(a) For purposes of this section and rules adopted pursuant thereto, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) ADMINISTRATOR. A person designated by a principal school or branch school and approved by the commission to be the person responsible to the commission for all acts governed by this chapter and applicable rules which govern the operation of schools.
(2) APPROVED COURSE. Any course of instruction approved by the commission that satisfies commission requirements for prelicense education, postlicense education, or continuing education.
(3) APPROVED SCHOOL. Any proprietary educational institution offering only commission approved continuing education courses and any accredited college or university that offers any commission approved course.
(4) BRANCH SCHOOL. Any school under the ownership of a principal school which offers commission approved courses at a permanent location.
(5) INSTRUCTIONAL SITE. Any physical place where commission approved instruction is conducted apart from the principal school or branch school.
(6) INSTRUCTOR. A person approved by the commission to teach approved courses in the classroom or by distance education.
(7) LICENSED SCHOOL. Any proprietary school that offers commission approved prelicense courses or postlicense courses, or both, only after being licensed and bonded by the commission.
(8) PRINCIPAL SCHOOL. Any institution or organization which is the primary school and not a branch school that is approved by the commission.
(9) PROPRIETARY SCHOOL. Any school that is not an accredited college or university and which offers commission approved prelicense courses or postlicense courses, or both, only after being licensed and bonded by the commission. Each branch school shall be licensed separately.
(b) The commission shall approve and regulate schools that offer commission approved prelicense, postlicense, and continuing education courses. The commission shall be the board, commission, or agency with the sole and exclusive authority to license proprietary schools and their branches for the limited purpose of their offerings of commission approved prelicense courses or postlicense courses, or both.
(c) The commission shall require proprietary schools to furnish a surety bond payable to the commission in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) with a surety company authorized to do business in Alabama, which bond shall provide that the obligor therein shall pay up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) in the aggregate sum of all judgments which shall be recovered against the school for damages arising from the school's collection of tuition or fees, or both, from students, but failing to provide the complete instruction for which such tuition or fees were collected. The bond shall remain in effect as long as the school is licensed. In the event the bond is revoked or cancelled by the surety company, the school shall have 10 days to obtain a new bond and file it with the commission. Failure to maintain a bond shall result in the immediate suspension of the licenses of the school and all of its branches. The bond shall be provided by the school and shall also cover any branch schools named in the bond or any endorsement or amendment thereto.
(d) The commission shall charge a license fee for each licensed principal school and shall charge a fee for each branch school in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per year for each year or portion of a year remaining in the respective license period. The renewal fee for each school license shall be one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) for each year of the license period.
(e) The commission shall require all schools to name and have approved by the commission a school administrator who shall be responsible to the commission for all actions of his or her respective school.
(f) Principal schools shall be clearly identified by signage as appropriate for the location. The signage shall set out the name of the principal school. Branch schools shall be clearly identified by signage as appropriate for the location. The signage shall set out the name of the branch school and the name of the principal school.
(g) The commission shall have the authority to reprimand, fine, suspend for a period up to two years, or revoke the license or approval of any school, administrator, or instructor for any violation of this section or any rule of the commission. The fine shall be not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per count.
(h) The commission shall approve, sponsor, contract for or conduct, or assist in sponsoring or conducting real estate courses for licensees, may charge fees, and may incur and pay the necessary expenses in connection therewith.
(i) The commission shall approve and regulate instructors who teach the commission approved prelicense, postlicense, and continuing education courses. The commission shall establish and collect fees as determined necessary, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50) per instructor annually, to approved instructors who teach commission approved courses.
(j) The commission shall approve courses and establish and collect fees as determined necessary, not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per application, to review each course.
(k) The commission shall establish one-year or multi-year approval periods for schools, instructors, administrators, and courses. Approval and license periods shall run from October 1 of the first year of the approval period through September 30 of the final year of the approval period.
(l) The commission shall promulgate rules and regulations as necessary to accomplish the purpose of this section in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
Last modified: May 3, 2021