The PITAAS program has changed the face of UAS— 17% of students are now Alaska Native. PITAAS has become an integral part of what UAS is all about, it is clearly aligned with the UAS mission. — Chancellor John Pugh
The Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska's Schools (P.I.T.A.A.S) Program and the School of Education, University of Alaska Southeast have received a grant award in the amount of $2,382,502 from the U.S. Department of Education, Alaska Native Educational Program.
This is the sixth successive grant cycle since 2000, and continues the financial aid opportunities for Alaska Native students in pursuit of degrees that lead to the teaching profession.
Project goals include: increasing the number of Alaska Native teachers and administrators in Alaska schools, professional development for Alaska Native educators including place-based education opportunities incorporating Native knowledge, target approaches to preparing culturally competent educators, and the creation of pathways for Alaska Native high school students interested in teaching through high school and college credit course options.
New initiatives could include a partnership with Sealaska Heritage Institute to design and produce a media campaign on the importance of careers in education, opportunities for Alaska Native teachers to earn endorsements in E-learning, a new endorsement program in Alaska Native education and leadership, competitive scholarships for extended study of language and culture, seminars such as Our Cultural Landscape and funding for tech prep courses in introductory math, English and education.
Joshua Jackson of Juneau has been an avid PITAAS student over the years, earning a Bachelors in Education and then Master of Education degrees in both Reading(2011) and Math (2013), while teaching Kindergarten full-time at Harborview Elementary School and becoming a new father. Joshua is now part of a Tlingit language apprenticeship program developed by the SealaskaHeritage Institute, a strong PITAAS partner.