Share story

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state will still consider spring and summer graduates of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s School of Education as coming from a state-approved program despite the school losing accreditation.

Teaching degree programs usually require accreditation for state approval, but the state Board of Education and Early Development voted Monday to make an exception, the Anchorage Daily News reported .

The university announced early last month that the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation had revoked accreditation of programs for people working toward initial teaching certifications. The national oversight body found the teaching programs failed to meet four out of five of its standards.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re in the situation we’re in, but at this point we just have to make sure it never happens again and we move education forward,” said James Fields, chair of the state board.

About 250 students were enrolled in the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The university has 40 students graduating from the affected programs in the spring and summer.

State Education Commissioner Michael Johnson announced last month that the university could still recommend its spring and summer graduates for teaching licenses, which are needed to work in public schools.

It could take the university up to three years to acquire accreditation. The state board also approved a process for the university to move forward, requiring it to develop a plan that shows the teaching programs are “substantially” meeting the accreditation standards.

The plan will inform if the board will allow future classes to graduate with state-approved degrees.

“Now we must work toward longer term options for the UAA education program,” university President Jim Johnsen said. “With the full support of the Board of Regents and (university) Chancellor Cathy Sandeen, I personally have promised our students that I will do all that I can to make this right for each of them.”

___

Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com