Our Programs


Two Alaska Native women look down at a project (out of shot) that they're working on.

Imagine an education degree rooted in indigenous culture!

Do you feel a spark of excitement when you think of learning something new? Do you often find yourself helping others learn too? Do you enjoy working with young children or are you good at helping friends with homework? If so, teaching may be the right career for you!

Our Indigenous Education program offers several exciting options for gaining professional knowledge and skills in the field of education. Students are able to choose from five key concentrations as they earn credits toward a certificate or Associate of Arts degree. So whether you are interested in working with young children in a childcare setting or would prefer working with older students in a local middle or high school, Iḷisaġvik College’s Indigenous Education program has a concentration for you!

The Indigenous Education Associate of Arts degree is derived from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation Standards and input gathered through the 2012 Uqautchim Uglua Gathering.

The certificate program serves as a stepping stone to the degree program, and all coursework that is applied to the Certificate will count towards the degree. The purpose of the Certificate in Indigenous Early Learning is to give students the opportunity to explore the discipline as well as recognize and celebrate a milestone towards completion of the degree.

Degree Outcomes

The following degree outcomes are based, in part, on the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation and the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools. Phrasing and terminology have been modified to better reflect the desired outcomes for students who originate from or plan to serve the local community.

Promoting Child Development & Learning

Graduates will use understanding of children’s unique characteristics, needs, and interacting influences to create healthy, supportive, challenging, and culturally responsive learning environments.

Using Developmentally Effective Approaches

Graduates will understand and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to make connections with children and their families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.

Building Meaningful Curriculum

Graduates will utilize academic and cultural resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curricula that promote positive developmental and learning outcomes for every child.

Developing Professionalism

Graduates will know and ethically use guidelines and other professional standards, demonstrated ability to collaborate, engage in reflective practice, and communicate in culturally and professionally appropriate ways.

Program Entry & Timing

The AA program is designed to accommodate full and part-time students. Students, who have been admitted to the program, meet with their advisor to determine the entry point of their coursework and make a study plan.

The program encourages student engagement both online and in the classroom and provides opportunity for observation and practicum experiences in local settings. All students over the age of 16 will undergo a routine background check prior to interacting with children in a classroom environment.

Programs Offered

  • Certificate, Indigenous Education
  • Associate of Arts, Indigenous Education