PA 18-36—sSB 142

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING ACCEPTANCE OF INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION OF PRIVATE OCCUPATIONAL SCHOOLS BY THE OFFICE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

SUMMARY: This act gives the Office of Higher Education (OHE) executive director greater discretion to accept or reject the accreditation of private occupational schools under certain circumstances. These schools are privately controlled and offer instruction in trades or industrial, commercial, professional, or service occupations for remuneration. By law, OHE oversees the state's authorization of these schools, including their initial authorization and subsequent renewals.

Under prior law, once the executive director gave a private occupational school its initial authorization to operate, he had to accept third-party accreditation of the school if it was given by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized agency, unless he found reasonable cause to reject it. The act allows the executive director to reject accreditation from this type of agency without finding reasonable cause.

Additionally, the act requires any initial certification application that OHE receives from a private occupational school to expire if it remains incomplete six months after submittal, thereby prohibiting OHE from approving it.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018