Information Needed for Reviewing Proposals for Degree Authority

The list that follows identifies the minimum information needed. A careful review of proposals will identify additional information needs.


  • An abstract and executive summary of the proposal.
  • A transmittal letter signed by the President or owner of the institution (not an attorney or other representative).
  • Names and resumes of consultants who helped develop the proposal.
  • Reports by at least two external reviewers, approved by the Office of College and University Evaluation.
  • Names and locations of other schools operated by the institution or its owner(s), if any.
  • Names and locations of schools that were operated in the past by the applicant, if any.
  • Letters from the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision, NYS Higher Education Services Corporation, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the State Comptroller and accrediting groups, as appropriate, stating that there are no outstanding concerns between that agency and the institution.
  • Verified default rates on Title IV loans, as applicable.
  • Written statement that administrators have no record of felony convictions that could be related to their proposed functions or institution.
  • Written statement that any outstanding or pending litigation has been fully disclosed.

Proposed proprietary colleges should also provide the following:

  • An in-state for-profit organization that wishes to establish a proprietary college must provide written verification that it has operated as a licensed private school, under the current ownership, for a minimum of two years and has graduated at least one class in the curriculum for which degree authority and registration are sought.  An out-of-state proprietary college that wishes to establish a campus in New York State does not need to provide this documentation.- If the applicant is a corporation, list the officers, directors, and principal shareholders (holding ten percent or more of the voting stock) with the number of shares controlled by each or, if the applicant is a partnership, list the partners.
  • If the applicant is a corporation, provide the most recent annual report to stockholders.
  • A written statement that there are no outstanding concerns about the applicant from the state education or higher education agencies in which the applicant operates educational institutions, as appropriate.
  • Provide the latest institutional accreditation review report of the accrediting agencies or agencies used to establish eligibility of degree-granting or nondegree institutions operated by the owners of the proposed college to participate in HEA Title IV programs.
  • Describe proposed changes to the mission, goals, or objectives of the institution during the first five years of operation by the prospective owner.

Resources, Facilities, Equipment and Library

  • Certified audited financial statements for the past three years.
  • Description of existing space with the address of the location, the square footage, the layout and use of rooms.
  • Description of plans for new/additional space, with the details cited above and date of occupancy, and copies of new and existing leases and/or construction contracts.
  • List of existing computers, with copies of maintenance/repair contracts, type, location and use.
  • Similar information for proposed new computers with the date(s) of installation.
  • List of the scientific, medical, and technical equipment needed to support the proposed programs, with the type, location and use.
  • Similar information for proposed new equipment.
  • Description of the library that includes square footage, shelf space, desk and workspace for librarians, and seating facilities for students.
  • Library hours and times a professional librarian is present.
  • Number and type of computers in the library and what databases students can access; any plans to expand this capability with details, dates, and costs.
  • Listing of the money spent in each of the past three years on the acquisition of books, periodicals, software, or other materials such as technical manuals and slides.
  • Names and resumes of all professional librarians employed by the institution, with their assignment(s) and copies of any reports or recommendations they have submitted.
  • Names and resumes of all library consultants employed by the institution, with their assignment(s) and copies of any reports or recommendations they have submitted.
  • Copies of all agreements with other institutions or libraries for the use of their collections, indicating what services will be provided to students and faculty, what material will be ordered that supports program offerings, what fiscal contributions the institution provides for these services, and the name and telephone number of the contact person at each cooperating library.

Proposed proprietary colleges should also provide the following:

  • Current operating budgets and year-to-year figures for any colleges operated by the entity outside New York State and of any non-degree proprietary schools operated by the owner of the proposed college.
  • A five-year projection of revenues and expenditures of the college, with operating assumptions regarding enrollments, including cash flow, return on investment, and annual gross profits.
  • A list of all locations at which instruction would be offered away from the main campus, including potential extension and interinstitutional sites, extension and interinstituional centers, and branch campuses and interinstitutional programs; include locations that would be exempt from approval under Part 54 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.


  • List of proposed credit-bearing degree and certificate programs with exact titles, degree designation, and total credits required.
  • Schools currently operating under the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision should also list any existing non-credit clock-hour programs that they wish to continue.
  • Number of credits of liberal arts and science work in each proposed program and a list of the courses that can fulfill this expectation.
  • Details about any programs or courses to be offered in a format other than the traditional classroom model.
  • Details on any fieldwork or internship offered, with credit values, the required or optional status of work, placement information, supervision, and evaluation.
  • Description of the calendar term system that will be used and what constitutes a full-time schedule in a term.
  • Number of hours of classroom instruction and amount of out-of-class work required for each credit of work in a term.
  • Names of other institutions in New York State or the northeast United States that offer programs that are similar or identical to those proposed.
  • Names of institutions in New York State and/or the northeastern United States that have master's and doctoral programs that prepare faculty to teach in the type of programs that are proposed.
  • Syllabi for proposed courses that list the topics covered, the reading/writing assignments, the grading criteria and the name(s) of the individuals who prepared the syllabi.

Proposed proprietary colleges should also provide the following:

  • Describe the system to be used to assess the success of faculty and students in achieving the stated objectives of each curriculum and all courses.


  • Admissions criteria such as high school diploma, GED, or test scores with names of any tests that are used and the specific cut-off scores.
  • Diagnostic or placement tests with specific cut-off scores, required or recommended remediation, credit value of remedial work, and the exit requirement. Include ESL work in this response if required by the institution.
  • Full-time and part-time enrollment projections for each proposed program for the first five years of operation.
  • Proposed proprietary colleges should also provide the following:
  • Description of proposed strategies for recruitment of students.


  • Resumes of current core full-time faculty and part-time or adjunct faculty and a list showing the courses they have taught in the past two years; description of qualifications for proposed faculty; and definition of full time.
  • Statement of maximum credit hour teaching load permitted in an academic term and policy and control of teaching load for individual also working outside the institution.
  • List of individuals who have taught more than 15 semester hours in any term in the past two years, with course assignments and enrollment.
  • Any plans to add to and/or upgrade the full-time faculty, with degree expectations, teaching assignments, and date of employment.
  • Copies of the contracts for all current full-time faculty that indicate teaching and other professional expectations, the term of the contract, and the compensation.
  • Description of the faculty's role in academic advising, including the number of advisees and required office hours.
  • Copies of administration and student evaluations of the first eight full-time and first 10 part-time faculty (based on the alphabetical listing of their last names) for the previous academic year.
  • Description of the role of full-time faculty in the academic governance at the departmental and institutional level, including membership on committees and minutes of committee and general faculty meetings, for the last two years.
  • Description of faculty development support that includes local workshops, support for graduate study, support for professional research and publication, and examples of specific individuals with dates and level of support.
  • Names of current and proposed faculty who have prior experience teaching at degree-granting institutions, with the name of the institution, the courses taught, the dates, the full-time or part-time nature of the assignment, and the name and telephone number of the individual's supervisor.


  • Resumes of the major administrators (not support or clerical staff) that include the academic work and prior experience that has prepared them for their assignments.
  • Description of any training or development provided for administrators in the past two years.
  • Description of placement services provided for graduates, fees charged for this assistance and the record of placement with the procedures used for making this calculation.
  • Description of both retention and cohort completion rates for the past two years, with the procedures used for making these calculations.

Proposed proprietary colleges should also provide the following:

  • The proposed organizational structure of the institution.

Publications and Forms

  • Copies of forms for admissions and financial aid.
  • Completed (names deleted) copy of the transcript that is now used with a description of changes, if any, that are planned.
  • A copy of student and faculty handbooks and marketing material.
  • A copy of the current catalog/bulletin or a draft copy of the catalog that will be used if the current request is approved.


  • Evidence that there is need for individuals who would graduate from the proposed programs with any employment data showing that salaries in the field justify the cost of the education.
  • Evidence that the demand for the education proposed is not already being met by other institutions in the region.
Last Updated: October 22, 2009