Career schools and colleges are different from public colleges and universities. They are owned by private individuals or organizations. These schools focus on teaching students the skills they need for specific jobs. You can attend classes in person at the school or take online courses.
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) grants licenses to these career schools and colleges. TWC also provides help and support to the schools, their students and the public.
This web page has helpful information for people studying at a career school or college. The information can also help people who are thinking about enrolling in a program. For more information, contact TWC's Career Schools and Colleges department.
Selecting a Career School or College
Different schools and colleges offer various programs. They also vary in costs and outcomes for their students. TWC doesn't favor any specific institution offering training. TWC suggests that students should be careful when choosing a school. Please consider the information available in the Directory of Licensed Career Schools & Colleges. There is also information available from other resources. This information helps you compare different schools and make a wise choice.
The directory has details about the programs, including:
- Program costs
- Program length
- Method of delivery
- Program award
- Three-year performance data
- Number of students enrolled
- The annual completion rate of students enrolled
- The employment rate for graduates in a related job
Accreditation is a process that schools and colleges choose to go through. Schools apply to an independent, non-governmental organization known as an accrediting body. This organization reviews the school and its programs. That ensures that they meet specific standards of quality in education.
The accreditor sets standards for a school to maintain accreditation. The school must meet the minimum standards to stay accredited. This process helps ensure that students receive a high-quality education. Accreditation also ensures that the institution meets recognized educational standards. Accreditation is an essential aspect for students when choosing a school. It serves as an indicator of the school's credibility and the value of its programs.
Accreditation is not mandatory for TWC to license a career school or college to operate. But some career schools and colleges want to offer federal grant and loan programs. They can offer that only if they are accredited. A career school or college can be accredited only by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Additionally, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation evaluates and recognizes accrediting agencies. Accreditation helps maintain educational standards and quality across institutions.
Also, career schools and colleges or postsecondary institutions offering degree programs in Texas need a Certificate of Authority or Certificate of Authorization. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board must give the school the certificates to the schools so they can operate. This does not apply to Texas public institutions.
TWC is in charge of regulating and licensing career schools in Texas. Keep in mind that the Career Schools and Colleges program does not offer financial aid. If you need information about financial aid options, see the resources linked below:
- Applying for Financial Aid - College for All Texans
- Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation
- Federal Student Aid - U.S. Department of Education
- National Student Loan Data System - U.S. Department of Education
You can contact your local Workforce Solutions office to ask about financial help opportunities. They can give guidance on programs and services that could help you with your educational and career goals.
The Texas Career Opportunity Grants
The Texas Career Opportunity Grants help students financially. The grants are for students enrolled in some career programs offered by licensed career schools and colleges in Texas.
These grants provide financial aid to help students reach their career and education goals.
For more information about the Texas Career Opportunity Grants, see the list below. You will find details and important information related to the grant program.
- Texas Career Opportunity Grant Program Fact Sheet
- Statute: Texas Labor Code, Chapter 305
- Texas Career Opportunity Grant Program-Eligible Schools and Programs
- Veteran's Priority of Service Information
- Priority of Service for Veterans Sample Self-Attestation Form
Career Schools & Colleges Ordered to Cease Operation in Texas
A career school or college that doesn't have a Certificate of Approval or exemption from TWC is not authorized to operate in Texas. There are consequences for operating without a Certificate of Approval or exemption. In such cases, TWC will issue a cease-and-desist order. This means the school must stop operating immediately. This order is a legal command. There are serious consequences for a school that continues operating in such cases. Sanctions are consequences that can include legal action and penalties. TWC takes such matters seriously to make sure that only legitimate schools provide education and training in Texas.
How to Submit a Complaint Against a School
If you have a problem with your school, first try to get the school to take care of your concerns. Follow the complaint policy explained in your school catalog.
Sometimes your school cannot resolve your problem. Sometimes you do not wish to follow your school’s process. In either case, you may submit a complaint with TWC’s Career Schools and Colleges department. If your school is accredited, you also can file a complaint with your school’s accrediting body.
To submit a complaint with TWC, complete one of the following forms and submit it by mail, fax, or email:
Follow the directions on the form and provide as much detail as possible. Be sure to include documents to support your complaint. Also include as much detail and evidence as possible. This will help ensure that your complaint is correctly investigated and resolved. Providing evidence can help the authorities understand the situation better.
If you prefer to submit your complaint anonymously, please be aware that it might have certain limitations. Without identifiable information, we may have difficulty contacting you for further information. However, they will still do their best to address the issue based on the information provided.