TEMPLATES FOR REPORTING SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE

Templates for reporting substantive changes are listed by substantive change type. The substantive change templates below may not address all substantive changes that the ACEN will review in the interim between a nursing program’s reaccreditation cycles. If you are unsure of which template to use, please contact the Coordinator of Substantive Change at (404) 975-5000.

Please submit Substantive Change Reports in either PDF or Word format to the Coordinator of Substantive Change via email. If the file size exceeds the allowable limit, please save the file to a USB flash drive and send to the ACEN office via postal mail.

CURRICULUM
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Changing the method of academic measurement
Changing from clock hours to credit hours
Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation of the change
Curriculum Revisions of 50-100% of nursing credits/hours Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation of the change
Curriculum Revisions of 25-49% of nursing credits/hours No Procedure 2 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation of the change
Credit/Clock Hour Changes of 20-100% of total nursing program credits/hours Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation of the change
PROGRAM OUTCOMES
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Licensure/Certification Examination Pass Rate
The program’s overall (aggregated for the program as a whole) annual licensure examination/certification pass rates does not meet the benchmark established in Criterion 6.2
No Procedure 4 Possible Within 60 calendar days of the program receiving notification
Program Completion Rate
The program’s overall (aggregated for the program as a whole) annual program completion rate over two (2) consecutive academic years (e.g., from 2017 to 2018) falls 25% or more below the program’s established expected level of achievement (ELA); or the annual program completion rate in a single year falls more than 40% below the program’s established ELA
No Procedure 4 Possible Within 60 calendar days of the program receiving notification
Job Placement Rate
The program’s overall (aggregated for the program as a whole) annual job placement rate over two (2) consecutive academic years (e.g., from 2017 to 2018) falls 30% or more below the program’s established expected level of achievement (ELA); or the annual job placement rate in a single year falls more than 45% below the program’s established ELA
No Procedure 4 Possible Within 60 calendar days of the program receiving notification
DISTANCE EDUCATION
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Offering 50% to 100% of the number of credit hours or the number of clock hours of the nursing courses via distance education
Once approved to offer any nursing program via distance education, approval is not required to offer subsequent nursing program(s) via distance education
Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation of the change
Offering 25% to 49% of the number of credit hours or the number of clock hours of the nursing courses via distance education No Procedure 2 Possible Prior to implementation
PROGRAMS/PROGRAM OPTIONS
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Adding a nursing program option within a nursing program by deleting and/or substituting 50% or more of the existing nursing courses to form the new nursing program option Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation of the change
Adding a nursing program option within a nursing program by deleting and/or substituting 1-49% of the existing nursing courses to form the new nursing program option No Procedure 2 Possible Prior to implementation
Adding courses or nursing programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the nursing education unit’s current accreditation Yes Procedure 2 No Prior to implementation
Inactivating a nursing program No Procedure 2 No Four (4) months prior to implementation
Reactivating a nursing program No Procedure 2 No Four (4) months prior to implementation
Closing a nursing program Yes Procedure 3
(See Policy #16)
Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Acquiring from another governing organization an accredited or non-accredited nursing program Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Acquiring from another governing organization an off-campus instructional site where an accredited or non-accredited nursing program is offered Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
CHANGE IN STATUS: NURSING REGULATORY AGENCY/ACCREDITING AGENCY/TITLE IV
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
A change in approval status with the state regulatory agency for nursing
See ACEN Policy #17
N/A Procedure 4 Possible Within 60 calendar days of the program receiving notification
A negative or adverse action by the institutional accrediting agency
See ACEN Policy #18
N/A Procedure 4 Possible Within 60 calendar days of the program receiving notification
Change in Title IV status
(Applies only if ACEN is the Title IV gatekeeper for the nursing program)
N/A Procedure 4 Possible Within 60 calendar days of the program receiving notification
INSTRUCTIONAL SITES/BRANCH CAMPUSES/RELOCATIONS
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Title IV: Establishing a branch campus at which an ACEN-accredited nursing program is offered Yes Procedure 1 Required Four (4) months prior to implementation
Non-Title IV: Establishing a branch campus at which an ACEN-accredited nursing program is offered Yes Procedure 2 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Establishing a new off-campus instructional site at which students can obtain 50% or more of the number of credit hours or the number of clock hours required for completion of an ACEN-accredited nursing program Yes Procedure 1 Required for first three (3) new off-campus instructional sites Four (4) months prior to implementation
Establishing a new off-campus instructional site at which students can obtain 25-49% of the number of credit hours or the number of clock hours required for completion of an ACEN-accredited nursing program No Procedure 2 No Prior to implementation
Relocating a currently approved off-campus instructional site serving the same geographic region where nursing program is offered No Procedure 2 Possible Prior to implementation
Relocating a nursing education unit Yes Procedure 2 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Adding an off-campus instructional site at which the governing organization is conducting a teach-out for students of another governing organization that has ceased operating before all students enrolled in an accredited or non-accredited nursing program have completed the nursing program of study Yes Procedure 2 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Inactivating an off-campus instructional site where a nursing program or nursing program option is offered No Procedure 2 No Four (4) months prior to implementation
Reactivating an off-campus instructional site where a nursing program or nursing program option is offered No Procedure 2 No Four (4) months prior to implementation
Closing an approved off-campus instructional site or branch campus where a nursing program is offered No Procedure 3
(See Policy #16)
No Four (4) months prior to implementation
ENROLLMENT
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Increase in Nursing Program Enrollment of 50% or greater
An increase in total enrollment of 50% or greater by headcount in one (1) academic year for any ACEN-accredited nursing program
Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Increase in Nursing Program Enrollment of 25-49%
An increase in total enrollment of 25-49% by headcount in one (1) academic year for any ACEN-accredited nursing program
Yes Procedure 2 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Title IV: Increase in Governing Organization Enrollment
An increase in total enrollment of 50% or by headcount in one (1) academic year for the governing organization
Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Non-Title IV: Increase in Governing Organization Enrollment
An increase in total enrollment of 50% or by headcount in one (1) academic year for the governing organization
No Procedure 2 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
MISSION/GOVERNANCE
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Changing the ownership, legal status, or form of control of the governing organization, including merger(s) Yes Procedure 1 Title IV: Required
Non-Title IV: Possible
Four (4) months prior to implementation
Changing the established mission or objectives of the governing organization
(this does not include a revision/update in the mission statement)
Yes Procedure 1 Title IV: Required
Non-Title IV: Possible
Four (4) months prior to implementation
A change in the nurse administrator No Procedure 4 No No later than one (1) month after permanent or interim nurse administrator assumes duties/responsibilities
Significant change in the organizational structure of the nursing education unit that would place a nursing program in non-compliance with ACEN Standards and Criteria Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
CONSORTIA/CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS
Type of Substantive Change Prior Approval from ACEN Required Submission Procedure Focused Visit Timeframe for Submission to the ACEN
Entering into a contractual or consortia relationship with an entity to jointly offer all or part of a nursing program Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation
Entering into a relationship under which an entity not certified to participate in Title IV, HEA offers 25% or more of the clock hours or credit hours required for completion of a nursing program Yes Procedure 1 Possible Four (4) months prior to implementation