Alaska is a huge state with a lot of open space. The weather varies significantly from one area to the next and can be really harsh, making a trip to class a challenge. Alaska also recognizes the difficulties students face and works diligently to make post secondary education accessible to all who want it. The public higher education system in Alaska is made up of 6 four-year colleges and universities, 5 technical schools and community colleges.
So What’s Available For Higher Ed?
The University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest of the system. U.S. News & World Report rank it at 58 for publicly funded institutions. Alaska is part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a multi state initiative, which assists in making post secondary education available to students, wherever they are. The Internet Course Exchange allows students pursuing interests in uncommon areas to be able to access education in and out of state through the WICHE.
The commission also works to enlighten low income students about the benefits of a college degree. The University of Alaska Fairbanks has programs specifically designed to provide bachelor, master and Ph. D.’s in Alaska Native-related subjects. There are also numerous community colleges and technical schools as well as online options through the system. Private institutions are available as well. Options abound for anyone in Alaska who wants to continue their education. Read on!
Maybe a Tech School is Right For You.
Anyone looking for 2 year programs has many choices. For example, Alaska’s Institute of Technology (AVTEC) in Seward is a public, rural technical school for about 1260 students that are residents of Alaska. Housing is available. Tuition is about $3025, room and board is $18,920, books and supplies are $7805 for a total of $29,750. The student population is 28% women, 72% male, 4% Latino, 2% African American, 51% Caucasian, 26% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 1% Asian, 1% Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 15% unknown. The most popular majors are nursing assistant/patient aide, LPN or licensed vocational nurse, welding, industrial electronics technician, culinary, catering restaurant manager and management.
The Ilisagvik College is in the northernmost point of Alaska on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. This 2 year tribal college focuses on continuing the Inupiat culture, language, values and traditions. It was created to serve the residents of the North Slope Borough, acknowledging the importance of furthering education while also working to maintain the culture and lifestyle.
Students can attain an associate degree or certificates in vocational, academic and workforce development. All of the programs of study keep the Inupiat philosophy central to the training. Graduates can find career opportunities in the area or throughout Alaska. The college personalizes services, so for example, if you need to be picked up at the airport and transported to the school, they will do it. Tuition is about $3400, fees $340.00, books $800, room $4000, board $6600-9000. Housing can be found on campus.
The Charter College in Anchorage is a technical school offering associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees as well as certificate programs. The focus is training students for careers in healthcare, business, the legal field, information technology, and construction trades. It’s a private institution blending pieces of a liberal arts college with a university and vocational school.
Charter was founded in 1985 to meet student needs and offer flexible degree programs. There are numerous branches and online options. Charter offers something called blended learning where students have two days on in class learning and then finish their work online in their own time. There is no housing available for the 1945 students. 26% are male and 74% are female. The student population is 43% White, 30% Hispanic, 7% unknown, 5% two or more races, 5% Asian, 5% Black, 4% American Indian or Alaskan. Tuition and fees run about $20,137.
Another interesting option is the Alaska Bible College in Palmer. This is a private college rooted in scripture. It offers a biblical foundation to help students remain focused as they move into the real world. Students can attain a certificate, an associate degree, or bachelor degree all in bible studies and ministry. There are single sex dorms and lots of outdoor activities for the 51 students.
And on to the Universities!