South Carolina General Assembly
109th Session, 1991-1992

Bill 857

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

                    Current Status

Introducing Body:               Senate
Bill Number:                    857
Primary Sponsor:                Setzler
Committee Number:               21
Type of Legislation:            GB
Subject:                        Proprietary Schools
Residing Body:                  House
Current Committee:              Education and Public Works
Companion Bill Number:          3768
Date Tabled:                    Feb 04, 1992
Computer Document Number:       DKA/3298.AL
Introduced Date:                Apr 09, 1991
Date of Last Amendment:         May 14, 1991
Last History Body:              House
Last History Date:              Feb 04, 1992
Last History Type:              Tabled in Committee
Scope of Legislation:           Statewide
All Sponsors:                   Setzler
                                W. Smith
Type of Legislation:            General Bill


 Bill  Body    Date          Action Description              CMN
 ----  ------  ------------  ------------------------------  ---
 857   House   Feb 04, 1992  Tabled in Committee             21
 857   House   May 16, 1991  Introduced, read first time,    21
                             referred to Committee
 857   Senate  May 15, 1991  Read third time, sent to House
 857   Senate  May 14, 1991  Amended, read second time
 857   Senate  May 09, 1991  Committee Report: Favorable     04
                             with amendment
 857   Senate  Apr 09, 1991  Introduced, read first time,    04
                             referred to Committee

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(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter


May 14, 1991

S. 857

Introduced by SENATORS Setzler, Stilwell, Hayes, Wilson, Matthews, Gilbert, Patterson, Bryan, Russell, Saleeby, Nell W. Smith, Pope, Macaulay, Martschink and Leatherman

S. Printed 5/14/91--S.

Read the first time April 9, 1991.



Amend Title To Conform

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Chapter 59, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:


Proprietary Schools

Section 59-59-10. This chapter may be cited as `The Proprietary School Act'.

Section 59-59-20. Unless otherwise indicated by the context, the following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the following meaning:

(1) `Proprietary school' means any a person offering resident or correspondence courses to students upon the payment of tuition or fees.

(2) The definition of a proprietary school shall does not include the following:

(a) A a school or educational institution supported entirely or partly with state funds.;

(b) A a parochial or denominational school or institution or members of the South Carolina Independent School Association, Incorporated.;

(c) A a school or training program which offers instruction primarily in the field of an avocation, recreation, health, or entertainment, as determined by the Commission on Higher Education.;

(d) Courses courses of instruction or study sponsored by an employer for the training and preparation of its own employees.;

(e) Courses courses of instruction or study sponsored by recognized trade, business, or professional organizations for the instruction of their members.;

(f) Private private colleges and universities which award an associate, baccalaureate, or higher degree.;

(g) A a school offering a program only for children twelve years of age or younger.;

(h) A a school which is regulated and licensed under an occupational licensing act of the State.;

(i) Courses courses of instruction or study where the tuition charge does not exceed twenty-five dollars for the complete course of instruction.;

(j) Private private school offering courses of instruction to resident and/or day students of legal school age at the elementary and secondary level.

(3) `Board Commission' means the South Carolina State Board of Commission on Higher Education.

(4) `Superintendent Commissioner' means the South Carolina Commissioner of the State Superintendent of Commission on Higher Education.

(5) `Salesman', `agent', or `solicitor' means any a person who, for remuneration, enrolls or seeks to enroll a resident of this State in courses of instruction or study offered by a proprietary school, or who otherwise holds himself out as representing a proprietary school for such purpose. (6) `Agent's permit' means a nontransferable written authorization issued to a natural person, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter to solicit any a resident of this State to enroll in courses of instruction or study offered by a proprietary school.

(7) `Course' means organized units of subject matter in which instruction is offered within a given period of time and for which credit is given toward completion of training toward a predetermined occupational, academic, or educational objective.

Section 59-59-30. (a) (A) The Board commission may license proprietary schools meeting the necessary standards and shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. These standards shall include, but are not limited to course offerings, adequate facilities, financial stability, competent personnel, and legitimate operating practices.

(b) (B) The Board commission shall formulate the criteria and standards for the approval of proprietary schools, provide for adequate investigation of all schools applying for licenses, and issue licenses to those applicants meeting such the standards, and shall maintain a list of schools which have been issued licenses.

(c) (C) The board commission shall formulate the standards for the approval of salesmen, agents, or representatives of such proprietary schools and issue permits to those applicants meeting such the standards.

Section 59-59-40. (a) (A) No person shall operate or offer to operate a proprietary school, or solicit the enrollment of students, or otherwise represent the school or its program in any manner unless a license or a permit is first secured from the Superintendent commissioner.

(b) (B) Applications for licenses shall must be filed in the manner and on the forms prescribed and furnished by the Superintendent commissioner. Applications, properly verified, shall must be signed by the applicants and shall contain such information as may be required.

(c) (C) Any A license issued shall be is restricted to the programs of instruction or courses specifically indicated in the application for a license. The holder of a license shall present a supplementary application as may be directed by the Superintendent commissioner for approval of additional programs of instruction or courses in which it is desired to offer instruction during the effective period of the license.

Section 59-59-50. (a) (A) The Board commission may set a reasonable license fee.

(b) (B) Licenses shall be are renewable annually on July first; provided, an. An application for renewal has been must be filed in the form and manner prescribed by the Superintendent commissioner, and the renewal fee has been paid, and that the school and its courses, facilities, faculty, and all other operations are found to must meet the requirements for a school to secure an original license.

(c) (C) After a license is issued, it shall be is the school's responsibility to immediately notify the Superintendent commissioner of any change, as may affect significantly the course of instruction offered.

(d) (D) In the event of the sale of a school, the license shall is not be transferable.

Section 59-59-60. Before the superintendent shall issue commissioner issues the license, the applicant shall execute a bond in an amount to be determined by the board commission but in no event shall may the required bond be less than one thousand dollars, signed by a surety authorized to do business in this State, conditioned that the principal in the bond will comply with every contract entered into by the school, and will pay back to any a student all amounts collected in tuition and fees in case of failure on the part of the applicant to obtain a license. The bond shall must be filed with the superintendent commissioner and shall be submitted with the application for a license.

The surety on any such bond may be relieved of liability upon giving thirty days notice in writing to the board commission.

Section 59-59-70. All contracts entered into by proprietary schools with students or prospective students, and all promissory notes, or other evidence of indebtedness taken in lieu instead of cash payments by such proprietary schools shall be are void unless the schools have been issued a license as required by this chapter.

Section 59-59-80. (a) (A) No person representing a proprietary school shall solicit or sell any course unless he first secures a permit from the superintendent commissioner. All enrollment agreements, contracts, or promissory notes solicited from students or prospective students shall be are void unless the agent has been issued a permit as required by this chapter. The application for a permit shall must be accompanied by a fee to be set by the board commission but not to exceed ten dollars.

(b) (B) Before the Superintendent shall issue commissioner issues a permit, the applicant shall execute a bond in the sum of one thousand dollars, signed by a surety authorized to do business in this State, conditioned to provide indemnification to any students a student suffering loss as a result of any fraud or misrepresentation used in procuring their enrollments.

(c) (C) A permit shall be is valid for one year, renewable annually on July first upon filing an application for renewal accompanied by such any fee as may be required by the Board commission.

(d) (D) No person shall may be granted a permit unless he is of good moral character and the Board commission has investigated and is satisfied that the proprietary school, which employs the solicitor or salesman, meets the standards prescribed by the Board commission.

Section 59-59-90. Any A license or permit applied for pursuant to this chapter shall must be granted or denied within fifteen days of the receipt of a complete completed application therefor; provided, however. However, a temporary license or permit may be issued if a determination to issue or deny cannot be made within the specified time limit.

Proprietary schools currently in operation shall must be issued temporary licenses for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty days in order to give them time to obtain licenses as required by this chapter.

Section 59-59-100. The Board commission may refuse to issue or may suspend or revoke a license or permit but before doing so shall afford the applicant or license or permit holder an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. At least thirty days prior to before the date set for the hearing the Board commission shall notify in writing the applicant or license or permit holder of the date of the hearing and the grounds for the action.

Any A person may appeal from the decision of the Board commission within thirty days after the filing of the decision to the court of common pleas of the county in which the school is located or the county in which the person aggrieved is a resident.

Section 59-59-110. The Board commission may adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter, and may establish an advisory committee of owners or operators of proprietary schools and of other persons with knowledge in the fields to which this chapter applies, to advise in its administration.

Section 59-59-120. Any A person who violating violates the provisions of this chapter shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days. Each day's violation shall constitute constitutes a separate offense."

SECTION 2. Until the State Commission on Higher Education promulgates regulations pursuant to the provisions of Section 1, the regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education on proprietary schools in force on the effective date of this act continue to apply.

SECTION 3. Chapter 61, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is repealed.

SECTION 4. All funds and positions in the Department of Education pursuant to this act shall be transferred to the Commission on Higher Education.

SECTION 5. This act takes effect June 2 or upon approval by the Governor.