UAA Accreditation Loss

An update on the UAA School of Education Accreditation Loss

By MELISSA SCRIVEN

Staff Writer, UAS Whalesong 

UAA School of  Education students are already transferring to the Alaska College of Education at UAS after the Anchorage campus lost accreditation for its education programs in January.

“I don’t know about numbers, but we probably had 20, 25 inquiries about spring (semester), and then we probably got 40 to 50 for fall or summer,” said Scott Christian, Interim Associate Dean for the Alaska College of Education here at UAS.  

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development has said it will recognize licenses for 2019 spring and summer graduates so they can teach in Alaska Schools, but it is difficult to predict the loss of accreditation on graduates wanting to teach in other states, according to the UAASOE website. 

UAA officials began recommending transfer to UAS or the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Education just after the National Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation revoked UAA’s education accreditation.  UAS and UAF education programs remain nationally accredited.

Christian said some elementary bachelor’s degree students have already transferred to UAS this semester. The majority of those transferring and inquiring have been pursuing distance options. 

“We’re looking at staffing for next year in terms of faculty, and all the support that students need, so we’re trying to figure out how we can gear up to really support an influx of students, because it’s a significant number,” Christian said.

What happens next depends on whether UAA reapplies for accreditation. January 2020 is the earliest UAA could reapply, the process could take two or more years, and it could cost $150,000, according to an action plan put before the Board of Regents on Feb. 28. 

“Right now, we’re just accepting transfer students, and after the 28th we’ll know kind of the future — if we try to offer some programs in Anchorage, if we try to increase our distance offerings, or partner with UAF,” Christian said.

When the Whalesong went to press, the Board of Regents had not yet met on the matter. Check UASWhalesong.com for an update.

The UAS College of Education is in the application process to renew its accreditation and was to have submitted its self-study repoprt to CAEP by the end of February. Christian said he feels very confident about reaccreditation. 

“We’ve really worked hard as a faculty and we have solid assessments and data and we feel really good,” he said.

As for concerns following UAA’s accreditation loss, Christian said there were issues at UAA that aren’t present at UAS, such as having five deans in the course of seven years. 

“They were just in a very different position,” he said.

UAS will have a CAEP site visit in November, and the CAEP board will make their ruling in March of 2020.

CAEP accreditation is a nationally recognized measure of how well the school is performing. The state of Alaska requires that teachers graduate from an accredited program. CAEP licensing may also be required for teacher licenses in other states. 

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