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Alaska Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

Living in Alaska can present unique challenges due to the nature of the harsh winters and rugged land. With less than 150,000 students enrolled in public schools statewide, some of the districts are sparsely populated, and students — as well as teachers — might have to arrive to school by plane. While this life may not be for everyone, the beauty of the natural surroundings in Alaska often trumps any lifestyle adjustments. For the art teacher, however, inspiration abounds in every mountain, river, and meadow as each season presents an endless supply of creativity.

If you want to be an art teacher in Alaska you will have the rare opportunity to live in one of the most naturally artistic places in the world. To become an art teacher in Alaska here are the basic steps to follow:

Earn a Degree From an Accredited School
Take and Pass One of the Competency Exams
Send in Your Application for Certification
Continue Your Education

 


 

Step 1. Earn a Degree From an Accredited School

In order to become an art teacher in Alaska the first step is your degree program. In Alaska they require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

They also want all teachers to take the following courses as part of the final certification process:

  • Three semester hours of approved Alaska Studies coursework
  • Three semester hours of approved Alaska Multicultural coursework

The following is an example of the educational requirements past the initial bachelors degree. For all teachers in art K – 12 the minimum requirements for certification is thirty-four credits. Specifically the following may apply depending on your educational institution and level of teaching:

  • Elementary School Post-BA certification: 39 credits
  • Secondary School Post-BA certification: 31 credits
  • Special Education K – 12 Post-BA certification: 24 – 27 credits
  • Master of Education: 30 credits

The degree program you choose will have four objectives

  • Study subject area coursework in general and core areas
  • Take additional subject area coursework that will prepare you specifically for teaching at the elementary or secondary level
  • Integrated education coursework and work outside of schools in the field and community to allow for a yearlong internship with a mentor-teacher along with enrolling in courses that will focus on real classroom experience offering theory, practice and research

*Note: Student teaching is a main component of your education. In Alaska, you have the opportunity to seek level one certification while you continue your student teaching. As long as you pass a competency exam and are enrolled in a teaching program you may choose to seek level one certification at this point.

 


 

Step 2. Take and Pass One of the Competency Exams

In order to earn your Alaska art teacher certificate you must next pass one of the following exams to show competency in basic skills of reading, math, and writing.All the following tests below meet that requirement. You will have to pass each of the three sections in one of the exams. If at some point you have taken different exams and passed different sections of each, you cannot combine passing scores from those tests from different exams. All passing scores must be from the same test.

Your original score report will need to be submitted when you apply for certification or it will need to be on file at the Teacher Certification Office. Your college, the testing service, or other agencies may send your test scores directly to the Teacher Certification Office.

Contact information:

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
ATTN: Teacher Certification
801 West 10th Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 110500
Juneau, AK 99811-0500

Telephone: (907) 465-2831
Fax: (907) 465-2441
Email: tcwebmail@alaska.gov

Each of these exams has their own set of parameters for applying and passing the exam. The steps for each are found on the link to the sites provided.

Alaska accepts all the following exams:

  • Praxis I or Praxis Academic Skills for Educators
    • For information on the Praxis or ASE: Education Testing Service (ETS) phone (609) 771-7395 or www.ets.org
  • CBEST
    • CBEST information: www.CBEST.nesinc.com
    • You will need to submit your original Passing Status Verification Card
  • WEST-B
    • WEST-B information: www.WEST.nesinc.com
    • You will need to submit your original Examinee Score Report
  • Alabama WorkKeys
  • Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) General Knowledge:
  • Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE)
    • GACE information: www.gace.nesinc.com
    • You will need to submit your original Examinee Score Report
  • Illinois Certification Testing System
    • Illinois Certification Testing System information: www.il.nesinc.com
    • You will need to submit your original Examinee Score Report
  • Michigan Test for Teacher Certification
    • Michigan Test information: www.mttc.nesinc.com
    • You will need to submit your original Examinee Score Report
  • New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Basic Skills
    • New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Basic Skills information: www.nmta.nesinc.com
    • You will need to submit your original Examinee Score Report
  • New York Teacher Certification Liberal Arts and Science Test (NYTCLST)
  • Oklahoma General Education Test
    • Oklahoma General Education Test information: www.ceoe.nesinc.com
    • You will need to submit your original Examinee Score Report

 


 

Step 3. Send in Your Application for Certification

Once you have completed and passed your competency exam you are now ready to apply for your certification. As a new teacher there are three options available for certification. Each one allows for you to complete your student teaching portion at different phases. The certification levels, one, two or three, are all determined by how far along you are in your student teaching and educational process.

Initial 1-Year Program-

  • Never had an Alaska Teacher’s Certificate
  • Passing scores on BCE (Basic Competency Exam)
  • Currently enrolled in a state-approved teacher preparation program

Initial 2-Year Program

  • Passing scores on BCE
  • Complete teacher preparation program
  • Never held an Initial or Provisional Alaska teacher certificate
  • Not eligible for reinstatement of a Professional or Master teacher certificate

Initial 3-Year Program-

  • Passing scores on BCE
  • Complete teacher preparation program
  • Never held an Initial or Provisional Alaska teacher certificate
  • Not eligible for reinstatement of a Professional or Master teacher certificate
  • Completed 3 semester hours- Alaska Studies and Alaska Multicultural coursework

The following information is for all applications. You will need the following for the certification application:

  • Personal information including your address. Make sure this is accurate as this is where your certificate will be mailed. Your transcripts must show that you completed at least a bachelors degree
  • Background information and check
  • Record of training- a list of all your coursework, colleges and universities attended. All official transcripts will need to be included (opened transcripts are accepted- photocopies are not)
  • Include proof of BCE
  • Include Grade level Endorsement for Art
  • Fingerprint card (email the Teacher Certification office at tcwebmail@alaska.gov to confirm if your background check can be used instead)
  • Pay the Fee- currently $125
  • Your application will need to be notarized. In the event you can’t get it notarized they will allow for you to sign and date it in front of a postmaster and the postmaster may sign and date it instead of a notary
  • Send proof that you are enrolled in an approved teacher preparation program if you are in Initial1-Year Program only

 


 

Step 4. Continue Your Education

In order to qualify for a renewal of your teaching certificate, you will need to have six semester hours of continuing education. You will need to earn these after five years or more of your original certificate. Three of these units must be college level upper-division coursework or graduate level.

Masters degree/ Graduate degree- another way to fulfill your continuing education is to further your formal education. Doing so will not only meet the CE requirements, but it will also mean most schools will offer you a pay raise for seeking a higher education.

 


 


Alaska Art Teacher Salaries

The Alaska Department of Labor does not provide data on art teacher salaries as a separate unit, but tracks salaries for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers as larger categories.

The state notes the following monthly wages and employment outlooks for these teacher categories as of 2013:

Category
Average Monthly Salary
Teachers: Middle School
$5800
Teachers: Secondary School
$5920
Teachers: Elementary School
$5849

Salaries also vary significantly by location. A sample of the median salaries as reported by the Alaska Department of Labor is below, although note that not areas track all categories:

 

Anchorage
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 65,880
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 62,780
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 67,440
 

 

Fairbanks
Teachers and Instructors, All Other 73,540
 

 

Balance of state
Elementary School Teachers 64,140
Middle School Teachers 71,830
Preschool teachers 17.57
Secondary School Teachers 67,230
 

 

Southeast region
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 66,710
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 67,940
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 18.64

 

Alaska does not have a state-wide pay scale that sets minimums across the state. Information on Anchorage’s pay scale is available here. Starting teachers with a bachelors degree in Anchorage earn $47,449, while those at the highest end of the scale with a doctorate can earn $87, 336.

Information on postsecondary art teacher salaries in Anchorage can be found in the following table provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area Name
Employment
Annual Median Salary

Anchorage AK

40
82490

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