Alternate Route to Teaching

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Alternate Route to Teaching

Postby disneygirl » Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:21 pm

Does anyone know if Alaska offers the type of program where you can begin teaching under a provisional type of license for 1 year? The requirements being that you have some experience, a BA, and a position secured. During the 1 year you have to finish your certifications.

This is typically for those who come to teach from an alternate way. So the BA is not in education but in something else. Mine is working with children and I have lots of experience in teaching - just not certified because I have taught overseas.

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Re: Alternate Route to Teaching

Postby Johncn » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:16 am


This thread from a few days ago may be helpful. The short answer is "no", Alaska does not have any Alternative Paths to Certification in the way most states use the term.

Interested in High School English - ATP Forum Thread

There is, however, a way for some individuals to get certified while enrolled in a traditional, state approved teacher education program.

Here is the download of the form from the EED site. It gives more specifics about the requirements than I provided in the link above.

Initial / Program Erollment Certification - Alaska's requirements in detail ... llment.pdf


As you can see, the requirements appear to be pretty specific. They seem to target mostly those with a Bachelor's degree of some sort, passing scores on the PRAXIS (or other BCE), five years of experience in some field, who are enrolled in an ALASKA approved program, AND whom have found an Alaska district to already have offered you a position. In other words, the first steps would be enrolling in a program, taking your Praxis, and then finding an Alaska district to say they want you, specifically, for a position in that district. I would verify this loosely formed, non-qualified opinion of mine with Alaska's Office of Teacher Certification before taking it too seriously. There are several aspects that could be interpreted by EED quite differently :!:

In addition, the certificate is only for one year, and can be renewed for a second year. But - and from what I have heard this is important - you need to be making program progress, and demonstrate that progress to EED in showing that you will finish you program for certification within the two-year period in order to get the renewal.

Overall, this is not a typical "alternative route" to certification. It's more like an early entry certification for those wrapping up a program. It might work for someone like you if you have all the parts in place, and are willing and interested in enrolling in one of the UA system's teacher certification programs by distance.

That said, your cross-cultural experience living and working successfully with your family in another, distinctly different culture will make you valuable to rural Alaska districts. If you have a passion for teaching, enjoy cross-cultural settings and have good recommendations, districts will want you. Those qualities are things I sought out in candidates when I was a district recruiter. My wife and I taught English in Asia prior to getting certified, too. Back then, however, there were no routes other than enrolling in another undergrad program (even though we both had BAs), and then completing graduate school to teach the subjects we wanted to work in. We spent several years doing nothing but that so that we could work in US public schools after our overseas experience. At least there are other options - even cumbersome ones - for people like yourself who are in that situation in 2015.

Good luck, and I hope this helps.


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Re: Alternate Route to Teaching

Postby cyclone67 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:23 am

I know BSSD currently working under the process John described. They are knocking out their student teaching to close out their program this year. I don't know if I would recommend it though. Seems like a lot of work on top of being a new teacher. That would be stressful!!
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Re: Alternate Route to Teaching

Postby ksralaska » Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:55 pm

I work at Southeast Island School District and did this very thing. I'm enrolled in the UAS teaching program (Masters). I applied for an initial certification from the state of AK last spring, and was hired while that was happening.

Keep in mind, I also have a Masters in Experiential Education (non-certificate program) from MSU Mankato (a GREAT program for teachers looking to teach outside the box, by the way). So in that way, as a new teacher, I had some more qualifications as well as non-traditional teaching experience. But yes, it can be done and many people have done it.

I had one superintendent (not from Southeast Island, elsewhere in the state) tell me that it was impossible to hire me (he didn't know this existed). I had to call my professor from UAS and have him explain that, yes, as per the state licensure requirements, there is nothing illegal about hiring a teacher who is getting their initial licensure in the program enrollment category. I don't think he was interested in my non-traditional background and I'm happy to be working here in SISD instead.

By the way, it is incredibly busy. I teach six separate classes, have a family, and do my Masters work on top of that. I would only recommend it to those who are SURE they want to teach and walk in understanding it will be the hardest year of their life.

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Re: Alternate Route to Teaching

Postby Tufgie » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:41 pm

BOTTOMLINE UP FRONT (BLUF): Will Master's classes taken in Colorado transfer to the UA Master's program?

Issue: I'm looking to Teach Gov't in Alaska starting the school year of 2017-2018, but do not have a teaching license.

Background: I've recently passed all the Praxis I tests, and will take the Praxis II Gov't/Political Science Test. I have a Bachelor's in Business Management and work in local, state, and federal government as a Policeman, Detective, Military, and Military Contractor living in Germany working with NATO and other Foreign Engagements at the policy and international agreements. I would like to knock out some of the required college classes that will close out the master's in education; however, I live in Colorado. If I take equivalent classes in Colorado, will the classes transfer to the Master's Program at UA? Naturally, this question would go to UA; however, when I called I was transferred to the lead of the program and left a message and then sent an email. That was a couple months ago and I've heard no response. I am looking for some clues, even though they might not be authoritative. By taking the classes in Colorado (as many as I can), I can lessen the burden in my rookie year of teaching if I have a head start on the classes required to get the Initial Certificate.

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Re: Alternate Route to Teaching

Postby Johncn » Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:58 pm


The Alaska EED Teacher Certification office would be my first recommendation for a complicated background such as yours, and a valid opinion about your best options in state:

Alaska Teacher Certification

You want to call the ATP offices (see the links for main contacts on this site) and ask which office would at the university level would be most likely to provide insight. Remember that you would have to be enrolled in a teacher certification program ahead of any request for Initial / Program Enrollment certification. Someone at UAF would certainly have the time and interest in talking to you.

Hope this helps,

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Re: Alternate Route to Teaching

Postby Tufgie » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:34 pm

Thanks, John. I've read many of your previous posts in other threads. I know you have experience navigating some of the system.

I'll give the numbers a call. In the meantime, a posted answer may bubble up for all. If not, when I get an answer, I'll post it.

Thanks again for responding, and so quickly. Good luck- they'll be lucky to have you.

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