Section 5002(4) (b) of Education Laws states, in part,
In approving curriculum, the commissioner shall take into consideration the following:
(1) that the entrance requirements demonstrate that students possess the skills, competencies and prerequisite knowledge needed to progress in the curriculum;
(2) that the content will enable the student to develop those skills and competencies required for employment in the occupational area for which the curriculum was developed;
(3) that the school will utilize appropriate instructional methods; and
(4) that the instructional equipment used within the curriculum is comparable to the equipment currently used by business or industry in the occupational area for which the curriculum was developed. [Emphasis added.]
Recently, a number of new and existing schools have applied to have approved courses (under 100 hours) and curricula (above 100 hours) that are non-occupational (e.g. in philosophy, general science, chemistry, human rights, subject college test prep, religious studies, music).
This Policy Guideline is to clarify the intent that all courses and curricula (programs of 40 clock hours or more) submitted for review and approval under the provisions set forth in Sections 5001 through 5010 of Education Law must be occupational in nature and must prepare students for employment in one or more occupational areas.
Section 126.1(t) of the Commissioner’s Regulations defines a non- occupational course as a course for personal enrichment or self improvement with no occupational performance objective and under 40 hours in length.
Pursuant to 126.4(i) (2) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, a licensed proprietary school can have a non occupational course approved.
Therefore if a licensed proprietary school wishes to offer a non-occupational course of under 40 hours it may do so under its present school license or registration if the non-occupational course is approved by the bureau.
A licensed proprietary school that wishes to offer a non-occupational course of 40 hours or more may not do so under its present school license or registration and an application submitted to the bureau will not be approved.
Accordingly, if a licensed proprietary school offers a course of 40 hours or more, the course must be occupational in nature and must prepare students for employment in one or more occupational areas.
This Policy Guideline does not apply to for profit schools providing instruction in English as a second language or to for profit schools providing instruction in high school equivalency test preparation to out-of-school youth or adults.
It also does not affect individual courses approved as part of a larger curriculum, and taught single-standing under Policy Guideline 7-0201.
Questions regarding this may be directed to the attention of the Bureau’s Curriculum Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.