There are two types of program approval, Initial and Revised.
Initial approval may involve the approval of one or more programs at a new, previously unapproved institution. It may also involve the approval of a new, previously unapproved program at a currently approved institution. While SAA approval is program specific, many of the approval criteria (e.g., probationary policy, disciplinary policy and grading system, etc.) are institutional in nature, applying to more than one program. At many schools, all or most of the currently offered programs are approved, leading us to use interchangeably the terms "institutional approval" and "program approval." What we are actually doing is approving programs and the institutional policies that underlie them.
Revised approvals may involve a change in institutional or program status which may have impact on: policy, name, location, accreditation, program design (e.g., length), school ownership, branch campus, or other factors covered in the regulations and requiring SAA review and approval. The revised approval may occur at any time after initial approval and is usually precipitated by either institutional notification to the SAA or as a result of findings during a Supervisory Visit. The approval of programs is publication-based. It is dependent upon information in the school's publications, which the school must certify as true and correct. Since many Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and Non-College Degree (NCD) schools issue periodic revisions of their publications which may contain new or revised policies and programs, the SAA must acquire certified copies of these new publications – review, analyze and approve them – and forward them to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This is a form of revised approval of the institution and its programs.