Secretary of State Contact
1: Important Agency Information to Note
2: Types of Educational Providers Authorized
_____ Public, in-state degree granting institutions
__X__ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
_____ 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 (typically depends on accreditation status; unaccredited – yes; accredited – it depends on other factors such as if they are state aid eligible)
__X__ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
__X__ Religious institutions (authorized primarily through exemption from regulation)
_____ Tribally-controlled institutions
_____ Federal Institutions
_____ Municipal institutions
____ Institution _____ Program ___X__ Both
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
____ Religious institutions
____ Tribally-controlled institutions
____ Federal Institutions
____ Municipal institutions
New non-public degree-granting institutions are expected to make continuous progress on obtaining appropriate, recognized accreditation within a reasonable timeframe. The institution must disclose to students the degrees are unaccredited until such time as accreditation is achieved.
- Not-for-profit religious institutions accredited by the American Association of Bible Colleges, the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, or a regional accrediting association, such as the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, which is recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education
- Not-for-profit religious institutions offering only religiously designated degrees and programs
- Charitable institutions that provide instruction without financial charge
- Schools offering only non-vocational or recreational courses or programs
- Employer sponsored instruction or training available only to employees
- Training by restricted membership trade or professional associations for members only
- Schools or training programs regulated and approved by other state agencies
- Elementary and/or secondary schools (i.e., schools enrolling students primarily under the age of 16)
5: Authorization of Distance Education
Physical presence is the primary trigger. Online and correspondence are handled in the same way.
6: Physical Presence Policy
“Physical presence” means any person or location within the state of Missouri where, from, or through which a school operates for the purpose of conducting an activity relating to postsecondary education, including the granting of certificates or degrees, or for the purpose of recruiting students. Location is defined to include any address, physical site, electronic device, or telephone number within or originating from within the boundaries of the state of Missouri. Physical presence shall also mean a formally scheduled instructional interaction organized by or through a school taking place between two (2) or more students and/or instructors within the state of Missouri. Physical presence does not include any activity conducted by a school based outside of Missouri covered by the provisions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.
7: Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions
Only formal written complaints are reviewed through this process. The complaint is reviewed by department staff and provided to the institution for response. The original complaint and the institutional response are reviewed by staff and an advisory committee and a determination is made regarding any action required by the institution.
In most instances it is handled internally but we do have the authority to refer to another agency depending on the institutional type and its authorization status.
Contact Name: Dr. Laura Vedenhaupt
Title: Director of Academic Affairs
Agency: Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development
Address: 301 West High Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101
8: Student Complaints - Non-SARA Participating Institutions
The same process is used. All information is the same at Topic 7.
9: Surety Bonds
10: Tuition Refund Policy
Any institution certified to operate under the proprietary school certification statute. Primarily in-state for-profit institutions and out of state private institutions regardless of tax status.
11: Student Tuition Recovery Fund
Institutional description (name, address, contacts, etc.); programs offered; financial information; enrollments; completions; student outcomes.
Not published but is available upon request as a public record.
Probationary status; suspension of authorization; termination of authorization.
14: Application Process
The review and approval of the school's application to operate a proprietary school is first. The major sections of the application deal with operational standards (compliance), institutional information (data collection and verification), and publications (consumer information). These areas are based on standards organized around institutional, programmatic, personnel, financial, and student services information. Each section contains requests for information and a testament by a school official verifying compliance with certification standards and confirming the accuracy and completeness of the application materials. The application must demonstrate that the proposal is the product of careful planning, that the instruction proposed has legitimate purpose and reasonable expectations of adequacy, and that the proposed school will have the necessary resources to implement and maintain the proposed instruction in compliance with certification standards. Schools must submit an application fee of $200 with the initial application in order to be placed in the queue for review. This amount will be credited toward the school's total initial certification fee of $500.
Processing time for an application for initial certification is impacted both by the care and diligence of its preparation and by the workload of DHEWD staff responsible for its evaluation. Applications are always processed as quickly as possible and usually in the order in which they are received. The suggested minimum expectation for the completion of the evaluation process is approximately 120 days. Schools proposing to offer a wide range of programs or to offer degree-level study should expect a longer review time. Depending on the type and level of programs envisioned, the DHEWD may use external consultants to assist with the evaluation of the application materials and the school proposal. Review of proposals to offer programs leading to professional licensure, such as massage therapy, will also include appropriate action or approval by the pertinent regulatory board in the state.
Applications for initial certification may be submitted at any time. For schools seeking annual recertification, March 15 prior to expiration of the current certificate to operate is the deadline for submission of the recertification application. Failure to meet this deadline can result in the lapse or denial of certification.
15: Fees Associated with Authorization
The formula for the calculation of the certification fee is included in the application section of the rules and regulations and varies depending on the type of certification the school is seeking. For schools applying for initial certification, the fee is established as a flat amount ($500 total) for the remainder of the current certification year. After the initial certification year, the minimum annual fee is $500 and the maximum is $5,000. For schools applying for recertification, this step is concurrent with the verification of the security deposit.
16: Records Retention
By statute, institutions must make arrangements for the permanent storage of student records upon closure. The department requires documentation of these arrangements as part of the closure process.
17: Additional Information