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UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA TRANSCRIPT STUDY

Official Statement

The University of Alaska (UA) and the State Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) are stepping up to strengthen alignment between their two education systems. Our goal is to dramatically improve educational attainment in Alaska and, thereby, improve our economic competitiveness and our quality of life. 

In September, the UA Board of Regents met with the State Board of Education. Both boards made the commitment to work together on this important goal and charged the UA President and the Commissioner of DEED to work together on building a culture of education in Alaska. In addition, the boards have created a subcommittee that will be meeting in December in support of our joint purpose.

There are several elements of the plan being developed. Two of the most essential elements are college readiness and teacher preparation. DEED’s focus will be to work with Alaska’s 54 school districts to strengthen high school graduates’ readiness to take the next step in their education by attending some form of higher education, whether career and technical training or a university degree. UA’s focus will be on increasing its production of top quality teachers for Alaska’s schools. Additional areas of collaboration include dual and concurrent enrollment, new teacher mentoring, professional development, and research into a wide variety of issues that, if understood, could be improved. 

One area of research on college readiness was recently conducted by the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). The transcript study used available Alaska institutional data—so it applies directly only to students from Alaska who attend a campus of the University of Alaska—and found several serious shortcomings in student readiness for university-level work. The transcript study found that high schools across the state vary a great deal in the extent to which their graduates who attend a UA campus require preparatory course work.

Alaska’s children deserve the best education possible as well as the attendant economic and social benefits. They need the tools provided by an excellent education to move Alaska forward. The study shows that for many of our students, this is not the case. We are determined to work together with school leaders across the state to mitigate the problem. It will require years of effort and collaboration with students, parents, teachers, professors, administrators, and government officials. We are nevertheless committed to this critically important goal.

Initially, we will begin by setting some long term goals and milestones. We will then move to align the academic standards between K-12 and the university, and implement a quality control plan that provides useful feedback for all. 

The focus of this effort is on the future and our collective potential to provide the best for our students and the state of Alaska.

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James Johnsen, EdD
President
University of Alaska

Michael Johnson, PhD
Commissioner of Education
State of Alaska

Tom Case
Chancellor
University of Alaska Anchorage

Herb Schroeder, PhD
Vice Provost for ANSEP and Founder
Professor of Engineering
University of Alaska Anchorage

For additional information about UA and Alaska DEED collaboration, contact:

James Johnsen, EdD
President
University of Alaska

Michael Johnson, PhD
Commissioner of Education and Early Development
State of Alaska 

For additional information about the study, contact:

Herb Schroeder, PhD
Vice Provost for ANSEP and Founder
Professor of Engineering
University of Alaska Anchorage

View the complete University of Alaska Transcript Study here.