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Office for Career and Technical Schools

OCTS (Office for Career and Technical Schools) is the administrative arm of the Indiana Department of the Workforce Development responsible for regulating non-credit bearing, non-degree granting postsecondary proprietary schools pursuant to (-IC-22-4.1-21-10-).

Who: If you are a for-profit vocational training provider open to the public and are charging a fee or tuition for education and/or training.

What: If you offer education and training in a specific skill set that leads to a career in a specific occupation, i.e. dental assisting, phlebotomy, computers, ect.

When: An accreditation status must be obtained prior to advertising, recruiting, and/or enrolling students within the State of Indiana.

Where: If you offer courses/training in a location within the State of Indiana or outside the State of Indiana with a desire to advertise, recruit and/or enroll students with the State of Indiana.

The Why of Regulation: The mission and purpose of OCTS is to protect students, educational institutions, the general public, and honest and ethical operators of private schools from dishonest and unethical practices.

If you represent a credit-bearing / degree-granting institution seeking authorization, contact the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Board for Proprietary Education (BPE).

IMPORTANT: It may be a violation of Indiana Code for you to offer to the public for a fee, tuition or charge educational and/or training services without accreditation.

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Accreditation Information

OCTS is charged with insuring that “the premises and conditions under which the students work and study are sanitary, healthful, and safe according to modern standards.”  (IC 22-4.1-21-23 (6))  Please see the OCTS COVID-19 Memo for additional information.

  • Schools Seeking Initial Accreditation

    If an institution is seeking initial accreditation for a non-credit-bearing / non-degree-granting career or technical school, please continue reading and follow the instructions prior to completing any documents.

    Schools Seeking Initial Accreditation

    Please read and follow the instructions prior to completing any documents. Note that not all documents and/or forms are compatible with every internet browser. The documents and/or forms are not compatible with mobile devices. If you are unable to send any documents using the built-in submit button, please download or print and scan the documents and send to OCTS@dwd.in.gov.

    1. Prior to submitting an applications, proprietors need to complete the Determination of Status Questionnaire and review the OCTS Policy and Procedures document.
      • If accreditation is required, you will receive an identification number needed for orientation.
    2. After receiving the identification number, complete the New School Orientation and submit the verification page. The orientation provides an overview of both the regulatory process and application requirements.
    3. The Initial Accreditation Application Checklist contains the steps needed to complete an application. NOTE: DO NOT complete and submit the application before receiving notification from OCTS. Fees paid by institutions are non-refundable.
  • School with Full Accreditation or Seeking Accreditation Renewal

    Schools with Full Accreditation or Seeking Accreditation Renewal

    Below are important documents that must be reviewed to ensure continual compliance. Institutions that do not remain in compliance are subject to suspension, revocation and/or closure. Please send questions regarding due dates and accreditation renewals to OCTS@dwd.in.gov.

  • Consumer Information

    Consumer Information

    OCTS is charged with protecting students, educational institutions, the general public, and honest and ethical operators of post-secondary proprietary schools that are non-credit bearing and non-degree granting from dishonest and unethical practices. OCTS maintains and updates a list of accredited and closed/defunct institutions for the public (see below):

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Title III Information
    Proprietary institutions most likely fall under Title III of ADA. Please review the informational document that outlines some provisions of Title III. We recommend that you consult an attorney for specific questions or concerns.

    Student Protection Fund

    IC 22-4.1-21-15 and IC 22-4.1-21-18 requires each educational institution accredited by OCTS to submit  an institutional surety bond and contribute to the Career College Student Assurance Fund which will be used to pay off debt incurred due to the closing of a school, discontinuance of a program or loss of accreditation by an institution.  To file a claim, each student must submit a completed “Student Complaint Form” below.

  • Student Complaint Process

    Student Complaint Process

    OCTS is responsible for reviewing and responding to student claims for monetary reimbursement against post-secondary proprietary schools that are non-credit bearing and non-degree granting. OCTS adjudicates only claims for monetary reimbursement and cannot adjudicate claims involving programmatic content.  Monetary claims for reimbursement are limited to tuition and fees paid out of pocket by the student. OCTS does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate claims for reimbursement of scholarships, financial assistance, or fee reductions.  OCTS cannot offer legal advice or initiate civil court cases.

    Students filing claims must meet these requirements:

    1. Be a current or former student in a program at a school regulated by OCTS (see List of Accredited Institutions).
    2. Follow and exhaust the school’s complaint resolution process with the school directly; or provide a detailed explanation (see Complaint Form in step 3) as to why the school’s complaint process was not completed.
    3. File a formal claim with OCTS by completing the online Student Complaint Form, and attaching the following documents:
      1. A statement of the facts supporting the claim and outlining the problem, and
      2. A copy of the enrollment agreement signed by the student, and
      3. Copies of all receipts for tuition paid by cash, check, money order or credit card, and
      4. Any other material which substantiates the claim.

    OCTS will review the claim and contact the claimant if additional information or clarification is needed.  When the student’s initial claim is determined valid by OCTS, OCTS will forward a copy of the claim to the school, and the school will have three (3) weeks to respond. Upon receipt of the school’s response, OCTS will adjudicate the claim and issue a final determination. Both the student and the school will receive notification of the OCTS final determination. The determination by OCTS is final and is not appealable through the Department.

    NOTE: If you believe a school has acted in a discriminatory manner, you may wish to contact the Indiana Civil Rights Commission using the ICRC’s complaint form.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office for Career and Technical Schools at OCTS@dwd.in.gov.


Equal Opportunity is the Law. (La Igualdad De Oportunidad Es La Ley.)
Equal Opportunity Employer/Program Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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