ANCHORAGE, ALASKA– This summer, 22 recent high school graduates from across Alaska had the opportunity to gain professional experience and earn college credit through Summer Bridge, a component of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP). Working paid internships this summer before becoming full-time students at University of Alaska campuses this fall, Summer Bridge participants got hands-on experience working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) career fields, in addition to completing a college math course.
Summer Bridge, like all ANSEP components, strives to promote STEM while encouraging historically underrepresented students to pursue careers in science and engineering at an early age. The component was adopted in 1998 as a way to mitigate problems indigenous students face due to poor math preparation as well as issues related to lack of career awareness and difficulty transitioning to the university from rural communities.
“As a former ANSEP student, graduate and the first engineer from my village, I can relate to these students on a personal level,” said ANSEP Regional Director Michael Ulroan. “It was a huge culture shock coming to the University of Alaska Anchorage from a small village in rural Alaska. ANSEP helps students navigate that transition so they can be successful.”
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