How to Become a Teacher in Alaska

Alaska’s Department of Education & Early Development (EED) is the state authority that regulates the process of becoming an Alaska certified teacher. Within Alaska, 506 public schools cater to more than 130,000 students between kindergarten and 12th grade, according to the Alaska EED. The Alaska EED has certified approximately 10,000 full-time certified teachers to serve these students. The minimum requirements for Alaska teacher certification include a bachelor’s degree, successful completion of basic skills tests, a background check, and multicultural education.

Educational Requirements

A valid Alaska teacher certificate is required to teach in Alaska’s public schools. All applicants for teacher certification must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

Alaska Teaching Certification

Alaska teachers are certified by the Teacher Education and Certification office within the Department of Education and Early Development. Alaska teachers are required to earn three different certification levels, Initial teacher certification, Second Initial teacher certification, and Professional teacher certification.

The teacher certification process regulated by the Alaska EED requires teachers to earn three different certification levels: Initial Certificate, Second Initial Certificate, and professional certification. The basic educational requirement for Initial Certification for an Alaska teaching license is completion of an approved teaching preparation program. Alaska EED recognizes the teaching preparation programs at four Alaska colleges: the University of Alaska Anchorage; the University of Alaska Fairbanks; the University of Alaska Southeast; and Alaska Pacific University. University of Alaska’s Anchorage campus offers the most education programs, including state-approved administrative and special services programs, while Alaska Pacific University only offers a K-8 elementary education program. Those who are interested in becoming a teacher in Alaska must also pass a basic competency exam.

Once receiving Initial Certification, within two years an Alaska certified teacher must complete some continuing education requirements through brick-and-mortar or online teaching schools in Alaska prior to applying for the Second Initial teacher certificate. These requirements include three credit hours each in Alaska studies and multicultural communication. After successful completion of another basic competency exam, the non-renewable Second Initial Certificate is valid for three years.

The final certification is the professional certificate, which is renewable every five years. An individual applying for Alaska’s professional certification must complete two years of teaching experience under either the initial or second initial certificates. Teachers must also successfully pass the Praxis II content-area exam within their teaching concentration. The Alaska EED offers different certification levels for teachers who’ve earned their master’s degrees or want to take on administrative roles within schools.

Required Tests

Candidates for Initial and Second Initial teacher certification must pass an approved basic competency exam (BCE). Candidates for Professional teacher certification are required to pass the Praxis II content area exam.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out of state candidates can apply for an initial teaching certificate if they hold a valid teaching license issued by another state. The candidate must also complete an approved basic competency exam.

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