Accreditation Compliance (SACSCOC)

Houston Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Houston Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Houston Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website

The Houston Community College District was first admitted into membership in SACS on December 19, 1977. Accreditation was granted provisionally and yearly for five years until a full Self-Study was completed and reaffirmation of accreditation was received for the ten years following December 17, 1982. HCC received its last reaffirmation of accreditation in June 2022 with no recommendations. HCC’s next reaffirmation will take place in 2032, and the institution’s Fifth-Year Interim Report is due in 2027.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is designed to positively impact student success (e.g., completion rates). The creation, implementation, assessment, and completion of the QEP is a requirement of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The QEP is a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a topic or issue related to student success over the next 5 years. It is a commitment to improve student success outcomes critical to HCC’s mission, vision, and strategic plan.

Learn more about the Quality Enhancement Plan Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Specialty Accreditations

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Substantive Change

Substantive Change Policy

Date Approved/Updated: October 2011; May 2014
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: GK(LOCAL) Substantive Change

Background: Member institutions of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) are required to notify the Commission of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy and, when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of changes. Further, member institutions are required to have a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely fashion.

Definition: Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Under federal regulations, substantive change includes

  • Any change in the established mission or objectives of the institution
  • Any change in legal status, form of control, or ownership of the institution
  • The addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure, either in content or method of delivery, from those that were offered when the institution was last evaluated
  • The addition of courses or programs of study at a degree or credential level different from that which is included in the institution's current accreditation or reaffirmation.
  • A change from clock hours to credit hours
  • A substantial increase in the number of clock or credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program
  • The establishment of an additional location geographically apart from the main campus at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program.
  • The establishment of a branch campus
  • Closing a program, off-campus site, branch campus or institution
  • Entering into a collaborative academic arrangement such as a dual degree program or a joint degree program with another institution
  • Acquiring another institution or a program or location of another institution
  • Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out program for a closed institution
  • Entering into a contract by which an entity not eligible


Purpose: The purpose of Houston Community College (HCC) Substantive Change Procedure is to ensure HCC compliance with SACSCOC policy on substantive change as detailed in The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, Principle 14.2. Rules for substantive change and the notification procedures are to be found in Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges: Policy Statement, located online at:

Responsibility: Responsibility for notifying SACSCOC of substantive changes officially rests with the HCC SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. The Vice Chancellor for Strategy, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness serves as the HCC SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison.

Responsible party Area of responsibility
SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison Overall substantive change process




Current degrees and certificates

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