If a university is approved by BPPVE is it accredited?

California's old Bureau of Private Post-secondary Vocational Education (BPPVE) has been phased out; and it has been replaced by the new Bureau of Private Post-secondary Education (BPPE). It's a similar agency, but with higher standards and more rigorous vetting.

BPPE approval, though, still does not amount to "accreditation." That part hasn't changed. All that BPPE (or BPPVE, before it) approval means(meant) is(was) that the school has been at least sufficiently vetted so that the state knows it's not a degree mill or diploma mill; that it's operating legally; that its real and offers real coursework; that it actually has a physical location, classrooms, staff and faculty; and that it's reasonably financially sound. But all of that is far from accreditation. BPPE approval, though, at least gives the school the right to call itself a "college" or "university" or "seminary;" and to awared actual "degrees." But neither it, nor its degrees, are accredited.

But just because a school is BPPE approved doesn't necessarily mean that it's not accredited. It's an "all thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs" sort of thing. Even accredited schools, in California, must also be BPPE approved. Consequently, all accredited California schools are BPPE approved, but not all BPPE-approved California schools are accredited.

The US Department of Education (USDE), and the USDE-sanctioned Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) are the only two US entities which can approve accreditors. No alleged accreditor which isn't approved by either USDE or CHEA may rightfully call itself an "accreditor," or claim that what it does is "accredit" or "accreditation." Some bogus schools will claim that accreditors need not be USDE- and/or CHEA-approved. Wrong! They must be, or they're not legitimate accreditors... no matter what they claim.

All accreditors are, for the most part, approved by both USDE and CHEA, though there is a tiny handful of accreditors approved by one, but not the other. Therefore, if you ever look-up a school in one database, and it's not there, by all means check the other database just in case the school's accreditor happens to be one of the tiny handful approved by one entity, but not the other. As long as the school's in at least one of the two (USDE or CHEA) databases, then it is accredited. If it's in both, all the better, but being in both doesn't mean the school is more accredited. Being in one or the other will do.
The only exception (and it's rare, but it can happen) would be a school so recently accredited that it has not yet been entered into either or both of the USDE and/or CHEA databases; or, somewhat more rarely, the school's accreditor accreditor has so recently approved that neither it, nnor its list of accredited schools, have yet been entered into either or both of the USDE and/or CHEA databases.

If a school isn't in either the USDE or CHEA database, yet it insists that it's accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved accreditor, then simply determine who is its claimed accreditor, and then verify that said claimed accreditor really is an accreditor by finding it in either or both of the USDE and/or CHEA lists of approved accreditors at:

Once you're on the accreditor's site, see if the school in question is listed there as one of the accreditor's accredited schools. If it's not there, either, then the school's probably not accredite; but I suppose it's possible for it to have been accredited so recently that even its accreditor hasn't yet had time to put it on its website. To verify that that's not the case, pick-up the phone and call the accreditor, or send it an email to find out if the school's accredited. Believe whatever you're told because that, at that point, would be your absolutely final and most accurate authoritative information. Whatever the accreditor says about the school is true. Believe nothing the school, itself, tells you... at least until you verify that it's accredited. Once you verify that it is, then, obviously, anything the school says after that becomes somewhat more believable.

If the school's not accredited, then only go ahead and enroll in it if it has state approval, and you have done your best to determine that it's real and legitimate and rigorous; and only enroll if it's offering something that you absolutely need for your career, and it will truly help your career. Otherwise, even if the school's approved by the state, you should probably stay away from it if it's not accredited.

For starters, credits from unaccredited schools are not usually transferable to other schools that really are accredited; and, also, finished degrees from unaccredited schools are usually not acceptable at accredited schools as requisite for entry into higher-level degree programs.

Plus, most employers won't accept degrees or other credentials from unaccredited schools; and the degrees from unaccredited schools are typically not acceptable by state professional licensing boards.

Worst of all, though, in an increasing number of US states, it's becoming actually illegal -- even a criminal offense, in some states -- to claim a degree that's not from an accredited school on resumes, job applications, business cards, letterhead, advertisting, in articles, or in any other public places.

So, bottom line, it's just safer and smarter to always only enroll in truly accredited schools. Period.

And all schools' accreditation should be verified in either or both of the USDE and/or CHEA databases. Avoid any school that's not in at least one of them.