Substantive Change

Reaffirmation of accreditation applies to university conditions that exist at the time of its accreditation. While any modification to the institution’s programs, mission, course offerings, degree offering, etc. are the prerogative of the institution, Middle States is obligated to determine whether any of these changes affect the integrity and effectiveness of the institution. The U.S. Department of Education has determined that certain types of institutional changes are considered "substantive." Thus, any substantive change that is not covered by the institution’s accreditation must be reviewed and approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) prior to its implementation.

The Middle States website provides detailed information about types of substantive changes, request forms, and due dates for submissions.

Any GW school, department, or program that is planning to institute a change that falls into any of the 14 substantive change categories must inform the Senior Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment of their plans well in advance of the proposed implementation of the change. Any substantive change may not be implemented until the Middle States Commission approves the action; the Commission does not offer retroactive approval for substantive changes.

Please note that Middle States requires substantial information about and documentation for the proposed change. Substantive change requests are reviewed six times a year and usually take about two months for the review to be completed.