Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision

Curriculum Application Instructions

Application for Approval of a Curriculum or a Course, BPSS-30

NOTE: schools requesting approval of a TAP curriculum must also complete the "Application for Approval of a TAP Eligible Curriculum," BPSS-30A

The approval and reapproval of curricula will be conducted in accordance with Section 5002 of the Education Law and Section 126.4 of the Commissioner's Regulations. The Bureau will act upon an application for approval of a new curriculum within 120 days of the receipt of a complete application. An application for reapproval must be submitted to the Bureau at least 120 days prior to its expiration date. The Bureau will act upon a timely application within 90 days of receipt of a complete application.

After December 15, 2012, there will be a standard curriculum fee for curricula sent for approval, amendment or reapproval. The fee is $250 for a curriculum of 100 hours or above, and $100 per course of 99 hours or less. Amendments and reapprovals are exempt if the changes are minor (such as a different ATB test, or book). So are courses of 40 hours or less for Personal Enrichment. Changes to the parts called item 18, 21a, 21b are considered major changes. This fee is separate from the expert evaluation fee.

Schools will be notified if an application is incomplete and will be required to submit the missing or insufficient items before a full review will be conducted. The approval and reapproval processes may require that the curriculum application be sent to an outside evaluator for a comprehensive evaluation. If a curriculum application is sent to an outside expert evaluator, the school will receive a request (voucher) for reimbursement of the evaluation fee. The Department must receive this reimbursement before the results of an evaluation will be released to the school. Do not send the expert evaluation reimbursement fee with the curriculum application; this could delay the processing of the curriculum.

Since the curriculum application is provided for download online, schools should be aware that any change of the application or its formatting will result in an unacceptable and/or disapproved curriculum application. If the entry of information, such as extensive entrance requirements, would result in the reformatting of page breaks, etc., the school should attach additional pages rather than allowing the application to be reformatted.

Once a curriculum application is approved, a copy will be returned to the school with an approval letter. The approved curriculum and approval letter will include information such as entrance requirements, effective and expiration dates, student-teacher ratios, and teacher codes. The school director should promptly review this information and notify the Bureau of any problems. Schools must provide instruction as stated and approved in the curriculum. Approval will be for a period not to exceed four years, with the exception of nurse aide/assistant curricula which cannot be approved for a period exceeding two years.

The following instructions will aid in the completion of the curriculum application. Two copies of all required parts of the application must be submitted. If, after having read these instructions, there are questions during the completion of the application, please contact the Bureau.

If the school wishes confirmation that a course or curriculum application has been received, that application must be sent by certified or registered mail with a return receipt requested. Bureau staff will not perform status checks simply to notify applicants that an application has been received.

New - The program has never been approved before or there has been a period of time during which a previously approved curriculum was no longer valid. A resubmission of a not-yet approved curriculum is still “new.”

Reapproval - The program is currently approved, but its expiration date is approaching, and the school wishes to continue the program with or without changes. (Note: a timely reapproval application must be filed at least 120 days before curriculum expiration.)

Amendment - The program is currently approved, is not near its expiration date, but change is desired. A curriculum amendment is required when a school wishes to change one or more of the data items listed on the printed curriculum approval letter or if a school intends to change the Breakdown of Theory, Skill and Internship Hours (Item #18). For any other change not described above, an amendment request may be made by sending two copies of a letter to the Bureau stating the approved curriculum title and ID number and fully describing the change desired.

  • School Name. Enter the school's name as it appears on the license. In the case of a curriculum submitted for a school not yet licensed, list the proposed name of the school in full. Check if you paid the standard curriculum evaluation fee and how much you paid for this specific curriculum. Do not bundle several payments in that field. Do not enter payments for expert evaluation fees. These are separate fees.
  • School Address. Enter the school's address as it appears on the license or registration. If the curriculum contact person has an e-mail address, include that in the appropriate area. Do not list a web page address as an e-mail address. Schools with more than one location should use the address of the school where curriculum approvals should be sent. With the exception of schools seeking initial school licensure/ registration, this address must be a school with an assigned SED code; the corporate address does not correspond to any SED code and, therefore, cannot have approved curricula. The address chosen for use must be used consistently on all curriculum applications. For schools not yet licensed, list the address where instruction is expected to take place or, if a school location has yet to be established, list the address of the contact person for curriculum matters.
  • Curriculum/ Course Title. Enter the title as it should appear on the approval letter and as it will appear in all school references to that curriculum/ course. The title must accurately reflect the objectives and content of the curriculum/ course and must not duplicate a title currently used at that school. A personal enrichment course (of 40 hours or less) must have –PE in the title. An online or distance course must have –DE for Distance Education at the end of the title.
  • Curriculum/ Course ID Number. For reapprovals and amendments only, enter the number exactly as it appears on the current approval letter.
  • Total Instructional Hours. Enter the total number of instructional hours of the curriculum/ course; this total must be identical to the total hours listed from the Breakdown of Theory, Skill and Internship Hours in Item #18 and must be identical to the hours listed on the student enrollment agreement and catalog.
  • OBRA ID Number. Enter for reapprovals or amendments of Nurse Aide/ Assistant curricula only.
  • Nationally Recognized Vendor courses/ curricula. If the application is to have a nationally recognized vendor (NRV) provided course or curriculum approved, check the "yes" box and indicate the name of the vendor as well as the complete web site address where the Bureau can independently verify the contents of the course/ curriculum. The vendor must be listed among the Bureau’s approved list of NRV’s (see Policy Guidelines #1-0300 on the Bureau’s webpage at www.acces.nysed.gov/bpss/schools/pg10300.htm for a complete listing of currently approved NRV’s). The name, entrance requirements, duration of the course/ curriculum, and performance objectives must match those of the NRV in order for the program to be considered for approval. For more specifics on submitting NRV course/ curriculum applications, download the NRV Curriculum Instructions from the Bureau’s webpage.
  • Entrance Requirements. Schools must check all items that apply to students who will be allowed to commence instruction in the proposed curriculum/ course. Also note that course/ curriculum entrance requirements must be listed in a school's catalog. If an ability-to-benefit exam is used, it must be selected from the list of approved exams found in Policy Guideline 6. The school must list the exam title, the form and/or level of exam to be used where applicable, and the cut score(s) required. Please note that some exams have individual component cut scores which must be listed rather than a larger composite score.
  • Curriculum Specific Graduation Requirements. If there is any requirement, other than simply completing the course, which a student must meet that is specific to this curriculum, it must be identified here. This graduation requirement generally would not take into consideration the student's final grade in the course, but would be a requirement on its own merit. For example, a minimum shorthand or keyboarding speed may be required required, a student may have to perform a minimum number of practical applications, etc. List a specific graduation requirement if there is any requirement that would prevent a student from graduating even if (s)he had a passing average in the curriculum. The requirement cannot be a condition the student can achieve only through a third party, such as passing the CompTIA A+ exam.
  • Method of Instruction. This box must reflect the predominant method of instruction that will be used in the presentation of the curriculum or course. The "Traditional" method of instruction refers to teacher focused instruction to the students in a class, whether by lecture, by small group interaction, etc. "Individualized" instruction is student-based whereby students progress at their individual rates and the material is presented in a learning activity packet, often through computer software. In such instruction, the teacher is a resource to students who need additional help with their learning activity packet. For more information regarding individualized instruction, refer to Policy Guideline 16. "Distance" instruction consists of individualized lessons and other educational activities transmitted to students off-site, completed, and returned to the school, whether by correspondence, online, or other formats.
  • Language of Instruction. The name of the language in which the instruction will be given must be entered. Textbooks should be written in the language of instruction. For instructions on submitting a non-English course or curriculum, go to Guidelines for Non-English Language Instruction.
  • Definition of Instructional Hour. An instructional hour must be from 50 to 60 minutes during which instruction is taking place. This does not include time spent for changing classes, breaks, or lunch.
  • Briefly Describe Any Changes. For a curriculum submitted for reapproval or for amendment, changes from the current approval must be identified. Only changes identified in this item will be considered for approval; all other areas will be assumed to remain the same. Additionally, if nothing is listed here for a reapproval, the Bureau will assume that nothing has changed. Any changes later identified will result in a delay in processing the reapproval and possible lapse in continued authority to offer the curriculum/course. Any change not noted in item 14 on a curriculum subsequently approved inadvertently is not considered approved and may subject the school to disciplinary action.
  • Name, Title, and Telephone Number of Contact Person. Enter information regarding the school official who should be contacted, if necessary, concerning the curriculum.
  • Signature of Director/ Owner/ President. The original signature, the printed name and date of submission must be entered. Only the school director, owner, or president is permitted to submit a curriculum application on behalf of a school.
  • Occupational/ Non-occupational Objectives. Identify entry-level job titles which a student could expect to obtain upon completion of the curriculum. If the curriculum is not intended for job preparation, state the non-occupational objective.
  • Breakdown of Theory, Skill, and Internship Hours. List all courses or units in the order in which they will be taught, but without subunits, which are described in 21a. Place an asterisk (*) next to any courses/ units which can be offered in any sequence within the curriculum. List the number of hours offered for each course/ unit in the second column. Never list minutes in this column. If you have reasonable fractional portions of an hour, you can list that fraction. In the third column list the predominant focus of the course/unit, either "T" for theory, "S" for skill, or "I" for internship/ externship. List only one letter for each course/ unit. Use additional sheets if necessary. The total number of hours must match those listed in Item 6 of the curriculum application. Enter the curriculum title (and ID number if the application is for a reapproval or amendment) at the bottom of the page. Please note that if an internship/ externship off-site is included in the curriculum, two copies of a prototype internship/ externship contract must be submitted. Any hours assigned to practice or exams/testing should not be listed separately but rather included within the hours of the unit being tested.
  • Textbooks and Instructional Aids. Each course must be identified on the textbook list. If no text is used, simply enter the course title and "NA" for the textbook. All bibliographic information must be included with the exception that a school may indicate "current edition" for any textbooks used that are updated often. Software must be identified by name and version.
  • Equipment List. An equipment list must be submitted for each location at which the curriculum will be taught. Include only equipment used for student instruction; do not include lockers, desks, or chairs (except specialized chairs used for instruction, such as dental chairs, phlebotomy chairs). For larger equipment, the brand and model must be identified. Include the quantity of each item of equipment in the appropriate column.  Do NOT use student to equipment ratios.  Enter the curriculum title (and ID number if the application is for a reapproval or amendment) at the bottom of the page. For computers, indicate the brand/model, speed in MHz, and the size of the harddrive and the RAM (Random-Access Memory).
  • Content Outline. A content outline identifying major and minor topics included in a course/ unit must be submitted for each course/ unit listed in Item 18 on the curriculum application. If a unit listed in item 18 contains both skills and theory portions, then the subunits in 21a must be clearly marked as either T or S.
  • Performance Objectives (optional). Effective October 1, 2002, submission of performance objectives is optional for most curriculum/ course applications and will not be included in the review of curriculum or course submissions.  Performance objectives are still required for any allied health curricula, curricula from schools seeking their first license, and curricula that must be evaluated by an expert. Schools must still maintain appropriately written Student Performance Objectives for each curriculum at their school location and make them available to all instructors and the Bureau upon request but they do not need to be submitted with curriculum or course applications. If you are unsure, ask the curriculum unit. 

In order to comply with the requirement that schools maintain Student Performance Objectives and make them available on-site, the following guidelines are presented:  After identifying the course title, indicate any prerequisite courses necessary for this course. Then enter performance objectives for each major and minor topic in the content outline, including the following three elements:

  • Observable Behavior (performance) - identifies what observable and measurable action the student will perform to demonstrate what (s)he has learned;
  • Conditions - describes any special equipment, resources, etc. that the student will need in order to perform the behavior;
  • Standards - defines the minimum acceptable level of accuracy or proficiency of the student behavior.

There are a number of reference materials on writing performance objectives. One, which the Bureau has used in assisting schools, is Preparing Instructional Objectives by Robert F. Mager.


Brief Tutorial on Writing Performance Objectives

Last Updated: October 23, 2013