Alaska Courses

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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Alaska Courses

Postby aliciahicks » Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:26 pm

Good Evening,
I’m a teacher coming from California. I was wondering what were the exact courses I had to take to receive an Alaska Teaching Credential. I have been teaching in California for 20 years now, and I do hold a Professional Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a CLAD (Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development) emphasis.
My first question is would I be required to take all of the classes that are under University of Alaska Anchorage which are: Alaska Native Perspectives all the way to Alaska Government and Politics (12 courses total)? Or do I have to take Multicultural Studies for Alaska Teachers and Cultural Responsive Teaching and Alaska Studies: An Introduction into Teaching in Alaska Communities only? Lastly, can I only take these classes after I’m hired? I ask because Anchorage School District sent me an email explaining that I should pursue my state certification. So I’m a little confused. Any answers to any of the questions would be so grateful.

Sincerely,
Alicia Hicks
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Re: Alaska Courses

Postby Johncn » Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:53 pm

Hi Alicia,

It's late here, but I will respond in detail tomorrow. The short answer is that certification and these courses are separate items. The Initial certification (whether you are an experienced teacher or not) gives you a couple of years to complete the few courses (it's not twelve) AFTER you start work, but there are also some online virtual trainings you have to do before you start work.

Teachers usually take the online versions of the required college-level classes in their first year or two of employment.

More tomorrow....

Regards,

John
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Re: Alaska Courses

Postby Johncn » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:25 am

Hi Alicia,

OK...so there are three distinct issues here, and they are a little confusing. Most of this is addressed on the ATP "Getting Certified" page here, but I will add some more detail on the third point below:

Getting Certified in Alaska
http://www.alaskateacher.org/getting_certified.php

1) Initial certification is what teachers new to ALASKA (not necessarily to teaching) have to obtain. You do NOT need to take the Alaska Studies or Multicultural Education courses before you arrive to start work. See third item below.

2) Alaska passed statutes that required the Alaska Department of Education to add "Mandatory Trainings" in 2017 that ARE required before you start work. These are free, online modules on suicide, sexual abuse and other important topics. Some districts help teachers with during their in-service days prior to starting work. But, you can take them online yourself here:

Mandatory Trainings Page - Information about, and links to the required DEED Training Modules
https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/mandatorytraining

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3) Once you have an Alaska certificate / license, you have two years to complete one approved Alaska Studies course, and one Multicultural Education course. These are NOT free, and there is an official "approved list" for each that is updated each year. Most are available online, and teachers at a school often end up recommending what worked for them, and share or sell textbooks that they no longer need to the newbies on staff. These two classes just need to be taken prior to you getting your NEXT Alaska certificate, not the Initial one. ;-)

Officially Approved Alaska Studies Courses
https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/alaska-studies

Officially Approved Multicultural Courses
https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/culture

In addition, the excellent Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) offers well-organized, self-paced versions of some of these approved courses so that the credits flow from the universities on the list - you are a student of the approved university courses for credit - but you can register and take them online quite easily through ASDN. Just MY opinion, but I highly recommend ASDN. (Full disclosure: I used to run their eLearning website for many years, and know some of the instructors personally). However, any of the above links should get you started once you are certified and the two-year clock is ticking. :D

Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) - Online Alaska Studies & Multicultural courses
https://asdn.org/alaska-history-and-multi-cultural-education-certification/

Hope this helps.

Regards,

John
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Re: Alaska Courses

Postby aliciahicks » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:21 am

Good Morning John,
Thank-you so much for the clarification :D . Alicia
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Re: Alaska Courses

Postby marymatt718 » Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:09 pm

Hey Alicia,
I wanted to add my two cents here, and suggest you ask districts if they offer any version of any of the required courses. I worked for SW Region School District, and they used to offer one of the courses through their district cultural liaison. We met at out school sites every Monday night for a number of weeks the first semester by distance delivery. The cost to us was only $75 and the district office loaned us the necessary books. After that I only had to take the Alaska Alive course through Alaska Pacific University. That course was a bit over $400.

SWRSD did this in order to include some regional information that was helpful to those of us teaching there. So check with the districts you apply to and ask them if they have anything like that...or apply to SWRSD, which is a great district. I wouldn't have left there but the only bush service that could fit the giant kennels for my giant dogs was going bankrupt. I believe they survived, but they quit using CARAVANS which were the only planes both my boys would fit on.Good luck this year!

Donna Matthews
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Re: Alaska Courses

Postby aliciahicks » Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:32 pm

Thank-You so much Donna :D ... Alicia
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