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ACPE is Alaska’s trusted higher education state agency.

Our purpose is to serve Alaskans.

Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education & Alaska Student Loan Corporation

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) - funded by the Alaska Student Loan Corporation (ASLC) - promotes access to and success in education and career training beyond high school.

The Commission provides:  

  • education planning tools and resources
  • advocacy and support for postsecondary participation in Alaska
  • financial aid for college and career training
  • education consumer protection through institutional authorization and complaint investigation

The Commission offers a suite of financial aid and outreach services, designed to provide educational access necessary for Alaskans to become peak performers, regardless of their financial status. A better-educated workforce will provide a stronger Alaska economy in Alaska, which benefits all Alaskans. 

The Legislature created ACPE in 1974 to centralize planning for higher education and administer financial aid programs. In 1987, the Legislature established and capitalized ASLC to provide a mechanism to fund the Commission's programs through tax-exempt bond sales. Read more about ACPE/ASLC History.

ACPE is overseen by a fourteen-member body established by law, representing educational bodies and the general public.  Guided by the Commission, the Executive Director and staff develop and implement programs and policies to increase access to the benefits of higher education.

ASLC, a public corporation and enterprise instrumentality of the State of Alaska, funds the Commission's programs through tax-exempt bond sales.  It has a legal existence independent of the State.  The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors.

The Board's primary responsibilities are to:

  • authorize and oversee investments
  • fund the Commission's education programs
  • set investment policies, loan fees, interest rates, and program benefits

The administrative staff of the Commission serve as the staff of the Corporation. They carry out ASLC activities through the delegated authority of the ASLC Executive Officer, who is also the Executive Director of ACPE.

 

 

 

Our Services

The new Alaska Performance Scholarship is an invitation to excellence for Alaska students and schools. Proposed by the Parnell Administration and supported by the Alaska Legislature, the program aims to improve high school performance and encourage Alaskans to better prepare for postsecondary education and career success.

Starting with the high school graduating class of 2011, Alaska Performance Scholarship awards will be available for postsecondary education and training to qualifying students who pursue a rigorous high school curriculum and perform well on a college- or career-readiness assessment.

The Alaska legislature created the Alaska Education Grant to provide need-based financial assistance to eligible Alaska students attending qualifying postsecondary educational institutions in Alaska.

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education provides:

ACPE’s Outreach team develops and makes available to the public:

All postsecondary educational providers in Alaska, and the programs they offer, must be authorized in accordance with law as set forth in AS 14.48, or be formally determined by ACPE to be exempt from authorization. ACPE's authorization process is designed to ensure postsecondary education providers and programs meet minimum standards set out in law, relative to:

  • institutional financial soundness
  • ethical business practices
  • educational program quality 
  • administrative capacity 

Review schools authorized to operate or exempt from authorization in Alaska.

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints

Read more about authorization, the authorization process, and exemption.

Distance education and online program institutions that deliver instruction to Alaskan residents but do not have a physical presence within the state may be recognized in an exempt status by applying for exemption from authorization to operate a postsecondary institution in Alaska.  Physical presence in Alaska means the presence of a facility, equipment, faculty or staff within the state.

A distance education or online program exempt from authorization requirements must include a conspicuous statement on the institution’s marketing in the state indicating that the program is exempt from authorization under AS 14.48 and 20 AAC 17.015.

Alaska is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), a regional, multi-state non-profit organization whose purpose is to leverage regional education resources to the benefit of each member state's residents. Through WICHE, Alaska participates in student exchange and access programs to provide higher education opportunities while improving the variety of courses available to Alaskans. ACPE certifies Alaska students' eligibility for these programs and offers program-specific loans for some exchange programs.

  • Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)
  • Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)
  • Professional Student Exchange (PSE) Loan Program

Read more about exchange programs.

The Alaska WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska,  Montana, and  Idaho) program operates as Alaska's medical school, and is a collaborative program of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the University of Alaska Anchorage. The program admits 20 Alaska students per year. For more information, visit biomed.uaa.alaska.edu/. ACPE administers the provisions of the WWAMI education loan, which is a condition of WWAMI participation. Program graduates may discharge the loan obligation by practicing medicine in Alaska for a period of time.

ACPE maintains academic records for closed postsecondary institutions in Alaska, including Sheldon Jackson College and Alaska Junior College. Former students and graduates of closed postsecondary schools may request transcripts and/or diplomas using the transcript request form.

For more information about Alaska school records, including information on how to find secondary school records, visit the State of Alaska archives.

The Alaska Student Loan Corporation is a public corporation and government instrumentality within the Department of Education and Early Development with a legal existence independent of and separate from the State of Alaska. Its primary purpose is to finance state education loans. A combination of proceeds generated from the issuance of bonds and loan repayments fund its education loan programs. Learn more: 

Benefits of Higher Education

ACPE programs and services are designed to increase Alaska citizens' access to the benefits of higher education:

For Individuals
  • increased personal income
  • increased employment opportunities
  • increased ability to pursue leisure activities
  • increased access to healthcare and longer lifespan
  • increased satisfaction with life
  • increased likelihood that children are more likely to be healthy and economically successful
 
For Communities
  • increased workforce pool for resident hire
  • lower unemployment rates
  • lower crime rates
  • decreased demand for public assistance
  • ability to attract new businesses and investments
  • economic base to support better healthcare infrastructure and school systems

 

ACPE & ASLC Leadership

ACPE is overseen by a fourteen-member body established by law, representing educational bodies and the general public. Guided by the Commission, the Executive Director and staff develop and implement programs and policies to increase access to the benefits of higher education.

ASLC, a public corporation and enterprise instrumentality of the State of Alaska, funds the Commission's programs through tax-exempt bond sales. It has a legal existence independent of the State. The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors.

The administrative staff of the Commission serve as the staff of the Corporation. They carry out ASLC activities through the delegated authority of the ASLC Executive Officer, who is also the Executive Director of ACPE.

Commission Members

Patricia Jacobson

Patricia Jacobson, Chair
Public Seat
Term Expires March 2020

bio to come

Les Morse

Les Morse, Vice Chair
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2021

Bio to come 

Dale Anderson

Dale Anderson
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires February 2019

bio to come

Eric Ash

Dr. Eric Ash
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2020

bio to come

James Bailey,
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2022

bio to come

Josh Bicchinella
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2022

bio to come

Pearl Brower

Dr. Pearl Brower
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2021

bio to come

Harriet Drummond
House of Representatives
Term is indefinite

Bio to come

Dr. Keith Hamilton

Dr. Keith Hamilton
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires 2019

 

bio to come

Senator Shelley Hughes

Senator Shelley Hughes
State Senate
Term Expires March 2018

bio to come

Lisa Parker – Board of Regents
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
-

Bio to come

Vacant
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education

Vacant
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education

Randy L. Weaver

Randy L. Weaver
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2020

bio to come

Corporation Board

Randy Weaver, Chair
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education Member
Term Ends 2020

Bio to come

Patricia (Pat) Jacobson, Vice Chair
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education Member
 

Bio to come

Sheldon Fisher
Commissioner, Department of Revenue
Term Ends With Office

Bio to come

Leslie Ridle
Commissioner, Department of Administration
Term Ends With Office

Bio to come

Mike Navarre
Commissioner of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Term Ends With Office

Bio to come

 

 

Executive Staff

Stephanie Butler

Stephanie Butler - Executive Director, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education /Executive Officer, Alaska Student Loan Corporation

Stephanie Butler first joined the Commission in 1997 as the Institutional Authorization Program Coordinator. In 1998, she was promoted to Director of Institutional Relations, and, in 2001, was appointed by the Executive Director to the position of Director of Program Operations. In April 2016, the Commission appointed Ms. Butler to serve as the Interim Executive Director following the retirement of the Commission's long-standing Executive Director. She was permanently appointed to the position later that summer. Ms. Butler has additionally served in a number of regional and national higher education roles, most recently as president of the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Providers (NASSGAP), and was appointed in October 2016 by Governor Bill Walker to serve as one of Alaska's three commissioners on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

Manager from 1992 to 1997. Ms. Butler is. Her education credentials include a Master of Science in business administration from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Barry University. She additionally holds a certification from the Institute of Internal Auditors as a Certified Internal Auditor. Ms. Butler is originally from England and is extremely proud of having become an American citizen. She has two children, Alex and Andrea.

Kenneth Dodson

Kenneth Dodson - Director of Information Support Services

Kenneth Dodson has been with the Commission as Director of Information Support Services since 1994. Prior to coming to the Commission, he was employed from 1988 until 1994 by UNIPAC Service Corporation in Denver, Colorado, first as a programmer and then advancing to the information services supervisor by 1990.

Mr. Dodson’s unit is responsible for development and support of all electronic services, including the Higher Education Loan Management System (HELMS) mainframe application on which the agency’s loan portfolio is serviced. Mr. Dodson is past president and current member of the HELMS User Group, a consortium of lenders and servicers. Mr. Dodson received a certificate in Computer Information Systems from Tucumcari Area Vocational School in Tucumcari, New Mexico in 1988.

Aaron Gelston

Aaron Gelston - Human Resource Officer    

Aaron Gelston joined the Commission in 2015. Previously he was the Human Resource Manager for the State of Alaska, Department of Law, and was the Assistant Human Resource Manager for the Department of Health and Social Services. In his 16 years with the State of Alaska, he has served in various human resource positions and has experience with all major HR functional areas. Mr. Gelston graduated from the University of Alaska Southeast with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.

As the agency’s sole human resource professional, Mr. Gelston is charged with developing, implementing, and administering all human resource policies, procedures, and functions for the Commission’s fully-exempt staff.

Rebekah Matrosova

Rebekah Matrosova - Director of Outreach & Early Awareness

Rebekah Matrosova first served the Commission from 2007 to 2008 as the Outreach division K-12 Program Specialist.  Ms. Matrosova returned to the agency in 2010 as Outreach Program Manager and was promoted to her Director position in June 2013.  Ms. Matrosova’s professional experience includes serving as International Exchange Programs Coordinator for the University of Alaska Anchorage’s American Russian Center and as Team Lead of a technical writing team for a major financial software platform. Ms. Matrosova holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism & public communications, as well as languages, and a Master of Public Administration in public management from the University of Alaska Anchorage. 

As Director of Outreach & Early Awareness, Ms. Matrosova oversees the agency’s initiatives to promote successful career & education planning statewide, including: programs to establish early awareness of the individual and collective benefits associated with postsecondary attainment; career & education planning tools, resources, and direct services; and public messaging to promote awareness of resources including state financial aid programs. Ms. Matrosova directs the activities of the outreach team and coordinates development and delivery of agency and multi-partner collaborative initiatives aimed at developing Alaska’s capacity to produce college and career-ready citizens.

Charlene Morrison

Charlene Morrison - Chief Finance Officer

Charlene Morrison served the Commission and the Corporation as Chief Finance Officer from 1994 to 1998, and rejoined the agency in the same capacity in March 2007. During the intervening years she worked as Chief Finance Officer for the True North Federal Credit Union (formerly, Alaska State Employees Federal Credit Union); as the Accountant for the State of Alaska's Enterprise Technology Services Division (formerly, Information Technology Group); as Assistant Comptroller for the Treasury Division within the Department of Revenue; and, most recently, as the Chief Finance Officer for the Division of Retirement and Benefits in the Department of Administration where she was responsible for the financial aspects of seven pension plans and two health plans for the State and other participating public employers. Prior to 1994, Ms. Morrison was an audit manager with the firm of KPMG LLP. Ms. Morrison received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with an accounting emphasis from the University of Montana, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Under the direction of the Executive Officer and Board of the Alaska Student Loan Corporation, Ms. Morrison oversees the Corporation asset management and financing activities. This encompasses the portfolio and cash flow analysis to support the annual bond issues which fund the various education loan programs. Additionally, Ms. Morrison's duties include ensuring that the Corporation maintains compliance with federal and state law, as well as bond-related covenants. Other research, reporting, and accounting duties of her division include; preparation of quarterly unaudited and annually audited financial statements, investments, procurement, and responding to requests of legislators and their staffs, and the general public. Finance staff is also responsible for preparing the agency's annual budget and the monthly tracking and reporting of expenses to assure budget compliance.

Kerry Thomas - Director of Operations

Kerry Thomas joined the Commission in June 2007. Previously she was an Accountant IV with the Department of Health and Social Services. She also worked in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities as an Accountant IV and Accounting Supervisor, and was a Staff Accountant and Auditor with Walsh, Kelliher & Sharp APC of Fairbanks, Alaska. Ms. Thomas graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in accounting, and later attained a Master's in business administration in service management from the University of Alaska Southeast.