This series consists of records supporting and documenting the quality assurance activities of various committees of the Policy and System Quality Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education (and its preceding ministries). The committees captured in this series primarily include:
Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB): 2003-present
Degree Program Review Committee (DPRC): 1995-
Post-Secondary Employers Association (PSEA): 1994-present
Private Post-Secondary Education Commission (PPSEC): 1990-2003
Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA): 2003-2016
British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT): 1989-present
These committees contribute to quality assurance and consumer protection related to private post-secondary institutions, as well as out-of-province and international public post-secondary institutions in some cases.
The Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB) and its predecessor, the Degree Program Review Committee, are responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to the Minister responsible for post-secondary education (in this case, the Minister of Advanced Education) regarding new degree programs and exempt status of public and private post-secondary institutions within and without British Columbia, as well as the use of the word “university” by private and out-of-province public post-secondary institutions. The majority of the records have been created by DQAB.
DQAB is comprised of fourteen individuals: eleven are voting members who are selected for their background and expertise, and three are non-voting members from the Ministry of Advanced Education. Prior to DQAB, the Degree Program Review Committee (DPRC) was established in 1995 by the Minister responsible for post-secondary education to provide advice on the educational merits of all new and significantly revised degree programs proposed in the BC education system.
DQAB was established following the Degree Authorization Act, which received Royal Assent on May 9, 2002 and was brought into force by regulation on November 7, 2003. The legislation allows private and out-of-province public institutions to legally grant degrees in British Columbia and expands the authority of BC public institutions to grant applied baccalaureate degrees and applied master’s degrees. The Act also required the establishment of a quality assessment process to review application for degree authority in British Columbia, and as a result the degree approval process was revised and the Degree Program Review Committee was replaced by the Degree Quality Assessment Board.
The records in this series were created by both the DPRC and the DQAB, and many files document the policies and procedures of both committees, as well as the development of the DQAB.
The Private Post-Secondary Education Commission is responsible for consumer protection regarding registered institutions and ensuring that standards of integrity and educational competence are met by accredited institutions. PPSEC was created in 1990 under the Private Post-Secondary Education Act. Legislation establishing the committee required all private institutions offering post-secondary education be registered. Registered institutions had the further option of applying for a form of accreditation, which they could use to market themselves as a better quality institution. In 1999, the Act was amended to require that institutions pay into a Tuition Assurance Fund for the purposes of reimbursing students in an institution closed while they were a student there. The 1999 amendments provided PPSEC with more investigative authority as a consumer protection agency.
In 2002, Cabinet approved a recommendation from the Core Services Review Task Force to replaced PPSEC with a self-regulating, cost-recovery board comprised of industry representatives. In 2003, PPSEC was replaced by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (OIC 1034-2004) and the Act was repealed in 2004 (BC Reg 466/2004).
These records are comprised of meeting notes and agendas, degree exempt status assessment reports, use of the word “university” reports, guidelines for reviewers, program recommendations and decisions, correspondence with education institutions as well as internal communications and memos, and legal advice. Much of the correspondence consists of concerns from the public regarding the quality of private post-secondary education institutions and government response to these concerns.
The records correspond to ARCS 200-20 and ARCS 400-20.
British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education (2001-2008)