Report to the Partners

 

Building a National Model for Excellence in Native American Higher Education Programs
Inspiration, Guidance, Opportunity

2013 ANSEP Report to the Partners

Our objective is to effect systemic change in the hiring patterns of Alaska Natives in science and engineering by placing our students on a career path to leadership.

ANSEP has evolved into a longitudinal education model that provides a continuous string of components beginning with students in sixth grade and continuing on through high school, into undergraduate degree programs and through graduate school to the PhD. By successfully completing the ANSEP components every student in Alaska can earn the Alaska Performance Scholarship regardless of where they live. We provide inspiration for students from 95 communities so they complete the preparatory science and math coursework necessary for success in science and engineering BS degree programs. The focus at each level is to provide excitement and empowerment around these careers. We have arrived at the ANSEP model after 18 years of effort and with the awareness that a fragmented approach that focuses on one academic level is not adequate to deal with the scope of the problem and ultimately falls short. Each component is based on the fundamental Native principle of working together in a community.

ANSEP:
• Builds a welcoming environment at the University;
• Infuses values of community, family, and collaboration in all elements of the program;
• Promotes readiness, including early identification of students, motivation, and preparation;
• Creates bridging programs as well as internship and research opportunities that provide intense preparation for university and industry involvement.

Who we are
• We are a group of more than 100 private corporations, philanthropic organizations, state and federal agencies, universities, high schools, and middle schools.
• We are more than 1,000 Alaska Native middle school students, high school students, university students and ANSEP alumni.

Outside of Alaska we are working with our partners in the Indigenous Alliance for Engineering & Science Education to influence national public policy around education. As noted by National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (2008), the National Academies (2007, 2010) and others, we are confronted with a problem that will require a generation to fix. Yet, we must fix the problem if we are to remain a world leader in science and engineering.

This year we have new partners including the Hearst Foundation, the Margaret A. Carghill Foundation, and Verizon. This provides additional opportunities for our students and broadens our base of support.

In the upcoming year we look forward to new opportunities, additional education innovations, a broader base of support, and an ever increasing awareness of the capabilities of our students. Together with our partners we are having a profound and positive impact on the lives of the students, their families, their communities, our state, our nation and within our partner organizations that will endure for generations.

Responding to a National Crisis
Our freedom depends upon our ability to maintain technological superiority. We have fallen behind in producing the science and engineering talent necessary to maintain our edge. As noted by National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (2008), the National Academies (2007, 2010), the National Science Foundation, and others, we are confronted with a problem that will require a generation to fix. The magnitude of the education problem we face here at home and in our nation requires systemic solutions and sustained funding streams. We believe there is adequate funding within the current system. The problem is that much of the money spent nationwide is not producing the results we need. In many cases we are paying for failure and have been for 40 years.

ANSEP Middle School Academy. Every summer, rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students attend this two-week, residential, science and engineering experience. ANSEP Middle School Academy students successfully complete algebra 1 at a rate of 86%. All students nationwide complete this course at a rate of 26%. So far we have had 224 students participate. We are planning for an additional 162 in summer 2013.

ANSEP Computer Assembly. We have assembled over 1,200 computers with ANSEP High School students so far and most have successfully completed chemistry, physics, and trigonometry prior to graduation. Compare that to what the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), calls the "4 percent problem," which is that only 4 percent of underrepresented minorities nationwide who graduate high school are “engineering eligible”.

ANSEP Acceleration Academy. Approximately 50 rising high school juniors and seniors participate in this 6-week, residential, summer academy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. These students enroll in two college level classes such as:
- Intro to Engineering
- Intro to Biology
- Intro to Geology
- Chemistry
- Physics
- College Algebra
- Trigonometry
- Calculus 1, 2, and 3
- Differential Equations

92% of all Acceleration Academy students increase at least one full level in math or science each summer. 75% complete six or more college credits. So far we have had 141 students participate. Students can begin immediately after graduation from eighth grade. We are planning on another 50 students during summer 2013.

ANSEP University Success. ANSEP provides academic support, professional development, cultural enrichment and financial aid to students in pursuit of BS degrees in science or engineering. There currently are 500 Alaska Native students enrolled in science and engineering BS degree programs at University of Alaska campuses. 32 Alaska Natives earned BS degrees in science and engineering in May 2012. Our University has graduated 267 Indigenous engineers and scientists for the period from 2002 through 2012. Of these graduates 100% have transitioned into a professional position or graduate studies.

ANSEP Graduate Success. So far there have been five ANSEP students who have earned Masters degrees and two students who have earned PhDs in Alaska. Other students have earned their BS degree here and then went outside to earn PhDs. One student has earned an MD. There are 16 Alaska Native students enrolled in MS and PhD programs in science and engineering at the University of Alaska. Four Alaska Natives graduated with advanced degrees last year.


Confronting the ‘New’ American Dilemma, Underrepresented Minorities in Engineering: A Data-Based Look at Diversity, NACME, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, 2008. http://www.nacme.org/user/docs/NACME%2008%20ResearchReport.pdf

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda for American Science and Technology, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, National Academies Press, 2007 . http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11463

RISING ABOVE THE GATHERING STORM, REVISITED: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, National Academies of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, National Academies Press, 2010. http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/upload/rags-revisited.PDF