In this April 19, 2017 photo, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen speaks during an interview at the Juneau Empire. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

In this April 19, 2017 photo, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen speaks during an interview at the Juneau Empire. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

University of Alaska to recommend education school closure

Students would need to take courses with University of Alaska Southeast or University of Alaska Fairbanks.

ANCHORAGE — The University of Alaska president will recommend that the University of Alaska Anchorage close its School of Education, according to university officials.

President Jim Johnsen plans to make the recommendation to the University of Alaska Board of Regents April 8 so the education school can be closed by July 2020, Alaska Public Media reported Monday.

Initial licensing programs for the school’s education department would be discontinued effective Sept. 1 under the proposal. Some education courses are still accredited and students already enrolled in those programs would be allowed to finish before the closing of the program, officials said.

The university’s board of regents will decide whether the Anchorage campus will pursue reaccreditation, officials said.

University officials were told in January that the Anchorage education department lost national accreditation for its seven initial licensing programs from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation for failing four of five assessment categories, according to officials. They said the accreditation loss was due to a lack of data on student progress.

“That is not to say that students weren’t meeting those standards, but the program did not demonstrate to the satisfaction of the accreditor that we were meeting those objectives,” said Paul Layer, University of Alaska Vice President for Academics, Students and Research.

After Sept. 1, Anchorage students would need to take courses with instructors from the University of Alaska Fairbanks or the University of Alaska Southeast, which both have accredited education departments. This would include a mix of online courses and teachers from those programs teaching in Anchorage, Layer said.

• This is an Associated Press report.

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