ANSEP summertime Acceleration Academy component paves the way for full-time, pre-college opportunities for Southcentral students


ANCHORAGE, Alaska – This summer, 83 students from 33 communities across Alaska gathered in Anchorage to jumpstart their careers with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program’s residential Acceleration Academy (Summer) component. For five weeks students lived on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus and earned college credits at no cost while participating in hands-on learning experiences and cultivating relationships with peers and professors.

The summertime component has proven so beneficial that ANSEP now has full-time options for high-school-age students who are enrolled in Anchorage or Matanuska-Susitna Borough school districts. In addition to giving students a head start, ANSEP Acceleration Academy saves students, families and the State of Alaska money on college tuition and associated costs. Applications for fall 2019 are still being accepted for both campuses.

Most Acceleration Academy (Summer) students successfully complete all the college math they need for Bachelor of Science degrees in a variety of STEM fields. ANSEP is offering this support to hundreds of Alaskans. Full-time Acceleration Academy students in Anchorage and Mat-Su have completed more than two years worth of college courses when they graduate. One high school freshman at the Anchorage Academy has earned 29 credits towards a B.S. in civil engineering.

“We can do this for every kid in the state given the opportunity,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Schroeder. “ANSEP can take the educational performance of Alaska’s students from worst to first in the nation.”

During one activity this summer, using only a mouse trap and various other household supplies, students designed and built functional cars. In addition to learning from the exercise itself, this activity was led by Dr. Matt Calhoun. A University of Alaska Anchorage engineering professor and one of the first Alaska Natives to earn a Ph.D. in civil engineering, Calhoun is an ANSEP alum who initially became involved as a University Success student and now serves as an Acceleration Academy instructor and mentor to the next generation of ANSEP students.

Other interactive exercises included a marshmallow and spaghetti tower challenge, catapult challenge and cardboard airplane build. Each is designed to improve students’ critical thinking and teambuilding skills, so they are better prepared for college and eventually the workforce. As part of Acceleration Academy (Summer), the students also visited the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium water filtration location, William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery and Campbell Creek Science Center. By interacting with STEM professionals in a variety of industries and career fields, the component exposes students to the many different career paths available with a STEM education.

Students chosen to participate in the all-expenses paid Acceleration Academy (Summer) include:

  • Anchorage: Malcolm Bosse, Dionisy “Mitchell” Bourdukofsky, Sarah Bowker, Emily Charles, Jayden Douglas, David Fetters, Kaitlyn Hanson, Eden Hopson, Anna Hyer, Aleric Kompkoff-Anderson, Debra Lane-Hayes, Jessica Martinez, Ava Neck, Christine Noratak, Ada Putman, Seth Sterling, Baahii Tallman, Deya Tallman, Caralynn Wick, Jared Wilkie and Audrey Williams
  • Barrow: Esau Weyiouanna
  • Bethel: Lawrence Bayer, Kayla Beckham, Chase Lauren, Henry Briana, Chelonia Jones, Charlee Korthuis, Ethan Sundown, Haley Sundown, Tekoah Tony and Jordan Wheeler
  • Chevak: Ajey Moses and Haley Ulroan
  • Dillingham: Laci Andrew, Jacob Belleque, Kristain Nudlash-Barger, Sawyer Sands and David Wetter
  • Eagle River: Jasmine Trotter
  • Fairbanks: Samuel Hughes and Mia Vent
  • Homer: Samuel Larson
  • JBER: Skye Scott
  • Kenai: Rosalie Anderson
  • Kongiganak: Cassandra Brown
  • Kotzebue: Marysue Beck, Kai Whitmore and Harley Wood
  • Kwethluk: Danielle Epchook
  • Kwigillingok: Jason Evon, Kacey Idkurak and Sean Snyder
  • Marshall: Joshua P. Turet
  • Metlakatla: Grace Stewart
  • Minto: Adrianna Charlie
  • Mountain Village: Carter Andrews
  • Nightmute: Corey George, Dana Joe and Tiffany Joe
  • Nikiski: Brenden Boehme
  • Nome: Stephan Anderson, Raina McRae and Kellie Alivia Miller
  • Nunapitchuk: Jaden Andrew, Caden Sallison and Devone Sallison
  • Palmer: Jake Colberg
  • Quinhagak: Haley Forbes
  • Sitka: David “Reese” Bahnke and Adeline Dyment
  • Soldotna: Trace Lyon and Sorin Sorensen
  • Unalakleet: Victoria Fisher and Lauryn Nanouk Jones
  • Wasilla: Emily Warl

“Acceleration Academy students learn to envision college as part of their future by living on campus, developing relationships with students who share their goals, earning college credits and working alongside dedicated professors,” said Dr. Schroeder. “It is exciting to now be able to offer this level of support to our students year-round through Acceleration Academy (Anchorage) and (Mat-Su). Our goal is to continue to expand the full-time component as we work to make quality education accessible and affordable for all of Alaska’s students.”

To learn more about how ANSEP is building Alaska’s next generation of leaders, visit www.ANSEP.net.