CONSUMER LAWS 2013: EDUCATION
1. AB 2296: Private Postsecondary Schools to Provide More Disclosures
An act to amend Sections 94897, 94909, 94910, 94911, 94928, 94929.5, and 94929.7 of, and to add Section 94913 to, the Education Code
This bill requires institutions regulated by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to provide additional disclosures to prospective students.
Unaccredited programs: Previously, the legislature, in response one profession, had required certain disclosures by unaccredited doctoral programs. This bill extends those disclosure requirements to unaccredited associate, baccalaureate and masters degree programs.
For example, these schools must now disclose: (a) whether or not a graduate of the degree program will be eligible to sit for the applicable licensure exam in California and other states; (b) that a degree from an unaccredited institution is not recognized for some employment positions, including, but not limited to, positions with the State of California; (c) that students attending an unaccredited institution are ineligible for federal financial aid programs, (d) in the school catalog a disclosure as to whether the institution is accredited and if it is not, it must disclose all the information in (a),(b) and (c).
All BPPE Regulated Schools: As to all institutions in the bureauís jurisdiction, there are greatly expanded disclosures, such as requiring disclosures to students in the institution's Enrollment Agreement, school catalog, and Student Performance Fact Sheet, of the institution's most recent three-year cohort default rate (A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who begin required repayment on certain loans during a federal fiscal year and default prior to the end of the next one to two fiscal years) and the percentage of students receiving federal student loans, disclosure of completion, placement, licensure and salary rates whether or not the school makes an express or implied claim of potential earnings after completing the program.
The bill also expands the authority of the Bureau to collect any information from an institution for purposes of reporting job placement and license exam passage rates, salary information, and cohort default rates.
The bill, in addition, provides that "graduates employed the field" means graduates who are gainfully employed in a single position for which the institution represents the program prepares its graduates within six months after a student completes the applicable educational program. For occupations for which the state requires passing an examination, the period of employment shall begin within six months of the announcement of the examination results for first examination available after a student completes an applicable educational program.
A key provision is that the Bureau is also, by July 1, 2014, to define specific measures and standards for determining whether a student is gainfully employed in a full-time or part-time position for which the institution represents the program prepares its graduates.
2. SB 1289: Postsecondary Schools to Provide Student Loan Disclosures
An act to add Article 14.5 (commencing with Section 69800) to Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code
This bill mirrors current federal law which requires postsecondary educational institutions to provide specified information to students regarding federal subsidized loan programs, federal unsubsidized programs, and private student loan programs.