State of the University Address: UA system discusses future plans

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 5:00 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The University of Alaska (UA) held its annual State of the University address via an online stream.

The University of Alaska State of Address included several topics, including future plans for the UA system.

One of those plans is to put more attention on middle college programs. According to Pat Pitney, UA Interim President, ”We are also stepping back into the high schools with our middle college programs and our Alaska Advantage program. We’re working with 35 school districts to work with students in their junior and senior year, and what we’re finding is those students are using the middle college programs, the student enrollment programs at a much higher rate, coming into a university sometimes with as much as two years of college under their belt. At UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) and soon to be at UA, we’ve adjusted pricing to meet the amount provided by the Federal Tuition Assistance Benefit and eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for military students.”

The UA system also announced plans to assist with boosting enrollment. Pitney said, “We’ll be launching a new website, an awareness campaign aimed at attracting more students into our education programs, with special attention to improving access in Anchorage and South Central. We will continue to prioritize programs critical to the state’s needs, and we are also focusing on affordability for students from Foundation Scholarships, to the Alaska Performance Scholarships, and the Alaska Education Grants. There are many affordable paths for students to attend college.”

The address also discussed the UA Alaska Native Success Initiative which focuses on improving participation and success for Alaska Natives through educational achievement.

“Our initiative that we started is bold, and includes action teams and a steering committee. We have leaders representing the board of regents, the universities, Alaska Native Tribal entities and other organizations to help guide the process. 37 people internal to the university, and external, are helping us develop a blueprint we can implement over the next three to five years. Our stated intent is, we aspire for the University of Alaska system to better represent the Alaska population, for all to feel they belong, and for the change to be visible and be recognized,” said Pitney.

The UA State of Address can be viewed in full on the UA website.

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