Comprehensive Standard 3.13.2: Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Policy and Procedures
Applicable Policy Statement. Member institutions are responsible for notifying and providing SACSCOC with signed final copies of agreements governing their collaborative academic agreements (as defined in this policy). These arrangements must address the requirements set forth in the collaborative academic arrangements policy and procedures. For all such arrangements, SACSCOC-accredited institutions assume responsibility for (1) the integrity of the collaborative academic arrangements, (2) the quality of credits recorded on their transcripts, and (3) compliance with accreditation requirements.
As part of the University of South Florida (USF) System, USF Sarasota-Manatee follows the USF System Policy, 10-061, Substantive Change Reporting, which governs agreements involving joint and dual academic awards. It states:
As members of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC), regionally accredited institutions within the University of South Florida System (USF System) are required to notify the SACSCOC President of substantive changes as they occur. Substantive change is defined as a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Examples include “the implementation of cooperative agreements with other institutions.”
Based on USF Policy 10-061, USF Sarasota-Manatee established Procedures for SACSCOC Substantive Changes including “any planned changes in curriculum,” such as new collaborative academic arrangements. Comprehensive Standard. 3.12.1 (Substantive Change) contains information on substantive change policies and procedures.
This policy and this procedure ensure the integrity of collaborative academic arrangements, the quality of credits recorded on transcripts, and compliance with accreditation requirements. All such arrangements are scrutinized by the USF System General Counsel’s and Institutional Research and Effectiveness (IR) to ensure that the memorandum of understanding or other contractual agreements meet both legal and SACSCOC requirements. IR maintains documentation for all substantive changes, including dual or joint academic programs. The Substantive Change Database tracks all such changes since initial accreditation in 2011.
The one example that USF Sarasota-Manatee has of a substantive change since receiving accreditation is with the International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef (IUBH Collaborative Agreement). The Regional Chancellor notified SACSCOC of the agreement by a Notification Letter of September 4, 2014. SACSCOC granted approval of the dual degree through an Approval Letter of December 3, 2014.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION AND EVIDENCE