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

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

Career and Technical Education Tuition Discount

 Beginning this fall, the University of Alaska will offer a 25 percent tuition discount on selected career and technical education (CTE) courses. The discount will apply to 50 programs and more than 300 courses at the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast including community campuses. Eligible programs range from pharmacy technology to welding, and many courses can be taken online to accommodate the needs of working Alaskans.

In providing a discount for courses in many high-demand workforce areas, more Alaskans will have the opportunity to build the skills they will need for their advancement in Alaska’s future workforce. These skill-based programs also are ideal for employers looking to affordably develop employees’ skills or for individuals looking to change careers or increase their credentials.

The discount is part of the university’s plan to meet its goals to grow enrollment, increase degree completion and meet Alaska’s workforce needs. According to national research, by 2025, 65 percent of Alaska jobs will require some form of post-secondary education. Many of the applicable programs are in high-demand workforce areas such as marine transportation, medical billing, phlebotomy, welding, office management and construction technology.

While UA’s tuition is low compared to peer universities in the western United States, its tuition for CTE programs is high compared to other community college systems. By providing a discount for these courses, UA hopes to enroll Alaskans who want to refresh or learn new skills and those who want to return to college to complete a workforce training program.

The CTE discount will be applied on a course-by-course basis. For example, if a lower division course tuition is $212 per credit, the applied discount would be $53 per credit. There is no reduction to assessed fees, non-resident surcharge, or other costs. For a complete list of eligible courses and programs across the university system, visit www.alaska.edu/starthere/cte.

Source: The Statewide Voice

 

Alaska Middle School Students Construct and Test Bridges at ANSEP

Students and bridges at the Middle School Academy. Image-ANSEP

The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program hosted 42 students from the Kenai Peninsula Borough and Lower Kuskokwim school districts at its joint Middle School Academy this February. By igniting an early interest in science, technology, engineering and math, ANSEP Middle School Academy brings science to life. Led by industry professionals, the students used creativity and critical thinking to construct bridges and test their weight-bearing capacity. Students gained real-world insight into science and engineering careers with other interactive activities such as an Arctic wall build, field excursions and earthquake testing.

At the two-week, all-expenses-paid residential component, students experienced living like college students at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Read the rest of the article and which students were chosen to participate in the February Middle School Academy include here.

Source: Alaska Native News

Studying Horsepower in the Digital Age

HorsepowerJustin Gentz loves to go fast. He built his first engine when he was a sophomore in high school. Now, through UAA’s GM Automotive Service Educational Program, Gentz is learning to work on the latest in automotive technology — including some very fast cars.

Watch the short video here.

Source: Studying horsepower in the digital age – Green & Gold News