STATE BOARD OF PRIVATE LICENSED SCHOOLS
[22 PA. CODE CH. 73]
[33 Pa.B. 2885]
The State Board of Private Licensed Schools (Board), under the Private Licensed Schools Act (act) (24 P. S. §§ 6501--6518), proposes to amend Chapter 73 (relating to general provisions) to read as set forth in Annex A.
Description of Proposed Rulemaking
The proposed amendments to § 73.1 (relating to definitions) add a definition for ''quarter credit hour'' and remove the term ''entry level'' from the definition of ''seminars.'' The addition of a definition for ''quarter credit hour'' is consistent with the program requirements in § 73.81(1)(ii) (relating to application requirements). The elimination of ''entry level'' from the definition of ''seminar'' reflects the Board's intention to include nonentry level training in this definition.
The proposed amendments to §§ 73.21--73.23 (relating to contents of student records; short-term retention of student records; and long-term retention of transcript of academic performance) specify the content of student records and eliminate the distinction between long-term and short-term retention of records. They also require the annual consolidation of student records. The proposed rulemaking relieves the schools of the requirement to maintain the enrollment agreement, financial records and financial aid documentation for 5 years following graduation, withdrawal or termination and eliminates the distinction between long-term and short-term retention of records. These amendments are designed to ease recordkeeping requirements and facilitate record storage and transfer. The requirement of annual consolidation of student records is designed to organize and facilitate the storage of records.
The proposed amendment to § 73.25 (relating to content of disposition statement) prescribes the content of the disposition of records agreement. The proposed rulemaking includes a reference to the contents of the student records defined in § 73.21 to improve clarity.
The proposed amendment to § 73.51(b) (relating to general requirements) requires applicants for licensure to attend a new school orientation. The application process can be cumbersome for uninitiated applicants. Applicants who choose not to attend the optional orientation seminars often encounter obstacles and delays that could have been avoided. These delays and the staff time required to resolve issues increases the cost of processing these applications. As a public service to applicants and in the interest of resource management, the Board is proposing to make the orientation seminars mandatory.
The proposed amendment to § 73.51(d) removes the requirement that the Board provide a signed receipt for all materials. This amendment reflects practice in which verification of receipt can be made by staff members, by phone and by e-mail.
The proposed amendment to § 73.52 (relating to content of application) authorizes the Board to refuse to issue a license if the name of the proposed school or program is misleading. A few schools have proposed names that do not represent the content of the instruction offered or are designed to associate the school with another institution or organization. This change would enable the Board to protect the public from potential misrepresentation.
The proposed amendment to § 73.54 (relating to surety) mandates that surety be maintained throughout the period of licensure. This amendment is designed to provide regulatory protection to prevent a school from canceling surety following approval for licensure.
The proposed amendment to § 73.71 (relating to licensure required) clarifies the licensure requirement for admissions representatives.
The proposed amendments to § 73.81 (relating to application requirements) include the appropriate reference to credit hours and quarter credits and authorize the Board to refuse to approve a program if the name of the proposed program is misleading. The specific reference to quarter credits confirms the Board's current policy of allowing schools to use a quarter credit system. The current regulations do not provide for reporting progress in quarter credit hours. Some schools prefer to count credits in quarter hours and this proposed rulemaking will facilitate that flexibility. A few schools have proposed program names that do not represent the content of the instruction offered or are designed to imply a higher level of training or certification than is actually offered. This change would enable the Board to protect the public from potential misrepresentation.
The proposed amendment to § 73.104 (relating to instructor) eliminates the maintenance of attendance records from the responsibilities of instructors. The Board does not require schools to take attendance, so this duty for instructors is no longer necessary.
The proposed amendment to § 73.136 (relating to period of refund) includes a student's failure to return from a leave of absence under the conditions for which a refund must be made within 30 days. The proposed rulemaking is designed to protect the student and guarantee a refund when a student fails to return from a leave of absence. It also protects the school from the potential implication that the refund was required within 30 days of the last date of student attendance even though the school could not have known the student would not return at that time.
The proposed amendment to § 73.141 (relating to issuance) regarding issuance includes authorization for the Board to refuse to issue a license if the name of the school is misleading. The amendment is proposed to provide consistency with the proposed amendment to § 73.52.
The proposed amendment to § 73.151 (relating to fees) specifies that only one program approval is included under the $1,500 initial license application fee paid by a new school. Applicants with multiple programs will be required to pay a $700 program application fee for each additional program to be offered. This proposed rulemaking is designed to address an inequity in previous policy regarding fees, under which the original license application was accepted with an unlimited number of programs for one license application fee. A separate program approval fee was only required in cases where the program approval applications were submitted separately at a later time. The effort involved in reviewing each program was, however, similar and schools were submitting numerous programs upon initial licensure even if they would not immediately be offered, to avoid additional fees. The proposed amendment to § 73.151 addresses this inequity by providing that only one new program application will be included in the initial $1,500 licensure fee. Applicants will need to pay the standardprogram application fee for each additional program application, regardless of whether those applications are submitted at the time of the license application or subsequently. This amendment will provide equity, with every school paying for the costs of Board and staff time and resources for program review and approval.
The proposed amendment to § 73.173 (relating to advertisements and representations) includes the general public under sectors that may not be misled by advertisements or representations on behalf of a licensed school. The proposed rulemaking broadens the prohibition against misleading advertising and representations to include the general public instead of prospective students only.
There is minimal fiscal impact from the proposed rulemaking. The requirement that all prospective applicants attend the orientation seminar will increase revenues from the $200 fee for the seminar, but the revenue increase will be minimal, at $10,000 or less.
Revenues will also be generated by the fees charged for each additional program application submitted with the initial license and new program application. These revenues are estimated at $44,100 per year and will cover staff and Board costs for the review of these applications, which is not currently recovered.
The costs of complying with the proposed rulemaking to the requirements for records compilation and storage are estimated at $1 per student for copying, materials, storage and staff time. This cost will be assumed by the school and recovered through student fees and tuition. This activity will not generate any revenue for the Commonwealth.
The proposed amendments to §§ 73.21--73.23 will relieve the regulated community of paperwork requirements regarding the maintenance of student records.
The proposed amendment to § 73.51 relieves the Board of the paperwork requirement of providing a signed receipt for all application materials received.
The proposed amendment to § 73.104 will relieve the schools of the additional paperwork to maintain student attendance records.
No additional forms or reporting are required by the regulated schools or the Commonwealth.
The proposed rulemaking will take effect upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The act requires that the Board monitor its revenues and costs on a biennial basis and revise its regulations as necessary. Therefore, no sunset date has been assigned.
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on June 10, 2003, the Board submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of the Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Education Committee. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.
Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(g)), IRRC may convey any comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The comments, recommendations or objections shall specify the regulatory review criteria that have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the regulations, by the Department, the General Assembly and the Governor of comments, recommendations or objections raised.
Public Comments and Contact Person
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, suggestions or objections regarding the proposed rulemaking within 30 days following publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to Patricia Landis, CoordinatingSecretary, State Board of Private Licensed Schools, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 783-8228, TTY: (717) 783-8445.
Fiscal Note: 6-286. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 22. EDUCATION
PART III. STATE BOARD OF PRIVATE LICENSED SCHOOLS
CHAPTER 73. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 73.1. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
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Quarter credit hour--A unit of curricular material which normally can be taught in a minimum of 10 clock hours of lecture:
(i) For laboratory and shop instruction, a quarter credit hour represents a minimum of 20 clock hours.
(ii) For externship/internship experiences, a quarter credit hour represents a minimum of 30 clock hours.
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Seminar--Training or instruction that is one of the following:
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(ii) Instruction for an [entry-level] occupation offered at a total contract price[,] of less than $300, which includes all costs charged to students, including tuition, fees, books and supplies, provided that the total contract price for all courses to any enrolled student is less than $300 in any one calendar year.
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§ 73.21. Contents of student records.
Student records shall contain a transcript of academic performance, which shall include [but not be limited to,] student name, identifying number, program or course attended, grades for all subjects taken, date of entrance, date of graduation or withdrawal and the award received upon completion[; enrollment agreement; student financial account record; and the financial aid documentation required by State and Federal agencies].
§ 73.22. [Short-term retention of student records] (Reserved).
[A school shall provide for a method of maintenance of and access to the student records defined in § 73.21 (relating to contents of student records) for a period of 5 years after graduation, termination or withdrawal of the student.]
§ 73.22a. Annual consolidation of student transcripts.
Annually, a school shall consolidate copies of all transcripts of academic performance for all students who have graduated, terminated or withdrawn during the previous calendar year. These transcripts of academic performance for each year shall be stored in a hard copy file or printable electronic record.
§ 73.23. [Long-term retention] Retention of transcript of academic performance.
[After the 5-year retention period, a] A school shall provide for a method of maintenance of and access to the transcript of academic performance for [a period of] 50 years after graduation, termination or withdrawal.
§ 73.25. Content of disposition statement.
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(b) Proper disposition of student records shall be subject to approval of the Board and shall include a means of access by the student for copies of records [that relate to that student's enrollment] as defined in § 73.21 (relating to contents of student records).
APPLICATION FOR SCHOOL LICENSE OR REGISTRATION
§ 73.51. General requirements.
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(b) A person, partnership or corporation desiring to operate a private licensed school in this Commonwealth shall attend a new school orientation seminar conducted by Board staff and shall file an application for licensure or registration with the Board in the manner prescribed by the Board.
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(d) Original letters, proof of surety, forms and applications sent to the Board shall become the property of the Board, shall constitute records of the Board and may be retained by the Board. [Letters, applications, forms or other papers will not be considered received by the Board without signed verification of receipt from the Board.]
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§ 73.52. Contents of application.
An application for an original license or registration shall contain, at a minimum, the following prepared in the manner and form prescribed by the Board:
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(2) The name of the school, ownership or governing body and officials. A copy of a fictitious name registration, articles of incorporation or charter. School names which the applicant wishes to appear on the license or registration shall be submitted, along with a fictitious name registration for each name. The Board may refuse to issue a license, when in the Board's judgment, a name chosen by the applicant appears to be misleading to the public regarding the nature or scope of the school.
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(6) Descriptions of proposed courses or programs of instruction prepared under §§ 73.81--73.83 (relating to approval of programs). The Board may refuse to approve a program, when in the Board's judgment, the name of the program chosen by the applicant appears to be misleading to the public regarding the nature or scope of the program.
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§ 73.54. Surety.
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(b) Levels of surety. Regardless of the form of surety selected by the school, surety shall be demonstrated to exist at the following levels:
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(5) Schools are required to maintain surety at the levels under this subsection throughout the period of licensure.
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§ 73.71. License required.
[As defined in the act, no] A person may not solicit or procure through an enrollment agreement off the premises of the school, a prospective student within this Commonwealth to enroll in a licensed or registered school unless the person has been licensed as an admissions representative [by the Board] of the school.
APPROVAL OF PROGRAMS
§ 73.81. Application requirements.
A school seeking original licensure or registration shall submit programs to the Board for approval in the manner and form established by the Board. This section applies to licensed or registered schools wishing to offer new programs.
(1) Minimum requirements for program approval include the following:
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(ii) Each program--curriculum--shall be outlined in detail showing the courses, major subjects, hours/lessons (in clock hours, credit hours or quarter credit hours) devoted to each subject and the award at completion of program. The school shall provide a list of instructional equipment.
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(2) Programs shall be approved by the Board before they can be advertised or offered.
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(iv) If the name that is proposed for the program may be misleading in regard to the program's nature and scope, the Board may refuse to approve the program.
ADMINISTRATORS, SUPERVISORS AND INSTRUCTORS
§ 73.104. Instructor.
(a) Duties. The primary duties of an instructor involve teaching, advising students and maintaining accurate [attendance and] academic records.
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TUITION AND FEES; REFUND AND WITHDRAWAL POLICIES; SCHOLARSHIP
§ 73.136. Period of refund.
Refunds shall be made within 30-calendar days of the date the student fails to enter [or], leaves the program or fails to return from a leave of absence.
ISSUANCE AND RENEWAL OF SCHOOL LICENSE OR REGISTRATION
§ 73.141. Issuance.
The Department will issue an original school license or registration to a school approved by the Board as meeting the requirements of the act and this chapter. The Board may refuse to issue a license when the Board determines that the applicant's school name appears to be misleading to the public concerning the nature or scope of the school.
§ 73.151. Fees.
(a) License fees. The fees for school and admissions representative licenses shall accompany both original and renewal license and registration applications. The fee schedule is:
(1) For an original school license or registration--$1,500 annually. The fee for an original school license or registration includes the user fee for the application for approval of one new program. Each additional new program application submitted with a new license application shall be accompanied by an additional new program approval fee.
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REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE AND OPERATION
§ 73.173. Advertisements and representations.
(a) The advertising and representations made by a person representing the school may neither misrepresent facts relating to the school nor mislead prospective students or the general public.
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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-1183. Filed for public inspection June 20, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]
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