Online/Distance Education

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 for the purposes of online or distance education. For institutions participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, or for more information, please click here.

For out of state institutions that do not participate in SARA, institutions may qualify for the following regulatory exemption from institutional authorization:

  • an online or distance delivered program that does not have a physical presence within the state.

Physical presence is defined as the presence within the state of paid staff or faculty, or a facility or address; in this paragraph, "faculty" and "staff" does not include site supervisors or mentors for local internships or practica, or adjunct personnel; staff or faculty residing within the state but working from a location other than the facility of a postsecondary educational institution does not constitute a physical presence.

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 because the program is online or distance delivered and does not have a physical presence in the state.

Institutions whose name includes the words “University” or “College” must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Online/Distance Education Exemption for Institutional Authorization Process

The completed application, non-refundable application fee, and all supporting documentation outlined in the packet, in one mailing, should be returned to ACPE, P.O. Box 110505, Juneau, AK, 99811-0505. Online/Distance Education exempt applications are reviewed and approved by Commission staff, and can be approved for up to two 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.