Special Education Teacher Qualifications in Alaska

Special education teachers work with students of diverse background and specific needs. Find out what you can do to earn your certificate to teach special education, including the required educational background and necessary exams. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information for Special Education Teachers in Alaska

In Alaska, you will need a to complete a graduate degree (Master's) to become a certified Special Education Teacher. There are also a few exams to pass before you can earn your teaching certification.

Education/Experience RequiredMaster's degree
Teacher education program
Exams RequiredBasic skills assessment
Praxis Content Exams in Special Education
Certificate ValidityTwo years for initial two-year certificate
Certificate ExtensionSingle extension allowed for three years
Average Alaska Salary (2018)$77,210 for high school,
$75,530 for middle school, and
$72,770 for kindergarten and elementary school teachers*
National Job Growth (2016-2026)7% for kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Your job in special education will require you to work with students that have special needs. You might encounter students with various mental and/or physical disabilities, or exceptional students who need a different learning environment from a general curriculum. You will still create lesson plans to use with your students like those in a traditional classroom, but you might need to take a more individualized approach with some of your students. You can check in with parents on a regular basis through conferences and advise them on their child's progress as they complete different grade levels. Throughout the day, you can monitor your students outside of the classroom during lunch and recess activities.

Education and Training Requirements

Universities in Alaska are limited, and those with special education programs are offered at graduate level. You can earn a Master of Education in Special Education, which may be available online if you prefer to take some of your courses outside of a traditional classroom. If you elect to take courses online, you will still need to attend your student teaching experience in person. Some of the topics you could explore while earning your degree include special education law, autism spectrum disorders, and student assessment.

Exam Requirements

To pass Alaska's basic skills assessment, you can submit your scores from a number of different testing agencies. One of these is the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam, a three-part series of tests that covers reading, writing, and math. You can decide if you prefer to take all three exams at once or schedule several appointments to cover the whole series. For your specific area of education, you must also take the Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications exam. This test covers topics including instruction, assessment, and professional responsibilities.

Certification Requirements

After passing a background check, you can apply for an Alaska Initial Teacher Certificate. This will last for two years, and you can only extend it once for an additional three years. Getting an extension on the Initial Certificate requires you to take a total of six credits in Alaska studies and multicultural coursework. After your time with the Initial Certificate is up, you can upgrade to a Professional Teacher Certification. Upgrading your credentials requires you to take the same amount of coursework, along with an additional six credits of continuing education. You can renew the Professional Certificate every five years, and if you prefer, you can become board-certified and apply for a Master Certificate.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
      • Master of Science in Educational Psychology
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    • Certificates

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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

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    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral
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    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

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