1. What is Postsecondary Licensing?
The Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) licenses not-for-profit postsecondary education institutions and for-profit baccalaureate degree granting institutions to protect bona fide institutions and citizens of the Commonwealth from fraudulent practices, unfair competition, and substandard educational programs. This includes:
- private institutions located in Kentucky,
- private institutions located outside of Kentucky but which operate in Kentucky, and
- public institutions located outside of Kentucky but which operate in Kentucky.
If your institution is for-profit and offering only below the bachelor’s degree level, then you will need to contact the other licensing agency in Kentucky called the Commission on Proprietary Education.
2. Is my institution required to obtain a license from CPE to operate or solicit in Kentucky?
Licensure is required to operate or solicit in Kentucky and offer courses and programs to Kentucky students, including out-of-state institutions offering online courses and programs to Kentucky students. “Operating or soliciting" is defined in the licensing regulation 13 KAR 1:020 Section 1 (8):
(8) "Operating or soliciting" means having a physical presence within Kentucky and includes:
- An instructional or administrative site within Kentucky whether owned, leased, rented, or provided without charge;
- Instruction whether theory or clinical, originating from or delivered within Kentucky utilizing teachers, trainers, counselors, advisors, sponsors, or mentors;
- An agent, recruiter, in-state liaison personnel, institution, or business located in Kentucky that advises, promotes, or solicits for enrollment, credit, or award of an educational or occupational credential;
- An articulation agreement with a Kentucky licensed college or state-supported institution; or
- Advertising, promotional material, or public solicitation in any form that targets Kentucky residents through distribution or advertising in the state.
If an out-of-state institution that offers online programs will not be engaging in any of the “operating or soliciting" activities above (a-e), then please certify that in a letter to CPE for CPE’s review to determine if licensure is required or not. Letters may be scanned and submitted electronically.
If the institution does seek to operate or solicit in Kentucky and offer its programs to Kentucky students, then please contact the Director of Postsecondary Licensing in order to request additional information about the application for licensure and fee before you submit the application:
3. Does my institution need to obtain approval from another state agency (in addition to CPE) to offer a program that leads to a professional license or certification?
If you are seeking to offer a program that leads to a professional license or certification for professions in teaching*, nursing, counseling, or accounting, then you will need to contact the Kentucky state agency that oversees that professional licensure or certification to see what additional requirements they may have for you. Please note this list is not exhaustive.
* Please note that educator preparation programs require the approval of another state agency called the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), before CPE would license the program. The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board will not pre-approve online educator preparation programs offered by out-of-state institutions and therefore, CPE cannot license these programs. For more information please visit the Education Professional Standards Board’s Web site at: www.epsb.ky.gov/certification/outofstate.asp.
4. What institutions and programs are approved (licensed) in Kentucky?
- Institutions licensed to operate in Kentucky
- Inventory of Approved Academic Programs
5. What are Kentucky’s postsecondary education laws that may impact my institution?
- Postsecondary Licensing
- Kentucky Tuition Grants
- The Michael Minger Act
6. Does CPE have a religious exemption from postsecondary licensing?
There is no religious exemption in Kentucky's postsecondary licensing law for an out-of-state institution that wants to operate or solicit in Kentucky. An out-of-state institution wanting to operate or solicit in Kentucky must be licensed.
A religious in-state college may operate or solicit in Kentucky if the college submits to CPE an Application for Religious In-State College Letter of Exemption per KRS 164.947(2).
7. Does CPE have any exemption from postsecondary licensing for an institution offering instruction to military personnel, their dependents, or their families?
No, there is no military exemption in Kentucky’s postsecondary licensing law.
An institution wanting to operate or solicit in Kentucky must be licensed.
Licensure by CPE is required for an institution to operate off-post in Kentucky.
Licensure by CPE is not required for an institution authorized by a military installation to operate on-post in Kentucky.
8. What are Kentucky’s data reporting requirements for institutions licensed by CPE?
- CPE Guidelines
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
- Kentucky Postsecondary Education Data System (KPEDS) Web
- Application for Annual Maintenance of License or for Renewal of License Pursuant to 13 KAR 1:020
- KPEDS Summary Level Data
- Compliance Reporting Manual
- FALL ENROLLMENT DATA (Forms A-E2),
- FORM A (A-1 and A-2) Fall Headcount Enrollment
- FORM B (B-1 and B-2) Net Credit Hour Enrollment by Student Level – Fall Semester
- FORM C Headcount Enrollment of Students by Degree Field and Student Level – Fall Semester
- FORM D Headcount Enrollment by Race, Sex, Level, and Residency – Fall Semester
- FORM E-1 Origin of Enrollment of Kentucky County – Fall Semester
- FORM E-2 Origin of Enrollment by State, Territory, and Foreign Country – Fall Semester
- FORM F HEADCOUNT ENROLLMENT OF UNDERGRADUATE TRANSFER STUDENTS AND CREDIT HOURS TRANSFERRED BY SENDING INSTITUTION (JULY 1 – JUNE 30 ACADEMIC YEAR)
- FORM G DEGREES AND OTHER FORMAL AWARDS CONFERRED BY RACE/ ETHNICITY (JULY 1 – JUNE 30 ACADEMIC YEAR)
9. What important dates should my institution have on its calendar?
Beginning January 1, 2012:
- January 1 to March 1 each year: please submit FORMS A-E2 Fall Enrollment data to CPE.
- February 1 to April 1 each year: please complete the Application for Annual Maintenance of License or for Renewal of License.
- August 1 to October 1 each year: please submit FORM F Transfer Data and FORM G Degrees Conferred Data to CPE.