April 5, 2019

April 5, 2018

UA Board of Regents will consider recommendation to discontinue initial licensure teacher education programs at UAA and discuss the university's FY20 budget

During a special meeting on April 8 the University of Alaska Board of Regents will hear the findings of an expedited program review regarding UAA’s School of Education, consider a recommendation to discontinue UAA’s initial licensure programs and discuss the university's FY20 budget.

UA administration has been dedicated to finding a certain path to licensure for education students in Anchorage since UAA lost accreditation of its School of Education initial licensure programs in early January. During its regular meeting Feb. 28/March 1, the board directed the UA president to conduct an expedited program review of UAA’s education programs. As part of that review process, options were presented by the chancellors of UAA, UAF and UAS for delivering education programs in Anchorage. The opinion of the General Counsel regarding any associated legal risks also factored into the final recommendation.

Based on the program review and the options presented, President Jim Johnsen has recommended that the Board of Regents vote to discontinue the initial licensure teacher education programs at UAA as of August 31, 2019 when State Board of Education licensing approval expires; and, offer accredited teacher education programs in Anchorage – both face-to-face and online – through the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast.

“This path forward provides access for our Anchorage students to excellent education programs that are already accredited and approved,” Johnsen said. “In the expedited program review, both UAF and UAS demonstrated the competence, capacity and creativity required to accommodate current and future student demand for our initial licensure programs”

Johnsen’s recommendation is one of three options outlined in the expedited program review that will be considered by the Board of Regents. The other options include: (1) continue current education programs provided by UAA, seek reaccreditation and work with the State Board of Education for interim approval of those programs; and (2) teach‐out through existing UAA programs until current students are done (~3 years) and then phasing in UAF and/or UAS programs for students in Anchorage.

If Johnsen’s recommendation is approved by the regents, current UAA School of Education students wanting to continue on a path to licensure would need to transfer to UAF or UAS programs, but would be able to remain in Anchorage and take classes on the UAA campus offered through UAF/UAS and taught by UAF/UAS faculty. UAA’s initial licensure educator preparation programs would be discontinued effective September 1, 2019. Additionally, at its May 2019 meeting, regents would consider the future of UAA’s non-initial licensure educator preparation programs.

Of the total of 489 students currently enrolled in the UAA School of Education, 335 are in the initial licensure programs.  Many of those students are on track to graduate prior to August 31, 2019, and others will need to enroll in UAF or UAS programs beginning in the fall.  To date, more than 100 students already have transferred to UAF or UAS programs being offered in Anchorage. The costs of transfer and any courses that students could need to re-take is being covered by the university.

The regents also will discuss the university’s FY20 budget and options for moving forward under different funding scenarios. In his budget, the Governor proposes a $134 million, or 41 percent,  reduction from UA’s current state funding. The House Finance Committee adopted an amendment to set state funding at $317 million, a $10 million reduction from the current fiscal year budget. But the process is a long way from done, the Senate has yet to weigh in and the Governor has, under Alaska law, the authority to veto items in the appropriation bill. During a planned budget workshop, regents will review different funding reduction scenarios, examine options for revenue enhancement and review structural options to reduce costs.

The special meeting will be live streamed 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. at www.alaska.edu/bor/live. In person locations on each campus are: Fairbanks, room 204 Butrovich Building; Anchorage, room 204 Administration Building; and Juneau, room 204 Hendrickson Building.

The meeting agenda is available online at: https://www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas/


For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).