NSF Grant Aims to Support STEM Teacher Preparation in Alaska

A University of Alaska faculty team will develop a new scholarship program to support Alaskans who want to become secondary science, technology, engineering and math teachers.

A $74,000 National Science Foundation grant will allow the team to build the plan for a Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at the University of Alaska. The program will provide full scholarships to support Alaska STEM majors as they earn their teaching certificates.

“Students tell us over and over again that they need financial support for enrolling in a full-time teacher education program,” said Ute Kaden, one of the project leads and chair of the University of Alaska Fairbanks secondary education program. “Currently there are little to no funds available to support students who want to become teachers in Alaska.”

The state has a large number of small rural schools that grapple with high teacher turnover and an increasing demand for STEM instructors. Rural schools often have only one teacher responsible for teaching all the STEM subjects across multiple grade levels.

“This collaborative approach built on the expertise and resources of all three UA campuses will be sustainable and attractive,” Kaden said. “It has the potential to increase the number of Alaska-educated STEM teachers in a fiscally responsible, non-disruptive way.”

Other project leads include Steffi Ickert-Bond from the University of Alaska Museum of the North and Deborah Lo and Virgil Fredenberg from the University of Alaska Southeast.

The team will study successful programs at other universities, such as the UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin. The model started in 1997 as a student-focused way to recruit STEM majors and prepare them to become teachers. Now in its 20th year, Ickert-Bond said, UTeach has been implemented at 44 universities in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Source: NSF grant aims to support STEM teacher preparation in Alaska – Alaska Business Monthly

Coeur Alaska Inc. Donates $40,000 to UAS Scholarship Fund

Coeur Award - Avery Stewart

Juneau, Alaska – Coeur Alaska Inc. has donated $40,000 to the UAS Coeur Alaska-Kensington Gold Mine Environmental Science Award this academic year. This brings a total donation of $126,500 to the University of Alaska Southeast since 2010 with $100,000 going to awards for students studying environmental science.

“Coeur Alaska – Kensington Mine values our partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast and our shared desire to train the next generation of Alaskans in the field of Environmental Science,” says Wayne Zigarlick, VP and General Manager. “We are pleased to make this contribution to the scholarship endowment fund to help students who share our dedication toward preserving and protecting the environment.”

Avery Stewart is just one of these students. A Coeur Alaska – Kensington Gold Mine Environmental Science Award recipient and a senior at UAS, Stewart is set to graduate this May with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He has made the Dean’s Honor List and enrolled in the UAS honors program and researched hydrology while participating in the UAS International Student Exchange program in Hungary in 2015. He plans to continue his education researching biotechnology and renewable energy and use his skills to help Alaska’s economy.

“Our state has relied heavily on our natural gas reserves, for which profits have dwindled over the last decade, but it has incredible potential for wind and hydro power that has been largely untouched.” Stewart says. “I think in the future we will have no choice but to invest in alternative energy. I’m actually really hopeful for the country and for the state.”

For more information about the University of Alaska Southeast, visit www.uas.alaska.edu or call 907-796-6100.

Source: UAS Press Release – March 21, 2017 (Photo Credit: Seanna O’Sullivan)

The APS Outcomes Report 2011-2016


This handout concisely presents the Alaska Performance Scholarship’s (APS) significant successes in meeting the goals of better preparing Alaska students for success in higher education and training. This year, for the first time, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education was able to look at whether APS students are more likely to stay in Alaska after completing their education and/or training. The early results show that, once APS students gain the education and skills for success, they are indeed remaining in Alaska at higher rates and contributing to the Alaska economy.

Click the image or here for the summary document.

Source: Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education

The State Training and Employment Program (STEP) Request for Grant Applications for State Fiscal Year 2018

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Employment and Training Services requests grant applications for training projects in priority industries under the State Training and Employment Program (STEP).  The STEP is funded by a percentage of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and is appropriated to the Division by the Alaska State Legislature.

The purpose of the STEP is to enhance the quality and accessibility of in-state training and employment services for Alaska residents to help meet the workforce needs of employers in the state. STEP seeks to increase resident employment in industries where a high number of nonresidents are working, reduce future unemployment claims, and foster economic growth in all regions by meeting employers demand for a skilled workforce.

Organizations with training projects that will upgrade the skills of the local workforce with the latest national and state certifications and competencies in demand by employers in the priority industries are encouraged to apply. Training participants must meet the eligibility requirements of the STEP.

Visit the public notice and view attachments at https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=184837

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Alaska Primary Care Association Launches Health Care Apprenticeships

JUNEAU, Alaska— The Alaska Primary Care Association, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and U.S. Department of Labor have signed standards of apprenticeship to start four new health care Registered Apprenticeship programs. The Registered Apprenticeships include Community Health Worker, Medical Administrative Assistant, Clinical Medical Assistant, and Medical Biller/Coder. This program is supported with federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Christian Health Associates, Bethel Family Clinic, Camai Community Health Center (Bristol Bay), Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, Cross Road Health Ministries, Easter Aleutian Tribes, Girdwood Health Center, Interior Community Health Center, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, and Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation have already identified Alaskans who are signing up as apprentices through the program.

“This represents a massive expansion of Registered Apprenticeship in the health care sector and in rural Alaska,” said Alaska Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “Community Health Workers and other health care professionals will help improve Alaskans’ health care while supporting cost effectiveness strategies identified in Senate Bill 74 and the Healthy Alaska Plan.”

Registered Apprenticeship is part of the solution to Alaska’s health workforce shortages – and it’s a win-win-win for the apprentice, the practices, and the community. It’s a grow-your-own training strategy that improves the availability of quality care while controlling costs,” said Nancy Merriman, Executive Director of the Alaska Primary Care Association.

Registered Apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with technical classroom instruction, and is designed to offer worker training based on the needs of the employers. Registered Apprenticeship programs directly contribute to higher rates of Alaska Hire and lower rates of unemployment. The number of Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors has increased 86% since 2000.

Alaskans interested in these health care Registered Apprenticeship opportunities should visit http://www.alaskapca.org/workforce.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development Press Release – February 2, 2017