State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs


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The following entities for education include:

  1. California Community Colleges (State Agency)
  2. Commission on Teacher Credentialing (California)
  3. Education (California Department of)
  4. Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education (California Bureau for)
  5. Private Schools(California)
  6. U. S. Department of Education/Office for Civil Rights


The California Community College's Board of Governors is the organizational umbrella for 106 community colleges in California.

California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
1102 Q Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-8752

Complaints against community college facilities, (i.e. parking, campuses, discrimination) and faculty should be directed to the consumer's community college district. Consumer may contact this office for he telephone number and address of a specific college district.


The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is a regulatory agency and reports directly to the Office of the Governor. It issues credentials to qualified candidates in the K-12 public schools in California and is responsible for approving teacher preparation programs in institutions of higher education throughout California.

Credentials (licenses) all public school educators (teachers, administrators, etc.) The Commission has the authority to suspend and revoke an educator's credentials. Takes complaints against teachers and administrators.

State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-0184
(888) 921-2682
(916) 327-3166 Fax


Under the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the California Department of Education provides educational guidance and leadership for California's public schools. Some of the department's responsibilities include providing financial and technical support to schools, districts, and county offices throughout the state. It delivers this support through allocation of state and federal moneys to local educational agencies and services in educational technology, financial and administrative management, program evaluation studies, and school facilities design and planning. It is responsible for administering adult education programs and provides leadership of alternative education programs, continuation education programs, and opportunity classes and oversees General Education Development (GED) testing.

State of California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 319-0800 (general information line)
(Public K-12 schools)

Jurisdictional authority includes bilingual education, special education programs, campus child development programs, career education, school climate, class size, curriculum and instructional materials. The department addresses discrimination issues, student discipline, fees charged to students, gifted and talented education (GATE) program, latchkey programs, lunch and breakfast programs, magnet schools, one-room schools, pregnant and lactating students, summer school program, truancy issues and year round education.


The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education is the state agency that licenses and regulates private postsecondary degree-granting and vocational education schools in California. It is also a regulatory and consumer protection agency with responsibility for ensuring that consumers receive the education they contract for.

Complaint jurisdiction:
Private postsecondary institutions whose representation leads to an occupation or job title.</p>

Complaint outside jurisdiction:

Public schools; private post secondary institutes accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; education that is purely advocational or recreational (i.e. dance schools, karate schools).

DCA - Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
1625 N. Market Blvd. Suite S202
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 574-7720
(916) 574-8650 Fax

Maintains standards for education quality, financial stability and recruitment; nvestigates consumer complaints; investigates violator schools (specific schools that lead to an occupational or job title); assists students when schools close; administers the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. To request a refund application for a private postsecondary institution that closes.

The California Student Aid Commission, an independent board created by the Governor's Office, offers many financial aid programs for studying beyond high school.

Student Aid Commission
Customer Service Branch
P.O. Box 419027
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9027
Student/Parent use:(888) CA GRANT (224-7268)
Schools and Financial Aid Administrators use
only: (888) 294-0153
(916) 526-8002 Fax

Financial aid includes grants and fellowships that do not have to be repaid; has work programs that offer student employment and student loans that must be repaid. Programs include Cal Grants, graduate fellowships, and state work study programs. Non-state programs

Financial programs requiring no repayment:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work-Study

Low interest loans requiring repayment:

  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Stafford Loan and Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal PLUS Loan

Collecting on Student Loans:

The Student Aid Commission may hire collection agencies to collect from students who have not paid off their loans (defaulted on the loan). To talk with staff about a defaulted loan, call: (800) 367-1589


Private schools are not licensed, regulated, or accredited by the California Department of Education but are required to have a city or county business license. Schools may volunteer to be accredited which means the schools have met specific requirements for accreditation. If a consumer has a complaint against a private school, he/she must seek legal assistance through a private attorney.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges is the largest accreditation association and is recognized by the California Department of Education.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Takes inquiries about whether a private, public, or parochial school is accredited with the association but does not license or regulate them.

(Public and Private) K-12, ROP, and Adult
533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 696-1060

(Public and Private) Community and Junior College
10 Commercial Blvd
Novato, CA 94949
(415) 506-023
(415) 506-0238 Fax

Instructors for private schools are not credentialed by the Department of Education nor the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

(Public and Private) Senior Colleges and Universities
985 Atlantic Ave, Suite 100
(510) 748-9001
(510) 748-9797 fax


The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces five federal statutes that prohibit discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. The OCR has the authority to enforce the federal civil rights laws in programs and activities of state education agencies, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, vocational schools, vocational rehabilitation agencies, libraries, and museums.

US Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
50 United Nations Plaza, Room 239
San Francisco, CA 94102-4102
(415) 556-4275
(415) 437-7783 Fax
(415) 437-7786 TTY

Enforces the federal statutes that prohibit discrimination at all educational institutions (elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, vocational schools, vocational rehabilitation agencies, libraries and museums) Consumers may contact this office for more information about civil rights laws enforced by OCR, how to file a complaint, or how to obtain technical assistance.

Publications available: None are offered by the Consumer Information Center

See also: Student Aid Commission (California) loans for students County/city permit section in white pages of telephone directory

Other referrals: American Civil Liberties Union, Civil Rights, Discrimination, and Small Claims Court

Consumer Resource & Referral Guide Consumer Resource & Referral Guide
Directory of State Agencies Directory of State Agencies
Directory of Federal Agencies Directory of Federal Agencies
Return to DCA Home Page Return to DCA Home Page

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