Approval by Means of Accreditation Overview
A person operating an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education has the option to obtain an approval to operate from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (Bureau) by means of the institution's accreditation.
To obtain an approval to operate by means of accreditation, the person must submit an Application for Approval to Operate an Accredited Institution. The approval "by means of accreditation" process is somewhat abbreviated from the standard approval to operate process. This application process should only be used, however, when the applicant is seeking Bureau approval for exactly and only the institutional locations, educational program offerings and approval dates for which the institution has been accredited. The institution's main, branch and satellite locations must be accredited to offer the same programs at each location, have the same term of accreditation, and have the same ownership structure.
A person operating an accredited institution seeking Bureau approval to offer programs that are not accredited, or to operate a location that is not accredited, may not utilize the approval to operate by means of accreditation process. Such an institution must apply for Bureau approval to operate utilizing the Application for Approval to Operate for an Institution Non-Accredited.
A person operating an accredited institution that has not previously obtained approval by means of accreditation cannot renew as an accredited institution, but may submit an Application for Approval to Operate an Accredited Institution and subsequently renew as an accredited institution.
Please refer to the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CEC) and the California Code of Regulations (CCR) for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Bureau accredit institutions?
Must a person operating an accredited institution obtain approval from the Bureau?
If a person seeks approval for an accredited institution, must the person apply for approval to operate by means of its accreditation?
Application for Approval to Operate an Accredited Institution
Application for Approval to Operate for an Institution Non Accredited
Does every type of institutional accreditation qualify a person to apply for approval by means of accreditation?
What must be submitted to apply for approval by means of accreditation?
b) Certified copy of a current verification of accreditation
d) Evidence of any required approval from other government agencies (CEC §94892)
What does "certified copy of a current verification of accreditation" mean?
a) Institution's name
i) If the institution is owned by a non-profit, the name must reflect the same name of the non-profit corporation on file with the California Secretary of State
b) Main location address
c) Branch location addresses (if applicable)
d) Satellite location addresses (if applicable)
e) Ownership structure with percentages
f) Approved programs and clock/credit hours
g) Term of accreditation including the renewal date
h) The information provided must be current
Can a person apply for approval by means of accreditation and offer unaccredited programs?
For persons who obtained approval by means of accreditation, will the Bureau approve any changes before the accrediting agency does?
If a person obtained approval by means of accreditation, must the accrediting agency authorize any non-substantive change (5 CCR §71660) to the institution?
If a person's approval to operate was not obtained by means of accreditation, can that person apply for renewal by means of accreditation?
If a person obtained approval as a non-accredited institution, but is accredited, can the licensee submit substantive change applications (i.e. Change of Location, Change of Ownership, etc.) as would an institution approved by means of its accreditation?
Does a person seeking approval by means of accreditation have to submit separate applications for each main location and each of the branch and/or satellite locations?
Can a person receive a refund if they submitted the wrong application?
What can delay the processing of an application?
b) Deficient letter of accreditation
c) Pending approval from other government agencies
d) Signatures not being original or claiming the incorrect ownership percentages
e) Outstanding Student Tuition recovery Fund (STRF) Invoices
f) Outstanding Annual and Delinquent Fees