Teaching Degrees in Alaska

Those who plan to earn a teaching degree in Alaska or teach in the Alaska public school system, need to know some important information, such as:

  • The value of a master’s degree
  • What kinds of scholarships and grants are available
  • State teaching certification in Alaska

Also included here is a list of additional resources and is a comprehensive directory of fully accredited teaching degrees in Alaska.

Teaching Degrees in Alaska

To become a teacher in Alaska, one needs at minimum a bachelor’s degree in education or in a teacher’s education program. Four colleges and universities offer teaching degrees in Alaska. Of Alaska’s teachers, 46.9 percent have master’s degrees. A teacher with a master’s degree in Alaska can expect to earn a minimum of $6,000 more annually than a teacher who holds only a bachelor’s degree.

The salary schedule for teachers in Alaska varies widely by school district. Information on school districts’ salary schedules can be found by contacting the individual districts, but new teachers typically earn about $42,687 per year, with the state average salary for teachers at $58,395.

Teaching Scholarships and Grants in Alaska

There are a wealth of scholarships and grants available to those pursuing teaching degrees in Alaska. Among those available are:

Alaska Academic Competitiveness Grant
This grant provides up to $750 for the first year of undergraduate study and up to $1,300 for the second year of undergraduate study. It is available to full-time students who are eligible for a Pell Grant and who have completed a rigorous high school program related to the grant.

AlaskAdvantage Education Grant
This grant provides from $500 to $2,000 to eligible students attending qualifying institutes of higher education in Alaska. It is designed to provide need-based financial assistance and is based on exceptional SAT or ACT scores.

TEACH Grant
This grant is designed specifically for those who intend to pursue a career as a full-time teacher in a low-income school district, in a field designated by the Department of Education as “high need.” It provides up to $4,000 per year for students, up to a $16,000 four-year maximum, or a cumulative $8,000 maximum for graduate students.

Alaska Retired Educators Scholarship
This $2,000 scholarship is awarded to an education major who is at least junior year-level, maintains a 3.0 or higher GPA, attends the University of Alaska and intends to teach in the state.

Alaska Educational Innovations Network (AEIN) Scholarship
Similar to the TEACH Grant, this is an Alaska-based scholarship awarded to qualifying students who agree to teach in a “high needs school” for at least one year following graduation.

Alaska International Education Foundation
This foundation offers small grants and scholarships to those individuals pursuing education and research-related fields that increase understanding between Alaska and nations around the world.

Gear Up Alaska Scholarship
This federally funded program provides up to $7,000 per year, for up to four years of study. The program is available to students who have participated and met milestones in GEAR UP programs during sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

Alaska Teacher Certification

The pathway to becoming a teacher in Alaska starts with a bachelor’s degree. With this degree from an accredited teaching program, the applicant can apply for an initial certificate after obtaining passing scores on a Basic Competency Exam such as the Praxis exam.

Certification requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Passing score on a basic competency exam such as the Praxis II or equivalent state certification exam
  • Fingerprinting and criminal history background check

Alternately, a new program called the Alaska Transition to Teaching Program enables individuals to earn a teaching certificate by completing an online, pre-service course and a four-week summer fieldwork program. The goal of this program is to permit applicants to obtain certification while working full-time at another position. To obtain this certification, applicants must commit to a two-year position in rural school districts. Candidates for this program must:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree
  • Pass the Praxis I basic skills test
  • Pass a Praxis II skills test in the subject area they wish to teach

Important Note: Alaska has reciprocity agreements for certified teachers in all other states. In order to obtain certification in Alaska, applicants must take six credits in Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural coursework within two years of receiving the initial certificate.

Professional educators in Alaska must renew their certification every five years. Renewing the certification is achieved by fulfilling following requirements:

  • Six semester hour renewal credits from an accredited university
  • At least three semester hours must be at the graduate level
  • Continuing Education Credits with prior EED approval can be substituted for up to three of the semester hours

Additional Resources about Teaching in Alaska

The following resources provide additional information about earning a teaching degree and working as a teacher in Alaska.

Alaska State Department of Education
Comprehensive information about the Alaska public school system and teaching in Alaska.

Alaska Department of Labor
Information about the Alaska job market.

Alaska Retired Educators Association
An association founded to serve the needs of educators both currently active and retired, and to advocate for Alaskan youth.

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