California Regulators Crack Down on Coding Bootcamps

California regulators are cracking down on a number of coding bootcamps, insisting that they become licensed as private schools and leaving the camps fighting for their survival.

Shut Down SignThe Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, a unit of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, sent cease and desist letters to Hackbright Academy, Hack Reactor, App Academy, Zipfian Academy and others. It’s warning that they are being classified as unlicensed post-secondary educational institutions that must seek compliance with state laws or be forcibly shut down, reports VentureBeat.

The letters order the schools to stop enrolling students and issue refunds to previous students until they receive approval to operate. Failure to comply could result in a $50,000 fine.

Department of Consumer Affairs spokesman Russ Heimerich told the Associated Press that as educational institutions that charge “a fairly hefty chunk of money,” the bootcamps fall under the regulatory authority of the BPPE, which oversees about 1,400 career schools and for-profit colleges.

“We did discover that these organizations existed, we looked into it, we found that, yeah, based on what they are doing and how they are doing it, they are not exempt from the law,” Heimerich said.

The warnings are meant to get the schools to become licensed – a process that can take up to 18 months. Heimerich said as long as the camps are showing good-faith efforts to come into compliance, the BPPE will work with them.

Dev Bootcamp Co-Founder Shereef Bishay said his company has already submitted a lengthy application outlining the $12,000-a-session bootcamp’s curriculum, completion rate, testing methods and other details. But he told the AP that shutting down the camp until it completes the process is unfeasible.

Meanwhile, a source who requested anonymity told Dice News that her bootcamp was continuing to teach, but is now working with the bureau – which it didn’t know existed until now.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

12 Responses to “California Regulators Crack Down on Coding Bootcamps”

  1. jelabarre

    That’s right, can’t have any schools getting away from the jackbooted thugs in the government educational administrations. You let that happen, and next thing you know people might start thinking they still have rights in this country.

  2. oregon111

    12k a session!!! did I read that right? and of course – no guranteed job at the end of the twelve thousand dollar rainbow

    what a freakin ripoff — that would almost pay for a CS degree (minus the math, physics, and fluff classes)

    not one of those kids/or adults will get hired just by going to “boot camp” — better to spend it on stripperz

  3. Computer Science Grad

    Finally, someone is paying attention. Now, all they need to do is shut down the enormously increasing population of fly-by-night trade schools that only lie to prospective students, steal them blind of all their finances, and put them thousands of dollars in debt they cannot file bankruptcy on. And as for issuing refunds to previous students, there are some regionally accredited institutions all across the U. S. that should be doing the same for not preparing their students for the real world work environment.

    The saddest part about that $12,000-a-session bootcamp’s curriculum is that the students who don’t have a degree will be out of $12,000, and still be unemployed without a degree and work experience in the field.

    There is a scammer born every 30 seconds for the sucker born every minute.


    I’m don’t think the Board of Education approval does anything for the student here.

    The surest way to guarantee that a vocational institution is providing valuable training is simple–the law should require these schools to lend their own students the same amount of money raised through other government and private loan programs. If tuition is $13,000 the student needs $9,000 in loans, $4,500 in loans must come from the school at the same interest rate as the other funding sources. Here’s the kicker–the school must hold the note to maturity and students may defer payment in bankruptcy. Diploma mills will start pre-admissions testing that will rule out applicants that are unlikely to get a job after graduation. To those of you who will complain this decreases “opportunity,” is it really opportunity to waste months or years of a young person’s life and put them in debt for a worthless certificate that won’t help them get a paying job?

    If these coding bootcamps teach something useful, they will survive without state supervision.

  5. John Bloodworth

    Don’t be so fast to do back flips over this one. The next target, if they were not in this sweep, will be boot camps for things like Vmware and other certifications. Yes Microsoft and Cisco are no bog real because you can study for those on your own. However, as far as i know vmware is still requiring a 3-5k class that runs 1-2 weeks to be able to get a vmware cert. so all of those in cali get ready to go to some other state and don’t forget to thank “moonbeam” for it.

  6. What would this country do without our fearless legislators passing more regulations to save us from our own stupidity? I love it when I can depend on my government to be my best Nanny. Who needs a blankey in this country any more? Excuse me while I stop typing to suck on my thumb.

  7. rfichoke

    It’s nonsense like this that keeps me out of California. I don’t want to live in a place where the to government doesn’t even have the common decency to leave you alone after robbing you.