As described under Section 1-3-102 of the Accreditation Criteria, a ‘branch campus’ (previously referred to as Additional Location) is “a location of institution that is geographically apart and independent of the main campus of that institution, but under the same corporate structure as the main campus (i.e., part of the main campus corporation or a wholly owned subsidiary). The branch campus is permanent in nature, offers courses in educational programs leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential, and has its own budget, faculty, administrative staff and supervisory organization.”

As referenced under Section 2-2-101, the establishment of a branch campus is considered a substantive change and requires prior Council action before the institution can advertise, recruit, or enroll students. Please refer to Sections 2-2-104(a) and 2-2-110(a) for additional information concerning branch campuses. Please note that all required documents and information called for in the Branch Campus Application must be submitted for consideration by the Council. Online payment of the Branch Application Fee is required for submission of the application. An on-site verification is required within six months after the initial class start date.

The following documents are required:

  • Application-Branch Campus Narrative-Part I

  • State authorization to operate the branch or a letter of exemption

  • Organizational chart which also shows the relationship to the main campus

  • Signed lease for the facility or a copy of the contract of sale, deed of trust and title, as appropriate

  • Fire, safety, and health code compliance documentation

  • Occupancy documentation

  • Academic credit analysis for each program offered at the branch campus

  • Inventory of equipment

  • Learning Resource Center plans, including future development of the reference materials

  • Sample copy of the enrollment agreement

  • Ownership Disclosure form

  • Designated Delegate form

  • Plan to Expand an Institution’s Scope of Accreditation

  • Distance Education consortium agreement, if applicable

  • Waiver request approval, if the Council has placed the institution on expansion restrictions


RECLASSIFICATION OF BRANCH CAMPUS TO MAIN CAMPUS APPLICATION

A branch campus seeking to reclassify as a main campus must complete an application. This is not the correct application process to reclassify a learning site as a branch campus; instead, a branch campus application process must be initiated. Consultation with staff is required to maintain continuity of the record.


CHANGE OF INSTITUTIONAL MISSION STATEMENT

A mission statement must be stated in the catalog and in other publications readily available to the public. Revision to a change of mission is a substantive change requiring the Council approval before it is included in the institution’s scope of accreditation.


CHANGE OF NAME APPLICATION

The Council must be notified and grant approval when an institution decides to change its name. If the name change applies to more than one campus, a separate application must be completed for each campus (main or branch).


CHANGE OF LOCATION APPLICATION

The Council must be notified and grant approval prior to the initiation of educational activity when an institution changes its physical location or its address. An institution is required to justify, in narrative form, reasons for a change of location, including the effect on current students, administrative staff, and faculty.


CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP

The transfer of ownership or a change in the control of an institution is reviewed through the substantive change review process. In addition, any institution or owning corporation contemplating a transaction that may result in a change of ownership or control must notify the Council 30 days prior to that transaction. A change of ownership application is required for the main and each branch campus.


CLOCK-TO-CREDIT- HOUR CONVERSION APPLICATION

This application must be submitted by eligible institutions if they are required, for financial aid purposes, to report out-of-class activity for currently approved programs.


DISTANCE EDUCATION APPLICATION

Institutions are required to submit a Distance Education Application for the following changes:

  • the initiation of an on-line delivery format for less than 50 percent of a program of study;

  • the initiation of an on-line delivery format for 50 percent or more of a program of study.


EXTENSIVE SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE FORM

This form must be submitted when an institution or campus has been notified by the Council that an extensive substantive change visit will be conducted.


INITIAL GRANT OF ACCREDITATION APPLICATION

This application is used to start the initial applicant process.


LEARNING SITE APPLICATION

A learning site is a classroom extension of a main or branch campus that is within reasonable and commutable distance from the managing campus and is apart from the managing campus. A learning site is considered a substantive change to an institution’s scope of accreditation if more than 50 percent of a program is being offered at the location. Learning sites must be approved by the Council prior to initiation of educational activity at the location.


NEW PROGRAM APPLICATION

The Council must be notified prior to the start of any new program and must issue its approval before an institution advertises, recruits, or enrolls students in the proposed program.


NON-CREDIT SHORT-TERM MODULE APPLICATION

This application should only be submitted if the institution requests the Council’s review and approval of non-credit, short-term modules of less than 300 clock hours. These may be offered as continuing education or skills enhancement modules to the general public under the supervision of the ACISC™-accredited campus.


NON-SUBSTANTIVE PROGRAM MODIFICATION APPLICATION

A Non-Substantive Program Modification Form must be submitted for program changes.


REASSIGNMENT AND CONSOLIDATION APPLICATION

Institutions seeking to reassign the classification of a campus or campuses or to consolidate groups of campuses must complete this application.


RENEWAL OF ACCREDITATION APPLICATION

An institution must submit an application for a new grant of accreditation prior to the expiration of its current grant of accreditation.


SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE TO AN EXISTING PROGRAM

The Council requires institutions to secure approval prior to implementation when seeking to make changes of 25 percent or greater to an existing program.


TEAM CHAIR APPLICATION

The ACISC™ team chair is tasked with providing leadership to the independent evaluation team during an institutional evaluation for initial accreditation, renewal of accreditation, or branch inclusion. The chair is a critical part of the evaluation team and the expectations, as summarized below, are the minimum standards for excellence.* Chair training is offered on an as needed basis.


INSTRUCTIONS AND OTHER IMPORTANT FORMS

Application Initiation Process Enhancements

  • ACISC™ is proud to launch features of the Member Center to help with the processing of substantive and non-substantive change applications. New requirements for submitting applications are designed to keep accreditation information current and to streamline the process for assuring the quality of substantive and non-substantive changes. Among other requirements, any request for the review of a substantive or non-substantive change must include a full remittance, a completed application, and all required supporting documentation, before the request will be put in queue for review. In addition, ACISC™ will implement a “withdrawal” policy to maintain the currency of the application material:

  • Any application that has a purchase date of six months or older and that is void of required documentation will be deemed “withdrawn”. The institution will not be entitled to a refund, and it will be required to repurchase the application in order to continue with the proposed change.

  • Credit Card Authorization Form

  • Designated Delegate Form

  • Faculty Data Sheet

  • Faculty Development Form

  • This form outlines the required elements in a faculty development plan. Institutions may either use this form or create their own using this as a guide.

  • Faculty Development Plan – Section 3-1-543 of the Accreditation Criteria requires institutions to establish faculty development plans, including in-service and/or professional growth activities to enhance faculty expertise. The plan must be in writing and may consist of in-service activities, professional growth activities, or a combination of both. There is to be a faculty development plan on file for all faculty members, both full-time and part-time. Each institution may develop their own plan to best fit their needs.

  • Also required is documentation to evidence that the faculty member has completed the activities listed on the plan. Each year after the summary is completed and reviewed by the instructor and the identified school administrator, the faculty development plan for the next year should be developed. The plan’s annual review may be based on the calendar year, the school year, or the anniversary of employment year, but should be consistent for all faculty members.


WAIVER REQUEST FORMS

Financial Review Committee

If an institution is applying for a waiver request to submit a new program(s) and/or a non-main location(s), and the institution is currently on financial reporting or required to submit a financial improvement plan to the Financial Review Committee, the following information must be submitted to the Council for review and approval prior to the submission of an application to address the institution’s status:

  1. Reasons for submitting the waiver request.

  2. Proposed budget that includes projected revenues and expenses over one fiscal year or more.

  3. General description of the local area where the campus is located and any economic, social, demographic or other changes unique to this area if they have an impact on the financial stability of the institution.

  4. Evidence of the local market demand for the new program(s) or nonmain location(s).

  5. The institution’s most recent U.S. Department of Education composite score from its most recent Audit Determination.

  6. The institution’s most recent Cohort Default Rate.

  7. Notification if the institution is on retention and/or placement reporting with the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. Please include the institution’s most recent retention and placement rates.

  8. Evidence, if required, that the program(s)/nonmain location(s) have been granted approval by the appropriate state agency.
    Note: If approval is required and has not been granted, the waiver will not be approved until there is evidence of the approval.

  9. Documentation of additional resources, if applicable, that are needed to begin the new program(s)/non main campus activity and how they will impact the current operation. If the institution is a branch campus or learning site, how will the main campus or corporate office contribute financial resources?

  10. Any other documentation or narrative statements the institution may wish to include.


Request to Waive Restrictions (Institutional Effectiveness Committee)

If an institution is applying for a waiver request to initiate a new program(s) and/or a non-main location(s), and the institution is currently on retention and/or placement reporting, compliance warning, a show-cause directive, or a negative action; the following information must be submitted to the Council for review and approval prior to the submission of an application to address the institution’s status:

  1. Reasons for submitting the waiver request.

  2. If applicable, a description of the reasons (special circumstances) for the low retention and/or placement rates and how the new program(s) or location(s) will help the institution improve retention and/or placement rates. Are there specific cohorts and/or programs that are affecting the retention and/or placement rate(s)? Please include evidence that the institution will have an opportunity to raise the retention and/or placement rate(s) due to the new activity.

  3. If applicable, a general description of the local area where the campus is located and any economic, social, demographic, or other changes unique to this area if they have an impact on the low rates. (Expected changes to an external/internal scenario should described in order to justify a positive projection, and therefore, a possible raise in the rates. Specific evidence and official data are expected.)

  4. Evidence of the local market demand for the new program(s) or nonmain location(s).

  5. Retention and/or placement rates as reported in the Campus Accountability Report (CAR).

  6. Updated CAR rates for the period of July 1–December 31 and January 1–June 30, along with documentation that the institution is following its improvement plan, if applicable.

  7. Notification if the institution is on financial reporting.

  8. Evidence, if required, the program(s)/nonmain location(s) have been granted approval by the appropriate state agency.
    Note: If approval is required and has not been granted, the waiver will not be approved until there is evidence of the approval.

  9. If applicable, length of time that the campus been on reporting.
    a. Less than one year
    b. One to two years
    c. More than two years

  10. Notification if the institution has received approval of a waiver similar to the one submitted to ACISC™ from USED or an accrediting body.

  11. Documentation of additional resources, if applicable, that are needed to begin the new program(s)/non main campus activity and how these resources will impact the current operation. If the institution is a branch campus or learning site, how will the main campus or corporate office support the additional operation?