ANCHORAGE, Alaska — This school year, the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program’s Academic Year Acceleration Academy welcomes the largest-ever group of students and a nearly 30% increase in participation from the 2022-2023 school year. Across four communities, 187 Alaska high school students are participating in the Academy to earn college credits while simultaneously graduating from high school.
ANSEP hopes to make the Academic Year Acceleration Academy opportunity available to students in every region of Alaska by launching Acceleration Academies at every University of Alaska campus. It is currently available in Anchorage, Bethel, Kotzebue, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and has a year-round residential element on the Anchorage campus so students in other Alaska communities can participate. This year, there are 93 students participating in Anchorage, 38 students in Bethel, 11 students in Kotzebue, 25 students in Mat-Su, and 20 residential students.
“We are thrilled to welcome our largest-ever group of students to ANSEP’s Academic Year Acceleration Academy,” said ANSEP Director of Special Projects Michael Bourdukofsky. “Acceleration Academy is paving the way for students to achieve their academic and career aspirations more economically and efficiently than ever before. Thanks to the support of our strategic partners, state funding, and donations, ANSEP has been able to expand Acceleration Academy opportunities across the state and provide advanced academic opportunities for even more students.”
Fourteen years ago, the Acceleration Academy first began as a summer opportunity for high school students to earn college credits at no cost. Now, the Acceleration Academy is a full-time academic year opportunity that is helping students go from eighth grade to a bachelor’s degree in just five years. Students in the Academy are able to achieve this by completing their high school graduation requirements through college courses taken during the academic year.
The average graduate of the Acceleration Academy begins their freshman year of college with 50 credits, thus eliminating two years of college courses, and some students earn more than 100 credits. This saves students and their families over $75,000 in college costs. On top of students saving on college expenses, state/local/federal governments spend only one third of the cost they would normally expend for a student to earn a degree at the University of Alaska.
In addition to advancing their education and saving on college expenses, Acceleration Academy students become hyper-prepared academically, socially, and professionally for college and future STEM careers by participating in community building activities, weekly group study sessions, cultural activities, and weekly community meetings where they learn about internship and scholarship opportunities from ANSEP partners and network with STEM professionals.
Since launching the Academic Year Acceleration Academy in 2015, it has seen tremendous growth and success in making an impact in the lives of students and their families across Alaska.
Any student enrolled in ninth, 10th, 11th or 12th grade in Alaska is eligible to apply for and participate in the Acceleration Academy opportunity. To learn more about ANSEP and the opportunities available for Alaskan students, visit www.ANSEP.net.