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.
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.
It took a mad dash, but Logan Holt is the first-ever University of Alaska student to be part of a new Coast Guard scholarship program at the university.
Holt, 21, formerly a home-schooled student, officially signed
paperwork to be a recipient of the U.S. Coast Guard College Student
Pre-Commissioning Initiative Tuesday afternoon during a swearing-in
ceremony at UAS.
“It was kind of a scramble and a last-minute deal,” Holt said of his application process. “By the time I finally found out about the deadline to the time the application had to be in, I think I had eight days. This will be an exciting journey.”
Holt thanked the Coast Guard and UAS for the opportunity during the ceremony and afterward said it generally takes months to apply for programs like CSPI.
CSPI is a scholarship program meant for students between the ages of 19 and 28 with at least a 2.5 grade-point average in their sophomore or junior years of undergraduate studies, according to the UAS website.
Per the website: The program offers up to two years of paid
tuition, books and fees, approximately a $3,600 monthly salary as a
Coast Guard active-duty member while attending classes as a full-time
student and a guaranteed job after graduation with a starting salary of
about $60,000 upon graduation and completion of Officer Candidate
Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Rural Alaska Honors Institute will have new options to explore teaching careers and Alaska Native languages during the summer 2019 session.
At RAHI, high school juniors and seniors from across Alaska will attend classes on the Fairbanks campus from May 28-July 12. They’ll earn up to 11 college credits, which are transferable to any college or university in the United States.
This year, RAHI will offer a new education exploration pathway, funded by the University of Alaska. UA President Jim Johnsen wants 90 percent of Alaska teachers to be educated in Alaska by 2025.
“We are excited to offer this focus on teaching as a career,” said Sandra Kowalski, director of indigenous programs at the UAF College of Rural and Community Development. “Alaska students will benefit greatly as we prepare more of them to teach in rural and Alaska classrooms. Alaskans who become teachers are more committed to staying in our communities.”
Students this year also can enroll in a new three-credit class introducing four Alaska Native languages — Iñupiaq, Athabascan, Yup’ik and Gwich’in. The elective is the first step toward earning a K-12 teaching degree with credentials in Alaska Native languages.