The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program celebrated and recognized seven students from Anchorage on their accomplishments and being the first graduates from its full-time Acceleration Academy. These students, in addition to five students from the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, will be graduating with an average of 40 hours, which is equivalent to a year and a half of college credits towards a bachelor’s degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
The full-time component gives high school students the opportunity to take UAA college courses, receive academic support and engage in hands-on learning with the goal of preparing the student for college and even a chance to start pursuing a full-time career or graduate school by age 20. Acceleration Academy (Anchorage) and (Mat-Su) are designed to prepare students academically and socially for college. ANSEP’s full-time Acceleration Academy also lessens the financial burden of college by allowing a student to earn college credits as part of their high school experience and without having to pay for college tuition.
The students who are graduating from the Acceleration Academy (Anchorage) and (Mat-Su) include:
Acceleration Academy (Anchorage): Aatem Cooke, Gabriella Delara, Kyah Mingo, Eamon Murphy, Elizabeth Paton, Rachel Rohwer and Jonathan Ruepong
Acceleration Academy (Mat-Su): Lucas Fisher, Norse Iverson, Jasmine Mueller, Katherine Sakeagak and Daniel Wilson
“Our full-time Acceleration Academy is another way ANSEP is supporting the future of Alaska and its education system,” said Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder, ANSEP founder and vice provost. “The students who graduated from the component are entering college with anywhere from 20-something to more than 60 credits toward bachelor’s degrees. Their achievements as Acceleration Academy students provide a significant advantage educationally, socially and financially. For families and the state, the Academies eliminate the need for remediation and reduce the time to the baccalaureate degree.”
The full-time component, available in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, is open to students of all career interests who want to pursue a college education. Since ANSEP began in 1995, approximately 800 Alaska Native students have graduated from the University of Alaska system with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. With more than 2,500 students in the ANSEP pipeline, the program’s proven model is making a systemic change in the hiring patterns of Alaska Natives in STEM fields within Alaska.