Frequently Asked Questions
What is a private occupational school
or a barber/hairdresser school?
It is a person, board, association, partnership, corporation, limited
liability company or other entity offering instruction in any form or manner
in any trade, industrial, commercial or service occupation for any
remuneration, consideration reward or promise of whatever nature. The
school is non-degree granting and does not offer collegiate credit or confer
What is the role of the Office
of Higher Education?
The Office of Higher
Education provides consumer protection for students and potential students.
The Office of Higher Education works with schools to assure compliance with state statutes and
What types of schools does the
Office of Higher Education
Office of Higher
Education has approved
a variety of schools that provide vocational training which can lead to
entry-level employment. These schools offer a wide range of programs
such as barber/hairdresser, electronics, automotive training, dog grooming, bartending, certified nurses aid, and
What types of schools are exempt from
authorization by the Office of Higher Education? Exempt
from authorization are schools that offer instruction under public
supervision and control; instruction conducted by a firm or organization
solely for the training of its own employees; or instruction offered by a
school authorized by the General Assembly to confer degrees.
How do I apply to become a postsecondary career school? See
Initial/Renewal Application and/or contact
the Office of
Can I operate a school while my application is
pending? No. In Connecticut, only
schools approved by the Executive Director of the
Office of Higher Education can operate.
Filing an application indicates the intention of becoming approved but does
not assure that all the conditions of authorization have been met.
Can I submit a partial new school application
and submit the remaining documents at a later date?
No. The application must be submitted in its entirety. In
addition to the application, this would also include the financial forecast
and irrevocable letter of credit.
What is an Irrevocable Letter of Credit?
It is a document used to guarantee payments required of the school to the
private occupational school student protection account in accordance with
the provisions of section 10a-22u of the Connecticut General Statutes.
The $40,000 letter of credit shall be made with a
Connecticut bank and made payable to the private
occupational school student protection account in the event that such school
fails to make payments to the account or in the event the school closes
improperly and a tuition refund needs to be paid to a student.
At what intervals are school authorizations
renewed? All schools must receive one
initial authorization followed by three annual renewal visits.
Following the final annual visit, a school may be eligible for an extended
authorization of not more than 5 years.
What is the difference between authorization
and accreditation? A school receives
approval/authorization by the Executive Director of the
Office of Higher Education
to operate in the State of Connecticut. This is the first level of
approval. Once a school receives the Executive Director’s approval, it may
voluntarily apply for accreditation by an independent accrediting council
that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Accreditation is a separate approval process where the school meets an
independent accrediting council’s evaluation standards. A school that
has met the independent accrediting council’s evaluation standards and has
received accreditation, may apply to the federal government to participate
in Title IV financial aid.