Thanks to funding from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Division of Behavior Health, there are at least 11 schools that offer alternative education in Alaska. For young adults looking for a different route to complete their education, alternative education teachers can make all the difference.
Certification Requirements for Alaskan Alternative Education Teachers
|Average Salary for Alaska Teachers (2016)*||$65,090 (Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Degree Field||Subject Area and Education|
|Testing Requirements||Basic competency exam (BCE) and Praxis subject area exam|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Educational Requirements for Alaskan Alternative Education Teachers
Because alternative education teachers often instruct high school students, their initial bachelor's degree would be in their chosen subject. Of course, this subject should be one the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development deems licensable. Some may choose to focus on English, while others will choose art, mathematics, or foreign languages, just to name a few. It should be noted that those who wish to go on and earn their master's degree in education may be required to carry at least a 2.7 GPA throughout these initial studies.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
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Teacher Certification Exam Requirements
Alaska's Teacher Certification Office requires teaching candidates to pass both the Basic Competency Exam (BCE) and subject area exams before they can apply for a teacher certification program at a university.
The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE) test and the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) test both have a reading, writing, and math section and are potential options for meeting the BCE requirement.
The reading portion of the CASE exam requires a 156 to pass, while the writing section calls for a 162 score, and the math subtest takes a score of 150 to pass. All three are made up of 40-56 multiple-choice questions, but the writing subtest also includes two short answer questions. To take all three sections, the test can take five hours.
For the PreProfessional Skills Test (PPST), each section is comprised of 40-46 multiple-choice questions, and the writing section also includes one short answer question. This test takes around 4 hours to complete entirely and requires an average of 174 to pass.
The subject area exam future alternative education teachers take may vary depending on their specialty. Some examples include the:
- Biology: Content Knowledge exam
- English: Content Knowledge exam
- Geography exam
- Music: Content Knowledge exam
These examples are all Praxis Subject Assessment tests and consist of multiple-choice questions.
The Teacher Education Program
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development requires Alaskan teachers to complete a teacher's education program from a regionally accredited program.
Teachers in Alaska are also required to complete a course in Alaska studies, such as those dealing with Alaska's history or its government and politics. They also take a class in Alaska multiculturalism, including indigenous cultures and Alaska Native education.
Many schools in Alaska require a 3.0 GPA over the course of the program. To complete the program, students spend time in a classroom during a student teaching experience.
Submitting a Teacher Certification Application
To apply for teacher certification in Alaska, candidates have to include their official college transcripts. The Initial Teaching Certificate comes before the more permanent Professional Teacher Certificate, which is earned after completing the Alaska studies and Alaskan multiculturalism courses. Additionally, when applying for an Initial Teacher Certificate in Alaska, candidates should also submit a fingerprint card. This will allow the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the FBI to complete background checks.
Link for Future Alaskan Teachers
For those who feel they will benefit from some practice before undertaking the CASE exam, the course provided in the link below may be rather helpful.