University of Alaska Anchorage’s teaching programs lose accreditation

University of Alaska Anchorage’s teaching programs lose accreditation

The university is not allowed to recommend students to the state for licensure without accreditation.

ANCHORAGE — A national oversight organization has revoked the accreditation of teaching degree programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation notified the university Friday, throwing the viability of teaching into jeopardy for about 250 students enrolled in the programs, the Anchorage Daily News reported this week.

The university is not allowed to recommend students to the state for licensure without accreditation. Teachers must be licensed by the state to teach in public schools.

[University of Alaska bosses ask for more money from Legislature]

“To put so much work into it and for it to be like this might not matter anymore — I mean, I just want to cry,” said Jessica Beers, a junior studying early elementary education.

The revocation affects the university’s bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education, as well as the master’s degree program in secondary education. Students will still be able to graduate from the university with degrees in these programs, said Cathy Sandeen, the university’s chancellor.

The Alaska Board of Education could make an exception and allow students from the unaccredited programs to be licensed, said Claudia Dybdahl, the interim director of the College of Education. Administrators will present their case to the state board later this month, she said.

[New UA College of Education ready for first year]

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is known for its rigor and focus on data for its accreditation standard.

“They really focus a lot on assessments and data. And we didn’t really have enough data, consistent data and analysis of data to meet their criteria,” Dybdahl said.

The university can try again for accreditation in a year. University officials said they are confident the university will meet the standards.

• This is an Associated Press report.

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