What is Private Postsecondary Education?
About California Private Postsecondary Schools
About the Private Postsecondary School Sector (PPSS)
The Private Postsecondary School Sector (PPSS) in one of the five sectors of Higher Education in California. The PPSS is without a doubt is the most diverse and least well known sectors of Higher Education. While one can imagine what a Community College looks like and what goes on there, when someone mentions private postsecondary schools there are no immediate mental images that arise. The “typical” PPSS School is much more likely to operate in a high rise or office complex than a traditional campus setting with football fields and large gymnasiums. PPSS schools operate on a “no frills” basis with almost all PPSS school funding going into instructor and staff salaries, curriculum, facilities and student services.
Few PPSS schools offer sports or extracurricular opportunities. The reason for this is that PPSS schools are designed to provide an alternative to a long-term degree program at a traditional university that may take four to six years. PPSS schools offer more focused educational training at a faster pace, often without the optional general education courses that may not be occupationally related to the career goal of the student.
Student Centered Programs
PPSS schools appeal to those students who know what specific career field they are interested in and want dedicated training in a specialized area in a condensed time frame. PPSS schools appeal to adults that are often supporting families or are starting second careers and wish to spend the least amount of time required in an educational setting. PPSS schools, in order to cater to their student’s needs, often offer the same classes in the evening that they offer during the day. Flexible class scheduling helps students who work or take care of family complete their education. PPSS schools have also led the way utilizing distance education programs as a way to offer quality training to students who are at home or in the workplace and may not be able to attend a “brick and mortar” type educational institution.
PPSS schools are created and designed to be student/customer focused. PPSS Schools are characterized by curriculum driven educational programs that are created to respond to the demands of the business sector. While tenured professors are the stars of the public university systems and are given the freedom to create their courses, instructors in the PPSS system must teach according to the competencies that are contained in the curriculum. Students in a PPSS school must master the curriculum or they will fail to advance. There can be no “courtesy graduations.” Employers will not hire graduates who cannot perform on the job and students will not attend a school that does not have successful placement with employers.
There are approximately 2,000 degree, non-degree and registered institutions (schools) offering educational programs to students in California. Many of these programs are offered by schools that are accredited by Institutional Accrediting National and Regional Accrediting organizations and others are state approved schools. All PPSS schools must adhere to strict state standards and are expected to graduate students who will be able to be employed or meet the academic requirements of their College or University.
PPSS schools have approximately 400,000 students enrolled at any one time. PPSS schools graduate almost 200,000 students every year. About 300,000 students are enrolled in non-degree programs that are diploma and certificate based and around 100,000 students are enrolled in two and four year degree granting programs. Over 40 percent of all our students are minority students and less than one percent of all students ever file a complaint with the state. Yet comparatively, PPSS students are inclined to be living as independent adults, have lower incomes than “traditional” students attending non-profit or public higher education institutions and have parents who do not have a high school education.
Despite the obvious barriers that confront many PPSS students, the graduation and placement rates as tracked by National Accrediting agencies for their California schools are typically around 70-80%.
About our Business/ Employer Community
The business/employer community plays a unique role in how PPSS schools operate. Not only do they hire the vast majority of our students, they are instrumental in providing critical feedback in the design and creation of our educational offerings.
Our employer community is asked to participate in PPSS program advisory boards which provide critical input in the development and modification of school curriculum. In turn the PPSS use their employer advisors as source for their graduate hiring referrals and networking opportunities.
This continuous interaction also allows the PPSS to meet the needs of the changing workplace and provides graduates an opportunity to earn top dollars as they enter their chosen occupation.
California and the World Economy
Numerous studies have and are being done that point out how important it is that California’s economy (one of the top ten economies in the world) must have a skilled and educated workforce if our state is to be successful in the global competition that we are currently engaged in.
Underneath the larger generalization above, are other studies that show that occupations requiring postsecondary career training will continue to show significant growth through 2014 in California. Allied health, including nursing, information technology, transportation, professional and numerous other occupational fields must obtain more employees that have been trained in very specific skills if our business and employer community are to be successful.
California, with large immigrant populations that often do not come to this country with specific labor market demand skills, is in a particularly critical position. The expanding population base of our state is providing increased opportunities for our businesses and employers but unless they can hire skilled and trained workers they will not be able to compete and prosper. Their inability to grow will in turn provide less employment opportunities for our state’s residents which will in turn increase the state’s cost for public services to assist the unemployed.
PPSS schools are providing one way to break the above cycle. It is certainly more difficult than expanding the base of H-1B immigrants to fill the need for trained workers in our state, but the benefits of using PPSS schools to provide skills training to our state workforce is a huge win-win for our state. If we can turn non-skilled state residents into skilled, tax-paying (not tax-using) employees who can provide for their families, we will benefit not only our business sector which is engaged in global competition, we will be helping our neighbors down the block.
- CAPPS Hall of Fame STAR Awards
- Memorial Scholarship Recipients
- Norma Ford Financial Aid Professional of the Year
- What is Private Postsecondary Education?
- CAPPS Board of Directors
- CAPPS Executive Director
- CAPPS Memorial Scholarships