SACSCOC Approval

New Degree Programs

SACSCOC must approve new degree programs that are a significant departure from existing approved programs prior to implementation. Factors related to determining whether a new program is a “significant departure” include:

  • Relationship to existing programs
  • Additional equipment or facilities needed
  • Additional financial resources needed
  • Number of new courses
  • Number of new or reallocated faculty
  • Additional library/learning resources needed

Early completion of the Academic Initiative Planning Checklist will help the Office of Accreditation and Compliance determine if your proposed program is a significant departure. If it is, a SACSCOC prospectus must be submitted before January 1 for a Fall implementation date. See the Proposal Timeline Planning document to assist in mapping out the approval process, including a sample timeline that outlines an expedited minimum one and a half year process leading to a Fall implementation of a new program.

Main components of the SACSCOC prospectus are:

  • Abstract
  • Background information regarding the nature and purpose of the program
  • Need for the program
  • Curriculum
  • Faculty, including a complete roster with qualifications
  • Library and learning resources
  • Student support services
  • Physical resources
  • Financial support
  • Evaluation and assessment

The Office of Accreditation and Compliance will assist in preparing and formatting the prospectus, including which parts of the SCHEV program proposal may be used.

SCHEV approval may also be required prior to implementation of a new degree program. Note that Longwood has not at this time been authorized by SCHEV or SACSCOC to offer doctoral degrees.

Please contact David Shoenthal (x2193) for more information, including how you must present pending new programs to prospective students.

Closing a Degree Program

An academic degree program may be placed in storage for up to 5 years following approval by EPC and the Faculty Senate. After 5 years in storage, the program will be closed. Note that after 5 years of no students enrolled and no major course offered by a degree program,  SACSCOC may require submission of a full prospectus to reinstate the program prior to admitting students and offering courses.

Permanently closing a degree program requires approval by the BOV and notification to SCHEV and SACSCOC prior to the closure, including a teachout plan. SACSCOC must be notified before ceasing to admit students.