Responses Last Confirmed:

California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education

Agency Contact

Dr. Michael Marion, Jr., Bureau Chief
(916) 431-6905
Michael.Marion@dca.ca.gov

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Alex Padilla
916-653-7244
secretary.padilla@sos.ca.gov
Topic:

Types of Educational Providers Authorized

2A1.
Institution Types Authorized – Indicate the types of institutions that your agency authorizes. Please provide a short explanation of any ambiguity in the comment section below

____    Public, in-state degree granting institutions
____    Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions        
____    Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions 
____    Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions    
_X__    Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____    Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____    Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
____    Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
____    Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
____    Non-degree,

2A2.
Clarifying comments:

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (bureau) has oversight of California private postsecondary institutions that have a physical presence in California and offer postsecondary education to the public for an institutional charge. In July 2017 state law was amended to add the requirement for out of state private postsecondary educational institutions to register with the bureau, pay a fee and comply with specific sections of the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009.   The bureau has limited oversight of these out of state registered institutions.

2B1.
Is accreditation required for an institution to be authorized in your state? Yes or No.

Yes and No

2B2.
Clarifying comments:

The bureau approves both accredited and non-accredited institutions, however in 2015 all degree granting institutions were required to obtain accreditation from an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, to continue to offer degree programs.  Degree granting institutions seeking approval after 2015 are limited to offering two degree programs, must file an accreditation plan with the bureau that outlines how the institution will achieve accreditation candidacy or pre-accreditation status within two years and full accreditation with five years. These institutions are

2B3.
If yes, what type of accreditation is required? Please, check all that apply as appropriate.

No response provided
Regional Accreditation Required for:
____ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
____ Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
____ Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
____ Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
____ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
____

2B4.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

2C1.
Does your agency authorize specific academic programs offered by institutions, only institutions themselves, or both?

____ Institution   _____ Program   __X__ Both

2C2.
Clarifying comments:

The bureau provides approval for the institution and the programs offered by the institution.

2D1.
Does your state require a Surety Bond for authorized out-of-state institutions? Yes or No.

No

2D2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

2E1.
Does your state have a Tuition Refund Policy Requirement? If so, for which types of institutions?

Yes, the bureau has a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF).  All approved institutions and out of state registered institutions are required to comply with STRF. 

Topic:

Exemptions

3A1.
Are certain institutions or programs exempt by law or policy from your state authorization requirements? If so, for which types of institutions? Which types of programs? Please provide web link.

The bureau provides exemptions for some institutions.  The full list of categories of exempt institutions can be found in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (the Act) section 94874. The bureau has established a voluntary “Verification of Exempt Status” application.                           

https://www.bppe.ca.gov/forms_pubs/verification_exempt.pdf

Topic:

Authorization of Distance Education

4A1.
Does your agency require purely online programs offered by out-of-state institutions to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No.

No

4A2.
If not, does your agency determine whether an institution must be authorized based on a physical presence (“operating”) standard? Yes or No.

Yes

4A3.
Clarifying comments:

The bureau has regulatory authority over institutions that have a physical presence in California and offer postsecondary education to the public for an institutional charge.  Out of state private postsecondary educational institutions, defined as private entities without a physical presence in California that offer distance education to California residents for an institutional charge, regardless of whether the institution has affiliated institutions or institutional locations in California, are required to register with the bureau.  The bureau has limited regulatory authority regarding these

4B1.
Does your agency require correspondence study programs to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No

No

4B2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Physical Presence Policy - Common Triggers

5A1.
If your agency uses a physical presence standard, how does your agency define physical presence? If available, please provide a link to that policy or a citation to the relevant regulation giving that standard.

Through the application process, the bureau verifies whether the institution has a California location.

5A2.
URL for physical presence definition

No response provided

5A3.
Clarifying comments:

The bureau does not have a definition for physical presence, however The Act, section 94858 defines a private postsecondary educational institution as a private entity with a physical presence in this state that offers postsecondary education to the public for an institutional charge.

Topic:

Application Process

6A1.
Description – Please provide a short description of the application process to obtain state authorization. If available, please provide web links to the specific references to all applicable state laws, regulations, manuals, forms, or other pertinent docu

The bureau has multiple types of approval applications (Approval to Operate an Institution Non-Accredited, Approval to Operate an Accredited Institution).    A list of the various applications can be found at: https://www.bppe.ca.gov/schools/applications.shtml.  Institutions must complete the application and pay the associated fee(s). 

In accordance with the Act section 94887, an approval to operate shall be granted only after an applicant has presented sufficient evidence to the burau and the bureau has independently verified the information provided by the applicant through site visits or

6A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Fees Associated with Authorization

7A1.
Application Fee – Is there an application fee to initiate the authorization process? If so, what is the fee or fee schedule? Please provide a web link if available.

There is a fee for each application.  The fee must be paid prior to the processing of any application.  The fee schedule can be found in the California Code of Regulations (5, CCR) section 94930.5.  The fee is also listed on each application.

7A2.
URL for Fee Information

Regulation: https://www.bppe.ca.gov/lawsregs/regs.pdf

 Application: https://www.bppe.ca.gov/lawsregs/regs.pdf

7A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Reporting

8A1.
What kinds of information or data must an institution report to your agency as a condition for continued out-of-state authorization?

Out of state institutions are only required to register with the bureau.  The registration is valid for two and must be renewed accordingly.

8A2.
URL for reporting

No response provided

8A3.
How frequently do institutions report data?

No response provided

8A4.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

No response provided

8A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - Non-SARA Participating Institutions

9A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about out-of-state postsecondary institutions or programs?

The bureau has limited regulatory authority for registered out of state institutions.  The bureau may enforce laws related to compliance with the Student Tuition Recovery Fund and its disclosure to students

9A2.
URL for the complaint form
9A3.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

With the bureau’s limited authority complaints regarding out of state institutions are referred to the appropriate state or federal authority.

9A4.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

9B1.
Does this complaint process extend to institutions not authorized by the agency that may enroll residents of the state (such as explicitly distance education programs with no physical presence or exempt institutions)?

Yes

9B2.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?

Contact Name

Title

Agency:  Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education

Address:  P O Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA  95798-0818

Email: bppe@dca.ca.gov

Phone: (916) 431-6959 or Toll Free: (888) 370-7589

URL:  https://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint.shtml

9B3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

10A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about out-of-state postsecondary institutions or programs?

The bureau does not have authority to regulate out of state institutions.  Complaints received regarding out of state institutions are referred to the appropriate state, federal or accrediting agency.

10A2.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

No response provided

10A3.
URL for student complaints – SARA participating institutions

No response provided

10A4.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?

No response provided

Contact Name
Title
Agency
Address
Email
Phone
URL
 

10A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Enforcement

11A1.
If your agency has written descriptions of the possible consequence of institutional non-compliance, please provide it (or provide a web link).

The bureau may issue administrative citations (The Act, section 94936),  place an institution on probation, seek revocation of an institution’s approval to operate and seek reimbursement for the cost of investigation, through the administrative process (The Act, section 94937).

Topic:

Records Retention

12A1.
When a school closes, what is the process your state uses to ensure that transcripts/records are kept available?

The Act, section 94926 provides …….

At least 30 days prior to closing, the institution shall notify the bureau in writing of its intention to close. The notice shall be accompanied by a closure plan, which shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:

(a) A plan for providing teach-outs of educational programs, including any agreements with any other postsecondary educational institutions to provide teach-outs.

(b) If no teach-out plan is contemplated, or for students who do not wish to participate in a teach-out, arrangements for making refunds within 45 days

12B1.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?

Agency Name: Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education

Contact Phone: (916) 431-6959 or Toll Free (888) 370-7589

Contact Address:  P O Box 980818, West Sacramento, Ca 95798-0818

 Contact Email:   bppe.transcripts@dca.ca.gov

Contact web site: https://www.bppe.ca.gov/students/transcript_req.pdf

Topic:

Additional Information

13A1.
Is there anything else about the authorization process in your state that we and others ought to know about?

No response provided