Substantive Change Report and Policy
Principals of accredited schools are required, as an obligation of membership to report any substantive change at their schools relating to the Standards for Accreditation to the Commission office within sixty (60) days of occurrence.
A substantive change impacts the quality of education at the school. Examples of a substantive change are: addition of a grade level; dramatic increase in class size; major facility issue; reduction in staff; change in programming. Substantive changes are not limited to these examples; in fact, any major change which the administration and/or faculty views as counterproductive to the direction the school is taking as a result of its adherence to the Standards for Accreditation can be deemed a substantive change.
There is no specific form for the Substantive Change Report. It should be written in narrative form and must describe the substantive change in detail. The report should assess the impact of the change on the ability of the school to provide appropriate educational programs and/or services for students in light of the Standards for Accreditation. Finally, the report should include the steps the school has taken or is taking to address the changes, as well as any additional plans or strategies for handling the changes.
The Commission requests this information, because the school has made a commitment to maintain the Standards for Accreditation as a criterion for membership. If something interferes with the school’s ability to uphold the Standards for Accreditation, the Commission intervenes in hopes of providing guidance and structure. When a substantive change is reported to the Commission, it is reviewed, and, if any action is taken by the Commission, the school will be notified. Action may be a request for a Special Progress Report after a period of time to explain how the substantive change has affected the Standards; it may call for a Directed Visit to ascertain the effect of the substantive change on the Standards.