Several initial licensure programs under The University of Alaska Anchorage's School of Education are no longer accredited, a press release from the university confirmed last week.

According to Friday's release, the programs have lost accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation, which is a nationally-recognized accrediting body for institutions with educator preparation degrees and programs.

“Since 2016 we have been working diligently to improve in areas identified by CAEP,” UAA School of Education interim director Claudia Dybdahl said. “We are keenly aware of the potential ramifications of this decision, and are doing everything in our power to ensure students are taken care of.”

The programs affected by the decision include Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts and post-baccalaureate programs, Elementary Education Bachelor of Arts and post-baccalaureate programs, Secondary Education Master of Arts in teaching, and initial licensure programs in special education and early childhood special education.

Kirstin Olmstead, a representative from the university, said accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that focuses on ensuring excellence, quality and promotion of continuous improvement.

"Undergraduate students who have previously graduated from UAA with education degrees are unaffected by the decision," the release stated. "The next step in this process rests with the Alaska State Board of Education, which must affirm whether UAA may still recommend its graduates for licensure."

The accreditation decision is unrelated to UAA’s institutional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the release stated. The University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast are not affected.

Olmstead said that just because the programs have lost accreditation does not mean they can't get it back. The university will continue working with CAEP to remedy the problems they’ve pointed out in the hopes of becoming accredited again, she said.

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