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Welcome to the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) website. CAEPR is a center within the Institute of Social and Economic Research that was created with seed funding from the University of Alaska Foundation.

CAEPR activities include:

  1. Working with an advisory board representing a broad range of stakeholders and policy makers to identify and address the most important educational policy issues facing Alaska.
  2. Conducting and disseminating research on key education policy issues. Much of this work will be in collaboration with researchers around the state, as well as from outside Alaska, including those at Education Northwest and the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado.
  3. Analyzing and summarizing education policy initiatives at the local, state and national level
  4. Building research capacity throughout Alaska through mini-grant funding, proposal development assistance and methodology consultations around education policy research.
  5. Doing "rapid response" research in response to time-sensitive requests from federal, state and local policymakers.
  6. Sponsoring undergraduate researchers to assist with research projects through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship at UAA, as well as through the First Alaskans Institute summer internship program.

What's New at CAEPR?

Lunchtime Talk: Navigating at a double crossroads: The role of subsistence in the wellbeing of Dena'ina Athabascan youth

Jennifer Shaw, PhD (Case Western Reserve, 2013) is a Senior Researcher at Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, where she conducts research on youth suicide prevention, healthcare decision-making, and the development of culturally grounded health services. Her research interests are in medical anthropology, social determinants of health, and cross-cultural childhood and adolescence.

She talks about the role of subsistence in the well-being of Dena’ina Athabascan youths growing up in Southwestern Alaska. How do subsistence and other cultural activities fit into the lives and aspirations of contemporary Dena’ina youths living in rural Alaska? What factors impede or facilitate their ability to achieve these aspirations in the transition to adulthood? Dr. Shaw conducted an ethnographic case study with 19 youths in one Dena’ina village, which showed that despite concerns about Alaska Native youths’ commitment to culture, this group deeply identifies with their tradition and aspires to continue these activities into adulthood, despite significant obstacles in their paths.

Listen to the podcast from her talk.

CAEPR announces two new publications:

  • Alaska Native-Focused Teacher Preparation Programs (pdf, 194KB)
    By Audrey Leary, Bernice Tetpon, Diane Hirshberg & Alexandra Hill

    CAEPR researchers recently completed a study of Alaska Native-focused teacher preparation programs from the past four decades. Led by Audrey Leary, a First Alaskans Institute intern at CAEPR and Dr. Bernice Tetpon, a visiting professor, the project looked at ten different efforts run by University of Alaska education programs, Alaska Pacific University, and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. This brief summarizes these programs and outcomes, and shares lessons learned.

  • Will they stay, or will they go? Teacher perceptions of working conditions in rural Alaska (pdf, 631KB)
    By Diane Hirshberg, Alexandra Hill, and Craig Kasemodel

    CAEPR researchers have completed some initial analyses of data from the recently completed Statewide Survey of Teacher Working Conditions and Factors Related to Teacher Retention. Diane Hirshberg, Alexandra Hill and Craig Kasemodel developed a poster of these findings which was shared at the recent joint meeting of the Alaska State Board of Education & Early Development and the University of Alaska Regents. A research brief with more on these early results will be available soon

CAEPR has a Twitter account! Follow us at: UAA_CAEPR. We will use this account mostly to share information on research of interest to the Alaska education policy community from other sources, such as the National Education Policy Center, Education Week, federal agencies like the Institute of Education Sciences and other research sources. We will continue to share CAEPR publications and news via email and our website as well as on Twitter.

If you have suggestions for research or resources,
please contact us at or 907-786-5413.

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Page Updated: 6/09/14