Dec 02, 2023  
2023-2024 APU Catalog 
2023-2024 APU Catalog

Community & Place-Based Education, B.A.

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Community & Place-Based Education (B.A)

This undergraduate degree will allow students to seek diverse employment in a variety of educational settings and work toward certification as a teacher in the state of Alaska. Students will learn first hand from Alaska and Alaska Native educators about how the unique qualities and characteristics of Alaska and its peoples lend themselves to meeting state education standards while also meeting real and current needs of its peoples.  Emphasis will be placed on understanding and application of methods for designing and delivering place-based learning opportunities for students of varying ages from K-8th grade. Such opportunities will include formal school programs, informal learning centers/programs and less formal education delivery programs frequently used by public agencies and non-profit organizations.

Students have the option of applying for APU’s Teacher Education K-8 Certificate (K-8 CERT), a graduate level, K-8 teaching certificate program, during their senior year.  If accepted they would complete their student teaching and any other required course work to be eligible for the State of Alaska’s K-8 teacher certificate. 

Program Delivery:

Cultural benefits and challenges to public presentation will be explored to better understand how to bridge cultural differences across arctic communities and between indigenous and non-indigenous community norms.  The B.A. in Community and Place Based Education will combine on-campus,  distance education, and field-based classes emphasizing hands on, experiential learning.

Each of the values outlined within APU’s path to learning: Wisdom, Respect, Reciprocity, Relevance, and Responsibility will be woven into the program’s cohort commitment model and its outreach into communities around the state to develop educators that understand connection and interdependence with communities of all sizes.

Graduates earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with demonstrated achievement in APU’s Essential Competencies:  Effective Communication [EC]; Critical Thinking [CT]; Cultural & Historical Perspective [CH]; Scientific Inquiry [SI]; and Ethical Engagement [EE].

Professional Competencies:  Community and Placed Based Teaching and Learning majors are expected to demonstrate:

1. The knowledge and skills to contribute to the profession of education. (EC, CT, CH, SI, EE)

2. The ability to be as part of an educational community as a professional. (EC, CH, EE)

3. An understanding and interest in the requirements of continuing education and professional duties. (CT, CH, EE)

4. Competency in the areas of place-based learning, K-8 classroom education, and relevant professional areas. (EC, CT, CH, SI, EE)

5. Understanding core concepts of Place Based Learning.  (CT, CH, SI, EE)

6.  Understanding of Alaska Native and rural culture. (CT, CH, SI, EE)

7. Understanding of outdoor skills, ethics and risk management.  (EC, CT, CH, SI, EE)

8. Understanding of educational related policy, law, and administration. (CT, CH, EE)

Foundational Studies (35-40 credits)

  • EC Written Communication** (WRIT 20100) (4)
  • EC Presentation & Media Literacy (from 10000-20000 level COMM) (3-4)
  • CT Critical Thinking (from 10000-20000 level CRIT) (3-4)
  • CT Computation** (MT 10100, BAM 10500, or higher placement) (3-4)
  • CH Intellectual Traditions (from 10000-20000 level PH/HI) (4)
  • CH Creative Endeavors (from 10000-20000 level HUM) (4)
  • CH Intercultural & Spiritual Understandings (from 10000-20000 level RS/CS) (3-4)
  • SI Biological/Physical Scientific Inquiry (from 10000-20000 level SC w/ lab) (4)
  • SI Social/Behavioral Scientific Inquiry (various) (3-4)
  • EE Social Responsibility (LS 10200) (2)
  • EE Personal Responsibility (1 cr of Health Education, 1 cr of Physical Education) (2)

                  [† Foundational Studies requirement satisfied in the Major Studies]

                  [ ** Minimum grade of ‘C’ (defined as C+, C, C-) must be earned]


Courses required specifically for the Community & Place-Based Education degree may satisfy Foundational Studies (8 credits)

  • Biological Science or Physical Science† (4)
  • Satisfies State of Alaska Studies requirement: (4)
    • HI 20104 Alaska’s History† [CH Intellectual Traditions    OR
    • CS 22700 History & Culture of Alaska Natives† [CH Intercultural& Spiritual Understandings]

Major Studies (69-71 Credits)

Self-Determined Studies (varies)

Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 128

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.

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