Current law requires a private college or university operating in the state to be institutionally accredited on the basis of an on-site review by a regional or national accrediting body recognized by the United States department of education (DOE). The act allows private colleges and universities and private occupational schools to be accredited by:
- Institutional or programmatic accrediting bodies recognized by the DOE; or
- Programmatic accrediting bodies that are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as having the ability to accredit freestanding, single-purpose institutions of construction education.
The act states it is a deceptive trade or sales practice for a private occupational school to advertise or otherwise represent that it is accredited unless the school is accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the DOE or is accredited by a programmatic accrediting body that is recognized by the CHEA as having the ability to accredit a freestanding, single-purpose institution of construction education.
The act allows an educational institution or educational service that is exempt from the requirements of the "Private Occupational Education Act of 1981" to waive its exempt status in order to apply for authorization to operate a private occupational school, subject to certain conditions.
For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $98,796 to the department of higher education from the private occupational schools fund, $45,626 of which is for use by the division of private occupational schools for program costs and $53,170 of which is reappropriated to the department of law to use to provide legal services to the department of higher education.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)