If your dream is to become an educator, it is essential to know the steps you must take to become licensed in your state. There are several requirements to fulfill before you can become a certified teacher in Alaska. Educating yourself about these requirements will prepare you for a successful career in education.
According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, all applicants for a teaching certification must hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited institution. Most often, this degree is in education, although other state-approved teacher preparation programs may be acceptable. You must submit transcripts to verify your successful completion of an accredited program and any other required coursework.
To receive an initial teacher certificate, you must demonstrate competency in your chosen subject area by passing a standardized test. Applicants must have passing scores from all three sections — reading, writing, and mathematics — of the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators exam or an approved equivalent exam. You must also pass the PRAXIS II exam in your chosen subject area (such as Middle School Mathematics or Elementary Education Content Knowledge).
First-time teachers must complete a several courses within the first two years of receiving an initial teacher certificate. Each teacher must complete three semester hours of approved Alaska studies coursework and three semester hours of Alaska multicultural coursework. These courses are designed to prepare you to be sensitive to Alaska’ unique culture and history.
Applicants for a teaching certificate must also submit a state or institutional recommendation, pass a background check, and provide fingerprints.
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development offers eight types of certificates for teachers. These allow individuals with diverse educational backgrounds to have a path to becoming a teacher in Alaska.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Alaska for the 2015-2016 school year:
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Alaska participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.
Categorized as: Teaching License