New York's Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision

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New York's Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision
Abbreviation NY BPSS
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
General nature
Operational structure
Agency executive Michael J. Hatten, Chairman
Parent agency New York State Education Department

New York's Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (BPSS) oversees and monitors non-degree granting proprietary schools in New York.[1][2][3] The Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (BPSS) is part of the New York State Education Department (NYSED).[4]

Bureau Structure[edit]

The bureau was established to oversee educational quality of non-degree granting schools in the state of New York, including trade and business schools, English Second Language Schools (ESL), and others. Most of these schools are geared towards the adult population, providing education and job training.[5]

The Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision provides licenses to these proprietary schools and teachers so the programs offered meet state standards.[6] All segments of a school’s operation are reviewed including financial standing, ownership structure, personnel, teaching methods, and marketing materials. The bureau has only 20 staff members to cover 500 schools, which has led to criticism of their ability to adequately manage schools.[7] The bureau works together with local, state, and federal organizations to review the safety and equipment of all the schools. This includes investigations into student complaints, and reviews of schools to ensure compliance with Education Law and Commissioner's Regulations.[8]


In order to be licensed as a proprietary school within New York State, organizations must undergo a licensing process wherein they submit various documents, including: an application for a school license, proof of type of ownership (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation), financial documents, curriculum applications, and school prepared forms.[9]


In 2009, the New York's Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision abruptly changed its policy on regulating yoga studio training and threatened those organization with a criminal fine of up to $50,000, although the department noted that they had received zero complaints about subpar yoga training.[1][10][11] Until that point, no yoga studio in the state had ever applied for or received a license to train future yoga instructors, which was the alleged crime.[1] Yoga studios were forced to undergo a "nightmarish" application process which put some smaller yoga studios at risk of shutting down permanently, since the process could take up to a year.[1][12] The initiative was criticized, and the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision was forced to abandon this tactic after New York Governor David Paterson signed a bill into law exempting yoga studios from the licensing process.[1][13][14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hammond, Bill (May 18, 2009). "Albany fools tie yoga in knots: State bureaucratic crackdown is downright crazy". New York Daily News. 
  2. ^ Lesser, Benjamin (April 3, 2011). "Trade school way off 'course' in teaching students how to run dialysis machines & read EKG results". New York Daily News. 
  3. ^ "Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision". 
  4. ^ "The Decline and Fall of Drake Business Schools: A Textbook in Crisis Nonmanagement". The New York Times. September 11, 2005. 
  5. ^ "Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision" (PDF). ACCES Adult Career and Continuing Education Services. 
  6. ^ Luzer, Daniel (January 25, 2011). "For-Profit 'Supervision'". Washington Monthly. 
  7. ^ Lesser, Bejamin & Smith, Greg B. (January 18, 2011). "As complaints mount, anemic state agency overwhelmed by job of policing for-profit schools". New York Daily News. 
  8. ^ "Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision". New York State Education Department. 
  9. ^ "Licensing Process: Supervision". New York State Education Department. 
  10. ^ Phillips, Jack (March 24, 2010). "Yoga Instructors and Martial Arts Teachers Exempt from Licenses". The Epoch Times. 
  11. ^ Sulzberger, A.G. (July 10, 2009). "Yoga Faces Regulation, and Firmly Pushes Back". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ Shure, Jane (July 28, 2009). "To Regulate or Not Regulate Yoga Teacher Training". The Huffington Post. 
  13. ^ "No state license required for yoga, martial arts instructors". The Business Review. March 24, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Governor Paterson Signs Eight Bills into Law". Governor of New York. March 24, 2010. 
  15. ^ "NY State Lays SmackDown on Yoga 'Vocation': Studios Must Register for License or Else". Yoga Dork. May 14, 2009. 

External links[edit]