Alaska Alternative Teacher Certification

Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. As of 2022, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (EED) did not recognize any alternative routes to licensure for candidates seeking teacher certification. However, those who have a bachelor’s degree but did not complete teacher preparation have the option of returning to school and completing a teacher preparation program to qualify for initial teaching licensure. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, visit our guide to traditional certification in Alaska. Otherwise, continue reading to learn more about post-bachelor’s preparation programs in the state.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

Candidates following the non-traditional path to teacher certification in Alaska must have at least a bachelor’s degree with a major in a teachable subject. Prospective teachers must then attend an approved Alaska teacher preparation program. These programs can sometimes be completed in as little as one year as a post-graduate certificate. Candidates may also elect to pursue a master’s degree in education or in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Alaska

As noted above, there are currently no recognized routes to alternative teacher certification in Alaska. Most candidates will be required to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program before applying for a license. However, there is one certificate that does not lead to traditional certification but that may be an option.

Type M Limited Certificate

The Type M Limited Certificate is issued to candidates who have subject matter expertise and can teach Alaska Native language or culture; military science; or vocational or technical subjects. This type of license must be requested by a local school board and be supported by two letters of recommendation describing the candidate’s length of experience and competence in the specialty area. If issued, the certificate is only valid in the school district where it was requested. This type of license does not lead to any other type of teacher certification in Alaska and is limited only to the subjects listed above. For more information, consult the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (EED).

Testing Requirements for Alaska Alternative Certification

Except for the Type M Limited Certificate, candidates who complete a teacher preparation program after earning a bachelor’s degree must pass the same exams as all other prospective educators in the state. To qualify for the Initial teaching certificate, candidates must first pass an approved basic competency exam. To continue teaching in the state after an Initial certificate is issued, teachers must also pass the appropriate Praxis II subject area exam for their endorsement area(s).

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Out-of-state applicants may qualify for teacher certification through reciprocity if they have completed a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program and have passed a basic competency exam. Candidates must meet the same requirements, including passing the appropriate Praxis II exam and taking Alaska-specific coursework, as in-state educators within two years. For more information, view our guide to teaching certificate reciprocity or consult the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Alaska

Completing an approvedcertification program is an important step towards earning licensure. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) has approved the following school-based programs leading to a certificate or master’s degree for licensure candidates:

  • Alaska Pacific University (Certificate)
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks (Certificate, Master’s)
  • University of Alaska-Southeast (Certificate, Master’s)

*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.

Additional Resources

1. Alaska Department of Education & Early Development: https://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification