An effective K-8 teacher needs strong oral and written communication skills and quantitative literacy, as well as a broad liberal arts and content area backgrounds. Inquiry, analysis, critical thinking, creativity and leadership are the foundation of an effective teacher for the 21st century.
Your program of study in the Education (K-8) program combines Foundational Studies and education courses with real life K-8 classroom practicum experiences.
As you proceed through your course of study, you are expected to achieve the Alaska Beginning Teacher Standards that are reflected in the following Professional Competencies:
- Philosophy and Approach (PA) : Describe personal research-based philosophy of education and apply it in the classroom with consistent teaching strategies and practices.
- Developmental Stages (DS) : Understand how students learn and develop and apply that knowledge to individuals and groups in classroom practice.
- Diverse Cultures and Needs (DCN) : Teach students with respect for their individual and cultural characteristics to promote learning and communication.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Partnerships and Real-life Connections (PRC) :Works as a partner with parents, families, and the community.
- 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.
Also, as a graduate, you will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with demonstrated achievement in APU’s Essential Competencies: Effective Communication; Critical Thinking; Cultural & Historical Perspective; Scientific Inquiry; and Ethical Engagement.
Following admission to the university, students must apply for admission in to the Teacher Education Program and advancement through the Education (K-8) bachelor’s degree. The process involves several steps and considerations. To be accepted in to the Teacher Preparation Program, a student must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of 9 courses of the 11 Foundational Studies categories (many of which double-count as Major Studies)
- Completion of ED 21400, within which students are expected to submit a program application to the Teacher Preparation Program committee
- Completion of the any requirements undertaken in the Major Studies with a grade of ‘C’ (C+, C, C-) or better
- Cumulative grade point average of 2.75
- Completion of the Praxis I, or other State-approved qualifying exam meeting Alaska qualifying score requirements required for certification
Foundational Studies (32-40 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 (from 10000-20000 OS/PE or BAM 20400) (1-2) †
[† Foundational Studies satisfied by requirements in the Major Studies]
[** Minimum grade of ‘C’ (defined as C+, C, C-) must be earned]
Major Studies (69 plus double-counted Foundations)
Self-Directed Studies (varies)
- Students are encouraged to develop concentrations or minors in Alaska Native studies, science, technology, math, arts or other content areas to distinguish their programs of study.
Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 128
† Requirement in the Major Studies also satisfies Foundational Studies
* Course requires classroom practicum component
** Junior Practicum with higher level practicum component
*** Prior to student teaching, student must take the Praxis II Elementary Education Test: Content Knowledge (recommended) or the Praxis II Elementary Education Test: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment and must meet State score requirements to become “highly qualified” as defined by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. If student teaching in middle school, student must also meet Alaska required scores on at least one Middle School Praxis II content area test no later than the semester before student teaching.
A GPA of 3.00 in professional education courses (ED prefix) and 2.75 overall is required for admittance to student teaching. Students must complete all methods courses with a grade of “C” (defined as C+, C, C-) or better to be recommended for Alaska Teacher Certification. Methods courses are not taught as independent studies or by correspondence. For graduation, a grade of “C” (defined as C+, C, C-) or better must be earned in all required Education courses including ED 48400. A course must be repeated if a grade lower than “C” (defined as C+, C, C-) is earned.