Dec 03, 2023  
2023-2024 APU Catalog 
2023-2024 APU Catalog

Teacher Education K-8 Certificate

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The Teacher Education K-8 Certificate (K-8 CERT) is a graduate certificate designed for those individuals who have completed a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree and wish to become licensed K-8 teachers. The program allows one to complete training and coursework in an efficient timeline and become licensure eligible. Candidates gain valuable practical experience through structured and supervised practicums in elementary and middle school classroom environments. Completion of K-8 CERT leads to K-8 teacher licensure in the state of Alaska.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the certificate, students will have realized the 8 Alaska Beginning Teacher Standards through the following:

  1. Philosophy and Approach (PA) : Describe personal research-based philosophy of education and apply it in the classroom with consistent teaching strategies and practices.
  2. Developmental Stages (DS) : Understand how students learn and develop and apply that knowledge to individuals and groups in classroom practice.
  3. Diverse Cultures and Needs (DCN) : Teach students with respect for their individual and cultural characteristics to promote learning and communication.
  4. Content Knowledge and Strategies (CKS) : Knows the teacher’s content areas and how to teach them using age appropriate strategies to develop student knowledge, skills, and understandings applicable to real world situations; this includes accurate information, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and use of technology.
  5. Assessment Guides Instruction (AGI) : Facilitates, monitors, and assesses student learning to inform students and families of progress and needs; encourages student self-assessment; uses individual and group performance to guide instruction (formative and summative assessment); and maintains accurate records.
  6. Positive Learning Environment (PLE) : Creates and maintains a positive learning environment that is physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe in which all students can learn, and are actively engaged, contributing members.
  7. Partnerships and Real-life Connections (PRC) :Works as a partner with parents, families, and the community.
  8. Professionalism, Ethics, and Growth (PEG): Participates in and contributes to the teaching profession, complies with standards, laws and Code of Ethics, and engages in continuous professional growth.

*The above outlined 8 Alaska Beginning Teacher Standards align with the 10 Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) national standards. 


K-8 CERT admits students in the Fall and Spring semesters only. 

The general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU are found in the Admissions section of the catalog. In addition, there are supplemental requirements for K-8 CERT as follows:

  1. Three letters of recommendation dated within the past twelve months
  2. A current resume
  3. Basic Competency Exam:  applicants must take Praxis CASE (Core Academic Skills for Educators) or other state approved qualifying exam with scores at or above the Alaska requirements
  4. Content Preparation Audit of Undergraduate Coursework:  applicants’ undergraduate transcripts will be evaluated to ensure ‘content preparation’ across fields of study in preparation for K-8 teaching
  5. Those candidates who satisfy the admissions requirements noted above, and who ultimately receive an offer for admission, will be required to provide authorization for a background check so as to allow participation in required coursework that involves close interaction with a vulnerable population (minors).


Students are adequately prepared for K-8 CERT entry if they have a bachelor’s degree in any field with liberal arts foundations. K-8 CERT encourages students with a wide variety of undergraduate experiences to apply for admission.  If, however, a student’s undergraduate transcript does not demonstrate coverage of the ‘content preparation’ requirements for K-8 teaching, the student may be admitted on a probationary basis and required to take prerequisite courses or studies.Students must complete a background check and state required online ethics trainings prior to participating in a practicum placement.

K-8 CERT Format and Program Delivery

K-8 CERT is designed to be completed in 3 semesters, across 1.5 years of enrollment, with students at full-time status.

K-8 CERT courses run in the Full Semester term, with three 3-day on-campus intensives, and weekly elearning sessions for each course between intensives.  In the final semester of K-8 CERT students are in a 9-credit Internship (student teaching), during which they cannot be employed elsewhere or taking other courses.

Alaska State-Mandated Courses (6)

These two courses may be taken at APU or elsewhere. See Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Office of Teacher Education and Certification for a full list of state-approved offerings and providers in:

  • Alaska Studies (3)
  • Multicultural Education (3)

Examination Requirement

  • Prior to student teaching (ED 68600) a student must take the Praxis II Elementary Education Test: Content Knowledge and must meet state score requirements to become “highly qualified” as defined by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.
  • If a teacher candidate is planning on teaching in middle school, it is strongly suggested that they consult with their education advisor and complete at least one Middle School Praxis II Content Area Test.

Total Required Credits for Certificate: 33 (27 K-8 CERT requirements + 6 DEED requirements)


K-8 CERT with MAP:  Students who have completed the K-8 CERT may apply to APU’s Master of Arts Program (MAP). K-8 CERT courses with a “B” or better may be applied to the MAP degree. See Master of Arts Program section for application and program information.

MSOEE with K-8 CERT Students who want to pursue the Master of Outdoor and Environmental Education (MSOEE) in combination with K-8 CERT can do so but need to apply to the dual program.  See Outdoor and Environmental Education, M.S. section for application and program information.

Accelerated Teacher Education K-8 Certificate: Students who graduate with a B.A. in Community & Place-based Education are eligible for an Alaska K-8 teach license in one semester by completing the Teacher Education K-8 Certificate program. Students must apply to the Teacher Education K-8 certificate graduate program and meet admission requirements found in the Teacher Education K-8 Certificate section of the catalog. Once students are admitted to the program, they must complete ED68600 Internship in Student Teaching to receive their K-8 teacher licensure in the state of Alaska.

Alaska State Certification Requirements:

Alaska Pacific University urges all students to clarify licensing requirements outside the State of Alaska. Many states may have additional licensing requirements to be certified. Checking with the licensing boards of different states can help clarify if there are any additional requirements needed above and beyond your APU classes.

Alaska State Certification requirements

Alaska K-8 Elementary Education Initial Teaching Certification requirements

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