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Private Licensed Schools
(Post-secondary Career and Trade Schools)

The Private Licensed Schools Act, Act 174 of 1986, created the State Board of Licensed Schools with the authority to license and regulate private career and trade schools.  The intent of the legislation is to protect student records, facilitate the investigation of complaints, provide for enforcement action, and facilitate the collection of statistical data on private licensed schools.

The purpose of the Board's regulations is to (1)  establish minimum standards and procedures for licensing and registration of schools; (2) determine levels and forms of financial responsibility; (3) establish procedures for denial, suspension, or revocation of licenses or registrations; (4) establish qualifications for instructors and administrators; and (5) establish procedures for the imposition of penalties.  The Department of Education provides administrative support to implement the Board's regulations.

As of October 2010, there are approximately 291 private licensed schools in Pennsylvania and 11 registered out-of-state schools.  Most of the schools offer certificate or diploma programs with 85 of these institutions authorized to grant specialized associate degrees.

Private Licensed Schools


For additional information, please contact:

Division of Higher & Career Education |
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street. 12th Fl | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.8228 | Fax: 717.772.3622
ra-pls@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us