UAF, Fairbanks school district launch middle college

UAF photo by JR Ancheta A student reads in the Murie Building atrium on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.

Students in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District will soon have the opportunity to complete their high school careers with up to two years of college credit, tuition-free.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks and the school district have joined forces to create North Star College, a middle college program that will allow students to take UAF classes at the Fairbanks campus while still in high school. The school district will cover tuition and transportation, and students will earn both high school and college credit for their UAF classes. The first group of students will start classes in the fall of 2020.

“This is the result of shared vision between the Fairbanks School District and UAF to expand academic opportunities for students and create a robust bridge between secondary and postsecondary education in our community,” said Superintendent Karen Gaborik. “I am thrilled that we’ve been able to jointly build a middle college model for Fairbanks.”

While UAF has, for many years, allowed high school students to take courses, North Star College fully integrates college courses into each student’s public high school curriculum. North Star College students will be able to take 7-15 credits each semester. Students’ course schedules during the 2020-2021 school year will include political science and economics. They will round out their schedules with courses chosen from UAF’s core content offerings. A dedicated space on campus will give North Star College students a place to check in, study or meet between classes.

Read the full story here.

Source: UA News Center

Premera Funds to Help Bolster Rural Health Care in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A health insurer in Alaska has announced plans to provide $5.7 million to help bolster rural health care in the state.

The funds pledged by Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska will go toward the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the University of Alaska Anchorage and a new grant-making program administered by the Rasmuson Foundation in partnership with the Alaska Community Foundation, reported the Juneau Empire.

The grant-making program, which will be known as the Rural Health Care Fund, will get $3 million of the pledged funds. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 will be given to rural outpatient clinics, community health centers and hospitals for small capital improvement projects and medical equipment, said Jeff Roe, president and CEO of Premera Blue Cross.

Read the full article here.

Source: Premera funds to help bolster rural health care in Alaska – AP

Ravn Needs More Pilots and they Want them from Alaska

Many college students struggle with the balance of going to class and having to work to pay for their education. Rather than waiting until after graduation to start making money, students in the UAA Aviation Degree & Airline Pilot Employment program can now start working while finishing their education.

On Wednesday, UAA and Ravn Air Group announced the launch of a new program that allows students to simultaneously complete their aviation degree and work as regional airline pilots.  

“The uniqueness is that the pilots come to us already qualified, but they are not yet finished with their undergraduate,” Ravn Senior Vice President of Flight Operations Deke Abbott said. “So they get credit for their undergraduate degree, while at the same time earning a living as a new commercial pilot.”

The program is a win-win for Ravn and for the students, UAA Director of Aviation Technology Paul Herrick said. 

“The employment component is the different element of this, which we are really excited about,” he said. “Because students do want to get out and start making money, and start advancing their career with an actual air carrier.”

UAA’s aviation maintenance, piloting and air traffic control programs have been in place for nearly three decades and have supplied the aviation workforce in Alaska, Herrick said.

Source: Ravn needs more pilots and they want them from Alaska – KTVA