For Immediate Release - May 29, 2013

Division of Professional Licensure Announces Formation of Advisory Council on Private Occupational Schools

Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbara Anthony to Chair Advisory Council; First Meeting June 7

BOSTON - The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) today announced the membership of a new Advisory Council on Private Occupational Schools, which will be chaired by Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony. 

The 12-member Advisory Council was created by Chapter 106 of the Acts of 2012, which transferred oversight of private occupational schools to DPL in 2012. The members of the Advisory Council bring a broad range of professional experience and industry-related expertise that will aid DPL in licensing and regulating private occupational schools, which train thousands of professional across the state. The first meeting of the Advisory Council will take place on June 7.

“I look forward to moving this industry forward in the right direction,” said Undersecretary Anthony. “There are many areas, such as advertising and sales practices in particular, where the Advisory Council has the chance to make a positive difference for students and schools alike.”

The law requires that four of the Advisory Council members be the State Auditor, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development and Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, or their respective designees. 

The remaining eight members are appointed by the DPL Director, and they are required to include the president of the Massachusetts Association of Private Career Schools or a designee, a president of a non-profit private occupational school and six individuals who possess experience related to consumer protection, fiscal, educational and workforce development issues associated with post-secondary education. 

“I am confident that the Advisory Council on Private Occupational Schools will provide DPL with sound advice that will help us fulfill our mission of protecting students while promoting the quality of occupational school opportunities in Massachusetts,” said DPL Director Mark Kmetz. “I thank each of the members for their willingness to serve on the Advisory Council, and we look forward to working with them.”

The members of the new Advisory Council are:

Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary, Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (Chair of the Advisory Council)

Thomas Meagher, Administrator of Private Occupational School Audits, Office of the State Auditor (designee of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump)

Shelley Tinkham, Assistant Commissioner for Academic, P-16 and Veterans Policy Department of Higher Education (designee of Secretary of Education Matthew Malone)

Heather E. Rowe, Director, Department of Labor Standards (designee of Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein)

Sheryl DeWalt, President, DeWalt Institute, LLC

Michael Fryar, Compliance Manager, Premier Education Group (designee of Massachusetts Association of Private Career Schools)

Kevin Fudge, Education/Financial Aid Advisor, American Student Assistance

Barbara Lagergren, President, Gould Construction Institute

Marianne Mastrangelo, Director of Health Care Training, American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay

Michelle McCarthy, Executive Director, Lincoln Technical Institute

Toby Merrill, Director, Project on Predatory Student Lending, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School

Margaret Miley, Executive Director, The Midas Collaborative

Oversight responsibilities for private occupational schools were transferred to the Division of Professional Licensure from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in August 2012.  There are currently more than 200 occupational schools licensed to operate in Massachusetts.  For more information, visit www.mass.gov/dpl/schools.

DPL is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The agency is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for more than 370,000 licensees in trades and professions under the jurisdiction of 31 boards of registration.  DPL also licenses and regulates private occupational schools.  

Consumers are urged to visit the DPL’s website at www.mass.gov/dpl and select the “Check a Professional’s License” link to determine whether a professional with whom they may do business is licensed and in good standing. Follow DPL on Twitter @MassDPL.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, on Facebook and on Twitter @Mass_Consumer.

 

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