About Private Occupational Schools

G.L. c. 112, § 263 defines a "private occupational school" as follows:

"Private occupational school", a private educational organization, not specifically exempted by subsection (c), that conducts courses, for profit or by charging tuition, for the purpose of training or preparing individuals for a business, trade, technical or industrial occupation, or any other vocational purpose, including correspondence schools, private business schools, private trade schools and similar entities designated by the division.

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The law authorizes DOL to license private, post-secondary occupational schools operating in Massachusetts.

(c) All private occupational schools operating in the commonwealth shall be licensed by the division; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to:

  1. a school, college or other educational institution chartered and authorized by the commonwealth to grant degrees; provided, however, that non-degree programs offered through such a school, college or other educational institution by a third party shall be licensed by the division;

  2. a school conducted by any person or entity for the education and training of such person or entity's employees with no fee or tuition being charged to the employees;

  3. a school exclusively engaged in training persons with disabilities;

  4. a school providing distance learning or online correspondence services having no place of business in the commonwealth;

  5. recreational programs conducted for the purpose of relaxation and enjoyment regarding instruction in non-occupational pastimes, exercise or other such diversions;

  6. programs owned and operated by established religious institutions for the purpose of providing religious instruction;

  7. courses of instruction conducted by a public school district or combination of public school districts;

  8. private schools or programs conducted for the education of students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12;

  9. incidental training associated with the purchase of a product from a vendor; provided, however, that the training is to familiarize the purchaser with its use and the purchaser is not awarded any form of a certificate or diploma for having received the training; or

  10. other programs designated by the division.



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