Please note: The Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood Education and in Elementary Education, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Early Childhood and in Elementary Education, the Graduate Certificate in Special Education (K-12) initial licensure track, the Master of Arts in Teaching, and the Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education initial licensure track no longer hold specialized accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as of December 31, 2018.

The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Communications voluntarily withdrew from specialized accreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

School of Education

The University of Alaska Anchorage is in full compliance with the institutional reporting requirements mandated in Title II of the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998. Please contact the School of Education for a copy of the completed report.

The School of Education in the College of Arts and Sciences comprises a community of educators dedicated to improving the quality of education. The mission of the School of Education is to prepare educators and support the lifelong learning of professionals to embrace diversity and to be intellectually and ethically strong, resilient and passionate in their work with Alaska’s learners, families, educators and communities. Programs emphasize the power of learning to transform people’s lives. Across the university, faculty members teach professional educators to work in diverse settings, to form and sustain learning partnerships, and to provide learning across the life span. The school is confident that this preparation will result in educators’ significant contributions to society.

The School of Education promotes the following core values in their collegial interactions to ensure that program graduates exhibit:

  • Intellectual vitality: Professional educators examine diverse perspectives, engage in research and scholarship, contribute to knowledge and practice, and apply innovations in technology.
  • Collaborative spirit: Professional educators generate, welcome and support the collaborative relationships and partnerships that enrich people’s lives.
  • Inclusiveness and equity: Professional educators create and advocate for learning communities that advance knowledge and ensure the development, support and inclusion of people’s abilities, values, ideas, languages and expressions.
  • Leadership: Professional educators are committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior in their roles, using professional expertise to improve the communities in which they live and work, and demonstrating the ability to translate theories and principles into transformative educational practice.

The school believes that learning must be designed, delivered and evaluated within the contexts of these core values and program outcomes.

The School of Education offers undergraduate and graduate curricula and programs designed to prepare personnel for various professional roles related to education in a variety of learning environments. The School of Education is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Professional preparation programs are approved by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and are based on CAEP standards.

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development issues certificates and endorsements under the “approved program” process for certification. The University of Alaska Anchorage recommends individuals to the commissioner of Education and Early Development for certification or endorsement after successful completion of one or more of the approved programs. Only the director of the School of Education is authorized to recommend candidates for the appropriate certificate or endorsement.

In each of the school’s curricula and programs, students are introduced to fundamental issues of education in the contemporary world through courses designed to develop perspective and understanding of the relationship of education to society. Courses provide theory and practice in the development of instructional materials and an understanding of methods of instruction. Many courses and programs are offered through distance delivery methods. The school  offers high-quality distance-delivered coursework in order to improve access for rural students and provide flexible scheduling for practicing educators. Additionally, the school partners with UAA community campuses in optimizing the use of technology for distance delivery through intercampus collaboration.

Individuals who desire a UAA degree or certificate, or Alaska state teacher certification or endorsement, must apply for admission to the University of Alaska Anchorage and to the School of Education in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are formally admitted to an appropriate program on the basis of multiple criteria, including their ability to make a positive contribution to educational professions. Candidates who seek Alaska state licensure must successfully complete a School of Education “approved program,” as well as any additional requirements that may be initiated by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. Only courses with a grade of C or higher will be applied to meet certification or endorsement requirements. In addition, candidates must demonstrate professional behaviors and dispositions consistent with the School of Education’s Conceptual Framework as well as abide by the UAA Student Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics and Professional Teaching Standards adopted by the Alaska Professional Teaching Practices Commission. These documents are available on the School of Education website. Candidates should be advised that total credits may exceed minimums because of prerequisite requirements, knowledge and skill enhancement, individually selected majors and minors, and areas of specialization and/or emphasis.

The School of Education has three academic departments:

  1. The Department of Teaching and Learning with programs in school-age care, early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education. (907) 786-4412
  2. The Department of Counseling and Special Education with programs in counselor education, special education, early childhood special education and opportunities in speech and language pathology. (907) 786-4450
  3. The Department of Educational Leadership with programs in educational leadership (principal, superintendent and teacher leadership preparation). (907) 786-4450

Undergraduate Program Options

The School of Education offers several program options for candidates interested in working with children.

  • Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development
  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education1
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education1
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Elementary Education1
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Early Childhood Pre-K-Third Grade1

Programs fulfill Alaska Department of Education and Early Development teacher certification or endorsement requirements. Refer to Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs for more information.

High School Preparation

All programs in the School of Education build upon the candidates’ strong high school preparation in the following areas:

  • English composition and writing
  • Oral communication
  • World languages
  • Algebra
  • Computer literacy
  • Social sciences
  • Natural sciences

Field Placements

All School of Education undergraduate programs require field experiences in school or agency settings. The School of Education works with Alaska school districts to offer diverse placements for students. Diversity of placements refers to grade levels and types of schools. It is our policy to ensure, whenever possible, that students receive diverse placements in schools and grade levels. Students who live in rural district will be placed in the most diverse placements possible in their location

Criminal History Background Clearance

The School of Education requires compliance with specific background clearance policies and procedures for candidates participating in university-sponsored fieldwork.  In some cases, criminal history background clearance is required for admission to a department or program. In addition to self disclosure of criminal history to the School of Education and its partners, a check of the Alaska and National Sex Offender Registries, a fingerprint-based check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a name-based check through the Alaska Public Safety Information Network may be required. Various agencies and centers may have additional requirements.

Failure to comply with the School of Education background check requirements will result in denial of access to field placement settings. Failure to pass the criminal history background check will result in removal from the program. More information is available on the School of Education website.

Cooperating School/Agency

Practica, internships and other field placements are made only in cooperation with participating school districts and agencies. The school districts and agencies that work in cooperation with the School of Education reserve the right to request additional information and/or preparation from candidates, as determined by their established policies and practices. Cooperating districts and agencies also determine the number of available spaces and placements for candidates. Placements may become competitive if the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces. Districts and agencies also reserve the right to refuse or terminate placements when candidates do not meet an acceptable standard of performance. Thus, while the university makes every effort to find appropriate field placements for candidates, admittance to a degree/certificate/endorsement program does not guarantee acceptance by cooperating school districts or agencies. Unacceptable academic performance, an unprofessional attitude, unsatisfactory field reports, violation of professional ethics or other factors may result in removal from the field placement.


Candidates who have taken all or part of an approved program at another university must take at least 9 credits of approved education courses at the University of Alaska prior to being admitted to an advanced practicum or internship.


Jonathan Bartels, Assistant Professor,
Ginger Blackmon, Assistant Professor,
Ellen Brigham, Term Assistant Professor,
Leah Brown, Term Assistant Professor,
Cathy Coulter, Associate Professor,
Kitty Deal, Term Assistant Professor,
Claudia Dybdal, Professor Emerita
Hattie Harvey, Assistant Professor,
Wei-Ying Hsiao, Professor,
Hsing-Wen Hu, Assistant Professor,
Eileen Hughes, Professor Emerita
Krista James, Term Assistant Professor,
Tim Jester, Associate Professor,
Donna Gail Shaw, Professor Emerita
Agatha John-Shields, Term Assistant Professor,
Ed McLain, Associate Professor,
Mike Mueller, Professor,
Kathleen O’Dell, Professor Emerita
Kathryn Ohle, Assistant Professor,
Paul Ongtooguk, Term Assistant Professor,
Irasema Ortega, Assistant Professor,
Gina Pastos, Term Assistant Professor,
Karen Roth, Term Assistant Professor,
Debra Russ, Associate Professor,
Grant Sasse, Assistant Professor,
Hilary Seitz, Professor,
Peggy Spencer, Term Assistant Professor,
Peter Snow, Assistant Professor,
Cassie Wells, Term Assistant Professor,