Letter from the Chancellor

To UAA Students,

I am sorry. 

I know many of you are angry. I know many of you are disappointed and distressed over the situation with accreditation revocation within UAA’s School of Education. I know this news has been nothing short of traumatic for many of you in the affected programs. I am deeply sorry for the fact this situation has put so many UAA education students’ investments and aspirations in such a state of uncertainty.

Based on what I’ve seen and heard, reactions from those of you across the rest of the university range from mild concern to panic or anger. So, I apologize to all of you for the stress and confusion this has caused for education students as well as students in other UAA colleges.

To be blunt, having our accreditation revoked for these programs should never have happened. The process of submitting evidence to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) was completed in 2017, well before I joined UAA. I can’t change what happened prior to my arrival, but I can tell you that I am committed to fixing this. All matters pertaining to your academic welfare and safety at UAA are my responsibility.

You deserve better. And it’s my mission — my job — to do everything in my power to help each of you succeed with whatever education path you commit to at UAA. It’s my commitment to ensure that each of you in the affected education programs gets back on track to achieve the goals you’ve set. We are making progress.

I know there’s also a lot of work to be done. It’s one thing to restore confidence in UAA among those of you directly affected in the School of Education. But I’m also very conscious of a need to assure the rest of you that problems of this magnitude are not the norm.

Just to be crystal clear, the loss of the School of Education’s program-level accreditation has no impact or bearing on any other accreditation of programs throughout the rest of UAA. All other accreditation is in good standing. 

The question has been raised, “If UAA was unaware of this as a serious problem at the School of Education, what other problems exist they are unaware of?”

My answer to that lies in the fact that UAA just completed a rigorous institutional-level accreditation process with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). That process forces us to be conscious of the need to continuously improve. When and where we can identify potential problems — particularly those that would impede any student’s ability to achieve his or her educational aspirations — we are committed to resolving them.

What happened at the School of Education, and how it unfolded in the aftermath of the notification, has motivated me more than ever before to do what needs to be done to make your educational experience worthy of the hard work, time, money and faith you’ve invested in UAA.

Thank you for your patience, and thank you for choosing UAA for your education.

Sincerely,

Cathy Sandeen

UAA Chancellor

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