Coast Guard Signs Memorandum of Agreement with University of Alaska Southeast

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, 17th District commander, and University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Rick Caulfield shake hands after signing a memorandum of agreement between the Coast Guard and UAS during a ceremony in Juneau, Alaska, Oct. 2, 2017. The MOA makes UAS the first Alaskan college to host the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Shawn Eggert)

On behalf of the Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Paul Zunkuft, Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, Seventeenth Coast Guard District commander, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Alaska Southeast, establishing the university as a member of the Coast Guard’s Minority-Serving Institution partnership program.

The purpose of the program is for the Coast Guard to recruit, retain and sustain a ready, diverse and highly skilled workforce.

“Our people are our most important investment, and the Coast Guard must engage and retain the most qualified and inclusively diverse workforce,” said McAllister. “For 150 years, the Coast Guard’s ability to serve and protect Alaska has grown alongside the state’s increasingly prominent role in national sovereignty and maritime commerce. With this MOA we have an opportunity to attract young people that know what it means to live and work on the water.”

Central to this partnership is the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative scholarship program. CSPI is a program designed for motivated individuals who demonstrate high academic and leadership excellence, and desire to serve their country in the United States Coast Guard. Students can apply if they are currently enrolled, accepted for enrollment or pending enrollment in a full-time bachelor’s degree program at Minority-Serving Institutions and have the desire to receive a guaranteed commission as an officer in the United States Coast Guard.

Read the full article here.

Source: Coast Guard Signs Memorandum of Agreement with University of Alaska Southeast – Alaska Business Magazine

Workforce Development Programs: Investing in Southeast Alaska Youth

As a lifelong Sitkan I have grown close to our coastal rainforest. As I head off to my first year of college this fall, I know I will miss this place. However, I can’t help but wonder — how much will it change?

Having just graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School, a boarding school that serves students across Alaska, I have heard many stories of successful hunts and summers spent at fish camp, but I also hear stories of quickly changing ecosystems. Every community in Southeast Alaska depends on natural resources in some way. Whether it’s harvesting wild foods or building homes out of local wood, our people depend on the land. In order to maintain our unique way of life, it is important that rural Alaskans have opportunities to pursue meaningful careers that promote sustainable living and wise management of these resources.

Today, many Southeast Alaskan communities are home to a variety of youth workforce development programs. These programs help prepare the next generation of Alaska’s scientists, field crews, and resource managers with the experiences, drive, and skills to pursue careers in their backyards, whether on the water or in the woods. This summer I visited three of these programs — in Sitka, Klawock, and Kake — to get an inside perspective on the impact they are having on our region.

Read the full article here.

Source: CapitalCityWeekly.com – Southeast Alaska’s Online Newspaper

Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company Renews $300,000 Investment in UAS Mine Training

Juneau, Alaska – Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company has pledged to renew a $300,000 commitment to the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Center for Mine Training for their “Pathways to Mining Careers” program beginning in Fall 2017. This brings the company’s total investment in local mine training to more than $900,000 since 2011.

The program is a unique collaboration between UAS and Hecla Greens Creek instructors to prepare students for mining careers by offering introductory high school dual enrollment courses at UAS, short­-term occupational endorsements in Mine Mechanics and the Associate’s degree in Power Technology/Diesel Mechanics. The program also offers job shadowing opportunities with Hecla Greens Creek mentors. The “Pathways to Mining Careers” culminates in an opportunity for a six­ month term of probationary employment with the mine and a chance at full employment.

Read the full article here.

Source: Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company Renews $300,000 Investment in UAS Mine Training | Alaska Native News

Alaska Needs More Alaska Native Teachers

Photo: Courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute

In Alaska schools, Alaska Natives make up 25 percent of the student body, but less than 5 percent of the teaching force. PITAAS—Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools—is a scholarship program offered at the University of Alaska Southeast which is designed to train more Alaska Native teachers and administrators in Alaskan schools.

“What inspired me to go and become a teacher was knowing that we had so many teachers that leave,” says Heather Dickens, a PITAAS student, in a video by the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

The program was created in 2000 with the help of a federal grant in order to address the shortage of Alaska Native teachers, and it has grown to include a number of services designed to train more teachers.

“The reason I wanted to get into education was so that I could be there for the kids that are feeling like they are on their way out,” said Jasper Nelson in a PITAAS video. He said he chose the program because it’s not a typical scholarship program. “They are with you 100 percent of the way. They give you an opportunity to succeed.

Students accepted into the program receive a scholarship that generally covers tuition, fees, books, and room and board at the University of Alaska Southeast for the full program period. Students must be enrolled at UAS, have a minimum 2.5 GPA upon entry and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA to continue receiving the scholarship.

“The best part about being an educator for me is being a role model for others to see, and empowering our youth,” said Josh Jackson in a video, who earned his master’s through the PITAAS program. “It’s a very, very rewarding experience and a very rewarding job.”

To learn more about the program, hear more student stories, and apply, visit the UAS website.

Source: Alaska Needs More Alaska Native Teachers – Indian Country Media Network

UA Board of Regents Approves Joint UAS-UAF Fisheries Degree

Students at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) in Juneau will now be able to earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in light of action by the UA Board of Regents in June 2017.

The new degree is expected to increase the number of Southeast Alaska students who earn an undergraduate fisheries degree and are prepared to work in fisheries development, management, and research.

The new degree is a joint offering of UAS and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). It is a direct outcome of the university’s Strategic Pathways process–expanding opportunities for students through collaboration between UAS and UAF faculty.  Fisheries graduates frequently go to work with state and federal fisheries agencies like ADF&G and NOAA, and in private sector industry jobs. Others enroll in graduate programs in fisheries and ocean sciences.

UAS expects to see a steadily increasing number of fisheries students on its Auke Lake Campus as the program gets underway. The hope is that many of those will go on into UAF graduate programs.

The new degree will emphasize marine fisheries biology, assessment and management of fish and invertebrate populations, and physical, chemical, geological, and biological dynamics of marine and freshwater environments. UAS recently hired a new fisheries faculty member, Dr. Michael Navarro, who will help coordinate the program.

Following the Board of Regents action, UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield observed that “Southeast Alaska is highly dependent on the fisheries industry and this program will produce local graduates who know our fisheries and our communities. I’m grateful to Southeast fishing industry representatives and fisheries managers who expressed support for this. I’m also grateful to our faculty, to UA President Jim Johnsen, and to UAF colleagues for recognizing the importance of growing our own local fisheries graduates.”

Admission of new students into the program will begin following a review of the degree by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). That review is expected to be completed by late summer 2017.

Source: SitNews: UA Board of Regents approves joint UAS-UAF Fisheries degree