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.
The 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