Earlier this fall, the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) kicked off the inaugural year of its Acceleration High School component at Valley Pathways School in Palmer, where 23 students began taking college courses in conjunction with high school coursework.
In partnership with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD), the full-time high school gives students year-round access to ANSEP’s proven educational methods, expands the program’s mission to include several career interests and aims to save the state of Alaska millions of dollars in general fund support.
“Nationally, Alaska’s education system consistently ranks near the bottom of the list in performance, yet we spend more per student than almost any other state. ANSEP is striving to change that statistic, and part of that is the Acceleration High School,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost, Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder.
The ANSEP Acceleration High School component strives to ensure students are college-ready by the end of their third year of high school, as well as eliminate the need for a fourth year at the university. With three years in high school and three years in college, Acceleration High School students will be career-ready by age 20.
Students begin taking college courses immediately and have the ability to accumulate college credits that apply toward many degree programs at the University of Alaska. Based on University of Alaska Anchorage requirements, the curriculum will allow students to earn 55 credits toward a Bachelor of Biological Sciences, 49 credits toward a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, 45 credits toward a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, 45 credits toward a Bachelor of Liberal Studies, 44 credits toward a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, 42 credits toward a Bachelor of Business Administration Management and many more degree programs. The ANSEP Acceleration High School component aims to:
• Support students of all career interests.
• Significantly improve college readiness by eliminating the need for remediation.
• Produce high school graduates with up to a year of college credits earned for various degree programs.
• Reduce the amount of time typically required for college students to earn a degree.
• Save families a year or more in college tuition.
• Save the state of Alaska millions of dollars in general fund support.
• Increase economic opportunities for MSBSD students and their families.
ANSEP has offered its five-week, summer Acceleration Academy to Alaskan high school students since 2009. Through the component, high school students advance one level or more in math or science each summer and earn college credit at the same time. As a summer component, Acceleration Academy serves approximately 100 students each year. ANSEP Acceleration High School brings this opportunity to an estimated additional 100 students year-round. The school is open to students of all career interests who plan to attend college. Learn more about ANSEP Acceleration High School at ANSEP.net/high-school/acceleration-high-school.
The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP), founded by Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder, Ph.D., is part of the University of Alaska system. The program strives to effect systemic change in the hiring patterns of Alaska natives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career fields by placing its students on a path to leadership.
Beginning at the middle school level, ANSEP’s longitudinal model continues through high school and into undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs, allowing students to succeed at rates far exceeding national numbers. In 2015, the organization launched ANSEP STEM Teacher in an effort to remedy Alaska’s rural education issues by supporting students pursuing STEM-related teaching certificates. ANSEP plans to place one ANSEP STEM Teacher in every Alaska village by 2025. More information on ANSEP is available at www.ansep.net.