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Report 95-13: The Effectiveness of California's Oversight of Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education: A Report to the Legislature and the Governor in Response to Education Code Section 94345

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

October 1995

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For nearly 20 years, the California Postsecondary Education Commission has been actively involved in the development of a strong and vigorous private postsecondary and vocational education presence in California. The private postsecondary sector offers training and education programs that range from short-term, vocational courses to comprehensive, multi-year degree offerings, and presently serves some 412,000 students who are seeking an education beyond high school.

Following a period in the early and mid 1980's, during which California earned a somewhat tarnished reputation as a haven for so-called "diploma mills," the Commission sponsored legislation to create the Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education reform Act of 1989. Operational the following year, this law established the Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education (CPPVE) as the single State agency responsible for reviewing and approving private postsecondary institutions in California. Unless legislatively extended, the Reform Act is scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 1998.

The Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education Reform Act also required the California Postsecondary Education Commission to conduct a "sunset" review and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Reform Act and its implementation. This report responds to that mandated components for review. This report also discusses area where the Council on Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education can be strengthened and the statute improved. Information necessary for the review was gathered in cooperation with Council members, students, school owners, consumer advocates, accrediting agencies, independent auditors, State agencies, Council staff, and other interested parties.

Among the report's most important findings, the Commission concluded that the Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education Reform Act should be continued indefinitely, and that the Commission should review the law's implementation on a periodic basis. The Commission also recommends specific legislative revisions and administrative changes.

The Commission adopted this report at its meeting on October 30, 1995, on recommendation of its Educational Policy and Programs Committee.

Related Topics: Performance of Higher Education | Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education

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