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Planning for the Alaska College of Education

Overview

As part of the University of Alaska’s Strategic Pathways process, the Board of Regents seeks to greatly expand the number of Alaskan-educated teachers, principals, and superintendents for Alaska’s schools. Nearly two-thirds of all new teachers hired in Alaska each year come from out-of-state. Many stay for only a few years. Research shows that students’ education is enhanced by teachers who know our state: its history, economy, cultures, and languages. President Jim Johnsen outlined a goal that, by 2025, 90 percent of all new teacher hires in Alaska will be educated at the University of Alaska. To achieve that goal, the Board of Regents approved creation of the Alaska College of Education--based at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). The new college will provide leadership statewide in teacher education and educational leadership programs by advancing coordination, collaboration, and partnerships at all three UA universities. Students will continue to have opportunities to complete teacher education programs at those universities, but the change will support greater program alignment and efficiencies. Dr. Steve Atwater serves as Executive Dean of the college, which is guided by a UA-wide Teacher Education Council and by an External Advisory Committee made up of Education stakeholders across Alaska.

Dr. Steve Atwater selected as Executive Dean to lead new Alaska College of Education

atwaterJUNEAU -- Following a national search, Dr. Steve Atwater has been selected as Executive Dean of new Alaska College of Education (AKCOE) at the University of Alaska Southeast. Atwater begins his new position on July 1, 2018. He will have direct administrative responsibility for Education programs at UAS along with statewide responsibility for enhancing coordination and collaboration of all UA Education programs and expanding partnerships with K-12 districts and education leaders across the state.

The selection of executive dean represents a major milestone in UA’s plan to greatly increase its preparation of quality Alaskan teachers, principals, and superintendents. Currently Alaska imports nearly two-thirds of all new teachers hired each year. The UA Board of Regents last year asked UAS to lead in meeting this goal.

UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield expressed confidence that Atwater is the right person to lead the effort: “Dr. Atwater brings experience and insights that are particularly valuable for the university in this time of change. His dedication to teacher excellence is unquestioned and he has a wealth of teaching and leadership experience in both rural and urban schools in Alaska. It’s rare to find someone who has this distinctive array of skills, talents, and experience.”

UA President Jim Johnsen also expressed his pleasure at having such a capable leader who can contribute to expanding a culture of education in Alaska. “We’re very fortunate to have a person of Steve’s caliber to lead our effort to strengthen our teacher education efforts,” he said.

Atwater will be based in Juneau but will travel extensively to work with university leaders, faculty, and staff across the entire state. In addition to the new Alaska College of Education at UAS, UAA and UAF will continue to provide high quality teacher preparation and other education programs at their respective campuses. They will be led by directors who, together with faculty from all three universities, will make up the new UA Teacher Education Council. The council’s charge includes making recommendations about greater coordination, collaboration, and innovation in preparing new teachers, principals, and superintendents.

Atwater earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Alaska. He began his Alaska career as a teacher in predominantly Alaska Native communities in western Alaska, and went on to become superintendent at both Lake and Peninsula School District and at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. He was recognized as Alaska’s Superintendent of the Year in 2013. Most recently he has served as Interim Dean of the UAF School of Education.

  • Chancellor Richard Caulfield (chair), University of Alaska Southeast
  • Provost Karen Carey, University of Alaska Southeast
  • Interim Provost Duane Hrncir, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Provost Susan Henrichs, University of Alaska Fairbanks 
  • Interim Dean Stephen Atwater, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Dr. Amy Vinlove, Assistant Professor, Elementary Education, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Dr. Sean Asiqluq Topkok, Assistant Professor, Graduate Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Diane Kardash, Term Assistant Professor, Elementary Education, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Dr. Cathy Coulter, Associate Professor, Elementary Education, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Dr. Jonathan Bartels, Assistant Professor, Secondary Education, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Paul Ongtooguk, Assistant Professor, Secondary Education, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Dr. Katy Spangler, Professor, Education, University of Alaska Southeast
  • Dr. Lisa Richardson, Assistant Professor, Education, University of Alaska Southeast
  • Ernestine Hayes, Associate Professor, English, University of Alaska Southeast

Upcoming Meetings: 

DATEDAYTIMECONFERENCE INFO
The UA Teacher Education Council will meet monthly during the summer of 2018. Dates TBD.

Past Meetings: 

February 24, 2017Audio and Video Conference
March 10, 2017In Person - Anchorage
March 24, 2017Audio and Video Conference
April 7, 2017Audio and Video Conference
April 21, 2017Audio and Video Conference
May 2, 2017Audio and Video Conference
May 11, 2017All Faculty Meeting - In Person in Anchorage
May 19, 2017Audio and Video Conference
May 30, 2017Audio and Video Conference
June 16, 2017Audio and Video Conference
June 30, 2017Audio and Video Conference
August 18, 2017Audio and Video Conference
September 1, 2017Audio and Video Conference
September 8, 2017UA Secondary Education Faculty Meeting-In Person in Juneau
September 15, 2017UA Special Education Faculty Meeting-In Person in Anchorage
September 15, 2017UA Graduate Education Faculty Meeting-In Person in Anchorage
September 29, 2017Audio and Video Conference
October 8, 2017UA Elementary Education Faculty Meeting-In Person in Anchorage
October 13, 2017Audio and Video Conference
October 27, 2017Audio and Video Conference
NovemberNo Meetings in November due to conflict with Board of Regents Meeting and the Holiday
December 8, 2017Audio and Video Conference
January 12, 2018Audio and Video Conference
February 2, 2018

All Elementary Education Faculty Meeting-In Person in Anchorage

and All Special Education Faculty Meeting (separately)

February 16, 2018Audio and Video Conference
February 23, 2018All Graduate Faculty Meeting in-person in Anchorage
March 30, 2018All Educational Research Faculty in-personin Fairbanks
March 30, 2018Audio and Video Conference
April 13, 2018All Secondary Faculty Meeting In Person in Anchorage
April 20, 2018Audio and Video Conference
  • Stephanie Butler, Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary Education
  • Jerry Covey, Consultant/EED Alaska Education Challenge
  • Sue Hull, State Board of Education
  • Lisa Parady, Alaska Council of School Administrators
  • Tim Parker, NEA Alaska
  • Edward Alexander, Education Director, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Rosita Worl, Executive Director, Sealaska Heritage Institute
  • Ty Mase, Superintendent, Lake and Peninsula School District
  • Kersten Gomez, Teacher, Kenai Peninsula School District
  • Barb (QasuGlana) Amarok, Sitnasuak Native Corporation
  • Sondra L. Meridith, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development
  • Senator Natasha von Imhof, Alaska State Legislature
  • Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Alaska State Legislature

Involvement of UA-wide Working Groups

President Johnsen's directive from February 3, 2017 called for creation of working groups to support the Steering Committee’s planning efforts. As part of its deliberations, the Committee has identified a need for eight such groups, focused on specific information and data requirements linked to a NWCCU Substantive Change Proposal. The eight groups, made up of representatives from each UA university, are:

  • Educational Offerings
  • Student Services
  • Physical Facilities & Equipment
  • Library, IT Services & Instructional Design
  • Human Resources
  • Budget & Fiscal Planning
  • Innovative Partnership Models
  • Data Management

The Educational Offerings working group is made up of fulltime Education faculty and selected staff from across all three universities. That group met together in Anchorage on May 11, and several subgroups are expected to meet again face-to-face in September. The remaining working groups will be made up of UA staff and faculty with particular knowledge of identified subject areas (e.g. library, facilities). Each will be led by a facilitator, who is a member of the group. UA Steering Committee members, including provosts from each university, were involved in nominating members from their university for service on these groups.

The charge to each group is to assemble information and data that responds to the question and needs posed by the Steering Committee (to be provided) and to prepare a brief written report to the Committee summarizing its findings, ideas, and recommendations. The plan is that these groups will meet via audio- and/or video-conferencing during summer 2017 and provide a report back to the Steering Committee Chair no later than August 31.

The focus of the groups will be on: 1) fulfilling the expectations of the Board of Regents in creating a single Alaska College of Education, 2) supporting the Steering Committee’s efforts to meet NWCCU accreditation standards, and 3) enhancing opportunities for student success and innovation in teacher preparation and educational leadership in Alaska.

Working Groups & Members

Working Group

UASUAAUAF
Educational OfferingsFacultyFacultyFaculty
Student Services
  • Barbara Hegel, Registrar
  • Janelle Cook, Dir. Fin Aid
  • Amanda Triplett, Advising
  • Lora Volden, Registrar
  • Catherine Taylor, Academic Success Coord.
  • Lindsey Chadwell, Interim Registrar
  • Ginny Kinne, Academic Advising Center
  • Mike Earnest, UAF Registrar
  • Julie Parshall, Financial Aid
Physical Facilities & EquipmentNathan Leigh, PEKim Mahoney, FacilitiesScott Bell, Facilities
Library, IT Services & Instructional Design
  • Elise Tomlinson, Director, Egan Library
  • Cody Bennett, IT Services
  • Maureen O'Halloran, Instructional Designer
  • Katy Spangler, Faculty
  • Katherine Walker, Educ. Tech. Coordinator
  • Steve Rollins, Director
  • Karen Jensen, Library
  • Chris Lott, eLearning
  • Tom Langdon, OIT Customer Support Services
Human Resources
  • Karen Carey, Provost
  • Gail Cheney, Director, HR
  • Virgil Fredenberg, Faculty
  • Michelle Yerkes, Senior HR Consultant
  • Marian Bruce, Director, Faculty Service
  • Sam Gingerich, Interim Chancellor
  • Susan Henrichs, Provost
  • Brad Lobland, HR
Budget & Fiscal Planning
  • Michael Ciri, VC Administration
  • Julie Vigil, Budget Director
  • Deborah Lo, Dean
  • Pat Shier, VC Administration
  • Paul Deputy, Interim Dean
  • Megan Olsen, UAA Development
  • Kari Burrell, VC Administration
  • Julie Queen, AVC Financial Services
  • Sasha Wood, SOE Fiscal Officer
Innovative Partnership Models
  • Ernestine Hayes, Faculty
  • Scott Christian, Faculty
  • Paul Ongtooguk, Faculty
  • Jennifer Hardy, PACE
  • Evon Peter, VC CRCD
  • Steve Atwater, Dean
  • Carol Barnhardt, Faculty
Data ManagementBrad Ewing, IE
  • Erin Holmes
  • Brian Brubaker
Ian Olson