University of Alaska begins transition for Anchorage campus’s teacher education program

The University of Alaska is making progress restructuring its teacher education program, following the University of Alaska Anchorage’s loss of accreditation for its initial licensure program. Last month, UA regents decided to discontinue the early teacher programs, and instead provide access to remaining accredited programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast. Speaking at a UA regents meeting May 9th, College of Education Executive Dean Steve Atwater said nearly one hundred students have already transitioned to the UAS or UAF initial licensure programs, including some who graduated this month. Some students would physically transfer to the other campuses, while others would take classes in Anchorage from UAF or UAS faculty as students of those universities.

”That was a very difficult transition, to move people mid-semester into a new university, new program,” Atwater said. “But compliments to both UAS and UAF for accommodating those students and helping them to graduate.”

Atwater said additional transfer students are on track to graduate in December and next spring. Atwater, who is leading the transition, said he expects the restructured initial licensure program, to be ready by mid-June, but cautioned that it is a fluid process.

”And that we don’t have a fixed number of students who have responded yet with respect to what’s next,” Atwater said. “So what things look like in August, it may not look exactly like that a year from now.”

A UA regents release says a decision on the future of other Anchorage-based education degree programs, which are not affected by the accreditation loss, has been delayed until the fall.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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