University provides Alaskans with affordable workforce training and certification

A welder works on the new coal-fired 17-megawatt power plant being built by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Welding programs, as well as several other vocational and technical education programs, will see reduced tuition this fall at all three major University of Alaska campuses. (JR Ancheta / University of Alaska Fairbanks)

As the primary provider of the state’s skilled workforce, the University of Alaska is identifying more affordable ways to educate Alaskans. Alaskans often think of our state as a place where we can secure a good-paying job without higher education credentials or certifications, but that’s less and less often the case. By 2025, 65 percent of jobs in Alaska will require some post-secondary credential. Alaska’s economy is changing and so is its university.

We’re starting with the career and technical education opportunities available through the university for those looking for a job as a welder, a nurse aide, a corrections officer, to refine bookkeeping or basic carpentry skills or to fill other critical positions in Alaska communities. The University of Alaska’s occupational endorsement programs are specifically designed to provide these skill-building courses.

To make these training opportunities more accessible and affordable, beginning in fall 2018, the university will reduce tuition by 25 percent in selected occupational endorsement programs and career and technical education  courses. The tuition reduction will apply to more than 300 courses in 50 programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast, including community campuses. Open registration for fall 2018 began April 16 and continues throughout the summer. The reduced tuition is part of the university’s plan to meet Alaska’s workforce needs by growing enrollment and increasing degree completion.

Read the full article here. Learn more about the tuition reduction here.

Source: University provides Alaskans with affordable workforce training and certification – Anchorage Daily News

UA to Award Scholarship to an Aspiring Teacher

The University of Alaska is now accepting applications for the President’s Teach for Alaska Scholarship. The scholarship is in its second year and is open to any incoming undergraduate student who plans to major in education at any University of Alaska campus.

“Teachers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of our young people and we want to help the career goals of an aspiring future educator,” said UA President Jim Johnsen. “The scholarship is an important component of our emphasis on teacher education.”

The importance of cultivating the next generation of educators was emphasized by the UA Board of Regents during its March meeting in formally naming the Alaska College of Education and adopting a new organizational structure that emphasizes collaboration between teacher education programs at all three universities. Next steps include selecting an executive dean to lead the college.

The newly formed Alaska College of Education, its leadership and the scholarship are all part of the university’s plan to increase the number of teachers it prepares for Alaska’s schools.

The academic scholarship will be awarded to one applicant who is enrolled as a first-time undergraduate student and who plans to pursue a four-year degree in education. The recipient will receive $1,500 each semester for four years to attend any University of Alaska campus.

Those interested must already have applied for admission to UA and must submit both a short video and short essay explaining why they plan to pursue a degree in teacher education or what they hope to accomplish as a teacher, along with two letters of recommendation. The scholarship deadline is May 1. For information on eligibility or to apply, visit www.alaska.edu/learntoteach.

The Teach for Alaska Scholarship is funded by the university’s Land Grant Trust Endowment, which allocates funding each year for the UA Scholars program and for discretionary scholarships awarded by the university president. The endowment receives revenue from property sales and resource development — timber, gravel, gas leases, and mining — conducted on Trust lands.

Read the full article here.

Source: UA to award scholarship to an aspiring teacher – Bristol Bay Times

Pilot program sparks passion

Joshua Diaz was thrown out of a window and excited about it.

The Kenai Central High School senior is the smallest of 10 district students participating in Nikiski Fire Station No. 2’s basic firefighter academy, which means he’s the one going out the window.

“We were practicing ladders and I’m tiny so I got thrown out the window from the fire,” Diaz explained. “We had learned knots before that, lots of them, and a lot of different smoke drills and rope rapelling. It’s all so exciting and fun and interesting”

The week-long academy held the week of March 12-16, is a first for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, who was able to send the ten students to Nikiski to earn their state certifications through grants, according to Stephen Robertson, an adjunct professor with Kenai Peninsula College and engineer firefighter in Nikiski.

“This is the pilot program for the district,” Roberston said. “It’s your first step into firefighting, to get someone certified and be able to have that base knowledge of it.”

The station has offered similar programs in the past, through EXCEL Alaska for Western Alaska students, but this is the first time Kenai Peninsula students had the opportunity to earn their certifications in the local station.

“The cool part for us is that we can get them hooked now,” Robertson said. “If they get hooked on it young, then they have a long, healthy career ahead of them and it starts to replace the older guys.”

The academy met five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the student’s spring break and, while most students usually tend to avoid tests over the holidays, the week culminates in a written exam.

Read the full article here.

Source: Pilot program sparks passion – Homer News

Kinzea Jones honored as 2018 Interior Region EMS Educator of the Year

Jim Siddall, one of the owner/operators of the clinic at Clear Air Force Station and Canyon Clinic at Denali, with his employee Kinzea Jones, the 2018 EMS Educator of the Year. Photo Courtesy Kinzea Jones.

FAIRBANKS — Lifelong Fairbanksan Kinzea Jones is the 2018 Interior Region EMS Educator of the Year.

This award is given to the educator who displays initiative, leadership and dedication to emergency medical services training and helps to improve the Interior Alaska EMS system.

Every year, the Interior Region EMS Council recognizes individuals who have performed their services in a special way. The council also recognized Nenana Fire Chief Joe Forness as Provider of the Year and Chalkyitsik Emergency Trauma Technicians Team as the Service of the Year.

Read the full article here.

Source: Kinzea Jones honored as 2018 Interior Region EMS Educator of the Year – Daily News Minor