Table of Contents

  1. Application Process
    1. What is the yellow postcard?
    2. How long does it take for the Teacher Certification Office to process a certification application?
    3. What forms of payment will the Teacher Certification Office not accept?
    4. What forms of payment are accepted by the Teacher Certification Office?
    5. What is the cost of a teaching, administrative, or special service provider's Initial certificate in Alaska?
    6. Where can I find a notary?
    7. What are the types of teaching certificates issued by the State of Alaska?
    8. Where can I find the application for an Initial teaching certificate?
  2. Basic Competency Exam
    1. If I don't have passing scores on a basic competency exam (i.e. Praxis I)can I still qualify for an Initial teaching certificate?
    2. What are the passing scores for the CBEST exam?
    3. What tests are accepted to meet the basic competency requirement for certification?
    4. Can I combine section scores from different basic competency examinations to create a set of passing scores?
    5. What are the passing scores for the individual sections of the Praxis I?
  3. Coursework
    1. Can I apply for Alaska certification without having taken the required Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural coursework?
    2. Where can I find the approved courses that satisfy the Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural certification requirements?
  4. Fingerprint Card
    1. I live in rural Alaska. Where can I get my fingerprints rolled?
    2. Does Alaska accept live scan fingerprint cards?
    3. I have recently had a background check completed in another state. Am I still required to submit a fingerprint card with my application?
    4. What fields on the fingerprint card or FD-258 must be filled in prior to submitting it to the Teacher Certification Office?
    5. What does the FD-258 fingerprint card look like?
    6. What kind of fingerprint card is accepted by Alaska?
    7. I don't live in Alaska. Where can I get my fingerprints rolled?
  5. Out of state applicant
    1. I have a valid out-of-state teaching certificate. Can I teach in an Alaska public school with just my out-of-state teaching certificate?
    2. I am certified to teach in another state and have been teaching for a number of years. Should I apply for an Initial or a Professional teaching certificate?

Application Process

What is the yellow postcard?

The yellow postcard is used by the Teacher Certification Office to notify applicants that their applications have past the first review and their fingerprint card has been submitted to the Department of Public Safety. Most of Alaska's public school districts accept yellow postcards as evidence that applicants have complied with AS 14.20.010 and may be employed as a certified teacher for up to 90 days.

By the end of the 90 days, the Teacher Certification Office will complete the second review of the applications, review the background clearances, and print and mail the original certificates to the applicants. If the background clearance is delayed beyond 90 days, the Teacher Certification Office may issue a conditional certificate that is good for an additional 60 days.

How long does it take for the Teacher Certification Office to process a certification application?

The length of time from the receipt of an application to mailing of a yellow postcard varies with the volume of applications received and staffing levels. The time ranges from two to six weeks. The Teacher Certification Office receives its highest volume of applications in June, July and August. If you are a first time applicant, it is recommended that you submit your application at least three months prior to the start date of your contract with an Alaska public school district.

What forms of payment will the Teacher Certification Office not accept?

The Teacher Certification Office does not accept personal checks or cash.

What forms of payment are accepted by the Teacher Certification Office?

The Teacher Certification Office will accept credit cards, debit cards, money orders, and cashier's check.

What is the cost of a teaching, administrative, or special service provider's Initial certificate in Alaska?

The cost is $125.00 for the certificate and $60.00 for the background check. A total of $185.00. Please note that the Teacher Certification Office does not accept personal checks.

Where can I find a notary?

Check your local phone book for notary services, or alternatively search your local area through an online search engine (i.e. Google) for notary services. If a notary is not available, a United States postmaster may witness, date stamp with postmaster seal, and sign the affidavit. More information is available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/docs/NOTARIZATION.docx

What are the types of teaching certificates issued by the State of Alaska?

The State of Alaska issues an Initial, a Professional, and a Master teaching certificate. More information about the types of certificates are available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/Certification.html. Applications for the various type of teaching certificates are available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/teach02.html

Where can I find the application for an Initial teaching certificate?

The Initial teacher application form is located at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/forms/initial.pdf

Basic Competency Exam

If I don't have passing scores on a basic competency exam (i.e. Praxis I)can I still qualify for an Initial teaching certificate?

If you do not have passing scores on an approved basic competency exam, but you have a current and valid teaching certificate issued by another state (United States only), you may qualify for a one-year Initial teaching certificate. For more information see http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/initial.html#OutOfState. If you have previously held an Alaska certificate, you may qualify for an Initial/Reemployment. For more information, please see http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/initial.html#Reemployment

What are the passing scores for the CBEST exam?

The passing scores for the California Basic Educational Skills Test is a total of 123 or higher with no individual scores less than 37. More information is available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/praxis.html

What tests are accepted to meet the basic competency requirement for certification?

The following exams are accepted for the basic competency requirement: Praxis I; California Basic Educational Skills Test(CBEST); Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B); Alabama Work Keys; Florida Teacher Certification Exams-General Knowledge; Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE); Illinois Certification Testing System; Michigan Test for Teacher Certification; New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Basic Skills; New York State Teacher Certification Liberal Arts and Science Test and Oklahoma General Education Test. More information is available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/praxis.html

Can I combine section scores from different basic competency examinations to create a set of passing scores?

No. Scores from sections of different basic competency exams may not be combined to form a set of passing scores. You must have passing scores from all sections (reading, writing and mathematics) of ONE of the approved exams.

What are the passing scores for the individual sections of the Praxis I?

Qualifying scores for the reading, writing, and math sections of the Praxis I are as follows: Reading 175 Writing 174 Math 173 More information is available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/praxis.html

Coursework

Can I apply for Alaska certification without having taken the required Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural coursework?

If you are new to Alaska, you will have two years to satisfy the coursework requirement in Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural. If you have not met those requirements when you first apply, you will only be eligible for an Initial or Provisional certificate. Please note that teachers, administrators, and special service providers must satisfy the coursework requirement within two years of the issue date of their Initial or Provisional certificate. If the requirement is not met in those two years, the individual will no longer be eligible to hold a certified position in an Alaska public school.

Where can I find the approved courses that satisfy the Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural certification requirements?

The list of approved Alaska studies courses is available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/pdf/Approved_Alaska_Studies_Courses.pdf. The list of approved Alaska multicultural courses is available at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/pdf/Approved_Multicultural_Ed_Courses.pdf.

Fingerprint Card

I live in rural Alaska. Where can I get my fingerprints rolled?

Check with your local law inforcement officer, the Village Public Safety Office (V.P.S.O.), Alaska State Trooper, or city police department. If you need a fingerprint card, request one from tcwebmail@alaska.gov.

Does Alaska accept live scan fingerprint cards?

Yes, Alaska accepts fingerprint cards that have the scanned fingerprints printed on the card.

I have recently had a background check completed in another state. Am I still required to submit a fingerprint card with my application?

Yes, you will need to submit a fingerprint card with your application for Alaska certification. Our laws require that the Alaska Department of Public Safety completes the background check and provides that information directly to our Teacher Certification Office. We are not allowed to accept background clearances from other states or entities.

What fields on the fingerprint card or FD-258 must be filled in prior to submitting it to the Teacher Certification Office?

Please refer to the instructions for the fingerprint card that is located at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/forms/Fingerprint_Instructions.pdf. All of the fields highlighted in yellow on the sample fingerprint card locate at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/pdf/fingerprint_sample.pdf must be filled in correctly in order for the Department of Public Safety to process the card.

What does the FD-258 fingerprint card look like?

An example of the FD-258 fingerprint card is located at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/pdf/fingerprint_sample.pdf

What kind of fingerprint card is accepted by Alaska?

Alaska's Department of Public Safety uses the standard FD-258 fingerprint card. It will also accept cards arranged in a similar manner. For more information, please see http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/fingerprints.html

I don't live in Alaska. Where can I get my fingerprints rolled?

Check your local phone book for fingerprinting services, or alternatively search your local area through an online search engine (i.e. Google) for fingerprinting services.

Out of state applicant

I have a valid out-of-state teaching certificate. Can I teach in an Alaska public school with just my out-of-state teaching certificate?

No. In Alaska, an individual must hold a valid Alaska teaching certificate in order to be employeed as a teacher in a public school district.

I am certified to teach in another state and have been teaching for a number of years. Should I apply for an Initial or a Professional teaching certificate?

If you have not completed the required Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural coursework, you will need to apply for an Initial Alaska teaching certificate. The Initial teacher application form is located at http://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/forms/initial.pdf