Certification options for new teachers

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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Certification options for new teachers

Postby ElemEducator » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:20 pm

My wife (who is an aide at our school in rural Alaska) is looking at her best options to complete her degree in Elem Ed. She currently has an associates through a community college in Michigan and we're trying to figure out best options for her to obtain her degree in the quickest and most affordable way possible.

She applied at western governors univ, but they only took about 25% of her transfer credits. She just applied at Alaska SE and we're hoping for more of her credits to transfer.

Do you have any recommendations of where to apply or anything else? I know Alaska offers a few unique programs to try to get good teachers certified, so any insight on the alternative methods would be appreciated. Im wondering if it would make more financial/time sense to complete her degree online through a univ in Michigan as they would take her whole associates.

Any advice would be great. Our Superintendent mentioned something about offering an emergency certification as long as she is progressing toward her degree. Any insight on that?

Any advice would be great.

Thanks!
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Re: Certification options for new teachers

Postby Adrianna » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:07 pm

Contact the State of Alaska Education Department and find out exactly how best they can help and exactly how best to get certified in the state of Alaska and ask about emergency certification and how that works on a State level. Good luck :).
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Re: Certification options for new teachers

Postby Johncn » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:03 am

ElemEducator wrote:My wife (who is an aide at our school in rural Alaska) is looking at her best options to complete her degree in Elem Ed. She currently has an associates through a community college in Michigan and we're trying to figure out best options for her to obtain her degree in the quickest and most affordable way possible.....Our Superintendent mentioned something about offering an emergency certification as long as she is progressing toward her degree. Any insight on that?


Hello,

As I often say, for important, certification-related questions the only way to keep accurately informed of complicated Alaska certification regulations, and how those may apply to each individual's complicated life and/or background is to contact the Alaska Teacher Certification office:

Alaska Teacher Certification Office
https://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/

We all have opinions here on this forum, and want to help out, but I would take our opinions with a proverbial grain of salt, and get the skinny from those in the know at EED.

Well,with that said, there is good news and bad news. ;-)

The bad news is that there really is not any "Emergency Certification" approach for those without a Bachelor's degree, and you must be certified to teach in Alaska. Your superintendent is probably referring to the Initial / Program Enrollment certification type. This certificate type is designed for those with a Bachelor's degree already who meet a number of other criteria - including being actively enrolled in an accredited pre-service teacher training program. Many of these are with the University of Alaska (in my experience), and their schools of education would be good places to get more details. However, this recent-ish ATP Forum thread has direct quotes from EED's site about the various criteria:

http://www.alaskateacher.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1259#p2068

The (potentially) good news for your wife is that the Alaska Board of Education is considering Alternative Routes to certification TOMORROW, December 10 and seeking public input. Public comment takes place before the BOE work session by phone, but then the Board will hear from Sondra Meredith and Commissioner Hanley about existing options. That will be streamed live.

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Further, the current Board packet (https://education.alaska.gov/State_Boar ... Packet.pdf) shows a memo from EED to the Board which has a chart to clarify each current certification option. It's a very handy set of charts, and the memo indicates the Board is interested in exploring options:

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Here is the chart for Certification Option 1 :

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And for existing "Alternative Routes". Note that these currently only consist of Initial / Program Enrollment (which requires traditional program enrollment and progress), and a special type of limited certificate that is aimed at people with very specialized knowledge: Alaska Native language / culture; Military ROTC; and, some hard-to-fill Career and Technical Education (vocational trade) niches.

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I know I will try to listen in to the presentation by Sondra. It should be interesting. Anyone with questions regarding alternative routes to certification may want to listen in.

Hope this helps,

John
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Re: Certification options for new teachers

Postby ElemEducator » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:49 am

Thanks, John!

I will also be listening as that should be a great conversation.

I am currently a second year teacher in Alaska so it will be interesting to see any potential changes with alternative options.

Thanks again for the response.
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