State board to review UAA teacher preparation programs

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - On Jan. 11, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development received notification that the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation had revoked accreditation for the University of Alaska Anchorage initial teacher preparation programs.

    A national oversight organization has revoked the accreditation of teaching degree programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

    The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation notified the university Friday, throwing the viability of teaching into jeopardy for about 250 students enrolled in the programs.

    The university is not allowed to recommend students to the state for licensure without accreditation, but officials say students can still graduate with degrees in the affected programs.

    College of Education interim director Claudia Dybdahl says the university didn't have "enough data, consistent data and analysis of data" to meet the organization's standards.

    The university can try again for accreditation in a year.

    University officials say they are confident the university would meet the standards.

    Alaska Education Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson stated, “At a time when Alaska ranks at the bottom of our country in fourth grade reading, this critical review of the UAA initial teacher licensure programs must be taken with the gravest concern.

    The steps already taken by UA President Johnsen in the last eight months are notable and will be considered in DEED’s ongoing collaboration with UA leadership, its faculty, and students.

    Director of Educator and School Excellence Tamara Van Wyhe is coordinating with UA College of Education Executive Dean Dr. Steve Atwater, and has already scheduled a meeting to address the needs of current UA students and the stipulations in the CAEP review.
    Institutional recommendations for initial licensure coming from UAA will continue to be recognized by DEED’S Certification Office for students completing their initial licensure preparation programs during the Spring 2019 semester and Summer 2019 session. The State Board of Education and Early Development (Board) and Commissioner Johnson are mindful of current students’ investments in the UAA program.

    “I want to assure students that we will work with them on attaining their certificates to teach,” said Commissioner Johnson. “This is as an opportunity to support educator effectiveness for all of Alaska’s students, which is a priority at DEED. Our staff will be working with districts to provide extra support for any recent UAA graduates as they enter Alaska’s classrooms. Ultimately, our obligation is to the students of Alaska, to provide an excellent education for every student, every day.”
    The Board will hold a work session at their Feb. 4 meeting to review the timeline leading to the CAEP decision and the ramifications of the loss of accreditation, as well as to explore the Board’s next steps.


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