Alaska Christian College Officially Recognized by State

Post a Comment » Written on August 26th, 2009     
Filed under: News
SOLDOTNA, AK (August 26, 2009) – The recent decision by the State of Alaska to “authorize” Alaska Christian College (ACC) is confirmation that the institution is providing a quality education for Alaskan Natives, school officials say.

“This is further evidence of God’s provision for ACC to continue to offer an incredible Christian education, both honored by the federal government and the State of Alaska, but more importantly by our great provider – our Lord,” says Dr. Keith Hamilton, president.

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) granted the initial authorization July 13. Authorization means that the State of Alaska recognizes ACC as an official post-secondary institution within the state.

CampusThe initial authorization is for one year – the school will need to reapply next spring for a two-year authorization. At the end of that two-year period, ACC can seek and receive authorization for three years at a time.

After being authorized for two years, the school can begin receiving state financial aid for students, which will help them cover a portion of their college expenses, says John Lommel, ACC vice president for academics. “Currently most of students do not have the funds to pay for college,” he notes. “It has been primarily through the generosity of Covenanters and others giving to the scholarship fund that has allowed many of our students to graduate with minimal or no debt.”

The authorization will allow ACC to offer an Associates of Arts degree once the school receives full accreditation from Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), which Lommel hopes will happen in 2012. The association has granted the school candidate status for accreditation. To read an earlier story, click here.

Prior to 2008, Alaska Christian College was exempt from the state requirements for authorization because ACC was only offering religious training as an educational ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska, Lommel says. “When the ABHE granted candidate status, and ACC began offering general education classes and receiving federal funds through Title IV (student grants and loans), the State of Alaska would no longer allow ACC to operate with a religious exemption from state authorization.”

Lommel adds, “We are only one of a handful of colleges that are officially authorized in the state of Alaska.”

During the state’s evaluation process, the school had to demonstrate financial viability, that it has facilities to operate a post-secondary educational institution, and that it offers college-level courses.

“We would like to thank our work teams that provided all of the buildings to give us a college,” Lommel says (accompanying photo shows the campus). “We would also like to thank everyone who supports ACC through their financial gifts and made this authorization a reality.”

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