My Journey to Private
Postsecondary Education 2003
By Jane Adler
It was a nice sunny day like any other in Phoenix, AZ. After hearing all kinds of stories about trainers having to comply with PPS in California and Florida, I decided, I should call AZ PPS and be sure, I was still exempt. Here starts the journey. In an industry prone to rumors, I decided to share my adventure. Since, few have contacted me for details; this comes straight from the horse's mouth.
I started my morning in early June by calling the "Arizona State Board of Private Postsecondary Education". The conversation started with me trying to verify that, I was still exempt. In 1999 when I began training, I had called to make sure; I did not have to be a licensed school. I was told I was exempt. My questions were not received with a warm welcome. In fact, my question would not be answered without submitting a letter of intent. Then and only then would the PPS let me know if I was still except. I learned a very valuable lesson. Always get it in writing!
With in a couple of weeks I was mailed a letter telling me it was illegal to keep training in Arizona and I had to go through the process of licensing or be in jeopardy of being shut down or charged with a misdemeanor. Hello, what do I do? Comply, stop training, find a loop hole, be tricky, lie or try to offer several separate modules, with each being under a $1000.00. I tried that. You can not offer several courses and have people take them all. It is considered "bundling" and still falls under licensure standards. The only exemption is to teach only religion or charge fees under $1000.00 for a 50 to 60 hours course required of me by the SPCP, AAM and SofTap®. I tried religion but they did not believe me that SofTap® is like a religion to me. Can't blame a gal for trying! What next? I want to be the one that decides when I retire from training. I run an honest business. So I have to comply. I spent years filling my brain with knowledge and becoming a reputable trainer with AAM, SPCP and especially SofTap®. I try to offer the best training program, I can. Now I had to pay the piper.
Fortunately, I am not a trainer that teaches because they cannot do. I only offer an average of one class a month with a limit of two students. My main focus is my own clientele. Always has been and always will be. I teach because I have a gift to share with others. Also I feel there is a need for quality trainers. I feel this is a gift that needs to be shared, even if only part-time.
Ok, I receive my letter to comply. It is very clear and I have 60 days to get the ball rolling. The letter also makes it very clear that I must stop recruiting or booking any classes during the licensure process. Meaning if I get caught they suspend the application for one year and you cannot teach during this time. Ok, I call my webmaster and take down all my training information. I take it off my message machine at the office and stop retuning all calls pertaining to training. Or simply tell potential students, I can simply put there name on a waiting list. Once I have complied with AZ law, I can contact them.
I am now starting to panic. It has been a few weeks and I get the PPS application in the mail. Yicks! Now that it is over, I feel a huge sense of pride for being the first. However not without a heavy heart. By doing the right thing others will have to follow. All trainers in Arizona have been teaching illegally for a couple of years, now. Including myself. I did not know! In being the first, I had to prove my credentials. There was no room for not being 100% honest! This included supplying a list of trainer members and certified trainers with AAM and SPCP, to prove I was on those lists. They needed proof from me. I guess, I busted myself.
The PPS then took it upon themselves to notify all trainers listed and others in yellow pages and so forth to get their application rolling. It is the law!
There was a ton of paper work. I was in a panic!!!!! My first application was rejected. There are very serious when they say dot all your t's. My second application was approved. Actually, I made myself sick. I took the first rejection personally. Apparently it is very common. These things you get to learn the hard way. Do I really want to teach? Some of my past student made it clear to me that I have too. Most was easy because I already had most the requirements already in place. That is for my training program and facility. I did not in my wildest dreams think I would not be able to get the school bond. So I had to come up with the cash. This entire process cost me about $21,000.00. I was also not allowed to teach at all between June and August. Once your application is approved, you then wait for a hearing date in front of nine board members. At my scheduled hearing, I was told that nine other trainers were being processed. Good luck to you all!
This law is to protect students from being ripped off. It is a good law. Once all the paper work is done and shock, wears off, it is a good thing.
This is a law. Also a misdemeanor if not complied too.
Anyone teaching permanent makeup that charges more than $1000.00 or teaches longer than a 40 hours class (which is required by insurance, SPCP and AAM and SofTap®) we must all apply for your school license. There are no gray areas here. They have the right to shut down any facility they want that is not in compliance.
We must all be with AZ State Board of Private Postsecondary Education. The application process is really tuff. But a must!
Here are some samples of what will be required by the state of Arizona:
1.Letter of intent
4.Student Enrollment Agreement
5.A $800.00 filing fee
6.Completed by CPA - G.A.A.P. financial statements and 12 month projection on business and personal income.
7.A $15,000.00 Sharity bond or CASH deposit of $15,000.00 student recovery fund
9.AZ post secondary education listed as an additional insured on your insurance policies.
10.Student account card
11.Student transcript record
12.Can not advertise during the process or teach in Arizona, until licensed.
13.Once application is approved you need to send the PPS nine sets and keep a copy in your files of original application.
14.Are considered a conditionally licensed vocation program for the first year. Then you have to reapply every year. Also you will be given an in office inspection for all student records. It is an official audit to make sure all student records are in compliance.
15.Approval of all advertising.
16.Student certificate of completion in compliance with course titles.
17.Application on all employees, trainers, or non profit groups.
18. Grading Scale, Final exam and clinical scoring
It is now a warm humid day in September, as write down my story. I feel so relived to have this behind me. I know I did the right thing. For myself, my students and this wonderful industry, I call my home. I love what I do. Ultimately, it is not worth putting all my hard work in jeopardy by breaking a law.
I am proud to be the first conditionally licensed vocational private post secondary school in the state of Arizona. As of August 28, 2003, I am #V0146. As of February, 2005, I am permanently licensed (#V1239)
. I thank god, I had the strength to do this. I also want to thank my mentor Alexis Lawson for guiding me through this process. Alexis was one of the first licensed PPS in California for many years. Since 1991. I also need to thank my best friend who got to deal with me the day, I could not stop crying. Actually, there may have been a few. So much pressure and yippee it is over! I urge all trainers to know there state laws.
Some times you need to do the right think and ask questions and step up to the plate. Even if you do not want to. It is the right thing to do! To my knowledge there are eight states that currently mandate PPS or other education licensure. The regulations for each state will vary greatly.
My story is for the state of Arizona, only! I also want to thank Pati Pavlik for letting me share this adventure with fellow trainers.
Also to Margie Grimm for helping keep me strong, when I felt weak!
All educators need to lead by example. Expect nothing less from yourself. We are leaders and need walk the walk if we plan on talking the talk. Students deserve to be protected! So do trainers!