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 6. Approval to Operate [94885 - 94892]
  ( Article 6 added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 310, Sec. 6. )

94885.
  

(a) The bureau shall adopt by regulation minimum operating standards for an institution that shall reasonably ensure that all of the following occur:

(1) The content of each educational program can achieve its stated objective.

(2) The institution maintains specific written standards for student admissions for each educational program and those standards are related to the particular educational program.

(3) The facilities, instructional equipment, and materials are sufficient to enable students to achieve the educational program’s goals.

(4) The institution maintains a withdrawal policy and provides refunds.

(5) The directors, administrators, and faculty are properly qualified.

(6) The institution is financially sound and capable of fulfilling its commitments to students.

(7) That, upon satisfactory completion of an educational program, the institution gives students a document signifying the degree or diploma awarded.

(8) Adequate records and standard transcripts are maintained and are available to students.

(9) The institution is maintained and operated in compliance with this chapter and all other applicable ordinances and laws.

(b) Except as provided in Section 94885.1, an institution offering a degree must satisfy one of the following requirements:

(1) Accreditation by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, with the scope of that accreditation covering the offering of at least one degree program by the institution.

(2) An accreditation plan, approved by the bureau, for the institution to become fully accredited within five years of the bureau’s issuance of a provisional approval to operate to the institution. The provisional approval to operate to an unaccredited degree-offering institution shall be in compliance with Section 94885.5.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 593, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2017. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94885.1.
  

(a) An institution that is not accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and offering at least one degree program, and that has obtained an approval to operate from the bureau on or before January 1, 2015, shall be required to satisfy at least one of the following no later than July 1, 2015:

(1) Accreditation by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, with the scope of that accreditation covering the offering of at least one degree program by the institution.

(2) Compliance with subdivision (b).

(b) The bureau shall identify institutions that are subject to subdivision (a) and notify those institutions by February 1, 2015, of the accreditation requirements pursuant to this section and that the institution is required to provide the following information to the bureau if the institution plans to continue to offer a degree program after July 1, 2015:

(1) An accreditation plan that, at a minimum, identifies an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education from which the institution will seek accreditation, with the scope of that accreditation covering the offering of at least one degree program, and outlines the process by which the institution will achieve accreditation candidacy or pre-accreditation by July 1, 2017, and full accreditation by July 1, 2020.

(2) Evidence of having achieved accreditation candidacy or pre-accreditation by July 1, 2017.

(3) Evidence of having obtained full accreditation by July 1, 2020.

(4) Any additional documentation the bureau deems necessary.

(c) An institution that satisfies the requirements of subdivision (b) shall comply with all of the following:

(1) Notify students seeking to enroll in the institution, in writing, prior to the execution of the student’s enrollment agreement, that the institution’s approval to offer a degree program is contingent upon the institution being subsequently accredited.

(2) A visiting committee, empaneled by the bureau pursuant to Section 94882, shall review the institution by January 1, 2017, and determine if the institution is likely to achieve full accreditation by July 1, 2020. If the visiting committee finds the institution deficient in its accreditation plan, the bureau may prohibit the institution from enrolling new students in its degree program or programs, and require the execution of a teach-out plan for its enrolled students.

(d) (1) The bureau shall, upon the timely submission of sufficient evidence that an unaccredited institution is making strong progress toward obtaining accreditation, grant an institution’s request for an extension of time, not to exceed two years, to meet the requirements of this section.

(2) Evidence submitted to the bureau pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include, but is not limited to, an amended accreditation plan adequately identifying why pre-accreditation, accreditation candidacy, or accreditation outlined in the original plan submitted to the bureau was not achieved, active steps the institution is taking to comply with this section, and documentation from an accrediting agency demonstrating the institution’s likely ability to meet the requirements of this section.

(3) The bureau may establish policies and procedures to comply with the requirements in this subdivision. Establishment of these policies and procedures are exempt from Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370), Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400), and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(e) Any institution that fails to comply with the requirements of this section by the dates provided, as required, shall have its approval to operate automatically suspended on the applicable date. The bureau shall issue an order suspending the institution and that suspension shall not be lifted until the institution complies with the requirements of this section. A suspended institution shall not enroll new students in any of its degree programs, and shall execute a teach-out plan for its enrolled students.

(f) The bureau shall adopt emergency regulations for purposes of implementing this section. 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 within one year of the enactment of this section.

(g) This section shall remain in effect until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 593, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2017. Repealed as of January 1, 2023, by its own provisions.)

94885.5.
  

(a) If an institution that has not been accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education seeks to offer one or more degree programs, the institution shall satisfy the following requirements in order to be issued a provisional approval to operate from the bureau:

(1) The institution may not offer more than two degree programs during the term of its provisional approval to operate.

(2) The institution shall submit an accreditation plan, approved by the bureau, for the institution to become fully accredited within five years of issuance of its provisional approval to operate. The plan shall include, at a minimum, identification of an accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, from which the institution plans to seek accreditation, and outline the process by which the institution will achieve accreditation candidacy or pre-accreditation within two years, and full accreditation within five years, of issuance of its provisional approval.

(3) The institution shall submit to the bureau all additional documentation the bureau deems necessary to determine if the institution will become fully accredited within five years of issuance of its provisional approval to operate.

(b) If an institution is granted a provisional approval to operate pursuant to subdivision (a), the following is required:

(1) Students seeking to enroll in that institution shall be notified in writing by the institution, prior to the execution of the student’s enrollment agreement, that the institution’s approval to operate is contingent upon it being subsequently accredited.

(2) Within the first two years of issuance of the provisional approval, a visiting committee, empaneled by the bureau pursuant to Section 94882, shall review the institution’s application for approval and its accreditation plan, and make a recommendation to the bureau regarding the institution’s progress to achieving full accreditation.

(3) The institution shall provide evidence of accreditation candidacy or pre-accreditation within two years of issuance of its provisional approval, and evidence of accreditation within five years of issuance of its provisional approval, with the scope of that accreditation covering the offering of at least one degree program.

(c) An institution required to comply with this section that fails to do so by the dates provided, as required, shall have its provisional approval to operate automatically suspended on the applicable date. The bureau shall issue an order suspending the institution and that suspension shall not be lifted until the institution complies with the requirements of this section. A suspended institution shall not enroll new students in any of its degree programs and shall execute a teach-out plan for its enrolled students.

(d) (1) The bureau shall, upon the timely submission of sufficient evidence that an unaccredited institution is making strong progress toward obtaining accreditation, grant an institution’s request for an extension of time, not to exceed two years, to meet the requirements of this section.

(2) Evidence submitted to the bureau pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include, but is not limited to, an amended accreditation plan adequately identifying why preaccreditation, accreditation candidacy, or accreditation outlined in the original plan submitted to the bureau was not achieved, active steps the institution is taking to comply with this section, and documentation from an accrediting agency demonstrating the institution’s likely ability to meet the requirements of this section.

(3) The bureau may establish policies and procedures to comply with the requirements in this subdivision. Establishment of these policies and procedures are exempt from Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370), Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400), and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(e) An institution issued a provisional approval under this section is required to comply with all other laws and regulations.

(f) The bureau shall adopt emergency regulations for purposes of implementing this section. 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 within one year of the enactment of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 593, Sec. 15. Effective January 1, 2017. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94886.
  

Except as exempted in Article 4 (commencing with Section 94874) or in compliance with the transition provisions in Article 2 (commencing with Section 94802), a person shall not open, conduct, or do business as a private postsecondary educational institution in this state without obtaining an approval to operate under this chapter.

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

94887.
  

An approval to operate shall be granted only after an applicant has presented sufficient evidence to the bureau, and the bureau has independently verified the information provided by the applicant through site visits or other methods deemed appropriate by the bureau, that the applicant has the capacity to satisfy the minimum operating standards. The bureau shall deny an application for an approval to operate if the application does not satisfy those standards.

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

94888.
  

(a) The bureau shall adopt by regulation both of the following:

(1) The process and procedures whereby an institution seeking approval to operate may apply for and obtain an approval to operate.

(2) The process and procedures governing the bureau’s approval and denial of applications for approval to operate, including the process and procedures whereby an applicant for which an application has been denied may appeal that denial.

(b) The bureau shall, by regulation, establish both of the following:

(1) A process for issuing a notification of a denial of an approval to operate to an institution that submits an application for approval to operate and for which that application is denied. The notification of denial shall include a statement of reasons for the denial.

(2) Application processing goals and timelines to ensure an institution that has submitted a complete application for approval to operate has that application promptly reviewed for compliance within 30 days of bureau receipt of the application, or within an appropriate timeline as determined by the bureau. The timelines shall ensure that an institution that has submitted a complete and compliant application receives approval within 30 days of the application being deemed compliant by the bureau, or within an appropriate timeline as determined by the bureau.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 840, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 2015. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94889.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 94890 and subdivision (b) of this section, an approval to operate shall be for a term of five years.

(b) The bureau may adopt, by regulation, a process by which an institution with an approval to operate may request, and be approved by the bureau for, an inactive status. To regain an active approval status with the bureau, the institution shall apply for an approval to operate in accordance with this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 593, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2017. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94890.
  

(a) (1) The bureau shall grant an institution that is accredited an approval to operate by means of its accreditation.

(2) The bureau shall adopt by regulation the process and procedures whereby an institution that is accredited may apply for and obtain an approval by means of that accreditation. The bureau shall establish application processing goals and timelines to ensure that an institution that has submitted a complete application for approval to operate by means of its accreditation has that application promptly reviewed for compliance within 30 days of the bureau’s receipt of the application or within an appropriate timeline as determined by the bureau. The timelines shall ensure that an institution that has submitted a complete and compliant application receives approval within 30 days of the application being deemed compliant by the bureau, or within an appropriate timeline as determined by the bureau.

(b) The term of an approval to operate pursuant to this section shall be coterminous with the term of accreditation. Upon renewal of the institution’s accreditation, the institution shall submit verification to the bureau, on a form provided by the bureau, that the institution’s accreditation has been renewed.

(c) Institutions that are granted an approval to operate by means of the institution’s accreditation shall comply with all other applicable requirements in this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 840, Sec. 22. Effective January 1, 2015. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94891.
  

(a) The bureau shall adopt by regulation the process and procedures whereby an institution may obtain a renewal of an approval to operate.

(b) To be granted a renewal of an approval to operate, the institution shall demonstrate its continued capacity to meet the minimum operating standards.

(c) (1) An institution that is denied renewal of an approval to operate may file an appeal in accordance with the procedures established by the bureau pursuant to Section 94888.

(2) An institution that has filed an appeal of a denial of a renewal application may continue to operate during the appeal process, but must disclose in a written statement, approved by the bureau, to all current and prospective students, that the institution’s application for renewal of approval to operate was denied by the bureau because the bureau determined the application did not satisfy the requirements to operate in California, that the institution is appealing the bureau’s decision, and that the loss of the appeal may result in the institution’s closure.

(3) If the bureau determines that the continued operation of the institution during the appeal process poses a significant risk of harm to students, the bureau shall make an emergency decision pursuant to its authority provided in Section 94938.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 840, Sec. 23. Effective January 1, 2015. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 94950.)

94892.
  

If an agency of this state other than the bureau or of the federal government provides an approval to offer an educational program and the institution already has a valid approval to operate issued by the bureau, that agency’s educational program approval may satisfy the requirements of this article without any further review by the bureau. The bureau may incorporate that educational program into the institution’s approval to operate when the bureau receives documentation signifying the conferral of the educational program approval by that agency.

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

EDCEducation Code - EDC6.