Sped programs acceptable to EED for endorsement

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Sped programs acceptable to EED for endorsement

Postby madowlspeaks » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:37 am

Hi

Hoping to get some advice here about "acceptable" programs for Sped endorsement or Type B admin programs other than UAA. Seeing that UAA is still expensive even though it is all online ( taking classes from the bush) I am seeking a cheaper alternative.

Has anyone had success with Arkansas State?

I am looking at either the endorsement or the full masters program.

Additionally if anyone has any info about cheap and accredited online sped ( or even admin programs) that will lead to a type B in Alaska that would be great.

I heard Western Governers is good and someone mentioned American College of Education.

Thanks in advance
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Re: Sped programs acceptable to EED for endorsement

Postby Johncn » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:55 am

Hello,

I don't have first hand experience with any all-distance certification program, but would advise that you actually contact Alaska EED with the details prior to enrollment, and ask for an opinion. Sondra and her staff are very helpful, and will be the ones deciding in the final analysis whether or not it is accepted, so why not? :D Any opinion you see here is going to be just that, and your mileage may vary when the rubber meets the road in Juneau.

With that disclaimer, however, there are still some common landmines that you can avoid with a bit of research. Alaska requires that any program resulting in certification be approved by the state which has oversight of the university or organization sponsoring it.

In addition, for teaching certification (as compared to special services provision only), the program has to include student teaching. Some programs have "clinical practicum" aspects that don't meet Alaska EED's requirements, so it's best to check with them if it does NOT include a traditional "student teaching" role where you are in charge of students for an extended period, and supervised by a master teacher in that subject area. This is probably the most common issue we hear about from candidates who obtain a certificate that Alaska won't accept. Alternative certification programs, for instance, sometimes don't require this in states with shortage areas in Special Education. Alaska will check, so I'd check with before parting with your hard earned cash. They have heard of most programs, and although there is no "list" of ones that they accept - due to the constantly changing offerings and affiliations - they will have a pretty solid idea of what has worked in the past for people.

Finally, Alaska is going to want to know what standards drive the certification program.

The most widely accepted teaching certification standards are those of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Here is a link to search for specific program accreditation status:

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) - Program Listing
http://www.ncate.org/ListofAccreditedIn ... fault.aspx

Here is the Alaska EED page that has the form all candidates have to have signed by their preparing institution in order to get certification. It outlines the key pieces of the puzzle, as it is the actual form the Teacher Certification Office in Juneau uses to evaluate your status when your program is completed.

Alaska EED Teacher Certification Institutional Endorsement Info
https://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCer ... ecomm.html

The form itself with key points highlighted:

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Type B Admin Certificates

Now, Type B (Admin) credentials are mostly the same, but for School Administration programs. These are usually K-12 in Alaska, but other states sometimes have narrower grade level bands for admin certs. There is more "gray area" about what an "approved" program is, as states typically approve administrative preparation programs, not national organizations such as NCATE. The terminology in the actual application packet frequently uses the terms "accredited program or state program" because there are both. Alaska will go with only the Admin areas and grade levels in the official Institutional Recommendation from whoever prepares you.

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In my opinion, there is a much higher "scam factor" in the appearance of online school administrator programs. I would go pretty far out of my way in contacting Alaska EED and ask them if others in Alaska are obtaining Type B certification from a specific program prior to paying or enrolling. Seriously. The Type B application form is here, and is quite lengthy at 17 pages. Many of these pages are dedicated to instructions and clarifications. I doubt this is by accident.

Alaska EED Type B Admin Certification Forms
https://education.alaska.gov/teachercer ... min01.html

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There are two types of certs for those who want to supervise Special Education programs. A Type B certification for being a "Special Education Administrator" - not necessarily a Special Education Director - requires a specific training program in Special Ed Admin itself. It does require at least three years of certified Special Ed teacher or school psych.

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The most common way for a person in Alaska to work as a Special Education Director, on the other hand, is to have a regular Type B certificate as a school administrator or principal - not one in Special Ed Administration - and an Alaska teaching certificate for either Special Education or a related services provision area. Confused yet? ;-)

Although the regs don't seem to specify a specific kind of Admin Internship or Practicum, one red flag would be programs for a School Admin certification that does not require a dedicated field experience that is the equivalent of "Student Teaching". If you are only required to do course work, or observe an administrator, I would be highly suspicious that it won't fly in Alaska. The more rigorous a program looks, and the more practical experience it requires, the higher I would rate it's chances of earning Alaska endorsement. I don't want to trash any specific programs here, but I have been asked to supervise admin interns who had laughably limited requirements. Some of them got successfully certified in Alaska afterward, and some did not. One of the good things about Alaska-based university programs is that although they may cost more, they have been approved and used by many others to obtain Alaska credentials.

I would strongly recommend you go for the regular School Administration (Type B) program rather than one just for Special Ed Admin if you are also a SpEd teacher. That combination gives the most flexibility, and it's easier to find a district who will let you still teach while doing your Administrative Internship or equivalent by taking on some site-level admin duties supervised by your principal or superintendent. This arrangement is quite common in rural Alaska.

Once again, I would recommend you narrow down the programs you are interested in, and then ask Alaska Teacher Certification Office staff in Juneau which of the programs they find have been most effective for others in Alaska.

Hope this helps,

John
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Re: Sped programs acceptable to EED for endorsement

Postby Johncn » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:34 am

Hello,

Just an FYI that I have updated my prior post to address the specifics of Alaska Admin credentials for the area of Special Education. I was in between airplanes and in a rush when I first wrote my original response and had not included the admin info.

Regards,

John
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