Minimum Criteria for Admission to a Private Career School: Pathways and Evidence

Number: 
2-0300
Date Issued: 
03/01/2000
Updated: 
07/06/2020

A licensed private career school’s criteria for admission must include the requirement that students possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. A school may (but is not required to) admit students who do not possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, provided the students demonstrate the ability to benefit from instruction pursuant to Section 5002(1)d. of the New York State Education Law. A licensed private career school has a responsibility to maintain documentation that admitted students have met or exceeded these minimum requirements. The purposes of this policy guideline are to provide clarification on the ways in which these requirements can be met, and to clarify the documentation that a school must maintain for each student as proof of completion. 

1. High School Diploma

Qualifying High School Diplomas

Required Documentation

1.1. High School Diploma issued by a registered New York State Public or Non-public High School.

  • Copy of the high school diploma; or
  • Official high school transcript showing graduation date.

1.2. High School Diploma issued by an out-of-state public or non-public high school that is legally authorized to offer a high school program and confer a high school diploma by the State or United States Territory in which the school is principally located (legally domiciled).

  • Copy of the high school diploma; or
  • Official high school transcript showing graduation date.

1.3. High School Diploma issued by a school authorized to confer a high school diploma by the United States Department of Defense or Education Activity or the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Education.

  • Copy of the high school diploma; or
  • Official high school transcript showing graduation date.

1.4. High School Diploma issued by a school authorized to confer a high school diploma by the country in which the school is principally located (legally domiciled).

  • Copy of the high school diploma; or
  • Official high school transcript showing graduation date.
  • A foreign diploma or transcript written in a language other than English must be translated into English by either an education evaluation service that offers translation services, or by an individual who is college educated (if not an employee of an education evaluation service), and fluent in both English and the language of the transcript and/or diploma. The individual providing the translation must sign a notarized affidavit that: 1) attests to their not being an employee or otherwise affiliated with the licensed private career school that the student seeks to attend; 2) provides the name, address, email and phone number of the translator and the student; 3) The translator states how the English language, and language of the foreign transcript and/or diploma was learned and where the translator obtained his or her college degree; and 4) affirms that the translation is a true and complete translation of the original.
  • For students completing high school in a foreign country, who are unable to produce a copy of their diploma, form BPSS-115 completed in English and the student's native language.  Students using BPSS-115 form may have to take a test approved by the Commissioner in order to validate their claim of a foreign diploma and ensure their ability to benefit from the instruction.

Notes:

  1. Provided the diploma meets the requirements of one of the four pathways described above, the medium through which the high school program is delivered (online, blended, face-to-face) has no bearing on whether the diploma is qualifying.
  2. Online high schools that are not legally authorized to offer a high school program or confer a high school diploma by the State in which the organization is principally located (legally domiciled) do not meet the minimum criteria for eligibility or admission into a BPSS school.
  3. Evidence of an earned Associate’s degree or higher (diploma or official transcript) from a degree-granting college or university that that holds institutional accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Secretary of Education, or by a comparable international accrediting body supersedes the requirement for a high school diploma and is satisfactory documentation for admission into a BPSS school. 

 

2. Equivalences to a High School Diploma

For the purposes of meeting minimum requirements for admission into a BPSS school program, the following qualify as equivalent to a High School Diploma

Required Documentation

2.1. A High School Equivalency Diploma issued by a State Education Agency legally authorized to issue such a diploma.

  • Copy of the High School Equivalency diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) issued by an authorized State Education Agency.

2.2. Completion of a program of home instruction that is certified as equivalent by the superintendent of schools or comparable chief school administrator of the applicant's school district of residence at the time such program was completed.

  • A letter from the superintendent of schools or comparable chief school administrator (on official school letterhead) of the applicant’s school district of residence at the time such program was completed, certifying that the applicant completed the equivalent of a four-year high school diploma program. Please note, however, that the superintendent of schools may, but is under no obligation to attest to this and provide such a letter.

3. Demonstration of an Ability to Benefit from Instruction

For the purposes of meeting minimum requirements for admission into a BPSS school program, the following qualify as meeting the ability to benefit requirements of Education Law 5002 (1)(d)(1)

Required Documentation

3.1. Students who have been administered and passed an examination which has been approved by the commissioner to determine their ability to benefit from the chosen curriculum prior to admission to the curriculum or course of study. Such examination shall, whenever possible, be a nationally recognized test appropriate for the course of instruction which has been approved by the commissioner.

 

  • The examination results of each such student who is admitted shall be preserved and made available to the BPSS upon request, together with the student's original answer sheet, which shall be maintained by the school in the student's permanent record.

See:

Ability to Benefit Testing 6-0201

 

3.2. In rare and unique circumstances, as deemed appropriate by the commissioner, BPSS may accept such other entrance requirement documentation such as prerequisite coursework, professional or vendor certifications, personal interviews, and/or attestations of equivalent knowledge in lieu of the examination requirement.

  • Other entrance requirements in lieu of the exam or diploma requirements are typically predetermined by BPSS within specific approved curriculum.

 

 

Regulatory Authority

New York State Education Law 5002(1)(b)(1) & 5002(1)(d)(1); Commissioner’s Regulations 126.1(g); 126.11(a)(8)