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Postsecondary School Authorization

The Postsecondary Authorization Act of 1974, T.C.A. §49-7-2001 et seq., T.C.A. §49-7-144, and the Postsecondary Rules Chapter 1540-01-02 govern the regulation of postsecondary educational institutions administered through the Division of Postsecondary School Authorization.  Regulation can be grouped into two areas - School and Agent Authorization and Consumer Services.

School and Agent Authorization

The Division of Postsecondary School Authorization oversees and monitors private proprietary, for-profit, and not-for-profit schools offering training or education leading to a vocation, college credit or issuance of an educational credential. Authorization may be granted to both degree and non-degree granting institutions and encompasses a wide variety of schools such as: academic, trade, technical, career, professional, and out-of-state institutions with presence, advertisement, and/or recruitment practices in Tennessee. Related areas include:

  • Assisting individuals or businesses seeking authorization to operate a postsecondary educational institution or make a determination of exemption from the provisions of the Postsecondary Education Authorization Act of 1974.
  • Supplying information and assistance to prospective schools interested in submitting an Initial Authorization Application to operate as a postsecondary school in the state. An Initial Authorization Application may be obtained by calling DPSA at (615) 741-5293.
  • Authorized institutions interested in offering new programs must submit a new program application prior to offering the proposed program(s).
  • Establishing and requiring compliance with minimum standards for school administration, operation and educational quality as well as authorizing the use of degrees, diplomas, certificates or any other educational credentials.
  • Reviewing applications for agent’s permit.

Consumer Services

The Division of Postsecondary School Authorization provides a variety of services to assist students and consumers. Helpful services include:

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