Pilot internship scholarship supports teacher education students
February 3, 2023
The University of Alaska (UA) is launching a new pilot program to offset the financial burden of teacher internships. Aspiring teachers completing their unpaid full-time internship, or student teaching year, have little time to work an outside job. For many, that becomes a barrier to completing their teacher licensure program.
Current and prospective students in the final years of UA’s teacher licensure programs who meet eligibility requirements can now apply for the UA Teacher Internship Scholarship, with recipients receiving tuition, fees and a $10,000 stipend to offset living expenses. The university has dedicated $1 million of funding for this pilot scholarship program and is expecting to award up to 30 student teachers in the next year. The deadline for priority consideration is April 15, 2023, with awards to be announced in early May.
“Addressing the affordability barrier to high-quality teacher preparation allows all districts and all schools access to well-prepared teachers and increases the diversity of candidates entering the teaching profession,” said Amy Vinlove, Dean of UAF School of Education. “Local teachers stay in the district, so investments in their training stay in the community.”
Year-long teacher internships are a critical component of the high-quality teacher education programs offered through all three schools of education in the UA System, providing invaluable hands-on training and experience in the classroom. Programs in all certification levels and focus areas are now welcoming applications for summer 2023, and the fall 2023 through spring 2024 internship year.
The Teacher Internship Scholarship is offered through all three schools of education for eligible undergraduate and graduate students to use during their full-time internships:
- Undergraduate students in their final two years (60 credits) of their UA preparation program are eligible for full tuition support and a $10,000 living stipend during their final full-time internship year.
- Graduate students enrolled in a UA initial licensure program are also eligible for tuition support and a $10,000 living stipend. Admissions for graduate licensure programs are currently open.
Alaska’s best teachers begin their teaching careers having completed a full year in the classroom under the guidance of a qualified mentor teacher. This “internship year” allows future teachers to experience a school year from beginning to end, building their skills and practicing new strategies provided in their concurrent UA education coursework. Scholarships will help offset expenses during the final internship year by providing a stipend for living expenses, and support for program tuition and fees.
“Alaska’s aspiring educators cannot train for free,” said Vinlove.
Teachers prepared through a high-quality, year-long internship-based program are three times more likely to still teach in the classroom after three years than those in fast-track or emergency licensure programs. Interns spend the majority of each week in a host school and classroom. Supporting Alaskan students in becoming teachers reduces a district’s need to incur the high cost of recruiting from outside Alaska and increases the likelihood of multiple-year retention.
Information on the teacher education programs available through the schools of education at the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast, as well as additional details on the UA Teacher Internship Scholarship, can be found on the Teach Alaska website.