School of Education

School of Education website

The School of Education (SOE) 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 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 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 initial teacher professional preparation programs are offered in pathway partnerships with UAF and UAS. The early childhood program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

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 a thorough 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. 

Individuals who desire a UAA degree or certificate must apply for admission to the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and to the School of Education. 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. 

Undergraduate Program Options

The School of Education offers one program option for candidates interested in working with children.

  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Development

The AAS in Early Childhood Development builds upon candidates’ strong high school preparation in the following areas:

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

The program also requires 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. Students who live in rural districts 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 and those enrolling in coursework offered at the Providence Early Learning Lab (PELL). 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 or PELL. 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.