Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 3. POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION [66000 - 101060]

  ( Title 3 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 10. PRIVATE POSTSECONDARY AND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS [94000 - 95010]

  ( Division 10 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 59. PRIVATE POSTSECONDARY AND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS [94000 - 95010]

  ( Part 59 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

CHAPTER 8. Private Postsecondary Institutions [94800 - 94950]

  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 310, Sec. 6. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [94800 - 94801.5]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 310, Sec. 6. )

94800.
  

This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 310, Sec. 6. (AB 48) Effective January 1, 2010. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94800.5.
  

Whenever a reference is made to the former Private Postsecondary Education and Student Protection Act, the former Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education Reform Act of 1989, or the former Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 94700) of Part 59 of Division 10 of Title 3 of the Education Code, as it read on June 30, 2007, by the provisions of any statute or regulation, it shall be construed as referring to the provisions of this chapter. Whenever a reference is made to the former Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education by the provisions of any statute or regulation, it shall be construed as referring to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 310, Sec. 6. (AB 48) Effective January 1, 2010. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94801.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) In 2013, more than 300,000 Californians attended more than 1,100 private postsecondary schools in California.

(b) Private postsecondary schools can complement the public education system and help develop a trained workforce to meet the demands of California businesses and the economy; however, concerns about the value of degrees and diplomas issued by private postsecondary schools, and the lack of protections for private postsecondary school students and consumers of those schools’ services, have highlighted the need for strong state-level oversight of private postsecondary schools.

(c) Numerous reports and studies have concluded that California’s previous attempts at regulatory oversight of private postsecondary schools under the Department of Consumer Affairs have consistently failed to ensure student protections or provide effective oversight of private postsecondary schools.

(d) It is the intent of the Legislature in continuing the operation of this chapter for two years until January 1, 2017, to ensure all of the following:

(1) Minimum educational quality standards and opportunities for success for California students attending private postsecondary schools in California.

(2) Meaningful student protections through essential avenues of recourse for students.

(3) A regulatory structure that provides for an appropriate level of oversight.

(4) A regulatory governance structure that ensures that all stakeholders have a voice and are heard in policymaking by the bureau.

(5) A regulatory governance structure that provides for accountability and oversight by the Legislature through program monitoring and periodic reports.

(6) Prevention of the harm to students and the deception of the public that results from fraudulent or substandard educational programs and degrees.

(e) The Legislature advises future policymakers to continually and carefully evaluate this chapter and its administration and enforcement. Where there are deficiencies in the law or regulatory oversight, the Governor and the Legislature should act quickly to correct them.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 840, Sec. 1. (SB 1247) Effective January 1, 2015. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94801.5.
  

(a) Effective July 1, 2017, an out-of-state private postsecondary educational institution shall register with the bureau, pay a fee pursuant to Section 94930.5, and comply with all of the following:

(1) The institution shall provide the bureau with all of the following information:

(A) Evidence of accreditation.

(B) Evidence that the institution is approved to operate in the state where the institution maintains its main administrative location.

(C) The agent for service of process consistent with Section 94943.5.

(D) A copy of the institution’s catalog and sample enrollment agreement.

(2) The institution shall comply with the requirements of the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, established in Article 14 (commencing with Section 94923), and regulations adopted by the bureau related to the fund, for its students residing in California.

(3) The institution shall provide disclosures pursuant to the requirements for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, established in Article 14 (commencing with Section 94923), and regulations adopted by the bureau related to the fund, for its students residing in California.

(b) This section does not apply to nonpublic higher education institutions that grant undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, or both, and that are formed as nonprofit corporations and are accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

(c) An institution described in subdivision (a) that fails to comply with this section is not authorized to operate in this state.

(d) A registration with the bureau pursuant to this section shall be valid for two years.

(e) The bureau shall develop, through emergency regulations, a registration form. The adoption of these regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code. These emergency regulations shall become law through the regular rulemaking process by January 1, 2018.

(f) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2022, and as of January 1, 2023, is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 520, Sec. 1. (AB 1344) Effective January 1, 2020. Inoperative July 1, 2022. Repealed as of January 1, 2023, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Sec. 2 of Stats. 2019, Ch. 520.)

94801.5.
  

(a) An out-of-state private postsecondary educational institution shall register with the bureau, pay a fee pursuant to Section 94930.5, and comply with all of the following:

(1) The institution shall provide the bureau with all of the following information for consideration of initial registration by the bureau pursuant to paragraph (2).

(A) Evidence of institutional accreditation.

(B) Evidence that the institution is approved to operate in the state where the institution maintains its main administrative location.

(C) The agent for service of process consistent with Section 94943.5.

(D) A copy of the institution’s catalog and, if the institution uses enrollment agreements, a copy of a sample enrollment agreement.

(E) Whether or not the institution, or a predecessor institution under substantially the same control or ownership, had its authorization or approval revoked or suspended by a state or by the federal government, or, within five years before submission of the registration, was subject to an enforcement action by a state or by the federal government that resulted in the imposition of limits on enrollment or student aid, or is subject to such an action that is not final and that was ongoing at the time of submission of the registration.

(F) Whether or not the institution, or a controlling officer of, or a controlling interest or controlling investor in, the institution or in the parent entity of the institution, had been subject to any education, consumer protection, unfair business practice, fraud, or related enforcement action by a state or federal agency within five years prior to submitting the registration. If so, the institution shall provide the bureau a copy of the operative complaint with the registration.

(G) Whether or not the institution is currently on probation, show cause, or subject to other adverse action, or the equivalent thereof, by its accreditor or has had its accreditation revoked or suspended within the five years prior to submitting the registration.

(H) Whether or not the institution, within five years prior to submitting the registration, has settled, or been adjudged to have liability for, a civil complaint alleging the institution’s failure to provide educational services, including a complaint alleging a violation of Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-318) or a similar state law, or a complaint alleging a violation of a law concerning consumer protection, unfair business practice, or fraud, filed by a student or former student, an employee or former employee, or a public official, for more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). The institution shall provide the bureau a copy of the complaint filed by the plaintiff and a copy of the judgment or settlement agreement for any such judgment or settlement, and the bureau shall consider, pursuant to paragraph (2), all material terms and aspects of the settlement, including, for example, whether a student plaintiff remained enrolled or reenrolled at the institution.

(I) Any additional documentation the bureau deems necessary for consideration in the registration process.

(2) When considering whether to approve, deny, or condition initial registration based upon the information provided by an institution pursuant to paragraph (1), the bureau shall do all of the following:

(A) Not consider any individual submission made under paragraph (1) to be solely determinative of the institution’s eligibility for registration but, exercising its reasonable discretion, approve, reject, or condition registration based upon a review of all of the information provided to it under paragraph (1).

(B) Provide an institution with reasonable notice and opportunity to comment before the bureau regarding any determination to deny, condition, or reject initial registration before that determination becomes final. After the determination becomes final, the institution may seek review of the bureau’s decision through an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(C) The initial registration, if approved, shall memorialize that the institution agrees, as a condition of its registration, to be bound by this section and that its registration may be rejected, conditioned, or revoked for failure to comply with this section, as provided by subdivision (b). The agreement shall be signed by a responsible officer of the institution.

(3) An institution that is registered with the bureau and enrolls a student residing in California shall report in writing to the bureau, within 30 days, the occurrence of any of the following:

(A) The institution has its authorization or approval revoked or suspended by a state or by the federal government, or has been subject to an enforcement action by a state or by the federal government that resulted in the imposition of limits on enrollment or student aid.

(B) The institution or a controlling officer of, or a controlling interest or controlling investor in, the institution or in the parent entity of the institution is subject to any education, consumer protection, unfair business practice, fraud, or related enforcement action by a state or federal agency. If so, the institution shall provide the bureau a copy of the operative complaint.

(C) The institution is currently on probation, show cause, or subject to other adverse action, or the equivalent thereof, by its accreditor or the accreditation of the institution is revoked or suspended.

(D) The institution settles, or is adjudged to have liability for, a civil complaint alleging the institution’s failure to provide educational services, including a complaint alleging a violation of Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-318) or a similar state law, or a complaint alleging a violation of a law concerning consumer protection, unfair business practice, or fraud, filed by a student or former student, an employee or former employee, or a public official, for more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). The institution shall provide to the bureau a copy of the complaint filed by the plaintiff and a copy of the judgment or settlement agreement for any such judgment or settlement, and the bureau shall consider, pursuant to subdivision (b), all material terms and aspects of the settlement, including, for example, whether a student plaintiff remained enrolled or reenrolled at the institution.

(4) The requirements of the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, established in Article 14 (commencing with Section 94923), and regulations adopted by the bureau related to the fund, for its students residing in California.

(5) The institution shall provide disclosures pursuant to the requirements for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, established in Article 14 (commencing with Section 94923), and regulations adopted by the bureau related to the fund, for its students residing in California.

(b) (1) Upon receipt of any of the notifications in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), the bureau shall, within 30 days of receiving the notice, request the institution to explain in writing why the institution should be permitted to continue to enroll California residents. If the bureau, after reviewing the information submitted in response to the request and after consultation with the Attorney General, issues a written finding that there is no immediate risk to California residents from the institution continuing to enroll new students, the institution shall be permitted, pending completion of a review by the bureau, to continue to enroll new students or the bureau may, in its discretion, limit enrollments.

(2) Any institution under review pursuant to paragraph (1) may have its registration revoked by the bureau if, after further review, the bureau issues a written finding that there is a substantial risk posed to California residents by the institution continuing to enroll California residents.

(3) An institution shall have the right to reasonable notice and opportunity to comment to and before the bureau regarding any determination to revoke registration or to limit enrollment before that determination becomes final. An institution may seek review of a bureau order limiting new student enrollment or revoking registration under this subdivision through an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(4) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as preventing the bureau from revoking an institution’s registration on any other grounds specified in this chapter. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting or impairing the ability of an institution registered pursuant to this section or eligible to register pursuant to this section from applying to be an approved institution pursuant to this chapter.

(c) This section shall not apply to nonpublic higher education institutions that grant undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, or both, that are formed as nonprofit corporations, and that are accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

(d) An institution described in subdivision (a) that fails to comply with this section is not authorized to operate in this state. Any institution whose registration is denied or revoked is authorized to reapply for registration after 12 months have elapsed from the date of the denial or revocation of registration.

(e) A registration with the bureau pursuant to this section shall be valid for five years.

(f) The bureau shall develop through emergency regulations effective on and after July 1, 2021, a registration form. The adoption of these regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code. These emergency regulations shall become law through the regular rulemaking process by January 1, 2022.

(g) The bureau shall disclose on its internet website a list of institutions registered pursuant to this section through reasonable means and disclose a designated email address for California residents to send a complaint to the bureau about an institution registered pursuant to this section. Complaints received through this email address shall be investigated in the same manner as complaints received by the bureau for institutions approved to operate pursuant to this chapter, but bureau enforcement in response to such complaints against institutions registered pursuant to this section shall be governed by subdivision (b).

(h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2022.

(Repealed (in Sec. 1) and added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 520, Sec. 2. (AB 1344) Effective January 1, 2020. Operative July 1, 2022, by its own provisions.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC1