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Degree Authority, Registration, Licensing and Other Approvals

The Regents, the Commissioner of Education, and the State Education Department are also empowered to register, license, or otherwise approve certain educational institutions and programs, whether or not the institution in question has been incorporated by the Regents.  Although frequently related to incorporation, registration and licensing are completely separate and distinct functions.

A. Granting of power to confer degrees.

Education Law §224(1) provides that no individual, association, partnership or corporation which does not hold degree-conferring powers granted by the Regents or the Legislature shall confer any degree, or shall use, advertise or transact business under the name “university” or “college,” unless the right to do so shall have been granted by the Regents. A violation is a misdemeanor.

Colleges, universities and other postsecondary institutions which offer degree programs receive specific authority in their charters to confer the appropriate degrees. Occasionally, however, an institution which does not possess a charter from the Regents or the Legislature may wish to secure power to confer degrees. Additional information concerning degree authority can be found at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/he/home .

B. Registration of curricula.

It is important to note the distinction between the corporate power of an educational institution to confer degrees and the registration by the State Education Department of a specific degree at the institution pursuant to Education Law §210.

The Regents, by §13.1 of the Regents Rules, have delegated the registration function to the Commissioner. No degree program may be offered unless and until it is registered. The standards for the registration of curricula established by the Commissioner are found in Part 52 of the Regulations. Parts 50, 53 and 54 contain related provisions and requirements.  These Parts can be found in Title 8 of the NYCRR.

It is also important to note that, pursuant to Education Law §237, in addition to the power of the Regents to create education corporations and to authorize them to confer degrees, where appropriate, and the authority of the Department to register programs leading to degrees, the Regents also have statutory responsibility for master planning in higher education. An institution seeking registration of a new program may also need to seek amendment of its institutional master plan by the Regents.

The representations which an institution may make to prospective students and the public concerning registration of these programs are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Information concerning the requirements and procedure for registration of programs and master plan amendments can be found at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/he/home.

C. Registration of libraries.

Education Law §254 authorizes the Board of Regents to fix standards of library service for public libraries and free association libraries which receive public funds. The Regents, by §11.1 of their rules, have authorized the Commissioner to establish regulations for the registration of libraries. Part 90 of the Regulations of the Commissioner deals with registration, standards and related matters, and can be found in Title 8 of the NYCRR.

The representations which a library may make to the public concerning its registration are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Information concerning the registration of libraries can be found at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/charter/index.

D. Registration of museums and historical societies.

Section 3.27 of the Rules of the Regents provides for the registration of museums. Section 3.30 of the Rules of the Board of Regents provides for the registration of historical societies.

The representations which museums and historical societies may make to the public concerning registration are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Additional information concerning museums and historical societies can be found at http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/services/charter/.

E. Registration of secondary schools.

The powers conferred upon the Commissioner of Education pursuant to Article 5 of the Education Law include the authority to register secondary schools (i.e., schools offering instruction in some or all of the grades seven through twelve).  Part 100 of the Regulations of the Commissioner sets forth the standards for the registration of secondary schools, and can be found in Title 8 of the NYCRR.

The representations which a secondary school may make to prospective students and the public concerning its registration are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Information concerning the requirements and procedures for the registration of secondary schools can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nonpub/applicationnpssecschreg/

F. Registration of nursery schools and kindergartens.

Part 125 of the Regulations of the Commissioner provides for the voluntary registration of nonpublic nursery schools and kindergartens and sets forth the standards for such registration.

The representations which a nursery school or kindergarten may make to the public concerning its registration are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Information concerning the requirements and procedures for the registration of a nursery school or kindergarten can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nurseryschool/ .

G. Licensing of private schools and registration of private business schools.

Education Law Article 101, consisting of §§5001 through 5010, provides that certain private schools, including correspondence schools, must be licensed and that certain private business schools must be registered by the State Education Department.

Part 126 of the Regulations of the Commissioner specifies the standards which must be met by an institution seeking licensure.

The representations which a licensed private school or registered private business school may make to prospective students and the public concerning the license or registration of the school are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Information concerning the requirements and procedures for licensure of private schools and registration of private business schools can be found at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/bpss/schools/steps.

H. Approval of private schools for education of students with disabilities.

Education Law §4404 provides for the approval of private schools for the education of a student with a disability prior to the admission of any child to such a school under contract with a school district. Section 200.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner sets forth the standards for such approval.

Education Law §4407 authorizes the State Education Department to contract directly with a private school located outside the State for the education of a student with a disability if it is determined that such school can meet the needs of a student with a disability. Section 200.8 of the Regulations of the Commissioner sets forth the standards which such schools must meet.

The representations which a private school approved for education of a student with a disability may make to the public concerning such approval are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Information concerning approval of private schools for the education of a student with a disability can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/quality/regassoc .

I. Approval of courses of education for training of veterans and eligible persons.

The State Education Department is authorized by the provisions of Chapter 36, Title 38 of the United States Code to approve courses of education offered by educational institutions within the State for the training of veterans and eligible persons. Such approval is an essential prerequisite to the payment of federal education benefits to the veteran or eligible person.

The representations which an educational institution offering courses of education approved for the training of veterans may make to prospective students and the public concerning such approval are set forth in §13.11 of the Rules of the Regents.

Information concerning courses of education for the training of veterans can be found at http://veterans.ny.gov/.