Q: i want to open a vocational school.
what is the bppe, and how does it affect me?

A: The Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) has oversight of all the non-exempt, private postsecondary institutions with a physical presence in California. 

The licensing process begins with an application submitted to BPPE which requires a significant amount of information including, among other items, institutional missions and objectives, statements of policies and disclosures regarding financial aid, copies of advertising, description of educational programs offered, statements regarding the institution’s ability to maintain sufficient assets and financial resources to provide education to students, a description of facilities used by students and a description of procedures an institution will use to maintain compliance with the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009. 

Q: Can I do the application myself?

A: yes. But consider the following...

While the application itself is 8 pages long, the average submission packet is 250-500 pages. Further, if you strictly follow the instruction provided on the application, the Bureau will find it incomplete, resulting in deficiencies and delays. Compiling a complete submission requires in-depth understanding of the regulations themselves, as these components are not clearly defined on the application form.

Complete submission                   500-sheet ream

Complete submission                 500-sheet ream

You will have to research and understand the application requirements, including mandatory policies and disclosures, establish and document appropriate procedures, and generate all required documents from scratch, such as your catalog, enrollment agreement, student and faculty files, among others.

Meanwhile, you will be actively engaged in the myriad other tasks demanding your attention as you endeavor to open your school. It has been our experience that prospective school owners find it difficult to devote sufficient time to research and understand the requirements, and organize them into a submission that doesn't result in a lengthy Deficiency Letter or Denial from the Bureau.

Q: How can a consultant help me?


The consultants at SchoolBuilderPlus do not have another business to run: when engaged with your project, our full time job is applying our experience and resources to your institution's application to make it the most thorough and accurate it can be. Therefore, unlike a prospective owner, working with a consultant minimizes errors and omissions and saves you a great deal of time and effort, thereby saving you money as well.

Q: How much does the initial application cost?

A: Bureau fees vary, but the Initial Application for Approval to Operate is $5,000.

Additional fees may apply depending on the number of programs you offer. In addition to the application fee, you must obtain an audited financial statement from a licensed CPA to include with your application, regardless of how long your institution has (or has not) been in existence.

Our engagement with SchoolBuilderPlus quickly turned into a long-term relationship.
The longer you work with them, the easier your operations get.
— Dr. James Fawn, Approved University, 2017

Q: how long does the application process take?

A: Schoolbuilderplus takes approximately one month to prepare your application. 
the BPPE takes approximately one year to begin reviewing it.

Due to a tremendous backlog of applications, the BPPE will not begin work on your application for at least one year. As of June, 2017, the Bureau is reviewing applications which were submitted March, 2016.

However, this year's delay in reviewing your application is a crucial time for the applicant to prepare for approval. We can assist in developing your systems and operations so that you are ready to open your doors and begin providing instruction immediately following receipt of your approval.

Q: do i have to obtain any other approvals from another state board or regulatory agency?

A: IT depends - but we can help there, too.

You may need to pursue further approvals if a State Board is responsible for overseeing your type of school, such as the Board of Barbering & Cosmetology, or the Department of Public Health.
In this case, you will receive a Conditional Approval from the BPPE, after which you must pursue approval from the State Board concerned before you are considered licensed to operate.

SchoolBuilderPlus assists with State Board applications. Click here to learn more about the various State Boards which may concern you, then call 562-777-5913 to discuss the ways we can help you through your State Board application.