Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/08/2021 09:00 AM EDUCATION

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**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
          SB  36-U OF A REGENTS REPORTING REQUIREMENTS                                                                      
9:52:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND announced the consideration of SENATE BILL NO. 36                                                                 
"An  Act  relating to  reporting  requirements  of the  Board  of                                                               
Regents  of  the University  of  Alaska."  He called  on  Senator                                                               
Stevens for opening comments.                                                                                                   
9:52:21 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS said the bill  comes out from a disastrous moment                                                               
in the University of Alaska  (UA) history in which the University                                                               
of  Alaska Anchorage  (UAA) lost  accreditation for  its teaching                                                               
program. This was unknown by  everybody. The former president was                                                               
not  aware  that  the  program  was in  jeopardy  of  losing  its                                                               
accreditation. There  was a lack of  communication throughout the                                                               
UA  system. His  fear is  that it  could happen  in other  areas.                                                               
Universities do  not just lose  accreditation. A team is  sent to                                                               
campus and  makes recommendations  months and months  in advance.                                                               
Months later the team comes back  to see if the changes have been                                                               
made to improve the program. The  team makes every effort to make                                                               
sure changes  are made so as  not to lose accreditation.  That is                                                               
why it  was so  shocking to him  that in 2019  the UAA  School of                                                               
Education lost its accreditation.                                                                                               
SENATOR STEVENS said he believes  the university has made changes                                                               
so  this will  not happen  again,  but the  legislature needs  to                                                               
know.  The bill  establishes reporting  to the  legislature about                                                               
how  accreditation   is  going  on  throughout   the  UA  system.                                                               
Specifically, he thinks there should  be a joint House and Senate                                                               
Education  Committee meeting  with  the university  to make  sure                                                               
there are no accreditation issues.                                                                                              
CHAIR HOLLAND called on Mr. Lamkin.                                                                                             
9:54:14 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM   LAMKIN,  Staff,   Senator   Gary   Stevens,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,  said that the first  section of the                                                               
bill is the result of  an unintended consequence. AS 14.41.090(a)                                                               
reads  that   these  reports  be   submitted  to   the  education                                                               
committees.  The  last time  the  report  was  due there  was  no                                                               
Education Committee organized  in the other body.  To avoid that,                                                               
the first section  of the bill has been  changed, consistent with                                                               
other reporting  requirements throughout the blue  books, so that                                                               
the  report is  submitted  to the  senate secretary/house  clerk.                                                               
Previous language  said the report  would be presented  in person                                                               
to  the education  committees, and  for obvious  practice reasons                                                               
that has been struck from the reporting requirement.                                                                            
MR. LAMKIN said the new  reporting requirement that is the thrust                                                               
of this  bill is  about the status  of the  university's numerous                                                               
accredited programs.  The committee packet  has a summary  of the                                                               
2019  accreditations. This  morning he  received an  updated list                                                               
from August  and that is also  in the committee packet.  The bill                                                               
is intended to align with  what the university is currently doing                                                               
with   reporting   components   with  particular   attention   to                                                               
accreditation. The goal is to be preemptive and not be reactive.                                                                
9:56:22 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LAMKIN presented the sectional:                                                                                             
     Sec.  1:  AS  14.40.190(b)  Amends  existing  University  of                                                               
     Alaska  reporting  requirements regarding  teacher  training                                                               
     and  retention, to  specify  the report  is  required to  be                                                               
     submitted  to  the  Legislature (Senate  Secretary  /  House                                                               
     Chief Clerk) biennially, by the  30th legislative day of the                                                               
     first regular session of each new Legislature.                                                                             
     Sec. 2: AS  14.40.190(c) is a new  subsection establishing a                                                               
     requirement  for  the  University   of  Alaska  to  issue  a                                                               
     semiannual   report   on   the   status  of   all   of   its                                                               
     accreditations  within the  UA system.  The reports  must be                                                               
     submitted  to  the  Legislature (Senate  Secretary  /  House                                                               
     Chief Clerk):                                                                                                              
          a. by the 30th legislative day of each regular session                                                                
          of the legislature; and                                                                                               
          b. on or by July 1st of each year.                                                                                    
     The accreditation  reports are subsequently to  be presented                                                               
     in a formal  hearing setting to the  education committees of                                                               
     the legislature,  the scheduling  for which are  intended to                                                               
     be at the discretion of the chairs of the committees.                                                                      
MR. LAMKIN  said that in  fairness, some  time has gone  by since                                                               
the unfortunate loss of accreditation  in 2019. It is the sponsor                                                               
intent to amend the bill to  change the reporting to make part of                                                               
the biennial report every other year.                                                                                           
CHAIR HOLLAND called on Dr. Paul Layer.                                                                                         
9:57:16 AM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  LAYER,  Ph.D.,  Vice  President,  Academics,  Students  and                                                               
Research, Fairbanks,  Alaska, said the bill  would add additional                                                               
accreditation reporting by  all three institutions. Accreditation                                                               
is obviously the  gold standard for all  three universities. Each                                                               
of   the   three   universities  is   a   separately   accredited                                                               
institution.   Accreditation   ensures  students   and   external                                                               
stakeholders  that the  university programs  are of  high quality                                                               
and  meet or  exceed national  or industry  standards. There  are                                                               
institutional  or regional  accreditations. UA  has accreditation                                                               
through the  Northwest Commission  Of Colleges  and Universities.                                                               
It is a seven-year cycle  of accreditation. UAA and University of                                                               
Alaska  Southeast (UAS)  had accreditations  reconfirmed in  2017                                                               
and  the  University  of Alaska  Fairbanks  (UAF)  underwent  its                                                               
seven-year review  last fall  and received  a letter  in February                                                               
reaffirming its accreditation with  commendations for the quality                                                               
of its accreditation visit and report.                                                                                          
DR.  LAYER   said  institutional  accreditation  is   an  ongoing                                                               
process.  This   year  UAA  and   UAS  revisited   their  mission                                                               
statements  as  part  of  that   process  and  started  strategic                                                               
planning.  Northwest  requires  periodic  program  assessment  in                                                               
five-year  cycles  to  see  whether   they  are  meeting  student                                                               
learning   outcomes.  Professional   groups  also   have  program                                                               
accreditation,  and  the  university  has over  90  programs  and                                                               
majors that receive special accreditation.  The 2019 report has a                                                               
list of  all the different  programs across the  institutions and                                                               
their status. This morning he provided  a report on the status of                                                               
accreditation to  Mr. Lamkin that  the university is  required to                                                               
provide to the Board of  Regents before its September meeting. As                                                               
a  result of  the UAA  School of  Education situation,  the board                                                               
stepped  up  its  expectations  of reporting  on  the  status  of                                                               
accreditation  and  any  red flags.  The  accreditation  loss  of                                                               
initial licensure programs at UAA  in his mind was unprecedented.                                                               
As far as  he knows it had  never happened in the  history of the                                                               
university, which has  been accredited since 1934.  He expects it                                                               
to be  a one-time event,  and the board  has taken steps  to hold                                                               
the   universities  accountable   for  their   accreditation.  In                                                               
addition to the annual report,  the university provides quarterly                                                               
reports. The board looks at this very seriously.                                                                                
DR.  LAYER said  the university  provides annual  updates to  the                                                               
board. Those are public documents  and are on the board's website                                                               
as  part of  the  meeting  minutes. The  university  is happy  to                                                               
provide  those to  the  legislature if  those  would fulfill  the                                                               
legislature's  expectations  for  oversight.  The  university  if                                                               
proud of  its accreditations. They factor  into national rankings                                                               
and recruiting.                                                                                                                 
10:03:23 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  MICCICHE said  four  or five  programs  were revoked  in                                                               
early  child   education,  early  childhood   special  education,                                                               
secondary English, math, science,  social studies, elementary ed,                                                               
and special education. The report  says that advanced preparation                                                               
tracks were not affected. He asked what that means.                                                                             
DR. LAYER said that in 2018  the Council for the Accreditation of                                                               
Educator Preparation  (CAEP) reviewed  half of the  UAA programs,                                                               
only  those involved  in  initial licensure.  That  would be  the                                                               
bachelor's  in elementary  ed and  secondary ed,  etc. The  other                                                               
programs intended  for secondary  licensure were not  affected by                                                               
accreditation review.  Those programs  now are  undergoing review                                                               
by CAEP.   The university is getting positive  feedback from CAEP                                                               
about those programs.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  MICCICHE  asked   about  the  status  of   the  loss  of                                                               
accreditation and how does UAA return to that status.                                                                           
DR. LAYER  answered that the  university is working with  each of                                                               
the three  universities and  the board to  look at  the prospects                                                               
for bringing back  those programs. The big challenge  is that the                                                               
State Board of  Education was requiring that to  get licensure in                                                               
the  state of  Alaska, students  were required  to graduate  from                                                               
CAEP-approved  programs. With  the  loss  of that  accreditation,                                                               
students graduating  from a nonaccredited program  could not meet                                                               
that standard.  The university  has been  working with  the state                                                               
board to relax that requirement,  especially during the emergency                                                               
time  of  COVID.  The  university  is  looking  at  abilities  to                                                               
redevelop  those programs.  The  university is  working with  UAA                                                               
faculty to look at the early  childhood program. UAA still has an                                                               
associate  degree   in  early  childhood  education.   The  three                                                               
universities  are  working  together   to  develop  pathways  for                                                               
students  in the  Southcentral region  to  get a  CAEP-accredited                                                               
degree from UAS or UAF as a  method to get licensure in the state                                                               
of Alaska.                                                                                                                      
SENATOR STEVENS said the university has  done a great job to find                                                               
these pathways.  The students are  not badly affected.  They have                                                               
been  able  to  move  forward,  but as  Dr.  Layer  said,  it  is                                                               
unprecedented. It  is important  that the legislature  learn what                                                               
the red flags  are and be part  of what is going  on. The regents                                                               
are the most  important of the process. Whoever the  chair of the                                                               
Education Committee is  will need to have  a face-to-face meeting                                                               
with the regents on a biennial basis to learn about the process.                                                                
10:08:31 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HOLLAND held SB 36 in committee.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 32 MiddleColeges_Research_Early and Middle Colleges Offer High School Alternative.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/22/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 32
SB 32 MiddleColeges_Research_Early-College-Linked-to-Success_06Feb2019.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/22/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 32
SB032_MiddleColeges_Research_The Benefits of Starting College Early_WSJ_10Feb2019.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/22/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 32
SB 32 MiddleColleges_Sectional_Version A.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/22/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 32
SB 32 MiddleColleges_Sponsor-Statement_20Jan2021.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/22/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 32
SB036_UA-Accreditation_Sectional_Version A-edit.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB 36 UA-Accreditation_SponsorStatement.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/22/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB 32 Fiscal Note_UofA_Statewide.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 32
SB 32 Fiscal Note_DEED.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 32
SB 36 Fiscal Note (U of A).pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB036_UnivAK_Accreditation_Research_Existing UA Accred Summary_21Feb2019_updated.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB 36 Testimony from Malan Paquette.pdf SEDC 3/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 36