With future of certain UAA programs up in the air, chancellor talks on school future, options for students

With future of certain UAA programs up in the air, chancellor talks on school future, options for students

OpentheNews — Despite the declaration of disavowal of one of its college’s accreditation statuses — which, for the present, puts into jeopardy the licensure of hundreds of students seeking for education instruction and administration related degrees — officials at the University of Alaska Anchorage say they are optimistic about the future of the school’s education programs.

“Of course they’re scared,” UAA Chancellor Dr. Cathy Sandeen said of students affected by the accreditation status. “They’re distressed, they’re anxious, and it’s our focus to do all we can to help them.”

The expulsion of accreditation came not long ago on the impact points of UAA getting results of an August 2017 assessment from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. While just 250 or so students out of somewhere in the range of 17,000 are affected, whole programs — including the Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts and post-baccalaureate programs, Elementary Education Bachelor of Arts and post-baccalaureate programs, Secondary Education Master of Arts in teaching, and starting licensure programs in a special education and early childhood special education — are currently in limbo, as indicated by an official statement from the school.

“They have different options,” Sandeen said, including “waiting to see what the Board of Education decides in terms of future licensing of our grads at UAA, and the other options are transferring to other institutions. So they will have pathways to become licensed teachers and educators in Alaska.”

Still, Sandeen says she has high hopes for the future.

“We’re really optimistic about how this situation is going to play out,” she said. “Right now, our biggest issue is concern for our students, and empathy for our students who are affected by this decision.”

The University of Alaska Board of Regents decided at its Jan. 18 meeting that a listening session for students and their families should be held. A date for that meeting is yet to be determined, but public testimony will be heard in a statewide public call-in during a regular meeting on Feb. 19.

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