The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (EED) recognizes an approved teacher program as any teacher, administration, or special services training program offered by a regionally accredited institution that meets standards set by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Individuals must complete a course of study at one of these accredited schools before obtaining their Alaska teaching license. The minimum educational requirement for Alaska teacher certification is a bachelor’s degree.
The Alaska EED maintains an online list of teacher education programs within the state. Baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, and master’s degree programs in Alaska teacher education are available from Alaska Pacific University and three University of Alaska campus locations: Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau (Southeast). Teaching schools in Alaska also offer course work in Alaska studies and multicultural studies that fulfill continuing education requirements.
The University of Alaska Southeast campus is located in Alaska’s capital city of Juneau. UAS’s School of Education offers one bachelor’s degree education program, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Post-baccalaureate students can enroll in either the elementary or secondary Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs, or any of the five Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs, which includes emphases in technology or mathematics. UAS students of native Alaskan heritage can qualify for School of Education tuition assistance through the school’s grant-funded Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaskan Schools program.
The College of Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage offers 16 different degree programs, including bachelor’s programs in both early childhood and elementary education. Master’s-level Alaska teaching license programs at UAA include educational leadership programs in principal and superintendent administration as well as special education certification programs. The school’s Providence Early Learning Program gives students hands-on experience with providing educational activities to young children.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ education program is approved by Alaska’s department of education to recommend graduates for certification as reading specialists, elementary educators, secondary teachers, and school counselors. UAF teacher certification programs are available at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Students enrolled in UAF’s School of Education are required to own a laptop for class activities. All students are also required to enroll in an educational technology course that offers advanced instruction in word processing, presentation software and other classroom technologies.
Alaska Pacific University offers one bachelor’s degree program in K-8 elementary education. Students enrolled in this program are required to complete a minimum of 128 credit hours. APU also offers an associate degree program and minor in education. However, prospective teachers should note that, while these programs can be a stepping stone to a career in education, neither program leads directly to Alaska teacher certification.