How to Obtain a License to Operate a Non-Accredited University in Missouri

Navigating the process of obtaining a license to operate a non-accredited university in Missouri involves a series of steps designed to ensure compliance with state regulations and standards. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the process, from initial application to final approval.

Step 1: Apply for Access to the EDvera System

  • Access the EDvera Login Screen: Visit the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) EDvera login page at https://mo.edvera.com.
  • New User Registration: Click on the “New User?” button to establish login credentials. You will need to provide the name and email address of the individual completing the application documents in EDvera, along with the proposed name of the school and a brief description of the programs to be offered.
  • Receive Login Information: After submitting your request, you will receive an email from MDHE with your login information. Use this information to access the EDvera system, where you will complete your application.

Step 2: Begin Your Initial Application

  • Login to EDvera: With your email and temporary password, log in to EDvera. Upon first login, you will be prompted to change your password.
  • Start Your Application: Navigate to the “Documents” tab and select “Start Document.” Choose “Initial Application” from the dropdown menu to begin.

Step 3: Complete the Application Sections

  1. Institution Information

In this section, you'll need to provide comprehensive details about your institution. This includes the official name of the school, its physical location(s), mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, and the web address. You must also describe the type of ownership (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation) and control of the institution, along with the status of the institution with any accrediting or approving agencies. If your school will have a physical presence in Missouri, it's crucial to indicate this by selecting "In State." Additionally, specify the anticipated instructional start date, which is essential for planning and compliance purposes.

  1. Personnel

For the personnel section, you're required to list the anticipated number of administrative and instructional staff at the start-up of your school and six months into operation. This helps in assessing the adequacy of your staffing plan. For each key administrative position and instructor, detailed resumes must be included. These resumes should highlight educational backgrounds, degrees or certificates earned, professional experience, and any other qualifications relevant to their roles in the institution. This information is critical for evaluating the capability and readiness of your staff to deliver quality education.

  1. Programs

Detail the instructional programs your school intends to offer. For each program, include the official program title, projected enrollment numbers, the length of the program in weeks or months, the total number of contact or credit hours, tuition and fees, and the type of award (certificate, diploma, degree) granted upon completion. This section is vital for understanding the scope and depth of your educational offerings and ensuring they meet regulatory standards for quality and duration.

  1. Exhibits

You are required to submit various exhibits that provide further insight into your institution's operations and commitments. This includes publications such as catalogs, brochures, student handbooks, and any other printed materials that describe your institution and its programs. A completed enrollment agreement and an official transcript template must also be submitted. These documents are crucial for verifying that your institution accurately discloses essential information about institutional policies, programmatic offerings, financial charges, and student rights and responsibilities.

  1. Financials

Provide a detailed financial statement that outlines your school's resources, projected income, and expenditures. This should include information on checking account balances, lines of credit, and other financial assets dedicated to the school's operation. The financial statement is a key component in demonstrating your institution's financial viability and stability, ensuring that it has the necessary resources for sustained operation and growth.

Step 4: Submit Supporting Documentation

In addition to completing the application sections, you must attach all required supporting documentation. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Accreditation Information: If your institution is accredited, provide documentation from the accrediting body.
  • Resumes for Administrative and Instructional Personnel: Detailed resumes for each key staff member, as mentioned in the Personnel section.
  • Program Details: Comprehensive information for each program offered, including curriculum outlines, course descriptions, and program objectives.
  • Financial Statements: Detailed financial documents that support the information provided in the Financials section of the application. This should include bank statements, credit agreements, and any other evidence of financial resources.

This step is critical for substantiating the information provided in your application and demonstrating your institution's readiness and capability to provide quality postsecondary education in Missouri.

Step 5: Review and Submit Your Application

  • Review Your Application: Ensure all information is accurate and complete. EDvera will perform a brief review to identify any errors or missing information.
  • Submit Your Application: Once all sections are complete and documents are attached, submit your application through the EDvera system.

Step 6: Pay Application Fee

Upon the completion and submission of your application through the EDvera system, you will be required to pay the applicable fees associated with your application. All fees should be made payable to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and are non-refundable. Below is a detailed list of the fees that may apply to your application:

  • Initial Application for Certification: $200 (This fee will be credited toward the certification fee)
  • Initial Application for Exemption: $50
  • Application to Establish a Branch Campus: $100
  • Application to Establish an Extension Site: $50
  • New Program Review (Certificate): $100
  • New Program Review (Associate): $200
  • New Program Review (Bachelor and Graduate): $500
  • Substantive Change Review (Certificate): $50
  • Substantive Change Review (Associate): $100
  • Substantive Change Review (Bachelor and Graduate): $250
  • Change of Ownership, Name, Location: $100
  • Continuing Education (up to fifteen (15) programs): $100
  • Continuing Education (more than fifteen (15) programs): $500
  • Student Record Verification (per copy): $10

Please ensure that your payment accompanies your application submission to avoid any delays in the processing of your application. Remember, the timely payment of your application fees is crucial for the smooth progression of your application through the review process.

Step 7: Await Initial Review and Approval

  • Initial Review: MDHE staff will review your application, which may take a minimum of 120 days. You may be contacted for additional information or clarification.
  • Security Deposit and Certification Fee: If your application is approved, you will be asked to submit a security deposit and pay the certification fee. The security deposit amount is based on your estimated total tuition income.

Step 8: Receive Your License

After fulfilling all requirements and receiving MDHE approval, you will be issued a Certificate of Approval to Operate. This certificate allows you to begin recruitment activities within the state.

Maintaining Your License

Remember, annual recertification is required to maintain your license. Stay proactive in reporting any changes to your institution’s information, programs, or operations through the EDvera system.

By following these steps and ensuring compliance with MDHE regulations, you can successfully navigate the process of obtaining a license to operate a non-accredited university in Missouri.

For personalized assistance or to start your application process, reach out to Expert Education Consultants (EEC) at +19252089037 or email sandra@experteduconsult.com.

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