A proprietary school is any organization, association, corporation, partnership, limited liability corporation (LLC), sole proprietorship, or any other entity operated on a for‐profit or on a non‐profit basis that operates or seeks to operate to provide instruction or training for a business, trade, technical, industrial or other occupation, and that is not specifically exempted under postsecondary regulations. Proprietary schools grant no awards above the pre‐associate certificate level.
The Council on Postsecondary Education has the authority to approve or deny the request for authorization to operate a proprietary school in Rhode Island (RIGL §16-40). All proprietary schools operating or seeking to operate in Rhode Island must abide by the Regulations Governing Proprietary Schools, including the Standards laid out in Section IV.
For questions regarding proprietary schools, please contact Deanna Velletri (Deanna.Velletri@riopc.edu) in the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner.
Approved proprietary schools must renew their authorization on an annual basis by submitting a renewal application, along with the required fee.
The Regulations Governing Proprietary Schools give details about the process of applying for approval to operate a proprietary school in RI. Any school seeking new authorization must adhere to the following general provisions:
Before accepting a completed application for initial approval, RIOPC will make an assessment of the financial condition of any proposed school. Based ont he pre-application, schools will be advised on how to complete the full application for approval.
The following schools have been approved to operate in Rhode Island for 2016-2017:
Complaints about any of the authorized proprietary schools should be directed to the school for resolution first; if no resolution can be agreed upon, students may submit complaints to the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner through the student complaint form.
Proprietary schools currently operating in RI maintain records for their current and former students, and you can contact the school directly regarding transcripts or other necessary documentation.
RIOPC maintains student records for some proprietary schools that once operated in RI and have closed their doors. You can find the list of schools and request records on the student records page.