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AKCOE Mission

Working cooperatively with P–12 schools and the community, faculty of the Alaska College of Education at the University of Alaska Southeast identify, prepare and strengthen effective teachers for sustained contributions to the education profession in rural and urban settings in Alaska and the nation.

Message from the Dean

In this most unusual of years, on behalf of the faculty and staff, I am pleased to welcome you to the Alaska College of Education’s website. I trust that the site’s pages will provide you with the information you are seeking.

Although the pandemic is causing a lot of disruption, because our programs in the fall and spring semesters are all delivered online, the disruption to the AKCoE has not been as severe as it is to other units at UAS. Our students’ clinical experience is, however, affected by the virus with most of our interns and practicum students beginning their work with their host teachers in a virtual environment.  

The UAS Alaska College of Education, with good school district partnerships and faculty in Juneau, Anchorage, Kenai, Kodiak, and Soldotna, offers initial licensure and advanced programs for students across Alaska. This fall we have 74 interns in 12 of the state’s 54 school districts and for the past three years, graduates teaching in 46 of these districts. We accommodate our students through online courses and offer an intensive summer session for three of our programs. With an emphasis on the clinical phase of preparation, our programs include students spending a lot of time observing and teaching in schools while being closely supervised by faculty both in person and through remote video observation. This year because of the pandemic, much of the clinical experience is virtual. Thank you to the school districts who have worked so hard to accommodate our interns and practicum students during these challenging times.

Alaska is unlike any state in the nation and this uniqueness is reflected in our programs that reflect our four core beliefs: equity and diversity, community, reflection and inquiry,and Yaakoosgé. Yaakoosgé is a Tlingit word that comes from a verb, which means “to  be intelligent” The root word ge’ is a verb root that means “understand, comprehend,”  yaahas to do with mental activity and koois a prefix that has to do with a given space. The choice of this Tlingit word to capture these components of learning is to recognize the unit’s emphasis on preparing teachers to work with Alaska Native students. We strongly believe that all our candidates must have a good understanding of the limitations of Western education on our state’s Indigenous students and how to use this understanding to avoid repeating these limitations.

Our faculty has a variety of experiences and research activities in Alaska’s schools to guide their teaching. Additionally, their teaching emphasizes Alaska-based connections and applicability, helping to foster a close relationship with each student through advising and supervision. We are proud that each year, school principals across Alaska rate our graduates as being well-prepared for their teaching positions.

To learn more about the Alaska College of Education and its programs please contact our Student Services Assistant Elisabeth Genaux at 907-796-6076 or She can answer your questions or direct you to a faculty member. We believe that our state’s and country’s biggest responsibility is to educate its children. We are pleased to prepare teachers and administrators who help Alaska meet this responsibility.

Thanks for visiting our website, we look forward to welcoming you.

Steve Atwater, PhD
Executive Dean, Alaska College of Education


Our graduates will be informed, reflective and responsive teachers within diverse classroom, school and community contexts.

AKCOE Faculty's Professional Commitments

  1. Recognize and nurture candidate differences, promote and model positive attitudes toward diversity, and teach in inclusive and culturally responsive ways.
  2. Design and adjust programs to meet the evolving and unique needs of Alaska.
  3. Personalize teaching, challenge candidates to think and reflect, use performance-based assessment, create communities of learners, arrange extensive and substantial field experience, conduct and promote teacher research, and, generally model concepts taught in action.
  4. Use technology to support learning, empower candidates and provide accessibility to quality teacher education throughout the state.
  5. Ground candidates’ learning in classroom field experience in diverse school communities.
  6. Use real classrooms as well as books as source materials for knowledge construction, research, and life-long learning.
  7. Establish collaborative relationships with candidates to support the whole learner.
  8. Broaden professional knowledge through research activities.
  9. Plan instruction based upon understanding of learning theory, human development, content and effective practice.
  10. Monitor and support candidates’ development of content area knowledge and their transition from proficient learner to proficient teacher of content.

Student Goals and Performances, Expected in All Programs

  • K Knowledge
  • S Skill
  • D Disposition

Goal 1: Educators articulate, maintain, and develop a philosophy of education that is demonstrated in their practice.


  1. support their philosophy of education with research-based theory and evidence. K
  2. apply their philosophy, beliefs, and theory to practice. S
  3. are guided by their philosophy of education are flexible in revising it based on new research and teaching experience. D

Goal 2: Educators understand how human development affects learning and apply that understanding to practice.


  1. identify ways students’ developmental levels affect their thinking processes and learning. K
  2. accommodate differences in how students learn based on knowledge of individual’s social, emotional, and intellectual maturation. S
  3. demonstrate an appreciate of unique thinking processes of learners during different stages of development. D

Goal 3: Educators differentiate instruction with respect for individual and cultural characteristics.


  1. identify strategies for differentiating instruction based on student differences. K.
  2. design instruction that incorporates characteristics of the local community’s culture and that is appropriate to students’ individual and special needs. S
  3. apply local and Alaska knowledge to the selection of instructional strategies, materials and resources S
  4. demonstrate their belief that all students can learn and that they appreciate multiple perspectives and value individual differences. D

Goal 4: Educators possess current academic content knowledge.


  1. demonstrate knowledge of their content area, including structure of the curriculum, the tools of inquiry, central concepts, and connections to other areas of knowledge. K
  2. connect the content area to other content areas and to practical situations encountered outside the school. S
  3. demonstrate commitment to professional discourse about content knowledge and student learning of content. D

Goal 5: Educators facilitate student learning by using assessment to guide planning, instruction, and modification of practice.


  1. understand how to plan for instruction that is based on learner needs and curriculum goals. K
  2. plan, teach, and assess for optimal learning. S
  3. demonstrate that they value assessment and instruction as integrated processes. D

Goal 6: Educators create and manage a stimulating, inclusive and safe learning community in which learners take intellectual risks and work independently and collaboratively.


  1. investigate and use a variety of techniques to establish and maintain a responsive environment for all learners. (K,S)
  2. establish and maintain a positive climate in which learners develop self-direction and collaborative skills. S
  3. commit to ensuring learner well being and development of self-regulation and group interaction skills. D

Goal 7: Educators work as partners with parents, families and the community.


  1. develop a sound, broad-based understanding of learners’ families and the local communities. K
  2. communicate effectively with parents and community members to and incorporate local ways of knowing into decision making about all levels of schooling. S
  3. recognize the school as an integral part of the community and value families and community members as partners in promoting learning. D

Goal 8: Educators develop and maintain professional, moral, and ethical attitudes, behaviors, relationships, and habits of mind.


  1. remain current in knowledge of content and teaching practice. K
  2. participate in and contribute to the teaching profession. S
  3. communicate effectively with students, colleagues, and supervisors. S
  4. demonstrate professional ethics, democratic principles, and collaborative learning communities. D

Goal 9: Educators use technology effectively, creatively, and wisely in their practice.


  1. effectively use computers and other technologies in their professional practice and evaluate the potentials and limitations of technologies.. K
  2. integrate technology in planning, instruction, and assessment to support student learning. S
  3. value technology as a tool for lifelong learning. D


The Alaska College of Education values our partnerships with the Alaska System for Early Education Development Program and the Alaska Arts Education Consortium.

All AKCOE students in field placements are held accountable under the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Professional Teaching Practices.