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
Let’s face it; many high school faculty members are overloaded with teaching core courses, so the thought of adding new curricula often brings a cringe to their faces and the beginnings of a migraine headache. What if high schools could offer new and exciting coursework without the cringing or the headaches? What if high school faculty didn’t even need to teach the content? What if all the resources (lectures, reading assignments, exams, etc.) were already available? What if students could take courses for both high school and college credit? What if it didn’t cost students money?
In spring 2017, the UAS Fisheries Technology program reinvented a way to offer courses that are:
Engaging and technology-based,
Use the latest educational pedagogy, and
Can be delivered directly into the high school classroom with no internet required.
These courses were initially created for distribution on university supplied Apple iPads, but have since been finding their ways into many high schools throughout the state. Imagine “beaming” a college instructor directly into a high school classroom where the on-site high school faculty member is doing little more than facilitating progress through the course and fostering discussion points.
Throughout the course of our daily lives we depend on the skills and services of others. From bookkeepers, nursing aides, and security personnel to welders, small engine repair, and heavy equipment mechanics, Alaska thrives when there is a dedicated workforce that serves our communities.
You may be surprised to learn that these jobs require some form of post-secondary training, which can be earned through the University of Alaska (UA), now at a reduced tuition rate.
UA is cutting tuition on select occupational programs and career and technical education (CTE) courses by 25 percent. The discount applies to 50 programs and more than 300 courses at all three universities including community campuses. Eligible programs range from pharmacy technology to welding and mine mechanics; many courses can be taken online to accommodate employed Alaskans looking to refresh skills or embark on a new career.
The university is the No. 1 provider of workforce development programs in the state, and training a skilled workforce to meet the state’s needs is one of UA’s top goals. While UA’s tuition is low compared to peer universities in the western United States, its tuition for CTE programs has been considered to be high compared to community college systems Outside.
“It’s (the middle of) summer, but students seeking higher education are making plans for fall. The university’s new Alaska College of Education aims to train more state residents to take teaching jobs here. The idea is to keep good teachers in rural Alaska communities.”
So began a round-robin discussion on July 24, when President Jim Johnsen and College of Education Executive Dean Steve Atwater joined host Lori Townsend on Alaska Public Radio Network’s Talk of Alaska to discuss the university’s goal to recruit and educate more teachers. The discussion also included Kameron Perez-Verdia, president/CEO of Alaska Humanities Forum.
“What precipitated [the Alaska College of Education] was the regents’ recognition that this is a critically important issue and our challenges…You are looking at the single most important job in our state,” Johnsen said.
Alaska faces a range of obstacles as the university endeavors to educate more Alaska teachers. Currently 70 percent of teachers hired each year for Alaska school districts come from outside the state and turnover, especially in rural Alaska, is as high as 50 percent annually. Teachers who come to rural Alaska from outside the state are often unprepared to understand cultural differences and infrastructure challenges, and the effects of decades of trauma from forced assimilation and abuse of Alaska Native students in schools are still present. The effects of these obstacles are costly, both in the financial cost of constant teacher recruitment and the impact to students who witness teachers regularly cycling in and out of their schools.
The University of Alaska (UA) has been collaborating with maritime industry representatives, state agencies, legislators and other training entities across the state since 2012 on the Fishing, Seafood and Maritime Initiative (FSMI). The goal of the initiative is to assess, develop and deliver training programs, raise awareness and further research to prepare Alaskans to meet current and emerging workforce, economic and scientific needs.
The FSMI Spring Update was released in May. Read the full report here.