UA regents approve changes for UAA education majors

A plan approved on April 8 by the University of Alaska Board of Regents would allow students in Anchorage to continue to pursue their teaching degrees via accredited and approved programs from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast.

“Under the plan adopted today, education students can earn their degree in Anchorage through these programs now delivered by UAF and UAS faculty,” said spokeswoman Robbie Graham. “The ‘transfer’ pertains to student enrollment and academic records. UAA students would become UAF or UAS students, but not have to make a physical move to UAF or UAS. Courses would be offered by UAF or UAS on the UAA campus,” she said.

Both the Fairbanks and Juneau campuses have accredited teacher preparation programs, while the UAA program has lost its accreditation.

Affected programs include bachelor of arts and post-baccalaureate in elementary education, master of arts in teaching in secondary education, bachelor of arts and post-baccalaureate programs in early childhood education, as well as initial licensure for graduate certificates in special education and master of education in early childhood special education.

The recommendation came from UA President Jim Johnsen, who did not support a UAA request to seek reaccreditation of its teacher education program.

Details of that plan are still to be worked out.

According to Johnson his recommendation was the only way to provide the Anchorage students a way to get licensed from an accredited and approved program.

The board voted to discontinue only the initial licensure teacher education programs at UAA as of Aug. 31, when Alaska Board of Education licensing approval expires, and to set up accredited teacher education programs in Anchorage through UAF and UAS.

Also, under discussion was the university’s fiscal year 2020 budget and options under various funding scenarios, but took no action on options proposed. The regents plan to meet again as the budget advances through the Alaska Legislature.