Alaska Transition to Teaching (AKT2)

Overview of AKT2 Program

The Alaska Transition to Teaching (AKT2) program offered an alternative route to secondary teacher certification in Alaska from 2007-2013. AKT2 recruited individuals from Alaska and across the country who held a bachelor’s degree such as recent college graduates, highly qualified mid-career professionals, education paraprofessionals, and former military personnel. This teacher certification program prepared candidates that were accepted into the program to become teachers in rural high-needs schools in AKT2’s partner districts.

AKT2 allowed candidates to transition into teaching without the typical hardship and expense of leaving the paid workforce. Many traditional certification pathways involve heavy tuition fees, take up to a year or more of pre-service coursework, and are designed so that the student is unable to work during their teacher preparation. Additionally, in most traditional teacher certification pathways, the candidate does not know whether they will be successful in obtaining a teaching position upon finishing with the program. As an alternative certification program, AKT2 distinguished itself from traditional certification programs by offering candidates the opportunity to complete much of their pre-service preparation and to try to obtain a teaching position while still holding their current job.

All AKT2 candidates were required hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in an endorsable area. In most years there was a lower need for teachers outside the core content areas of English, mathematics, and science. In order to make themselves more marketable to AKT2's partner districts, individuals wishing to teach in areas like social studies, history, business, art, and music were encouraged to pass Praxis II assessments in areas of higher need before the spring hiring season began.

After applying and attending the January Invitational Interview and Screening in Anchorage, Alaska, successful applicants were accepted into the AKT2 program in late January and immediately begin their pre-service preparation while remaining in their home community. During the late winter and early spring, candidates participated in online learning through video instruction, forums, and webinars as well as by making classroom observations in their local community. During this time, they also were required to pass as least one Praxis II test in a core academic subject which would lead to establishing a Highly Qualified designation. Additionally, candidates began seeking a secondary teaching position in a partner district for the following school year. Candidates were responsible for obtaining their own teaching position.

Beginning in early summer, candidates participated in a six-week pre-service field experience on-site in Anchorage, which included a classroom internship with a host teacher, more pedagogical instruction and practice, and a cultural workshop. Many candidates had already received an offer for a teaching position prior to this event, but some didn’t secure a position until June or July, and some received no offer. Those who successfully completed all pre-service activities but who had been unable to secure a teaching position were eligible to apply for teaching positions for one more school year.

After successfully completing all pre-service activities, candidates with teaching positions applied for an Initial Teacher Certificate and in August began teaching in their own classroom where they earned a beginning teacher’s salary and benefits, including health care and retirement benefits.

While teaching in a partner district for two years, the candidate were also responsible for continuing with their professional development through activities such as completion of the Individual Teacher Plan (ITP), webinars, journaling, site observations, and a final portfolio. During this time the candidate received support and guidance from AKT2 staff, Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP) mentors, and Professional Learning Community (PLC) participants.

During the second year of teaching, AKT2 candidates chose to complete the two courses necessary to obtain a Professional Teacher Certificate in Alaska, if the candidate wished to continue teaching after completing the AKT2 program.

After successfully completing two years of teaching in a partner district and all requirements of the AKT2 program, candidates received a State Recommendation for teacher certification.

Summary of AKT2 Program Requirements

AKT2 Candidate Requirements for Program Acceptance:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in an endorsable area and have a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Pass the Praxis I tests in reading, writing, and math
  • Pass a background check
  • Have not held a teaching certificate currently or previously
  • Pass an invitational screening and interview

AKT2 Candidate Requirements for Program Completion:

  • Pass a Praxis II test in a core content area
  • Successfully complete the spring online pre-service learning
  • Successfully complete the summer field experience and cultural workshop
  • Obtain a secondary teaching position in a partner district
  • Participate in a AKT2 professional development throughout two years of teaching
  • Work cooperatively with district assigned mentor(s) as required
  • Satisfactorily complete the requirements of the Individual Teacher Plan (ITP)
  • Teach two years in a partner district
  • Receive a recommendation from district superintendent or designee

Timeline for AKT2 Program

The Alaska Transition to Teaching program consists of six phases:

Phase I

Phase II
Deadline November

Phase III
January - May

Phase IV
April - July

Phase V
Two School Years

Phase VI
End of Year Two


Application and Invitational Screening and

Spring Online Pre-service Learning

Summer Field Experience and Cultural Workshop

 Teacher of Record

 Final Evaluation

Submit online AKT2

Complete Phase II application:

  • Application form
  • Official transcripts
  • Fingerprint cards
  • Praxis I scores
  • Letters of reference
  • Resume

Attend January screening and interview in Anchorage

  • Interview
  • Article Discussion
  • Mini-lesson
  • Online tools training

Complete online pre-service coursework:

  • Professional Development video instruction
  • Self-paced assessments
  • Online forums
  • Classroom observations
  • Bi-weekly webinars

Pass Praxis II test in a core academic subject

Apply for teaching position in a partner district

Complete six-week intensive on-site pre-service coursework in Alaska:

  • Classroom internship with host teacher
  • Standards-based instruction
  • Deliver mini-lessons
  • ANHC cultural workshop

Must obtain secondary teaching position in partner district to enter Phase V

Apply for Initial Teacher Certificate

Fulfill all teaching responsibilities in own classroom in rural Alaska

Submit documents to complete ITP

Receive support from ASMP Mentor, AKT2 staff, and PLC

Teach two years in a partner district

Submit portfolio of artifacts that demonstrate proficiency as a teacher

Complete final interview

Obtain recommendation from district superintendent or designee

Receive state recommendation for teacher certification