Substantive Changes

Substantive Change Fee $200.

A substantive change is one that the CoARC believes is significant enough to require the program to notify the CoARC of its occurrence. The sponsor must report substantive change(s) to the CoARC for approval prior to the intended date of implementation, with the exception of an adverse action by the institutional accrediting agency or a change in the program’s institutional accreditation status (see Policy 1.07).

For a complete description of the substantive change policy, please refer to Section 9.0 of CoARC’s Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual.

The CoARC is responsible for reviewing all substantive changes that occur between regularly scheduled comprehensive on-site evaluations to determine whether or not the change has affected the quality of the total program and to ensure the public that all aspects of the professional program continue to meet defined standards. While the decision to implement a substantive change is an institutional prerogative and responsibility, the CoARC is obligated to determine the effect of any substantive change on the program’s ability to meet the Standards and Policies.

It is the responsibility of the sponsor to follow the Substantive Change policies and procedures of the CoARC and to inform the CoARC of such changes in accord with those procedures. In general, a program considering or planning a substantive change should notify the CoARC early in the institution’s planning. Such notification will provide an opportunity for a program to seek consultation from the CoARC Executive Office staff regarding the potential effect of the change on the accreditation status and the procedures to be followed. If an accredited program is unclear as to whether a change is substantive in nature, it should contact the CoARC Executive Office for consultation.

If a program fails to follow this substantive change policy and its procedures, the program may be subject to an adverse accreditation action.

The information provided by the program need not be extensive but must provide sufficient detail about the change so that the effect of the change on the accredited program can be assessed.

The CoARC Executive Office will review the substantive change application to ensure all questions of compliance with the Standards and Policies are met with the implementation of the change. Approval of the change is granted when compliance is demonstrated.

After reviewing the application and accompanying documentation, the CoARC Executive Office will notify the program of:

1. The need for additional information or clarification;
2. The need to assign a Referee to conduct further review of the application;
3. The decision by the Referee to place the application on the next scheduled meeting for CoARC consideration;
4. Approval of the change with no further documentation required.

Application for Substantive Change (updated 7/23)
Use this form to request the following:

  • Change in Institutional Accreditor
  • Change of Ownership/Sponsorship
  • Change in Legal Status or Change in Control
  • Change in Degree Awarded
  • Change in Program Optional Goal(s)
  • Change in Curriculum or Delivery Method
  • Increase in Enrollment Request
  • Change in Program Location/Off-Campus Laboratory Site(s)

Clinical Site Affirmation Form 
(to be used by existing programs submitting an Application for Substantive Change and new programs submitting a Letter of Intent Application)

Off-Campus Lab Site Affirmation Form (rev 11/22)
(to be used by existing programs submitting an Application for Substantive Change and new programs submitting a Letter of Intent Application)

Transfer of Sponsorship Request Form (rev 4/20)
(to be used by existing programs submitting a Substantive Change for transfer of sponsorship)

Program Course Requirements and Sequencing Table (rev 8/22)
(to be used with programs submitting a substantive change in curriculum or delivery methods)

An Application for Substantive Change along with a cover letter on institutional letterhead must be sent to the Executive Office prior to implementing any of the following changes describing the nature of the change and the projected implementation date.

Program and Personnel Changes

For questions regarding substantive changes, contact Shane Keene, Chief Operating Officer at or call (817) 283-2835 ext. 106 or 423-335-0297.

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Program and Personnel Changes