To work as a teacher in Alaska, you must meet the requirements set by the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED). Teachers must have at least a bachelor degree in education, obtain certification and meet the basic competency requirements by passing the Praxis exam(s).
For years, scholarships helped students pay for a college education. Both the demand and supply are high in Alaska. Living in Alaska or attendance at an Alaska college or university makes students eligible for financial aid. Below are two of the opportunities.
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
This source is among the largest for finding Alaska scholarships and grants. The AlaskaAdvantage Grant is one of the more accessible. It is need-based and state-funded. The grant is for undergraduate students. Candidates must live in Alaska. Awards vary from $500 to $2000. Applicants complete the FAFSA.
Alaska Teacher Education Loans
The loans from this program are offered explicitly to Alaska students studying to become teachers. The purpose of the program provides an incentive for students to enter the field of teaching and remain in Alaska to teach. Teaching students attending a college or university in Alaska are eligible for low-interest student loans. Those who agree to an exchange of teaching in rural Alaska public schools for a specific number of years may qualify for loan forgiveness.
Requirements for In-State Tuition
It is tough to earn in-state tuition at Alaska universities. There are burdensome financial independence and a two-year domicile period. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks has a loophole where parents who buy the University of Alaska’s 529 savings plan receive in-state tuition.
Alaska belongs to the Western Undergraduate Exchange that has an agreement of limited regional reciprocity among select Western States. If eligible, out-of-state students pay 150 percent of in-state tuition at the most. The nonresident’s rate that may exceed 300 percent of the in-state rate.
Students eligible for in-state tuition include but are not limited to the following.
A resident of the state or a non-citizen who has lived in Alaska for a minimum of two years
Received a State of Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend and lived in Alaska for the last 12 months
Military personnel on active duty, or their dependent children or spouses
National Guard members and their families
Bachelors in Education Programs in Alaska
Alaska Pacific University offers a Bachelor of Arts in education aimed at students who wish to teach grades K-8. The program includes education courses, foundations courses and classroom practicum course.
The University of Alaska in Anchorage is a CAEP-accredited college that has several educational programs including a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education.
The University of Alaska in Fairbanks offers various options in education programs including bachelor degrees in both elementary education and secondary education. These programs allow students to complete both a certification program and bachelor degree program, but they must focus on one specific subject. University of Alaska Southeast offers a bachelor degree in elementary education and one n secondary education.
Masters in Education Programs in Alaska
The Master of Arts in Teaching program offered at Alaska Pacific University is for teachers who already have their teaching license and have completed the K-8 Certification Only Program (mentioned below). In addition to courses, the student must complete a research project prior to graduation.
UA-Anchorage has a Master of Education that offers several areas of concentration: counselor education, early childhood special education, teaching and learning educational leadership and special education. UA-Fairbanks offers various master degree programs including special education, elementary education, secondary education, school counselling and community counseling, among others. UA Southeast offers master degree programs both on campus and online. The on-campus programs are Master of Arts in Teaching in either elementary or secondary and middle schools.
Alaska Teaching Certifications & Specializations
Alaska Pacific University offers a K-8 teaching certificate (Certification-Only Option Program) for individuals that have a non-teaching bachelor degree but wish to become certified K-8 teachers in Alaska or pursue a master’s degree. Credits from this program can go towards a Master of Arts graduate program. In addition to being offered online, this self-paced program is also offered at night and on weekends.
UA-Anchorage’s College of Education graduate certificate programs in counselor education, language education, Educational leadership (principal), educational leadership (superintendent) and special education.
Both APU and UA-Anchorage offer education associate degree programs for students who are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree but want to continue working. Students can complete prerequisite and general education courses prior to enrolling in the baccalaureate program. Education courses in these programs can be applied towards bachelor degree programs.
UA-Anchorage offers an undergraduate certificate in early childhood development as well as post-baccalaureate certificates in both elementary education and early childhood pre-k-third grade. UA-Fairbanks offers certification programs and several post-baccalaureate programs in special education certification as well as a licensure-only program for bachelor degree holders who wish to become teachers.