Proprietary School Certification
The following provides information for individuals and institutions that want to offer postsecondary education in Missouri, schools currently approved to operate, and students and prospective students. The central focus of the Proprietary School Certification Program is consumer protection. This is accomplished through the establishment of standards for school operation and monitoring of those operations to ensure students are treated in a fair and equitable manner and receive education and training consistent with the published objectives of the instructional programs and the school. Use the links below and on the right to access the most commonly used pages, including how to apply for initial approval to operate in Missouri.
If you are interested in starting a school in Missouri or to be approved to recruit Missouri students, click here for application information on EDvera, our online workflow system.
Recertification 2022 - 2023
The next recertification cycle opens January 1, 2022. Complete applications are due by March 15, 2022; failure to submit the complete recertification application documents will result in late fees.
Click here for a Recertification User Manual for Missouri-based schools, and click here if your school is only certified to recruit. There is also a video on how to complete each document available for you to review.
Closed School Transcript Information
The Proprietary School Certification Program strives to maintain information on closed schools in Missouri. In some instances, the Department maintains the actual records although it make no claims for having records in their entirety. If your school is not on the list above, please complete the Student Record Verification Request form. Please include a current email address. MDHEWD staff will contact you to advise of the location or your records, if known, and provide information on obtaining a copy of your records if such records are held by this department.
If your records are available from the MDHEWD, you will be directed to submit $10 via check or money order for each official transcript, payable to the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development. Do not submit payment unless you have been advised your records are available at the MDHEWD.
Information for CDL Schools
Schools offering or seeking to offer entry-level CDL programs must ensure policies meet or exceed the minimum guidelines established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Failure to meet minimum standards may result in denial of these programs by the Department. Please click here for information.
Information for CNA, CMT, and L1MA Schools
Schools offering or seeking to offer programs in Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA), Certified Medication Technician (CMT), Level 1 Medication Aide (L1MA), or Insulin Administration must meet specific guidelines established by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Failure to meet criteria for approval as a training agency will result in denial of these programs by the MDHEWD. Please click here for information.
Consumer information about this sector of education, including a closed school FAQ and information on how to choose a school.
Explanation of what accreditation is and information about a number of recognized accrediting commissions.
Information about substandard educational entities and tips about how to avoid being deceived by such organizations and links to listings of accredited institutions in the United States and recognized institutions in Canada.
Information about a Missouri postsecondary education institution or programs offered in Missouri.
Getting Started as a School in Missouri
Any school or training facility that is not specifically exempted from the law must be certified to operate to offer instruction, grant certificates or degrees, or recruit students in the state of Missouri. In order to comply with this requirement, schools must apply for exemption from or certification to operate under the proprietary school regulations. It is important to note that proprietary as contained in the program title is somewhat of a misnomer as profit-making status is not a primary factor in determining if a school is subject to the certification requirements.
This link is for individuals or schools wanting to become certified to operate. It will take you to more detailed information about becoming certified to operate in Missouri, including how to begin the application process and access to other related resources.
This link will take you to an overview of the standards established by the MDHEWD for certification to operate. While primarily applicable to applicant and currently operating schools, this information may also be of interest to students and parents.
Certain types of schools are not subject to the certification program requirements. Exemption, as this status is called, must be granted by the MDHEWD based on the submission of an application. This link takes you to a more detailed explanation of the exemption process and eligibility criteria.
Monitor School Operations
Proprietary School Certification Program staff conduct regular on-site evaluations of schools. These evaluations include interviews with faculty and staff, observation of classes and school operations, surveys of students and graduates, and reviews of institutional and student records.
This section provides access to information about how to report and the necessary forms for reporting a variety of changes at the school.
Public Information Resources
To assist prospective students and their parents in making informed choices about educational institutions, the Proprietary School Certification Program provides a variety of public information resources about the schools that are certified to operate.
The state's business portal provides information about other requirements for starting a business in Missouri such as registration, filings, licenses, and permits required by other agencies.
This is a small business resource for the state of Missouri. MOSourceLink provides a monthly newsletter highlighting tips and trends to help small businesses.
The Coordinating Board for higher Education reviewed the annual report of the Proprietary School Certification Program at the December 8, 2021 meeting. A copy of the report is available here.