Responses Last Confirmed:

Georgia Nonpublic Education Commission

Agency Contact

Laura Vieth
770-414-3306
laurav@gnpec.ga.gov

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Brian Kemp
404-656-2881
soscontact@sos.ga.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
_X___    Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions        
_X___    Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions 
_X___    Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions    
_X___    Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_X___    Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____      Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
_X___    Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_X___    Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_X___  

2A2.
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.

Some in-state institutions are exempt under Georgia Code, please inquire.

Religious Exempt application procedure may be appropriate, please inquire.

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

No

2B2.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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:

No response provided

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

Yes

2D2.
Clarifying comments:

For the first five years of authorization and the first five years following a change of ownership

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

All authorized institutions must meet the Minimum Standard Refund criteria.

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.

Exemptions are granted for numerous purposes. Applicants should access the NPEC reference O.C.G.A. (Official Code of Georgia Annotated) 20-3-250.3. at the following: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/book/%C2%A7-20-3-2503-educational-institutions-exempted-application-part

 

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.

Yes

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

No response provided

4A3.
Clarifying comments:

To offer online education to Georgia residents, an institution must be a member of NC-SARA or be authorized by GNPEC. 

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

Yes

4B2.
Clarifying comments:

To offer online education to Georgia residents, an institution must be a member of NC-SARA or be authorized by GNPEC. 

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.

Generally, an institution has physical presence when it operates a campus, branch instructional facility whether leased or owned, or administrative office within the boundaries of the state.  In addition, the following instances will create physical presence: 

Establish and /or maintain a telephone with a Georgia area code; 

Establish and / or maintain a postal address with a Georgia zip code; 

Market and/or recruit via media that originates in Georgia 

Maintain an Internet URL that originates in Georgia or utilizes an ISP based in Georgia; 

Employ an individual whose job is to recruit

5A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

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

Authorization  involves an application evaluation process and the remittance of fees and bonding. Please read the General Institutional Procedures for Initial Authorization for a more detailed outline regarding the process and its components.         

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.

Please see the GNPEC website for the Schedule of Fees: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/schedule-fees

7A2.
URL for Fee Information
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?

All authorized institutions must renew authorization annually.  Unaccredited institutions, whether in-state or out-of-state, have additional annual reporting requirements, which can be found here: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/documents/additional-requirements-unaccredited-institutions.

8A3.
How frequently do institutions report data?

Annually

8A4.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

Not at this time

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?

Please see GNPEC Student Complaint Rules and Form on the GNPEC website: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/student-complaints

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.)?

GNPEC handles student complaints of GNPEC authorized institutions.

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)?

Complaints against Exempt institutions within the State are processed pursuant to the official Complaint Procedure found on the website at:

www.gnpec.georgia.gov/student-complaints

 

Distance education complaints are processed according to the NC-SARA complaint procedure found in Section 4 of the Policy Manual: 

http://www.nc-sara.org//files/docs/NC-SARA_Manual.pdf

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

No response provided

Contact Name
Title
Agency
Address
Email
Phone
URL
 

9B3.
Clarifying comments:

Complaints must be filed online, with supporting documents.  The Regulatory Specialist assigned to the institution will contact the complainant. 

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

10A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about SARA participating Institutions.

Please see GA-SARA Complaint Rules on the GNPEC website: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/ga-sara-student-complaint-rules.

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.)?

GNPEC handles student complaints from GA-SARA institutions.

10A3.
URL for student complaints – SARA participating institutions
10A4.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?
  • Contact Name- Ms. Pat Neri
  • Title- SARA Coordinator
  • Agency- Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
  • Address- 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA, 30083
  • Email- patn@gnpec.ga.gov
  • Phone- 770-414-3235
  • URL
10A5.
Clarifying comments:

GA-SARA complaints must be filed online, with supporting documents.  The GNPEC SARA Coordinator will contact the complainant.

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).

1.  Contact with the institution (email, phone or certified mail) 

2.  Evaluate information and determine need for action 

3.  Require institution apply for authorization or issue Cease and Desist 

4.  Approve as new institution or review for further legal action. 

Topic:

Records Retention

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

An authorized institution that closes in Georgia must surrender its student records to GNPEC upon demand.

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

Students may request records from a closed institution in Georgia from GNPEC by completing a Student Transcript Request Form: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/webform/student-transcript-request

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