Institutional Change and Accreditation Status
The Commission recognizes that change at institutions of higher learning is constant and it supports change to improve educational quality. The Commission has defined specific conditions under which the institution needs to obtain authorization before implementing changes because they may affect accreditation.
Commission Policies on Institutional Change
The different categories for change and the requirements for institutions related to these changes are detailed in the Overview of Commission Policies and Procedures for Institutional Changes Requiring Commission Notification or Approval.
In June 2010, the Commission’s Board of Trustees approved new and updated policies on substantive change. The Commission also has a number of policies that were created specifically to address requirements from the U.S. Department of Education.
An institution’s Statement of Affiliation Status (SAS) identifies any stipulations that may affect the institutional change process. An SAS may be accessed in the Institution Directory.
Note to AQIP Institutions
All institutions participating in AQIP for the purpose of maintaining accreditation are obligated to follow the Commission’s change policies and processes.
Any affiliated institution may request at any time Commission review of changes it plans to introduce. The only institutions limited in this regard are those appealing a decision of the Commission. The change process can take anywhere from ninety days to eight months depending on the breadth of the change and the appropriate approval process.
Based on the category of change, the institution may be required to receive Prior Commission Approval, submit Notification to the Commission, or participate in the Notification Program for Additional Locations if the institution has received Commission permission.
Changes requiring Commission notification. Currently institutions will notify the Commission of these changes through the Institutional Update or through scheduled Commission evaluations.
Changes Requiring Prior Commission Approval
Completed change applications should be submitted to
Unless otherwise noted, all applications are downloadable forms:
Program Change Application
Certificate Programs Application (this is an online interactive form.) Screenshots are available. Institutions can submit up to 10 certificates for the flat fee of $825 if they do it in one batch or within the same month.
Courses at a New Degree Level
Change in Clock or Credit Hours
Location or Modality:
Branch Campuses and Additional Locations Application
The following application is for institutions who are actively managing more than three locations and would like access to the Commission's Notification Program. To use this form, an institution must have evidence based on at least three active, Commission-approved additional locations.
Application for the Notification Program for Additional Locations
Teach Out of an Existing Location or Branch Campus
Distance Delivery Application
Location Update System, only available to eligible institutions, for the Notification Program for Additional Locations
Consortial Change Application
Contractual Change Application
Mission or Student Body Change
|Change of Control Requests
Requests related to Change of Control, Structure, or Organization follow a separate process and require a different type of documentation and a different fee schedule. Institutions considering this type of change should write to
Most change processes are subject to a fee. Visit the Fee Schedule for questions about the costs attributed to the Institutional Change process.
The Commission has developed a cost estimator for comprehensive visits and focused visits based on the fee schedule for the fiscal year 2012–2013.
Approval Process of Change Requests
Once an institution notifies the Commission about specific aspects of its planning and submits a change request to that effect, the Commission determines the appropriate process under which the request will be evaluated. The process options are detailed in the Overview of Commission Policies and Procedures for Institutional Changes Requiring Commission Notification or Approval.
Submitting Required Materials for a Change Visit
Prior to accreditation-related reviews, the institution provides the peer reviewers and the Commission with a set of required materials. Beginning in Fall 2011, these materials must be submitted electronically in PDF format for the majority of evaluations.
Required Materials and Submission Procedures: PEAQ and AQIP Change Visit
For more information on policies or on how to submit a change request, institutions should send a query to