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Archive: Planning and Implementation of the Alaska College of Education


The pages here represent archived information about the process of creating the new Alaska College of Education. To learn about current degree programs and structure, please visit

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 provides leadership statewide in teacher education and educational leadership programs by advancing coordination, collaboration, and partnerships at all three UA universities. Students continue to have opportunities to complete teacher education programs at those universities, but the change supports greater program alignment and efficiencies.  Dr. Steve Atwater now 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.

UA Teacher Education Council Planning and Implementation Work

Beginning January 1, 2018, the UA Teacher Education Council (UATEC) became the new name for the steering committee charged with planning the Alaska College of Education.  During planning stages, the UATEC included UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield as Chair, as well as representatives at each university (UAS, UAF, and UAA) including Provosts; Faculty for Graduate Studies, Secondary Education, and Elementary Education; and Faculty representing Alaskan Native perspectives. Meetings were held biweekly throughout the academic year beginning in February 2017.  Meeting notes from planning and implementation can be found on the "Meeting Note" tab.

An All-Faculty meeting was held in Anchorage on May 11, 2017 to which all Education, Educational Research, Special Education, and Counseling faculty were invited.  Over the course of fall 2017 and spring 2018, smaller groups of faculty met in person for in-depth discussion of recommendations for Elementary, Secondary, Graduate Studies, Research, and Special Education.

On July 1, 2018, Dr. Steve Atwater became the Executive Dean of the College of Education and assumed the role of Chair for the UATEC.

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 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, were:

  • 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 was made up of fulltime Education faculty and selected staff from across all three universities (as noted above). That group met together in Anchorage on May 11, 2017, and several subgroups are met again face-to-face in September. The remaining working groups were made up of UA staff and faculty with particular knowledge of identified subject areas (e.g. library, facilities). Each was led by a facilitator, who was 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 was to assemble information and data that responds to the question and needs posed by the Steering Committee, and to prepare a brief written report to the Committee summarizing its findings, ideas, and recommendations. These groups met via audio- and/or video-conferencing during summer 2017 and provided a report back to the Steering Committee Chair by August.

The focus of the groups was 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.

Past Meetings for Planning: 

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

An External Advisory Council was created to advise the President from outside agencies. The original council included the following people.  The current list can be found on the Alaska Coillege of Education pages - this information is provided for historical reference.

  • 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