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Private Career Colleges Slideshare Powerpoints

Private Career Colleges Slideshare Powerpoints

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Private Career Colleges Slideshare Powerpoints Private Career Colleges Slideshare Powerpoints Presentation Transcript

  • To view this presentation as a webinar with sound visit CLEONet http://www.cleonet.ca/training CLEONet is a web site of legal information for community workers and advocates who work with low-income and disadvantaged communities in Ontario. www.cleonet.ca
  • About our presenter… Margaret Capes, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B., M.Ad.Ed, is Legal Education Coordinator of Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.  She also acts as Review Counsel for Community Legal Services, as an adjunct professor in the clinical law program, and as faculty advisor for Pro Bono Students Canada and the Dispute Resolution Centre, all at the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario. She is the former Executive Director of Community Legal Assistance Sarnia.
  • Hot Topics in Consumer Protection: Private Career Colleges
  • Webinar Overview
    • What are Private Career Colleges (PCCs)?
      • Distinction of PCCS from publicly-supported colleges
      • Types of programs offered
      • Problems created by unscrupulous PCC operators
    • Introduction to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 (PCCA)
    • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario
      • Students should be proactive
      • Consumer protections under the PCCA
        • Advertisements and inducements
        • Enrollment contracts
        • Cooling-off period
        • Collection of fees and fee refunds
        • Qualified instructors
        • Transcripts
        • Complaint procedures
    • Remedies
      • The PCC’s student complaint procedure
      • Complaint to the Superintendent under the PCCA
      • Claim Under the Training Completion Assurance Fund (TCAF)
      • Civil court action
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • What are Private Career Colleges?
    • Ontario has over 500 registered private career colleges (PCCs):
      • Not to be confused with Ontario’s 24 publicly-supported colleges of applied arts and technology.
      • PCCs are privately-owned and operated businesses that offer training for a variety of specific jobs or skills.
      • Most PCCs are reputable institutions that provide the training they promise.
      • Typical PCC training programs include Social Services Worker; IT Programmer; Bookkeeper; Medical Technology; Food and Beverage Management; Culinary Programs; Welding; and Paralegal Training.
      • PCC Programs are especially attractive to laid-off workers and to recent immigrants looking to gain credentials quickly.
      • This webinar is concerned with disreputable PCCs who charge high tuitions and offer limited instruction, poorly-trained instructors, inadequate learning facilities, and sporadic schedules.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Introduction to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
    • The PCCA regulates the activities of PCC operators that offer vocational training.
    • The PCCA is overseen by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
    • The Ministry investigates PCCs that engage in practices such as:
      • Offering courses that are not recognized by any governing body or Ministry;
      • Using poorly trained instructors;
      • Offering poor classes, many of which are cancelled at the last minute;
      • Charging very high tuition fees;
      • Utilize poor learning facilities, labs, and equipment; and/or
      • Close up and leave town with student tuitions in hand.
    • The Ministry can:
      • License PCCs and courses/programs offered by them;
      • Investigate, lay charges under the PCCA, and revoke PCC licenses;
      • Approve specific courses offered by a PCC, setting minimum standards so that students receive a quality education for the tuition being paid.
    • The PCCA is administered by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges, who is appointed by the Ministry.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario
    • Prospective PCC students should be diligent and proactive :
      • Use the Private Career Colleges link on the Ministry’s website to determine if the college and/or a specific course are licensed;
        • If the college or course is licensed, the student can rely on the protections of the PCCA.
      • Prospective students are also encouraged to:
        • Tour the PCC facilities;
        • Ask about the total cost of the program (application fees, tuition, books, equipment, room and board costs) before enrolling and turning over any fees or tuition money;
        • Check the “Warning: PCC Violations” link on the Ministry website to determine if the PCC they are interested in has been fined or closed by the Ministry because of violations under the Act;
        • Speak to current or former students at the PCC, as well as prospective employers as they may be able to give a prospective student valuable insight and information regarding the PCC and its programs.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA
    • Advertisements and Inducements
      • PCC operators must be truthful in their advertisements and may not use misleading statements to induce a student to sign up for a program. Common examples of misleading statements include:
        • guaranteeing admission to a program;
        • guaranteeing graduation;
        • guaranteeing a job after completion of a program;
        • guaranteeing the right to enter the country to complete the program; and
        • guaranteeing the issuance of a student visa.
      • If a PCC operator makes misleading statements, those statements are deemed to be fundamental breaches of the enrollment contract which will void the contract and relieve the student of any obligation to pay the operator.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
    • Mandatory Enrollment Contracts
      • Students and PCC operators must sign a written enrollment agreement before the program of study begins. The contract must include the following provisions or it will not be enforceable:
        • The name of the vocational program as approved by the Superintendent;
        • The student’s address, telephone number and, if applicable, e-mail address;
        • The start and expected completion dates for the program;
        • The language of instruction for the program;
        • Any admission requirements for the vocational program;
        • The fees, expressed in Canadian dollars, payable by the student, and a schedule indicating the date and amount of each payment;
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
    • Mandatory Enrollment Contract provisions, cont.
        • A statement, in bold face type, that the contract is subject to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005;
        • A bold-face type statement that the PCC does not guarantee employment for any student who successfully completes a program offered by the PCC;
        • The student’s acknowledgement of receipt of:
          • the college’s fee refund policy,
          • the statement of student rights and responsibilities developed by the Superintendent,
          • the college’s student complaint procedure, and
          • the PCC’s policy relating to the expulsion of students;
        • A consent to the collection and use of personal information, in the wording required under the PCCA;
        • The schedule of hours of instruction; and
        • The location of any practicum, if applicable.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
    • Cooling-off Period
      • The PCCA provides for a cooling-off period related to PCC enrollment:
        • Any person who signs an enrollment agreement has the right to rescind the contract within 2 days of receiving a copy of the contract.
        • The rescission must be in writing, and must be delivered to the address shown in the enrollment agreement.
        • If exercising the right to rescind, the student must return any goods received to that point (e.g., books included in tuition or supplies).
        • If the student has properly rescinded the contract, the PCC operator must return any monies paid by the student to that point.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
    • Collection of Fees and Fee Refunds
      • With respect to fees, the PCCA provides that PCCs:
        • May only charge fees in Canadian dollars;
        • May collect no more than the lesser of $500 or 20% of the course cost for “enrollment costs” (25% for international students) prior to entering into an enrollment agreement with the student;
        • Must submit its fee schedule to the Ministry, and may not charge an amount above the submitted fee schedule;
        • Must itemize the amounts being charged (e.g., whether for tuition, for books, for supplies, for administration charges, etc.);  
        • Must give the student a properly-dated and itemized receipt that clearly identifies the student; and
        • Must have a trust account where these fees are kept prior to the start of the program if at least 50% of its students are international students.
    ©2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
      • With respect to fee refunds in general, the PCCA provides that PCCs:
        • Must have a written fee refund policy;
        • Have 30 days from the date of the refund request to make payment; and
        • The refund must be made in Canadian dollars.
      • The PCCA requires the PCC to make a full refund when:
        • A student withdraws during the cooling off period, giving proper notice;
        • It collects fees before its licenses and/or courses are approved by the Ministry;
        • It collects more than allowed for enrollment fees;
        • More than 10% of the program is taught by unqualified instructors;
        • The enrollment contract does not contain all of the mandatory terms;
        • It discontinues the program before a student has completed it;
        • It expels a student for reasons or in a way not covered in its expulsion policy; or
        • The PCC makes false or misleading statements or inducements that represent a fundamental breach of the enrollment agreement.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
      • The PCCA may permit a partial refund under some circumstances. The PCC may retain up to the lesser of $500 or 20% of the total fees paid but must refund all other fees paid, if the student :
        • Does not meet the admission criteria as of the day the course starts;
        • Withdraws before the course starts; or
        • Does not attend the first 14 days of classes.
      • If the student withdraws after the course starts, the PCC may retain the lesser of $500 or 20% of the total fees, plus the fees covering the portion of the course already delivered by the college, but must refund all other fees paid.
      • For international students, the same refund rules apply except that a refund is also due if:
        • The student cannot obtain a visa to attend and so notifies the PCC, and
        • no more than half of the course has been completed.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
    • Qualified Instructors
      • The PCCA sets minimum qualification requirements for PCC instructors, including:
        • Instructors must have a minimum of 4 years of work experience in the vocation involved, or
        • 2 years of work experience plus academic credentials such as a Bachelor’s degree, community college diploma or apprenticeship certification.
      • Instructors without these minimum credentials may only be employed by the PCC if the Ministry approves the employment.
      • The credentials of all instructors must be filed with the Ministry.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
    • Transcripts
      • The PCCA sets minimum rules regarding access to student transcripts, which must be kept for no less than 25 years after the student ceases to be enrolled in the PCC. In addition, transcripts must include:
        • The name of the student;
        • The name of the PCC;
        • The PCC’s license number;
        • All courses completed by the student;
        • The credential(s) earned by the student; and
        • Any awards earned by the student.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Regulating Private Career Colleges in Ontario, Cont.
    • Consumer protections under the PCCA, cont.
    • Complaint Procedures
      • Under the PCCA, every PCC must have a student complaint procedure including the following minimum elements:
        • That a complaint must be made in writing;
        • Identification of who will decide how the complaint is resolved;
        • How the complaint process works, which must include giving the student the right to be present at all proceedings, and to make oral submissions;
        • A description of how complaints, submissions and decisions will be recorded;
        • How much time that may elapse between the date of the complaint and the date a decision is issued;
        • That a written decision, with reasons, will be given to the student;
        • A procedure for reviewing a decision;
        • That a record will be kept of every complaint at the PCC campus where the complaint originated for a period of at least three years from the decision date; and
        • That the college will provide the student who makes a complaint with a copy of the record referred to above.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Remedies
    • Students who have experienced problems with private career colleges in Ontario have a variety of options in seeking a remedy.
    • Utilize the PCC’s Student Complaint Procedure . Students with a problem should first address their concerns by using the PCC’s complaint procedure. Complaints should be specific and detailed. If the student does not get a satisfactory result in this manner, he or she may seek redress elsewhere.
    • Complain to the Superintendent Under the PCCA . If the PCC’s complaint process does not resolve the issue, the student may complain to the Superintendent, who has broad powers to enforce the PCCA, including the authority to:
      • Receive and review licensing applications, and to rescind or suspend licenses;
      • Receive and review courses for approval, and to rescind approval of courses and programs;
      • Impose administrative penalties (fines) to encourage compliance with the Act;
      • Issue restraining and compliance orders against unlicensed PCC operators or licensed operators that are in violation of the PCCA; and
      • Request prosecution of chronic violators by Ministry legal counsel in Provincial Offences Act Court, where fines and /or imprisonment may be imposed.
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • Remedies, Cont.
    • Claim Under the Training Completion Assurance Fund (TCAF) . If a PCC closes before the student can complete a course or program, they may apply to the TCAF, which is sustained through mandatory fees paid by PCCs and is administered by the Ministry.
      • Students have six (6) months from the closure of the PCC to file a claim under the TCAF.
      • If the student wants to complete the program they started, the Ministry will try to arrange for another college or educational institution to take the student.
      • If the student does not want to complete the program, they can apply for a refund for the portion of the course yet to be completed.
    • Civil Court Action . Students may file a Small Claims Court (SCC) action based on the breaches under the PCCA.
      • The maximum amount that can be claimed in SCC is $25,000.
      • Unless the student qualifies for a fee waiver, there are costs in terms of filing fees, as well as time spent preparing one’s case, and possibly lawyer’s fees.
      • Given the comprehensive nature of the TCAF and the broad ranging authority of the Superintendant, those alternatives may lead to a speedier and more economical resolution of the issues than filing in Small Claims Court.
    •  
    ©2011, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. This webinar was brought to you by CLEONet. For more information visit the Consumer Law section of CLEONet at www.cleonet.ca For more public legal information webinars visit: http://www.cleonet.ca/training