GA and Education Regulation


As you may have seen, coding “bootcamps” and other tech skills training programs in the Bay Area are coming under examination by the State of California’s regulatory agency for postsecondary education. Since there is a lot of half-baked knowledge and misinformation on blogs about these subjects, we wanted to share an update on what these regulations mean (and don’t mean) for General Assembly and our students.

First, let’s start with a little background. Every state in the U.S. has an agency set up to regulate non-degree educational programs, which in some cases includes the sort of programs at General Assembly. As a global education provider with locations in eight major cities that have thriving tech job markets and eight very different sets of regulatory standards to comply with, GA has dedicated full time-staff and resources that work with these government agencies to make sure we achieve the best results for our students.

Enrolling in a program at General Assembly is an investment with big expectations of a real ROI over the long-term, and we take that investment very seriously. Months ago, GA began its proactive efforts to comply with the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education’s (BPPE) requirements. We have submitted a full application for licensure to the BPPE for approval and we are extremely confident that our application meets the BPPE’s requirements. We will continue to operate as usual and in compliance, and we welcome regulators keeping bad actors out of our industry.

Throughout this process, the student experience at General Assembly will remain unchanged. We place a premium on the quality of our programming and set a high bar for ourselves when it comes to teaching the most relevant, practical, and up-to-date skills. Our primary goal is to offer programming and community designed to help our students achieve the outcomes that are most exciting and inspiring to them, and we will always continue to work towards this goal—it is GA’s core vision to build the largest global community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love.

As we go about building our global community, our stakeholders keep growing in number. It’s not just our students, or instructors, or employees, or investors. It’s also all our alumni that have ever taken our courses, at any of our campuses around the world. Our goal, actually our mandate, is to be here for all of our alumni through their entire careers. That means we need to thrive for many, many, many years to come. This is what we keep in mind when dealing with these issues, and clearly in that context, we see these regulators as our long-term allies in ensuring that our vision can become a reality.

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About Jake Schwartz

Jake Schwartz is the co-founder and chief executive officer of General Assembly. As a specialized educational institution for 21st century skills in data, design, business and technology, General Assembly (GA) is empowering a global community to pursue work they love through best-in-class instruction and access to opportunities. GA works with students online and in person across 25 campuses around the world and hundreds of companies as partners in course development and graduate placement as well as through GA’s corporate training and development business. General Assembly was named as the number one most innovative company in education by Fast Company in 2015. Schwartz was named E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014, and was recently named one of Crain’s “40 under 40." He earned a B.A. in American Studies from Yale in 2000 and a M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Management from Wharton in 2008.