UAF receives $8 million for teacher mentoring program

Tanya Clayton
Feb 14, 2021

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has received a five-year, $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase the reach and effectiveness of mentor-based teaching throughout Alaska.

The grant will expand the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project, which provides support for early-career educators.

The ASMP, which began in 2003, is one of four projects in UAF’s K-12 Outreach program. The research-based ASMP aims to develop teachers who are responsive to the diverse cultural backgrounds of all students.

This is achieved principally through educator mentoring. By providing professional mentoring to first- and second-year teachers, the program significantly increases the number of teachers who remain in the profession.

The mentoring project, led by program manager Sue McIntosh, has increased the percentage of teachers who continue in their profession past five years to over 90%. In contrast, about 50% of nonmentored teachers leave the profession within the first five years.

The ASMP and another K-12 Outreach project, Educators Rising, have proven track records of success. 

Glenda Findlay, K-12 Outreach director, wants to see that continue.

The Department of Education award will fund research into the instructional success and cost effectiveness of both in-person and virtual instruction delivery methods. 

The project is expected to benefit more than 7,500 students throughout Alaska.

Mentor Hal Neace points out a polar bear

Mentor Hal Neace reacts with excitement to a polar bear feeding on a whale carcass in Utqiagvik. Photo courtesy Hal Neace

Tanya Clayton is a public information officer at UAF’s College of Natural Science and Mathematics.
She can be reached at 474-7541 or