Preparing Indigenous Teachers And Administrators For Alaska Schools Program
There has been a problem in the past with Alaska native students not relating to non-native teachers and curriculum. Retaining Alaskan native teachers has also been a challenge, but now a new teacher-training program designed for Alaskan native college students may be the incentive students need to be able to teach their own.
Nearly one-third of Alaskan native students will not graduate high school. The lack of native teachers is a state wide problem. A large number of teachers come and go frequently because of the rural area. Thus, it is critical that Alaska native students invest in teachers who are familiar with the area and who understand the people.
The Pitaas program hopes to combat almost a century of disenfranchisement. The program complements the university's school of education degree by helping recruit high school students interested in teaching. It will also help them qualify for scholarships and prepare them for entrance exams.
The program's success is evident. It is both graduating native teachers and creating homegrown teachers who know Alaska and understand native students. Pitaas is a promise for a future in which teachers and students will never have to repeat the past.