Alaska Certification Changes Are Significant

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Alaska Certification Changes Are Significant

Postby Johncn » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:13 am


In the process of updating the Getting Certified page on the ATP site today, I noticed that the Alaska Teacher Certification Office in Juneau has made a series of significant changes to the requirements. Although Sondra had hinted that changes were coming soon, I was not aware of this change until today.

The textual information on the site pages does not always match what the changes specified on the new applications say. Make sure you follow the application forms, and the details in those instructions.

The changes are in several key areas effective immediately, and at least one phased in for 2017:

  • Added Content Area Exams and cut scores for each endorsement / certification area
  • Adds a concrete list of Alaska Endorsement Areas
  • Appears to allow endorsements / content area on initial applications in areas other than major / minor or named program if Content Area Exams are passed. I'm not sure on this one, so see the highlighted text in image.
  • Changed the list of Basic Competency Exams (BCE) that can be used. Note that this now includes the ACT / SAT. And I would have passed! :lol:
  • Adds requirement for four areas of mandatory training prior to certification (effective June 30, 2017)

Remember that anything posted here is just someone's opinion. The source of the Truth is going to be the Alaska Teacher Certification Office in Juneau. Check with them for all questions concerning the specifics of your situation.

Alaska EED Teacher Certification Office

Here is what it says:

Notice: As of July 1, applicants for the Initial 2-year, Initial 3-year, and Initial Proof of Program Enrollment teaching certificates will be required to provide a content area exam (e.g. Praxis II or corresponding state test) to qualify for the certificate. Applicants need to meet the required scores on the content area exams associated with their endorsement areas. Please check for updated application forms on our website.

Further clicking reveals that the list of Content Area Exams and the Alaska cut scores are here:

Alaska Required Content Area Exams / Cut Scores: ... _exams.pdf

The application forms for certification have been changed, and are located here now:

Alaska Teacher Certification Forms - New July, 2016 ... ach02.html

Here are the new Initial application requirements in a screen shot from the form:


The Content Area Exam part is new, of course, and links to the PDF I have listed above.

The part being phased in for 2017 involves mandatory training required by a new state law. You can read the proposed regulation from last December here: ... ?id=178424

The meat of the changes, in addition to the requirement for Content Area tests for certification are outlined in proposed regulation change from December of 2015:

The Department of Education & Early Development proposes to adopt regulation changes in Title 4 of the Alaska Administrative Code dealing with teacher certification, which may address the following:

"Incorporating the training required by sec. 10, ch. 2, SSSLA 2015 (a new state law) into the certification requirements for initial applications and renewals, effective June 30, 2017.

Training must address:
  • alcohol and drug-related disabilities;
  • sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention;
  • dating violence and abuse awareness and prevention; and
  • suicide prevention;

These must be the mandatory trainings referred to at the top of the new application form. The proposed regulation goes on to add these changes:

  • Providing additional options for content area examinations, including required scores, for the purposes of designating a teacher as highly qualified, obtaining a certificate and initial endorsements, and adding endorsements to a teacher certificate;
  • Consolidating all content area examination requirements in a new section 4 AAC 12.407;
  • Expanding the list of competency examinations to include the National Evaluation Series Essential Academic Skills, the SAT, and the ACT;
  • Reducing the number of required fingerprint cards to be submitted with an application from two to one;
  • Removing obsolete provisions such as the Alaska Teacher Performance Review and the transition to the current tiered licensure program from the previous teacher certification structure;
  • Allowing for accreditation of educator preparation programs by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation standards;
  • Modifying the requirements for a highly qualified designation for an elementary subject matter specialist and for seventh and eighth grade teachers
  • Specifying the fee for removal of a special education endorsement; and
  • Additional technical and organizational changes related to teacher certification."

Here is the language concerning BCEs and specific endorsements information.


The direct link for the endorsements list is:

Hope this helps.


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Re: Alaska Certification Changes Are Significant

Postby kazachka » Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:23 pm

This is good to know. Do you know if they are requiring exams in each endorsement area on RENEWAL? I just rang up the DEED last week because I saw they have gotten stricter on what you can use for CEUs etc for those 6 hours needed for renewal. I wanted to take a class via the District, but wasn't sure it would count. It now has to be related to what you are teaching or an endorsement area OR a potential additional endorsement. Wellllll for me there is nowhere to go in Russian other than a PhD which is not financially feasible at this point nor do I want to quit the job I have to go for a PhD (which I'd essentially have to do). I'm also endorsed in Spanish 6-12 but not teaching it and don't plan to. So, now I'm wondering after I just read this post if I'd have to take a content area exam to keep that Spanish endorsement? Hmmmmm..... DEED were helpful and told me there is a form I can submit to them next time I go to Russia as you can now get up to 3 of those 6 hours from travel related to your content area. I had no idea or I'd have been able to count this past summer, but the don't let you do it retroactively :( Soooo, I'll just do it before I go on winter break. For the other 3 units I can do an upper division ED course....whew. That was good to know because I really have nowhere else to go but to enter a PhD program to take anymore actual Russian classes on either side of the pond. On another note, I don't know if all districts around the state are doing this, but Kenai only lets you use credits beyond your initial certicifation that are related to your job assignment for placememt on the salary schedule. Pretty much unless it's related to your job or post graduate ED qualifications, it doesn't count. My MA in Russian did count since I teach Russian, but had I been hired for something else, it would not have. So, it seems districts are getting stricter about what counts and what doesn't as well.
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