Proper records-keeping and annual results reporting help private career colleges follow licence requirements.
Records and reporting
Private career colleges are required to keep student records, with every student having their records filed separately.
Files colleges must keep are divided into 4 categories:
1. Industry support
These records must be updated at least every 2 years:
- labour market demand for graduates
- curriculum relevance
- suitability of admission requirements
2. Instructor qualifications
- copy of credentials or evidence of professional designation
- resume indicating at least 3 years of related work experience and adequate instructional experience
- evidence to support any additional hiring criteria
3. Student records
- record of marks obtained throughout the program
- credentials awarded
- documentation confirming the withdrawal or termination of the student
- evidence of admission requirements (such as a high school transcript)
- evidence supporting that the institution has confirmed student job placement upon graduation
- signed Alberta Student Enrolment Contract
- record of payment(s) to the institution for tuition, other fees and books by the student or the student’s funding source
- record of refunds of tuition and other fees to the student or student funding source
- attendance records
- correspondence between the private career college staff and the student, such as:
- emails or other confirmation provided by the student after graduation advising of their employment status
- emails or other correspondance relating to a complaint by the student
4. Annual report backup information
- class lists
- evidence to support graduation and job placement data
Annual data reports
Every year, private career colleges offering licensed career programs report their results for the previous fiscal year, which runs from April 1 to March 31. Reports are due on April 30.
What private career colleges report
Private career colleges report to government on:
- student graduation rate - the percentage of students who graduated from the licensed program, compared to the number of students expected to graduate during the reporting period
- employment (job placement) rate - percentage of job-seeking graduates who found training-related employment during the reporting period
Job placement information is required for every graduate. A 70% rate for both graduation and job placement is the lowest acceptable amount. Private career colleges reporting results lower than 70% in consecutive reporting periods will face compliance action.
Students not seeking employment
Students that choose to enrol in a licensed program for personal interest, or to update existing skills instead of seeking employment, are not included in job placement results. These students are required to complete an Acknowledgement Form for Students Not Seeking Employment when they sign their Alberta Student Enrolment Contract.
Importance of meeting the reporting deadline
If a private career college does not report program outcomes, their program is considered unoffered. Annual reporting is an important part of meeting licensing requirements. If the program is unoffered for a number of consecutive reporting periods, it could affect its licence.
Reporting tools and templates are on the Provider SharePoint site (password protected).
Government works with private career colleges to ensure they are complying with the requirements of their licence(s) in 2 different ways.
Private career college visits
Government visits licensed program providers every year. These visits help staff:
- see licensed programs in action
- meet with college representatives for face-to-face discussions
- discuss current and future program offerings
- clarify compliance related issues
Colleges are usually contacted before the planned meeting to set a date and time.
Private career college reviews
All private career colleges offering licensed programs will undergo compliance reviews to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their licence.
Compliance reviews are a series of tests performed on institution and student records to ensure compliance with the legislation. The process generally follows these steps:
- Private career colleges are informed of a pending review in advance.
- The college receives a list of specific institution and student records that are to be made available for review. The review may be conducted on-site or as part of a desk review.
- Once the review is completed and a final report prepared, schools will receive a copy outlining any non-compliance matters requiring attention and a response. A meeting may be required to discuss compliance issues found during the review in further detail.
- Serious non-compliance issues or repeat incidents of non-compliance may result in further compliance action (e.g., licence cancellation) taken by the branch.
- Schools will be advised when all non-compliance matters are addressed to the satisfaction of the branch.