Meeting Minutes - September 21, 2016

Advisory Council for Licensed Private Career Schools

State Education Department, 116 W 32"d Street, New York City, New York 10001

Council Members and Ex-officios Present:

  • Michael Hatten - Chairman, New York Automotive & Diesel Institute
  • Rabbi Yerachmiel Barash -Member, Cope Institute
  • Vincent Ferrara - Member, Ferrara Beauty School
  • James Devaney - Member, American Higher Education Development Corporation
  • Anthony Civitano - Member, NYS Beauty School Association
  • Sheila Simchon-Steinhof - Member, Steinhof Educational Services
  • Kevin Smith - Ex-officio, Deputy Commissioner, ACCES
  • Gene Brenenson - Ex-officio, Office of the State Comptroller
  • Aiesha Battle, Esq. - Ex-officio, Division of Consumer Protection

State Education Department:

  • Dr. Richard Rose - Director, BPSS

Introduction & Meeting Protocol:

Council members and ex-officio members introduced themselves for the record.

The Chairman asked the Council and audience participants to talk clearly for recording purposes. He explained the meeting format, whereby Council members and ex-officio members talk among themselves during the regular session and audience members will be able to comment and ask questions at the end of the meeting. Hatten thanked the Institute of Audio Research and Matthew Jenifer in particular, for their continued commitment to professionally record Advisory Council meetings. Hatten acknowledged the many years that Gene Brenenson has served the Council, with distinction, upon his announcement that he is leaving the Council. He will be replaced by Diane Gustard, Audit Supervisor, Office of the State Comptroller. Hatten also took the opportunity to introduce Dr. Richard Rose, newly appointed BPSS Director.

Approval of Minutes:

Motion to approve the June 15, 2016 minutes, moved by Dr. Devaney, second Vincent Ferrara, unanimously approved.

BPSS General Update and Status Report, Dr. Richard Rose, Director:


Richard introduced himself to the Council. He shared with the Council the areas the Bureau is involved with on a monthly basis; Cuniculum, Renewals, Licenses, Complaints and Financial.

Curriiculum: 160 new curricula activity; 112 cunicula renewals

Renewals: 28 renewal applications completed; 39 cunently in process; 65 renewals in "Backlog Status"

License: Teachers/Directors/Agents; Total one month's activity 227. More than 250 calls from students seeking information on schools that have closed.

Complaints: 20 new complaints received in August, joining the 107 additional complaints currently under investigation. 25 complaints resolved during this one month reporting period.

Financial: Of the 406 licensed schools, 33 have not filed, on time financials, by the June 30 deadline. Richard indicated that on the policy side, many areas have been discussed. Focus has been on statutory requirements, regulations and how the Bureau operates within these parameters. 

Devaney: Asked about the adequacy of staff to fulfill the Bureau's mission. Richard indicated that current staff levels are adequate to meet the needs of the sector. The reality of future retirements will have to be addressed because when a seasoned education professional retires it invariably causes a void that is hard to fill. 
Ferrara: He expresses concern regarding schools opening in the same area, disadvantaging existing licensed institutions. Richard indicated that in the future the Bureau could provide curriculum availability for designated clusters. Perhaps that level of information could inform potential candidate institution of the relevant facts regarding competition.
Civitano: Suggested that the Bureau should consider using the Council to assist in vetting new policy guidelines. Richard responded that the Bureau is open to a more inclusive process. 
Hatten: Suggested additional resources be dedicated to student requests for information from closed schools.

Committee Reports:

Student Access - Shiela Simchon-Steinhof - Present
State Regulatory - Anthony Civitano - Report
Federal Regulatory - Dr. James Devaney - (See Attachment)
Institutional Success - Lauren Weymouth - Tabled
Fiscal - Jay Fund - Tabled

National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3):

Hatten: Introduced the concept of building partnerships with independent industry certification bodies.

ATB and Eligible Career Pathway Program:

Hatten: Reported on ATB student outcomes for students enrolled in NY ADI' s Eligible Career Pathway Programs.

Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities:

Smith: Provided up-date on Council activities. 

Council Appointments:

Hatten: The Governor's appointments (Hatten Chair, Devaney, Ferrara and Steinhof) were approved to serve three year terms, ending December 14, 2018. Barash, Civitano, Weymouth and Fund will continue to serve until replaced or reappointed.

Comments and Questions from the Audience:

Terry Zaleski: Executive Director, Coalition of New York Career Schools, raised concerns regarding the percentage of TRF assessments articulated in Education Law Sections 5001 and 5007. He asserts that TRF assessments are not compatible with the intent of the law.  The Coalition Convention will be held on October 26th through 28th. 

Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the Advisory Council will be scheduled for mid December 2016. Location TBD.