Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/05/2019 09:00 AM Senate EDUCATION

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08:59:58 AM Start
09:00:34 AM Presentation: Loss of Accreditation by the Uaa School of Education
10:36:49 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
"Loss of Accreditation by the UAA School of
Education" by Dr. Jim Johnsen, President,
University of Alaska & James Fields, Chair, AK
State Board of Education & Early Development
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
-- Teleconference Listen Only --
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        February 5, 2019                                                                                        
                           8:59 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Chris Birch                                                                                                             
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: LOSS OF ACCREDITATION BY THE UAA SCHOOL OF                                                                        
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
James Fields, Chair                                                                                                             
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development                                                                           
Glennallen, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on State Board of Education's                                                                   
response to UAA's School of Education loss of accreditation.                                                                    
TAMMY VAN WYHE, Director                                                                                                        
Educator and School Excellence                                                                                                  
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION    STATEMENT:   Answered    questions   about    teacher                                                             
MICHAEL JOHNSON, Ph.D., Commissioner                                                                                            
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions about DEED's  role in the                                                             
teacher accreditation process.                                                                                                  
Jim Johnsen, Ph.D., President                                                                                                   
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT: Presented  on the  loss of  accreditation by                                                             
the UAA School of Education.                                                                                                    
CLAUDIA DYBDAHL, Ph.D., Interim Director                                                                                        
School of Education                                                                                                             
University of Alaska Anchorage                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:   Answered    questions   about   the   UAA                                                             
accreditation issue.                                                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:59:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY   STEVENS  called   the  Senate   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:59  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Begich, Hughes,  Costello, and Chair Stevens.                                                               
Senator Birch joined shortly thereafter.                                                                                        
^Presentation:  Loss  of  Accreditation  by  the  UAA  School  of                                                               
    Presentation: Loss of Accreditation by the UAA School of                                                                
9:00:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   STEVENS   announced   the   presentation   of   Loss   of                                                               
Accreditation by the UAA School  of Education by Dr. Jim Johnsen,                                                               
President,  University of  Alaska.  He said  they  would also  be                                                               
hearing from the State Board of Education and Early Development.                                                                
9:00:58 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  said that  he is executive  director of  the Nick                                                               
Begich Scholarship Internship Fund,  which gives scholarships for                                                               
those seeking  careers in  education or  public service.  Many of                                                               
the  scholarship   grantees  attend  the  University   of  Alaska                                                               
Anchorage  (UAA)  School of  Education.  He  wanted to  put  that                                                               
potential conflict on record.                                                                                                   
9:01:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  said she wanted to  put on the record  that she                                                               
has a  Master of Arts in  Teaching from the University  of Alaska                                                               
Southeast (UAS).  She is  also in  the Teacher  Retirement System                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS added  that he is also retired  from the university                                                               
and receives a retirement from TRS.  He doesn't believe that is a                                                               
conflict but is mentioning it just in case.                                                                                     
9:02:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BIRCH  noted that  he  has  a  bachelor's degree  and  a                                                               
master's  degree from  the University  of Alaska  Fairbanks (UAF)                                                               
and added that they need to address the conflict issue.                                                                         
9:02:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said  she is also a graduate and  is putting it on                                                               
the record just in case.                                                                                                        
CHAIR STEVENS  said there are new  rules that they are  trying to                                                               
comply with.                                                                                                                    
9:03:22 AM                                                                                                                    
James Fields,  Chair, Alaska State  Board of Education  and Early                                                               
Development, Glennallen, Alaska, began  by reading the motion the                                                               
board passed  unanimously regarding the loss  of accreditation by                                                               
the UAA  School of  Education. The motion  states that  the board                                                               
recognizes  UAA's  recommendations   for  initial  licensure  for                                                               
graduates in spring  2019 and summer 2019 based on  the fact that                                                               
the  program was  accredited and  approved  through December  31,                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS shared  that he was present at much  of the board's                                                               
meeting  yesterday.  He  appreciated that  agencies  are  working                                                               
together on this issue.                                                                                                         
SENATOR HUGHES asked when President  Johnsen found out that there                                                               
were problems.                                                                                                                  
MR. FIELDS answered that in June  or July 2018 UAA had its second                                                               
onsite visit  and there  was informal  discussion that  it didn't                                                               
look good.  At that point no  action could be taken  because they                                                               
had to wait for the formal response, which was January 11.                                                                      
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked whether,  during  the  informal period  of                                                               
knowledge, was there any public discussion.                                                                                     
MR. FIELDS answered no.                                                                                                         
SENATOR   BEGICH  asked   about  the   reciprocity  of   teaching                                                               
certificates with  other states. He  asked what the intent  is in                                                               
the  long run  for those  in  the middle  of the  program. He  is                                                               
hoping that  they are not  going to lose many  education students                                                               
when  they  have  put  years of  effort  into  creating  homemade                                                               
MR. FIELDS referred the question to Ms. Van Wyhe.                                                                               
9:07:33 AM                                                                                                                    
TAMMY VAN WYHE, Director, Educator  and School Excellence, Alaska                                                               
Department  of Education  and Early  Development (DEED),  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska,  answered  that  she  was speaking  in  place  of  Sondra                                                               
Meredith, Teaching  Certificate Administrator. Ms. Van  Wyhe said                                                               
her understanding  is that licensure agreements  for teachers are                                                               
between  state  agencies,  not  between  a  state  agency  and  a                                                               
university.  If  the  Teacher   Certification  Division  at  DEED                                                               
provides licensure  for a  teacher, then  that licensure  in most                                                               
cases will be recognized by another state.                                                                                      
CHAIR STEVENS asked for the  list of states that have reciprocity                                                               
with Alaska.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  noted that this  is a temporary fix.  They should                                                               
not  be  attempting  to  graduate students  from  the  School  of                                                               
Education who  have no future.  He asked  what the plans  are for                                                               
the next couple  of years. They have only taken  care of students                                                               
in their fourth year.                                                                                                           
MR. FIELDS answered that it is  in UAA's hands. UAA must submit a                                                               
plan  to DEED,  who will  review it  to make  sure that  it meets                                                               
DEED's requirements. The commissioner  will make a recommendation                                                               
to the  board about whether to  accept the plan. They  are in the                                                               
middle of  the process.  UAA needs  to make a  plan for  the fall                                                               
SENATOR BEGICH thanked  the board and DEED for  extending hope to                                                               
students who are in the program.                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  asked what will  be required of the  department to                                                               
make sure the  plan is adequate. DEED is smaller  now than in the                                                               
MS.  VAN WYHE  said part  of the  process approved  by the  board                                                               
yesterday  does include  a review  of  UAA's plan.  She and  Dean                                                               
Steve Atwater  will be reviewing  the plan. The  commissioner has                                                               
been  saying  that  this  is great  opportunity  to  rethink  how                                                               
teacher  preparation  is  delivered   in  the  state  of  Alaska,                                                               
particularly  at   UAA  at  this   time.  The   state's  National                                                               
Assessment  of Educational  Progress  reading scores  are at  the                                                               
bottom of  the nation, so what  are they doing at  the university                                                               
level to  prepare teachers to  be great reading teachers.  It's a                                                               
tremendous opportunity  to relook at everything  in teacher prep.                                                               
The department can  have more influence than  it would otherwise,                                                               
but it is part of an  iterative process. UAA will propose a plan;                                                               
she  and Dean  Atwater will  review it.  Once they  are satisfied                                                               
that it  has the required rigor  and scope, they will  pass it on                                                               
to the  commissioner. If the  commissioner approves the  plan, he                                                               
will pass it on to the Board of Education for approval.                                                                         
CHAIR STEVENS asked if she  thought the department was adequately                                                               
staffed to do that job.                                                                                                         
MS. VAN WYHE deferred that question to the commissioner.                                                                        
9:12:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  noted that  she is  on the  board for  the Alaska                                                               
Commission  on Postsecondary  Education (ACPE).  She has  learned                                                               
that ACPE has no institutional  authorization over the University                                                               
of Alaska. She wondered whether  that would that make sense. ACPE                                                               
commissioners are aware  of what is going  with the accreditation                                                               
process for schools ACPE does  have oversight over and would know                                                               
of any red flags.                                                                                                               
MR.  FIELDS answered  that  it  may be  worth  looking into.  His                                                               
recent  comments have  been  about  how there  needs  to be  more                                                               
communication about  accreditation with the State  Board and with                                                               
the Board of Regents.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  HUGHES said  that ACPE  has  institutional oversight  of                                                               
Alaska Pacific  University (APU). If  UA was under  the oversight                                                               
of  ACPE,  ACPE  would  have  been  aware  of  the  accreditation                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS added that he  would like to see more communication                                                               
between the  Board of Regents  and State Board of  Education. The                                                               
legislature expects that.                                                                                                       
SENATOR   STEVENS  asked   DEED  Commissioner   Johnson  if   the                                                               
department is prepared to review the UAA plan.                                                                                  
9:14:50 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  JOHNSON, Ph.D.,  Commissioner,  Department of  Education                                                               
and Early  Development (DEED), Juneau,  Alaska, answered  that in                                                               
this particular  instance, it is  a collaborative  effort between                                                               
the department and  the university. The department  does have the                                                               
staff. He  has confidence  in Ms.  Van Wyhe  and Dean  Atwater to                                                               
work  through this.  It  is  a great  opportunity  for  a lot  of                                                               
collaboration   not  only   between   the   university  and   the                                                               
department, but  with stakeholders  around the  state. Situations                                                               
like this present opportunities to rethink how to do things.                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  said  right  now  they are  making  it  work  for                                                               
students with these two semesters. He  asked if there could be an                                                               
additional commitment beyond that.                                                                                              
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON  responded  that  there could  be.  He  has                                                               
recommended three priorities for the board  to keep in mind:  the                                                               
quality of  instruction they  are providing  to K-12  students in                                                               
the state;  the students enrolled  at UAA who find  themselves in                                                               
this  unfortunate situation;  and support  for the  university as                                                               
they work through this.                                                                                                         
SENATOR BEGICH  said he is  concerned about the trust  issue. One                                                               
major component of the Alaska  Education Challenge is building an                                                               
Alaska workforce  in Alaska. That  requires a level of  trust for                                                               
those coming  out of high school  or those leaving jobs  to enter                                                               
teaching as older  students that the system is going  to be there                                                               
for them.  Now that trust  must be  repaired. He referred  to the                                                               
question of  adequate staffing that Chairman  Stevens brought up.                                                               
He noted  that it  could be ongoing  process lasting  beyond this                                                               
year. He wanted Commissioner Johnson  to think about how to build                                                               
trust in people who are considering careers in education.                                                                       
Commissioner Johnson  answered that  those are  complex questions                                                               
with complex  answers. He  did want  to be  careful not  to imply                                                               
that  it is  the  job  of the  department  to  develop a  teacher                                                               
preparation  program. The  regulation  states that  the Board  of                                                               
Education approves  a program that the  university has developed.                                                               
In  this particular  instance  of DEED  capacity,  their role  is                                                               
limited, but  they see  a wonderful  opportunity to  partner with                                                               
the  university to  rebuild trust  and rethink  how to  do things                                                               
differently. Usually  those opportunities  don't come  easily. It                                                               
is  when  things are  challenging  and  hard that  people  become                                                               
innovative.  That  is the  understanding  he  has with  President                                                               
Johnsen.  They address  the negatives  and  then move  on to  the                                                               
opportunity to address the vision Senator Begich described.                                                                     
SENATOR BEGICH  responded that  he would  like to  participate in                                                               
that process as much as possible.                                                                                               
SENATOR  COSTELLO  shared  that  one  of  the  first  emails  she                                                               
received this  session was from  a constituent  gravely concerned                                                               
about not  only the impact on  future teachers coming out  of the                                                               
program, but  on anyone who  holds a degree from  the university.                                                               
She wanted  to dovetail  on Senator  Begich's comments  about the                                                               
need to  regain trust. She asked  if those affected by  this will                                                               
have  difficulty finding  jobs and  competing with  others coming                                                               
from situations that haven't been compromised in this manner.                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON  answered  that he  cannot  anticipate  how                                                               
future  employees will  look at  this situation.  The department,                                                               
the  university, and  the Alaska  Staff Development  Network will                                                               
support these teachers  as they go into the classroom.  UAF has a                                                               
great  mentoring program.  The Alaska  Staff Development  Network                                                               
has a  wide variety  of courses that  can support  teachers. DEED                                                               
has the  ability to track  those students  to make sure  they are                                                               
getting  the support  they  need  so they  can  provide the  best                                                               
quality instruction to students in the classroom.                                                                               
9:21:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES commented that it  is all about preparing teachers                                                               
to help students learn. Besides  the initial mentoring, she asked                                                               
if any  consideration has been  given to track what  is happening                                                               
with [K-12] students.  If the preparation wasn't  adequate to the                                                               
point that  UAA lost  its accreditation,  she is  concerned about                                                               
the students who will be in those teachers' classrooms.                                                                         
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON agreed  that the number one  priority is the                                                               
students in  their K-12  classrooms who will  be taught  by these                                                               
teachers. The  department has a  statewide assessment  to measure                                                               
the system, and each district  has assessment programs to measure                                                               
how  students   are  learning   and  provides   the  professional                                                               
development to make sure those students are learning.                                                                           
SENATOR   HUGHES  asked   if  the   department,  as   they  track                                                               
assessments, will  keep a list  of those particular  graduates to                                                               
see  if  they  need  additional  support if  there  are  gaps  in                                                               
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  responded that  that is a  very interesting                                                               
policy  and human  resources question.  He  added what  authority                                                               
does the  department have to  track those teachers and  the data.                                                               
There are rules and policy related  to personnel. That would be a                                                               
district-level function.  He said  he would  have to  think about                                                               
what the  department role is  and the  district role is  for that                                                               
policy question.                                                                                                                
9:25:15 AM                                                                                                                    
Jim Johnsen,  Ph.D., President, University of  Alaska, Fairbanks,                                                               
Alaska, said  it is always  an important opportunity to  speak to                                                               
the  committee  to  talk  about education  in  Alaska  given  the                                                               
abysmal statistics in  many aspects of education.  He thanked the                                                               
State  Board   of  Education  and  the   commissioner  for  their                                                               
amazingly prompt  response in dealing  with this  challenge. They                                                               
were informed  on January 11  of this  problem. And a  mere three                                                               
weeks  later  the  state   board  provided  important,  temporary                                                               
relief. He  noted that Dean  Steve Atwater of the  Alaska College                                                               
of  Education  and  UAA  School  of  Education  Interim  Director                                                               
Claudia  Dybdahl  were  also  present. They  will  be  very  much                                                               
involved  in  deciding the  path  forward  and implementing  that                                                               
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN said  that  the information  he  was going  to                                                               
present  was also  presented to  the  Board of  Regents at  their                                                               
January 18 meeting.                                                                                                             
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  said they  learned on  January 11,  2019, that                                                               
the Council for the Accreditation  of Educator Preparation (CAEP)                                                               
was revoking  accreditation for seven teacher  education programs                                                               
at UAA. He explained that  only "initial licensure" programs were                                                               
impacted.   Other  UAA   education   programs   continue  to   be                                                               
accredited.   UAA's  institutional   accreditation  is   in  fine                                                               
standing,  and   the  programmatic  accreditations   for  teacher                                                               
preparation programs at UAS and UAF are in fine shape.                                                                          
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  explained that  approval from the  State Board                                                               
of Education for the teacher  preparation program is required for                                                               
licensure.  Graduates  must  be  licensed by  DEED  to  teach  in                                                               
Alaska.  The process  to regain  reaccreditation from  CAEP would                                                               
take three years, which is  a significant factor as they consider                                                               
how to move forward.                                                                                                            
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN said  their students'  needs  are the  highest                                                               
priority. He is  committed to addressing this  failure and breach                                                               
of trust.  They are doing all  they can to rectify  it. The Board                                                               
of Regents  is making this  a top  priority. They have  made sure                                                               
that  UAA  students  have  full   access  to  UAF/UAS  accredited                                                               
programs while  staying in Anchorage.  This is just like  the way                                                               
they provide a UAA nursing  program to other locations across the                                                               
state. Students  are being held  harmless from transfer  fees and                                                               
costs. They  are providing tailored  options, case by  case. They                                                               
are committed to working with the department for state approval.                                                                
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  said he would  be able  to shed some  light on                                                               
the university's  thinking with  respect to approval  of students                                                               
past August 2019.                                                                                                               
PRESIDENT  JOHNSON  reviewed  the  accreditation  information  on                                                               
slide 5  of his presentation.  He pointed out  that institutional                                                               
accreditation  is   required  by   the  federal   government  for                                                               
qualification  for federal  student  support. UAF,  UAA, UAS  are                                                               
accredited   by  the   Northwest  Commission   of  Colleges   and                                                               
Universities  (NWCCU).  Congress   set  up  regional  accreditors                                                               
across   the  country.   President  Johnsen   noted  that   NWCCU                                                               
reaccredited UAA with commendations in January.                                                                                 
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN explained  that programmatic  accreditation is                                                               
specific to  certain departments,  programs, or schools  within a                                                               
university. Some are required. Some  are voluntary. In this case,                                                               
approval for the education program is required.                                                                                 
SENATOR  BIRCH  asked   if  he  had  a  way   of  monitoring  the                                                               
accreditation  process to  notice any  red flags  about potential                                                               
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN answered,  "We  do now."  On  the February  21                                                               
Board  of Regents  Academic and  Student  Affairs meeting,  there                                                               
will be a listing of  every programmatic accreditation across the                                                               
system and the  dates of review. The university  is constantly in                                                               
different   phases  of   accreditation   reviews  for   different                                                               
programs. They  will get a handle  on all of these.  They need to                                                               
create that communication link between  the program level and his                                                               
office  and Regents.  That communication  link was  broken during                                                               
this process.                                                                                                                   
9:35:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS said  the  Education Committee  might  ask for  an                                                               
annual accreditation report. He asked  if this was the first time                                                               
that the university has lost full accreditation.                                                                                
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN replied  that in  his recollection  it is  the                                                               
first  time   that  a  required  accreditation   has  been  lost.                                                               
Voluntary accreditations have been lost in the past.                                                                            
CHAIR STEVENS responded that it is a big deal.                                                                                  
SENATOR HUGHES  said in addition  to a communication link  to the                                                               
Board  of Regents,  there needs  to  be a  link to  the Board  of                                                               
Education if they have institutional oversight.                                                                                 
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN replied  that that  is a  good suggestion.  He                                                               
would  be working  on that  with  the DEED  commissioner and  the                                                               
chair of the Board of Education.                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said he sees that  UAS is preparing for  its CAEP                                                               
accreditation cycle. He  asked if they should  be concerned about                                                               
UAS accreditation  since that is  where the College  of Education                                                               
is located.                                                                                                                     
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN   answered  that   in  light  of   this,  most                                                               
definitely.  He has  addressed that  question  to Steve  Atwater,                                                               
Executive Dean  of the  College of  Education, who  is overseeing                                                               
that process  at UAS. He  collaborated closely with  Amy Vinlove,                                                               
Director of  the UAF School  of Education, which  recently passed                                                               
CAEP  accreditation.   Steve  is   working  very  hard   on  CAEP                                                               
accreditation  at  UAS. He  believes  that  they will  pass  that                                                               
process.  They are  in the  early  phase of  the self-study,  and                                                               
there has been  no CAEP feedback yet. Steve was  dean at UAF when                                                               
it went through its accreditation process.                                                                                      
SENATOR BEGICH said the UAF  School of Education is significantly                                                               
smaller and  more limited,  in a  way, to  UAA's school.  The UAA                                                               
school is  within the  College of  Arts and  Sciences. UAS  has a                                                               
stand-alone college.  UAF's is within  the science  section. They                                                               
are talking about three different  flavors of apples. He wants to                                                               
make  sure they  are  not  at risk.  He  concurred with  Senators                                                               
Stevens  and Birch  that he  would like  regular updates  to know                                                               
they are meeting standards.                                                                                                     
SENATOR  COSTELLO  asked   whether  he  had  any   red  flags  or                                                               
indications that accreditation would be revoked.                                                                                
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN answered that it  did catch him by surprise. He                                                               
knew it  was not a slam  dunk but was under  impression that they                                                               
would succeed. He  was not aware of specific  problems. He hadn't                                                               
been  provided the  self-report. They  now seeing,  unfortunately                                                               
late, the  very serious problems  that CAEP identified  that were                                                               
not addressed.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR STEVENS,  noting that President Johnsen  had indicated that                                                               
he did not plan to appeal  the CAEP decision, asked if he thought                                                               
the loss of accreditation was fair.                                                                                             
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN answered  that he would not put  himself in the                                                               
position of  the CAEP reviewers  but getting 20  out of 100  is a                                                               
serious problem. There are very  serious questions resulting from                                                               
this.  He has  confidence in  the  interim director  and the  UAA                                                               
chancellor to  rectify this problem  in close  collaboration with                                                               
UAS and  UAF. The most  important goal  is to make  sure students                                                               
have an approved path to licensure.                                                                                             
9:44:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES asked  if the people responsible  for not carrying                                                               
through  were still  in those  positions, because  they would  be                                                               
held accountable and fired in  the private sector. She also asked                                                               
about the length of the accreditation process.                                                                                  
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN replied  that he was sure  that she appreciated                                                               
the sensitivity of her question,  but he could reveal information                                                               
that  is  easily  discoverable.   The  interim  director  of  the                                                               
program,  the provost  overseeing the  academic program,  and the                                                               
chancellor at UAA are all new.                                                                                                  
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  added that the  cycle of  accreditation varies                                                               
and for CAEP it is seven years.                                                                                                 
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  reviewed the  information about CAEP  on slide                                                               
   • Sole national accrediting body for educator preparation                                                                    
     recognized   by    the   Council   for    Higher   Education                                                               
   • Relatively new accreditor; their standards and performance                                                                 
     measures were not fully implemented until 2016                                                                             
   • Created through the consolidation of the National Council                                                                  
     for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the                                                                     
     Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)                                                                             
   • 35 states and 850+ educator preparation providers in the                                                                   
     CAEP Accreditation system                                                                                                  
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  reviewed the information on  the accreditation                                                               
process on  slide 7. "Quality  is key, and especially  with CAEP,                                                               
but  also  with   other  accreditors.  Improvement,  improvement,                                                               
improvement.  How  are  you  demonstrating the  use  of  data  to                                                               
continuously  improve  your  outcomes?  That's  really  the  goal                                                               
here," he said.                                                                                                                 
   • Accreditation is quality assurance through external peer                                                                   
   • Dual function of assuring quality and promoting improvement                                                                
   â?¢ Evidence-based process for evaluating how we collect common                                                              
     data, analyze trends, and self-assess in order to                                                                          
     continually improve our programs and outcomes                                                                              
   â?¢ Cycle involves a self-study, formative review, 2-3 day site                                                              
     visit,   panel   reviews,    council   review,   and   final                                                               
   • This was UAA's first program accreditation cycle with CAEP;                                                                
    previously accredited through CAEP's predecessor, NCATE                                                                     
SENATOR BIRCH asked how frequently accreditation is denied.                                                                     
9:51:40 AM                                                                                                                    
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  answered that four, maybe  five programs, have                                                               
been denied. He does not know  where the 850 programs are in this                                                               
process, but the gist is that it is uncommon.                                                                                   
CHAIR STEVENS asked if there were  issues brought up in the self-                                                               
study and initial review that would have caused change.                                                                         
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN  answered absolutely  and  added  a number  of                                                               
steps have  already been  taken to improve  the program.  He said                                                               
Claudia Dybdahl has been leading  the program improvement process                                                               
and could answer questions.                                                                                                     
SENATOR HUGHES asked whether the  process is such that they could                                                               
have remedied  things with  feedback from  CAEP before  the final                                                               
report, and didn't,  or were the problems so  egregious that they                                                               
could not be fixed.                                                                                                             
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN replied  that it's  probably both.  Systematic                                                               
data collection,  evaluation, and  utilization is  a requirement.                                                               
At some point  in a process it  is too far to go  back to rectify                                                               
that. He suspects some issues were addressed.                                                                                   
SENATOR COSTELLO said that she  was disappointed by his answer to                                                               
the chair  about whether  he agreed with  the CAEP  decision. She                                                               
raised the idea if they are  tasked with following through with a                                                               
decision  that  they may  not  agree  with.  She wanted  to  give                                                               
President Johnsen another opportunity to answer that question.                                                                  
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  responded that  whether he  agreed with  it or                                                               
not, he accepts it and every  criticism in it. He is committed to                                                               
addressing the criticisms and the  shortcomings in the report. He                                                               
is not  qualified to  say whether  it is good  report or  not. He                                                               
gave the  example of  asking someone  who is  not a  physician to                                                               
review a patient file. He believes them.                                                                                        
SENATOR COSTELLO stated that he is not appealing the decision.                                                                  
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN answered correct.                                                                                             
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN reviewed  the  UAA  accreditation timeline  on                                                               
slide 8. He  noted that the then-dean of the  School of Education                                                               
replied to  the December  2017 formative  review. April  2018 was                                                               
about the time  when they made the leadership  change and Claudia                                                               
Dybdahl came  out of retirement to  help them go forward.  He had                                                               
not  been  provided with  copies  of  the  June 2018  site  visit                                                               
   â?¢ Aug 2017 UAA submits Self-Study Report to CAEP                                                                           
   • Dec 2017 CAEP provides formative review to UAA                                                                             
   â?¢ Apr 2018 CAEP 3-Day site visit to UAA                                                                                    
   • Jun 2018 Site visit report available to UAA                                                                                
   • Nov 2018 UAA notified to expect final decision in December                                                                 
   • Jan 2019 CAEP accreditation revocation received                                                                            
9:58:14 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  said  then  they are  talking  about  a  two-year                                                               
period, beginning with the self-study.                                                                                          
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN noted  that this takes a lot of  time. A lot of                                                               
experience  and data  collection go  into the  self-study report,                                                               
which is why reaccreditation will take at least three years.                                                                    
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  reviewed the  high-level specific  findings on                                                               
slide  9.  UAA  met  one of  the  five  accreditation  standards.                                                               
"Frankly, a pretty fundamental failure here," he said.                                                                          
     Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge     Not Met                                                                
     Lack  of   program  design  to  national,   state,  and  SPA                                                               
     standards  prohibits  the Education  Preparation  Provider's                                                               
     (UAA)  ability  to   develop  candidates'  understanding  of                                                               
     professional  concepts  and   principles  of  the  education                                                               
     Standard 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice    Met                                                                    
     Standard 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment,                                                                              
     and Selectivity                                   Not Met                                                                
     All components of the standard are not met by the evidence                                                                 
     Standard 4: Program Impact                        Not Met                                                                
     All components of the standard are not met by the evidence                                                                 
     Standard 5: Quality Assurance & Continuous                                                                               
     Improvement                                       Not Met                                                                
     The Education Preparation Provider lacks a viable Quality                                                                  
     Assurance System with data-driven continuous improvement.                                                                  
CHAIR  STEVENS said  that the  second  standard seems  enormously                                                               
important. He asked for more information about that standard.                                                                   
10:00:18 AM                                                                                                                   
CLAUDIA DYBDAHL,  Ph.D., Interim  Director, School  of Education,                                                               
University of Alaska Anchorage,  Anchorage, Alaska, said that the                                                               
Clinical  Partnership  and  Practice standard  is  about  student                                                               
opportunities to  participate in classrooms.  Those opportunities                                                               
begin early  in their  program with  observation and  as students                                                               
proceed   through  the   program,   they  take   more  and   more                                                               
responsibility  and  are expected  to  demonstrate  that they  do                                                               
understand professional concepts and  principles of education and                                                               
can  apply those  effectively in  the classroom.  This culminates                                                               
with   student   teaching   where  students   demonstrate   their                                                               
competencies as beginning teachers.                                                                                             
CHAIR STEVENS  said that seems to  be key to becoming  a teacher.                                                               
He is pleased that they met that standard.                                                                                      
SENATOR   BIRCH  asked   how  Standard   3,  Candidate   Quality,                                                               
Recruitment, and Selectivity is measured.                                                                                     
DR. DYBDAHL replied that the  fundamental failure of UAA was that                                                               
they did  not provide enough  evidence. CAEP is a  departure from                                                               
type of accreditation  that she is familiar with. It  is new. She                                                               
does believe that  meeting CAEP standards will  create a stronger                                                               
program  at UAA.  As  a professional  educator  she does  support                                                               
that.  UAA  has transition  points.  Students  must meet  certain                                                               
standards  for  admission  and certain  expectations  to  proceed                                                               
through the program.  They failed to provide  evidence that those                                                               
transition points were in place  across programs. UAA recruitment                                                               
was  informal rather  than  formal. No  recruitment  plan was  in                                                               
place with  benchmarks. For  selectivity, there  was no  plan for                                                               
high-qualifying students.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  HUGHES  said   a  data  report  in   her  packet  showed                                                               
sufficient evidence was  not presented to show  the cohort Praxis                                                               
scores  reached  the  50th  percentile. She  asked  if  that  was                                                               
because  teachers  were performing  poorly  or  if they  did  not                                                               
provide data.                                                                                                                   
DR. DYBDAHL answered that they did  not provide the data. She has                                                               
compiled data  to show students  do meet the CAEP  standards. She                                                               
tables to  demonstrate this in  the CAEP-required form,  but that                                                               
was not provided in the report.                                                                                                 
SENATOR HUGHES  said she had  been worried student  teachers were                                                               
not getting  the scores.  She would rather  hear the  problem was                                                               
with data not being reported.                                                                                                   
CHAIR STEVENS asked Dr. Dybdahl  if she is responsible for making                                                               
sure these conditions are met in the future.                                                                                    
DR. DYBDAHL responded yes.                                                                                                      
SENATOR BEGICH said  he was glad that someone  with Dr. Dybdahl's                                                               
reputation was there.  He said it was important to  make it known                                                               
that the  critical failure was a  lack of evidence. He  asked why                                                               
they didn't appeal then if the issue was not enough evidence.                                                                   
10:07:32 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  DYBDAHL  answered that  they  did  not appeal  because  they                                                               
cannot submit additional evidence after  the last day of the site                                                               
visit. Her  judgement when  they got the  final report  from CAEP                                                               
was that  they needed to move  forward. This was a  deep problem.                                                               
UAA  was better  off beginning  to address  the issues  that were                                                               
raised   and  putting   quality  assurance   in  place   to  make                                                               
improvements based on evidence and  data. She totally believes in                                                               
that concept  and principle.  CAEP is  a slow-moving  machine. An                                                               
appeal  could   take  six   months.  That   is  lost   time.  Her                                                               
recommendation was to move forward.                                                                                             
CHAIR STEVENS  said reaccreditation  could take three  years, but                                                               
he assumes she is moving forward on the other four standards.                                                                   
DR. DYBDAHL  responded that UAA has  made a lot of  progress. She                                                               
shared  that   progress  with  the   State  Board   of  Education                                                               
yesterday.  They   now  have  a  quality   assurance  system  and                                                               
assessments  have  been  piloted. They  have  adopted  nationally                                                               
recognized assessments, including edTPA,  a very rigorous teacher                                                               
performance  assessment developed  at Stanford  University. Their                                                               
quality assurance  system will be  fully implemented in  the fall                                                               
of  2019. They  will be  ready to  begin the  process in  January                                                               
2020. They must wait a year to reapply with CAEP.                                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS asked how long she has been in her position.                                                                      
DR. DYBDAHL said she is an interim,  and she came back at the end                                                               
of March.                                                                                                                       
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN   reviewed  the  decision  by   the  Board  of                                                               
Education  to approve  UAA's initial  licensure programs  through                                                               
August  2019.   He  apologized  for  putting   their  educational                                                               
partners in a box and committed to a stronger partnership.                                                                      
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN said  he wanted to address  what the university                                                               
is  going  to do  about  reaccreditation.  He  and the  Board  of                                                               
Regents   have  not   decided  about   whether  to   reapply  for                                                               
accreditation. It  would be  a three-year  process and  require a                                                               
lot  of  time  and  resources.  And,  of  course,  the  Board  of                                                               
Education's approval would  be needed for that  entire period. If                                                               
the decision  is made  not to reapply,  they have  two accredited                                                               
and  approved  programs that  can  supply  the education  to  UAA                                                               
students, just as  the UAA nursing program  provides an education                                                               
to  students  in Fairbanks,  Juneau,  and  other locations.  This                                                               
option  is being  evaluated. The  board will  discuss this  later                                                               
this month. On February 12 there  will be a townhall meeting with                                                               
students to get their views on these options.                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGHES asked whether Anchorage  students would be part of                                                               
UAF  or UAS  through distance  delivery  or would  there be  live                                                               
classrooms. Alaska  Pacific University has mentioned  to her that                                                               
they could help.                                                                                                                
10:15:02 AM                                                                                                                   
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  replied that  students graduating  this spring                                                               
and summer  are doing student  teaching. All students  staying in                                                               
Anchorage  at  this  point  have transferred  to  UAF,  which  is                                                               
supervising  their student  teaching. If  they move  forward with                                                               
this, in  the future classes  would need to be  face-to-face just                                                               
as  with nursing.  The  Master of  Art in  Teaching  at UAS,  for                                                               
students  who  already have  a  baccalaureate  degree, is  almost                                                               
fully online.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGHES  clarified that her  question was more  about year                                                               
one, two, and three students. If  they cannot move, are they able                                                               
to be part of UAF and UAS with  live classes on campus or would a                                                               
partnership with Alaska Pacific University make sense.                                                                          
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN answered that if  they did not reapply for CAEP                                                               
accreditation, there would be faculty  in Anchorage, just as they                                                               
do with the  nursing education program. For  example, the faculty                                                               
member teaching nursing  at UAS is a UAA  faculty member teaching                                                               
UAA curriculum face-to-face in Juneau.                                                                                          
SENATOR  BEGICH   said  it   disturbs  him   to  hear   they  are                                                               
reevaluating  accreditation.   Half  of  the  population   is  in                                                               
Southcentral. No  accreditation for  Anchorage sends  the message                                                               
to Southcentral  residents that education  is not a  priority for                                                               
the university when it comes to creating new teachers in Alaska.                                                                
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN responded  that he  appreciates that  view and                                                               
input.  It will  certainly  be  a consideration  on  the list  of                                                               
factors that will be considered.                                                                                                
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN  reviewed the  information  on  the impact  on                                                               
programs on slide 11:                                                                                                           
     Only UAA "initial licensure education programs impacted:                                                                   
        â?¢ Elementary Bachelor of Arts (K-8)                                                                                   
     â?¢ Elementary Post-Baccalaureate Certification (K-8)                                                                      
      â?¢ Master of Arts in Teaching Certification (7-12)                                                                       
        â?¢ Early Childhood Bachelor of Arts (pre K-3)                                                                          
        â?¢ Early Childhood Post-Baccalaureate Certification (pre                                                               
        • Special Education Initial Certification                                                                               
        • Early Childhood Special Education Licensure                                                                           
President  Johnsen reviewed  the programs  not impacted  on slide                                                               
   • Decision DOES    NOT   impact   UA's    three   NWCCU                                                                      
     institutional accreditations; all are in good standing                                                                     
   • Decision DOES NOT impact UAF and UAS programmatic                                                                          
     accreditations of their education programs                                                                                 
   • Many UAA education programs are also unaffected:                                                                           
        o Early Childhood Associate of Applied Science                                                                          
        o Educational Leadership, Master of Education &                                                                         
          Graduate Certification                                                                                                
        o Master of Education in Teaching & Learning                                                                            
        o Language Education Graduate Certification                                                                             
        o Speech-Language Pathology Programs                                                                                    
        o Special Education, Master of Education, and                                                                           
          Graduate Certification                                                                                                
        o Early Childhood Special Education, Master of                                                                          
        o PACE 500 level courses                                                                                                
10:20:15 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STEVENS  noted that  the  Master  of  Arts in  Teacher  is                                                               
affected and  the Master of  Education is not affected.  He asked                                                               
what the difference is.                                                                                                         
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN said  the difference  is  between initial  and                                                               
noninitial  licensure. Programs  that  are tied  to getting  that                                                               
license are  affected. The other  programs are not  directly tied                                                               
to licensure. Those are additional  certifications for people who                                                               
already have certificates.                                                                                                      
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  reviewed the  UA education  program enrollment                                                               
numbers on slide  13. UAA is the is the  largest program followed                                                               
by UAF and then UAS.                                                                                                            
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN reviewed  the enrollment  numbers in  each UAA                                                               
education program on slide 14.                                                                                                  
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN  said  the  big work  moving  forward  is  for                                                               
nonseniors and how they will provide their path to licensure.                                                                   
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN addressed  licensure reciprocity  on slide  17                                                               
and noted that interstate reciprocity  is complex. "The more your                                                               
program  is  approved and  accredited,  the  better. No  question                                                               
about that,"  he said.  They are doing  their best  to understand                                                               
where  students  might  want  to  go and  support  them  as  they                                                               
navigate other states' licensure processes.                                                                                     
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN showed  the summary  on slide  18 of  how they                                                               
have  responded  since  they  got the  notification  of  loss  of                                                               
accreditation.   There is much  more work to  be done. He  sent a                                                               
letter of  apology to  students with a  strong commitment  in the                                                               
letter  that  they  would  find   path  to  licensure  for  those                                                               
     Student-Centric Response                                                                                                   
        • Jan 11 UAA receives revocation notification                                                                           
        • Jan 11 Students, faculty, BOR, DEED informed                                                                          
        • Jan 13 Chancellor Sandeen hosts student town hall                                                                     
        • Jan 15 DEED Commissioner announces licensure support                                                                  
          for Spring and Summer 2019 graduates                                                                                  
        • Jan 18 BOR meets to discuss situation                                                                                 
        • Jan 22 UA and DEED leadership meeting                                                                                 
        • Jan 23  UAF/UAS reps meet with impacted UAA MAT                                                                       
        • Feb 1  Chancellor Sandeen meets with UA Student                                                                       
        â?¢ Feb 4 Board of Education acts on near-term graduate                                                                 
      â?¢ Feb 12-Board of Regents Town Hall with students                                                                       
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN reviewed the next steps on slide 19:                                                                          
   • Feb 7  UAF and UAS advisors additional meeting with                                                                        
     impacted UAA students to discuss academic transfers                                                                        
   • Feb 12 BOR Town Hall with students                                                                                         
   • Feb 19 BOR public testimony                                                                                                
   • Feb 21 BOR Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting                                                                  
     to discuss options                                                                                                         
   • Feb 28 BOR meeting to discuss options                                                                                      
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN reviewed  future options on slide  20. He noted                                                               
that the last two  Alaska teachers of the year, one  of whom is a                                                               
finalist  for the  National Teacher  of the  Year, have  been UAA                                                               
graduates and  that some top-quality  teachers are coming  out of                                                               
UAA.  The  university  has a  K-12  outreach  program,  including                                                               
first-year mentoring.  That group  has done research  on teachers                                                               
who  get  mentoring from  a  master  teacher. Those  teachers  do                                                               
better and  stay longer  and the  kids' scores  are statistically                                                               
significantly   better.  The   university  ought   to  make   the                                                               
commitment  to guarantee  a mentor  for each  first-year teacher.                                                               
That is a reasonable commitment that would cost money.                                                                          
   • UAA must wait one full year January 11, 2020, to begin                                                                     
     CAEP reaccreditation proces                                                                                                
   • The process to regain accreditation will take at least                                                                     
     three years                                                                                                                
   • Reaccreditation will take a significant commitment of time                                                                 
     and resources                                                                                                              
   • Regents and university leadership are considering mid- and                                                                 
     long-term options informed by student input received Feb 12                                                                
     and BOR discussions Feb 21 and Feb 28                                                                                      
10:30:33 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR BEGICH said  they are about to face a  new reality of the                                                               
budget from  the administration on  February 13. He asked  if the                                                               
School of Education lost administrative  positions and could that                                                               
have contributed  to the loss of  accreditation. And secondarily,                                                               
if mentoring  and support  from the  university are  crucial, how                                                               
does that  comport with  significant administrative  budget cuts.                                                               
He asked what the plan is if they can't provide this support.                                                                   
PRESIDENT JOHNSEN  replied that  in four out  of last  five years                                                               
they  have taken  $195 million  of  cumulative UGF  (unrestricted                                                               
general  fund) cuts.  That has  had  a terrible  effect. Most  of                                                               
those  cuts  were  in  administration.   They  have  1,283  fewer                                                               
employees at  UA than four years  ago. There is no  question that                                                               
the  administrative  reductions have  had  an  impact across  the                                                               
system. Data  analysis and institutional  research have  been cut                                                               
back. The mentoring program and  K-12 outreach programs were cut.                                                               
Prioritizing will  be even harder  if on  February 13 they  get a                                                               
large  number in  red ink.  But they  must prioritize.  They must                                                               
figure out  how to  continue to  serve Alaska,  diminished though                                                               
they are. What is absolutely  essential on the workforce side are                                                               
teachers  and  the  healthcare  force. As  they  pull  in,  those                                                               
focused areas become even more important.                                                                                       
SENATOR BIRCH  thanked Dr.  Johnson for  tackling the  issue head                                                               
on. This  hit many of them  hard. He appreciated the  candor. The                                                               
measurement is  key here. It may  not reflect on the  quality and                                                               
caliber of  the students but may  be a matter on  how they report                                                               
on them.                                                                                                                        
CHAIR STEVENS echoed  Senator Birch's comments and said  it was a                                                               
session to find  solutions, not to lay blame,  and he appreciated                                                               
President Johnsen's approach.                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGHES  thanked him  for taking  ownership. She  hoped to                                                               
receive an  update about  the solutions for  the years  one, two,                                                               
and three students.                                                                                                             
PRESIDENT  JOHNSEN  said  they   cannot  rigorously  address  the                                                               
challenges in the state unless they  look at them straight in the                                                               
eye and  work together.  He takes their  counsel to  work closely                                                               
with this committee and other educational partners.                                                                             
CHAIR  STEVENS  recognized the  members  of  the State  Board  of                                                               
Education and Early Development in the room.                                                                                    
10:36:49 AM                                                                                                                   
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Stevens  adjourned the Senate Education  Standing Committee                                                               
at 10:36 a.m.                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - 001 - UnivAK Presenation_PresidentJohnson.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - A_CAEP Accreditation Letter to UAA School of Ed_11Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - B_CAEP Accreditation Report UAA School of Ed_11Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - C_CAEP Accreditation Standards.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - D_DEED Press Release UAA School of Ed Programs_15Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - E_Johnsen Ltr UAA School of Ed Students_18Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - F_UA BOR Press Release Special Hearing_24Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - G_UAA Chancellor Response Ltr. to CAEP_25Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - H_UAA Chancellor Sandeen letter to Students_29Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - I_UAA School of Ed. Accedit. Fact Sheet_31Jan2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - J_UAA School of Ed. Accredt. FAQs_01Feb2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019
SEDC_Hearing05Feb2019 - K_UAA Crosswalk Comparison UAF-UAS Programs_01Feb2019.pdf SEDC 2/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
UAA Accreditation - Feb 05, 2019