A new program from UAA is coming to Bethel this fall. Participants who attend receive high school and college credits. The goal would be to earn both a high school degree and an associate’s degree, or even a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska.
The program is called the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program Acceleration Academy. ANSEP starts the academy in Bethel in August 2021. Students from the Lower Kuskokwim School District can participate this year.
The Acceleration Academy has spread across Alaska. The main academy is in Anchorage and the second in Palmer. Bethel will be the academy’s third location and the first in a rural area off the road. Tad Lindley, a retired LKSD teacher, will lead the Bethel program. He is the regional director for ANSEP in Western Alaska.
“I think this is an excellent opportunity for kids who have a passion for learning and want to move forward faster,” said Lindley.
Lindley called Bethel “the ideal place” for the academy. The Lower Kuskokwim School District has a close relationship with ANSEP. LKSD students participate in many of ANSEP’s programs, and Bethel has the infrastructure to make the academy a reality. ANSEP has partnered with UAF Kuskokwim Campus and LKSD for classes and student dormitories.
“It’s a win for everyone,” said Lindley.
Students can begin in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade and finish their final year of high school in the academy. They would take all of their classes, both high school and college credits, on the UAF Kuskokwim campus. Classes take place online or in person, depending on the professors available.
“So you will actually be able to do the LKSD as a high school student, but some of these kids, if that’s their goal, can actually get into the [UAF Kuskokwim Campus] Graduated from high school with an associate degree, ”said Lindley.
Lindley hopes 20 students will attend this school year. LKSD pays for 10 students to attend and ANSEP takes care of the rest of the students. Up to five students from LKSD villages outside Bethel can participate and be accommodated in the LKSD dormitories.
“I would encourage students to join because you will save a lot of money for college, especially,” said Lindely.
ANSEP estimates that attendees could save up to $ 75,000 in college expenses.
Although ANSEP is geared towards science and engineering courses, students can also take courses outside of these areas.
“Even if you want to become a writer, an English teacher or a political scientist. It’s open to any discipline that the students focus on, ”said Lindley.
The academy would follow the college’s academic calendar. Classes start later in August and end earlier in May as LKSD. School time would be between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
To qualify for the ANSEP Acceleration Academy, students must pass tests to be admitted to college courses in math and English. Non-Alaskan students can also apply. Applications can be made online. Lindley can also distribute paper applications; he can be contacted at [email protected]