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Agency Introduction

Organization |  What We Do

Indiana Board for Proprietary Education

The Indiana Board for Proprietary Education (BPE) operates under the authority of Indiana Code 21- 18.5. It is governed by a seven-member Board. The Board meets at least quarterly to review staff recommendations, grant accreditation, and hold formal hearings. All Board meetings are open to the public.

Indiana Code 21-18.5 specifies that two Board members shall be the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Executive officer of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE), or their designees. The five remaining members are appointed by the Governor to four-year terms. Of these appointees, one shall have had at least five years of experience in administering an industrial employee training program. A second shall have been an executive in a proprietary education institution for at least five years. The remaining three shall be representatives of the public at large. The public representatives may not be elected or appointed state or local officials, or have any connection with a public, private, or proprietary school. No more than three of the members appointed by the Governor shall be from any one political party.

CHE staff carry out the day-to-day activities of the BPE.

The Board's goal is to maintain the educational quality and effectiveness of credit-bearing, degree-granting, private career schools. Through BPE's accreditation process, regulated institutions are encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to the highest standards of educational conduct.

The BPE currently regulates over 20 institutions with more than 30 campuses. These schools offer classroom and online programs in a variety of business, technical, career, and professional occupations. Credentials awarded include certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, and advanced degrees.

Indiana Public and regionally accredited non-profit, private colleges, as well as institutions offering religious oriented instruction are not subject to BPE jurisdiction.  No other private career schools may do business in Indiana without the Board's approval.

Current Board Members

Mr. Scott Bogan
Director of Higher Education and Educator Preparation Programs
Indiana Department of Education

Mr. Rod Haywood, Jr.
President & CEO
The Indianapolis Center for Educational Enrichment, Inc.

Mr. Kenneth J. Konesco
Former President Emeritus
Harrison College

Ms. Jean Putnam
Nursing Executive

Ken Sauer, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Indiana Board for Proprietary Education
Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer,
Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Ms. Anne Shane
Former Vice President

Institutional and Programmatic Authorization

Authorization. Authorization means certification of a status of approval or authorization by the Board to conduct business. Applications for authorization are carefully reviewed by the Board staff to insure that institutions meet the minimum standards outlined by law. Points covered in the review include financial stability, admissions standards, enrollment forms or contracts, program content, instructor qualifications, student record keeping, and refund policies. BPE works closely with national accrediting bodies whenever appropriate.

Policy on Institutions Seeking Accreditation

1. Any postsecondary credit bearing proprietary educational institution applying for authorization to operate in the State of Indiana must specify its accreditation status. This applies to out-of-state accredited institutions seeking to open a campus in Indiana, in-state accredited institutions seeking to open a new campus, and all institutions without accreditation.

2. Any out-of-state accredited institution seeking to open a campus in Indiana and any in-state accredited institution seeking to open a new campus shall inform the Board for Proprietary Education of the steps and timeline required to extend its existing accreditation to the new campus. To maintain authorization, the institution must continue to make satisfactory progress toward extending accreditation to the new campus.

3. Institutions that are not accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education shall include in their application a plan for becoming accredited, including the name of the accrediting agency from which they are seeking accreditation, the basic steps in the accreditation process, and the timeline for achieving accreditation. To maintain authorization, the institution must continue to make satisfactory progress toward achieving accreditation.

4. All institutions shall promptly report to the Board for Proprietary Education any significant developments related to accreditation and shall include in their renewal applications a status report on accreditation.

Four Levels of Authorization

The Board has four levels of authorization for institutions under its jurisdiction:

Applicant:New institutions that have been approved to do business in Indiana pending an evaluation by the Board.
Candidate:An institution that has been evaluation and found to need substantial change in order to meet the Board's standards.
Authorized with Recommendations:An institution that has been evaluated and found to need only minor changes in order to comply with the Board's standards.
Fully Authorized:An institution that has been evaluated and found to be in compliance with Board standards.

Compliance Enforcement. Authorized institutions are monitored by the Board to enforce standards. Authorization is renewed annually by Board staff.  New degree program proposals must be submitted for approval by the Board for Proprietary Education.  Authorization may be suspended or revoked for cause, and institutions operating without approval may be closed.

Consumer Services. Consumer information and protection are important Board responsibilities. BPE lists accredited institutions on its website and provides other informational materials. The Board cooperates with school guidance counselors, better business bureaus, and others involved in career and consumer information.  BPE authorization staff will inform prospective students of an institution's status with the Board and advise them on what to look for when selecting an institution.  Authorized institutions must state in their catalogs and promotional literature that they are authorized by BPE and include the Board's address. They must furnish students with copies of an approved refund policy and other regulations. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education/Indiana Board for Proprietary Education has established a formal complaint procedure for students. Staff members work with students and institutions to resolve problems.

Updated: 2023.06.29