Exemption from Institutional Authorization

ACPE awards Exemptions to those institutions that qualify under the law or regulations for exemption from some or all of the requirements of Institutional Authorization. Exemptions are not automatic and must be awarded by ACPE, unless otherwise noted. An institution should never assume it is exempt. If an institution cannot qualify for Exemption, the institution will need to be Authorized.

There are two types of exemptions:

Those institutions exclusively offering instruction at one, some, or all levels from preschool through grade 12 are exempt from the institutional authorization statutes and regulations and need not apply for such exemptions. Additionally, programs operated by the United States government, programs that do not offer educational credentials and provided only to prepare individuals to take graduate exams, a program that does not offer educational credentials and is only avocational or recreational in nature, and a program that is in a field that does not require a professional or occupational license under AS 08, provides training primarily for recreational purposes, and at an the advanced training level, prepares graduates to teach or instruct in that field.

For institutions that do not qualify for a statutory exemption, they may qualify for one of the following regulatory exemptions:

  • Offered solely by and for a professional organizations members
  • A program that does not offer educational credentials
  • A program that is continuing professional education offered solely as preparation for tests leading to certification in specific disciplines, but not purporting to provide occupational competencies
  • A program or institution that is operated by another state agency or political subdivision of the state
  • A program that is regulated by another agency or political subdivision of the state that sets and enforces standards equivalent to AS 14.48.060
  • A short course of study that is not more than 15 days or 120 hours in duration, including all required class, laboratory, externship, and independent study hours
  • A program that is provided without charging tuition or fees, except for the actual cost of materials and supplies needed to successfully meet the learning objectives of the program
  • A program that does not result in the awarding of a degree, and that is sponsored by and conducted solely for the membership of a bona fide religious organization
  • A flight-training course that maintains current certification under 14 C.F.R. Part 141 or 142
  • An apprenticeship or other on-the-job training program through which the trainee is a paid employee and does not pay tuition, and that is offered by an entity that is not a postsecondary educational institution

Exemption for Institutional Authorization Process

Statutory Exemption: If you feel your entity is statutorily exempt, please contact ACPE prior to submitting an application.

Regulatory Exemption:

The completed application, non-refundable application fee, and all supporting documentation outlined in the packet, in one mailing or email, should be returned to ACPE, P.O. Box 110505, Juneau, AK, 99811-0505 or EED.ACPE-IA@alaska.gov All exempt applications are reviewed and approved by Commission staff, and can be approved for up to five years. Should a change occur in the organization or program from what has been approved for exemption it will be necessary to notify the commission, at which time the institution's exempt status may be re-evaluated.

Exemption status is required for any individual or institution wishing to offer credits, degrees, certificates, or other credentials within the State of Alaska, as individuals or institutions must be either authorized or exempted from authorization under AS 14.48. It is illegal to operate a postsecondary educational institution, advertise or deliver postsecondary education, or recruit postsecondary students, without either authorization or exemption from ACPE.

If an individual or institution is not able to obtain exemption status, the institution will be required to be authorized. See Initial Authorization.