UAA Accreditation Loss

No Effect on UAS

MELISSA SCRIVEN, Staff Writer, UAS Whalesong

 The University of Alaska Anchorage School of Education’s loss of accreditation has no effect on UAS education programs.

The national Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation revoked UAA’s endorsement on Jan. 11. 

Steve Atwater, Executive Dean of the Alaska College of Education, said in an email to the Whalesong that UAA’s loss of accreditation will not affect UAS on the surface, because UAS is separately accredited.

“Deeper down, however, this could affect recruitment by either causing students to view UAA as a part of UA and hence, dismiss UA options for teacher prep,” Atwater said. “Or, it could increase UAS and UAF enrollment because students are choosing them instead of UAA.”

About 250 students are enrolled in programs affected at UAA, including bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education, and the master’s degree program in secondary education, according to the UAA School of Education website.

UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield addressed the issue in email comments to UAS faculty and staff on Jan. 16.

“This outcome in regrettable, but you should know that it has no direct impact on UAS students or programs,” Caulfield said. 

“While the UA system continues to work toward greater alignment of teacher education programs, each of the UA universities has its own CAEP accreditation. This decision directly impacts UAA alone,” he said.

Caulfield said a few UAA students have sought information about transferring to UAS, but they are being encouraged to seek information from UAA faculty and advisors. 

“This approach offers the best way for them to get good information and make an informed decision about next steps,” Caulfield said.

Loss of accreditation can jeopardize state of Alaska teacher licensing. But in a Jan. 15 news release, State Education Commissioner Michael Johnson said all 2019 UAA spring and summer graduates would have institutional recommendations for an Alaska teaching license recognized by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

“I want to assure students that we will work with them on attaining their certificates to teach,” Johnson said. 

UAA can re-apply for accreditation on Jan. 11, 2020, according to the UAASOE website. The accreditation process can take up to three years to complete and includes self-study submitted by the university, feedback from CAEP in a formative review, and an on-site visit where evaluators from CAEP review evidence and verify data. 

UAS remains accredited and is in the process of renewing with the national council for future years. The Alaska College of Education will host an accreditation visit for UAS in November.

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