive changes.
Policy and Procedure Amendments
The policy and procedure shall be amended as necessary to align with SACSCOC guidelines.