ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — For over two hours, the University of Alaska Board of Regents heard from students of the UAA College of Education about the impact of the school losing its nationally accredited status.
The “listening session” comes as the board and UA President Jim Johnsen expect significant cuts to education in the state in the governor's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.
Potential cuts could force the board against allowing UAA to reapply for accreditation at all.
Some of the students impacted have made the choice to transfer or change majors, but now those planning to stay at UAA might have to leave after all as the board will consider cutting the impacted programs all together.
UAA Chancellor Dr. Cathy Sandeen is on the record as strongly opposing cuts to any College of Education programs.
She says UAA remains 100 percent committed to regaining accredited status for initial licensure programs, regardless of cost or timeline; however, the final decision may ultimately come from above.
The feedback from students at Tuesday’s meeting was pretty clear: students want UAA to keep the programs and fix the issues that cost the school its accreditation, regardless of any whatever budget situation the university finds itself in.
The UA Board of Regents will meet again on Feb. 21. According to President Johnsen, he hopes to have an announcement regarding the board's decision by Feb. 28.