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Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Licensure FAQ's - Students

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.

2. What is the difference between postsecondary licensing and accreditation?

In many instances, state regulators like CPE and accrediting agencies may look at some of the same areas and may have similar requirements that institutions must meet.

Postsecondary licensing by CPE gives an institution the legal authority, a license, to operate and solicit in Kentucky. CPE must first approve the institution’s courses and programs before it may offer them to Kentucky students.

Accreditation by accrediting agencies recognized by the US Department of Education ensures that education provided by institutions meets acceptable levels of quality. For example, an institution seeks accreditation to be eligible for participation in federal financial aid. Please visit the United States Department of Education’s Web Sites for information on accreditation: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html.

If an institution fails to meet CPE’s requirements, then the institution will not be licensed by CPE and shall not operate in Kentucky. If an institution operates in Kentucky fraudulently or illegally without a license, then CPE has statutory authority to take action against the institution. For more information about fraudulent institutions/diploma mills, click here.

Here is a list of all the institutions that are licensed to operate in Kentucky.

If you are interested in attending an online program that is offered by an out-of-state institution licensed by CPE, you should know that CPE may not approve (license) every program listed on an out-of-state institution's Web site. Please check CPE's Inventory of Approved Academic Programs or contact CPE if you want to know if a specific program is approved in Kentucky.

Finally, neither postsecondary licensing nor accreditation guarantees transfer of credit or employment of graduates. Per the U.S. Department of Education: “Accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance by an institution of credit earned at another institution, nor does it give assurance of acceptance of graduates by employers. Acceptance of credit or graduates is always the prerogative of the receiving institution or employer. For these reasons, besides ascertaining the accredited status of a school or program, students should take additional measures to determine, prior to enrollment, whether their educational goals will be met through attendance at a particular institution. Those measures should include inquiries to institutions to which transfer might be desired or to prospective employers." http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg2.html

3. What requirements does Kentucky have if I want to get a professional license or certification for example in teaching, nursing, counseling, or accounting? Are there additional state agency approvals required in addition to CPE?

If you are seeking a professional license or certification required 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.

4. Which postsecondary institutions are approved (licensed) to operate in Kentucky?

Here is a list.

5. What programs are approved in Kentucky?

Here is CPE’s Inventory of Approved Academic Programs

6. How do I obtain my student records from a closed institution?

Closed Institution List

7. What is a college required to provide to me prior to enrollment? Reference 13 KAR 1:020 Section 8 (12);

  1. The college's policies on grades, attendance, and conduct;
  2. A description of the instructional program;
  3. A detailed schedule of all charges, rentals, and deposits;
  4. The schedule of refunds of all charges, rentals, and deposits; and
  5. The student enrollment application, contract, or agreement.

8. Will my credits transfer?

Neither licensure nor accreditation guarantees transfer of credit. Per the U.S. Department of Education: “Accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance by an institution of credit earned at another institution, nor does it give assurance of acceptance of graduates by employers. Acceptance of credit or graduates is always the prerogative of the receiving institution or employer. For these reasons, besides ascertaining the accredited status of a school or program, students should take additional measures to determine, prior to enrollment, whether their educational goals will be met through attendance at a particular institution. Those measures should include inquiries to institutions to which transfer might be desired or to prospective employers." http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg2.html

9. Will I be able to get a job after I graduate?

Neither licensure nor accreditation guarantees employment. Per the U.S. Department of Education: “Accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance by an institution of credit earned at another institution, nor does it give assurance of acceptance of graduates by employers. Acceptance of credit or graduates is always the prerogative of the receiving institution or employer. For these reasons, besides ascertaining the accredited status of a school or program, students should take additional measures to determine, prior to enrollment, whether their educational goals will be met through attendance at a particular institution. Those measures should include inquiries to institutions to which transfer might be desired or to prospective employers." http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg2.html

10. How do I file a complaint against a postsecondary institution?

To file a complaint, please write a letter or submit your complaint via cpeconsumercomplaint@ky.gov containing the following information:

  1. Name of Student (or Complainant)
  2. Complainant Address
  3. Email Address
  4. Phone Number
  5. Name of Institution
  6. Location of the Institution (City)
  7. Dates of Attendance
  8. A full description of the problem, any relevant documentation that will support the complaint such as correspondence, and the desired outcome.

Send Letter To:
Director of Postsecondary Licensing
Council on Postsecondary Education
1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 320
Frankfort, KY 40601

Note: This office cannot give legal advice to any individual or take any legal action on behalf of any individual.

13 KAR 1:020. Section 13. Consumer Complaint Procedure. A person with a complaint or grievance involving misrepresentation against a college licensed under this administrative regulation shall make a reasonable effort to resolve the complaint or grievance directly with the college. If a mutually satisfactory solution cannot be reached, the procedures established in this section shall be followed.

  1. A person shall submit a written complaint to the president which contains evidence relevant to the complaint and documentation that a reasonable effort was made to resolve the complaint directly with the college.
  2. The president shall require an institution to file a written response setting forth the relevant facts concerning the consumer complaint, including a statement on the current status of the complaint, and any resolution of the complaint.
  3. The president shall review the facts as presented and may intervene to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion through facilitation, but the facilitation shall not include legal action on behalf of any party.

 

Last Updated 4/24/2013
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