Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program aims to provide year-round support for pre-college students with Mt. Edgecumbe ANSEP Acceleration High School

30-Jan-2016 ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Last week the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) began discussions with state legislators to present a plan for the future of Mount Edgecumbe High School. If adopted, this plan will give more students access to ANSEP’s proven educational methods, expand ANSEP’s mission to include elementary education, business management, psychology, other additional degree programs, and save the State of Alaska nearly $6 million annually.

“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, and Mount Edgecumbe ANSEP Acceleration High School is a step in the right direction,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder.

With misinformation already circulating about the proposal, ANSEP is eager to share the facts about a potential Mount Edgecumbe ANSEP Acceleration High School, including:

  • Based on University of Alaska Anchorage requirements, Mount Edgecumbe ANSEP Acceleration High School curriculum will allow a student to earn 39 credits towards a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, 39 credits towards a Bachelor of Business Administration Management, 29 credits towards a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, or 46 credits towards a Bachelor of Science in Engineering or Science- as well as 31 General Education Requirement credits.
  • Students who graduate from Mount Edgecumbe ANSEP Acceleration High School will enter college with enough credits to go on and earn an undergraduate degree in as little as three years.
  • Students currently enrolled at Mount Edgecumbe will remain at the school on a four-year high school course track.
  • All current employees of Mt. Edgecumbe will become University of Alaska employees.
  • Students and their families will benefit from savings on an entire year of college tuition.
  • In addition to advanced math and science courses, the school will offer college-prep and college courses in writing, history, Native languages, and physical education, among others.
  • The plan includes a transitional phase. In year one, there will be no changes. In year two, ANSEP will admit freshman under a new curriculum designed to graduate students in as little as three years if they wish with as many as 46 university credits. Students who entered Mount Edgecumbe prior to the change will continue on their current path to graduation.
  • With three years in high school and three years in college, students will be career ready by age 20.
  • The school will continue to support athletics and other extracurricular activities in their current format.

ANSEP has offered its five-week, summer Acceleration Academy to Alaska high school students since 2009. Through this component, high school students can advance one level in math or science each summer and earn college credit at the same time. As a summer component, Acceleration Academy can serve approximately 100 students each year. Mount Edgecumbe ANSEP Acceleration High School would bring this opportunity to an estimated 400 students year-round. Like Mount Edgecumbe boarding school, ANSEP’s pre-college components are residential and require students to live on campus at the University of Alaska Anchorage. ANSEP had 500 students on the UAA campus last year in Middle School Academy and Acceleration Academies.

“ANSEP has a history of broadening opportunities and creating success for Alaska Native and rural students for more than 20 years, and ANSEP Acceleration High School is the next step in making this success attainable for more Alaskans,” said Schroeder. “Even students in our state’s best schools require remediation when they get to college, and our goal is for students to enter college ahead of the game rather than far behind. Through our plans for Mount Edgecumbe ANSEP Acceleration High School, we will create greater opportunities for more young Alaskans, and the state, the students and their parents will save a significant amount of money.”

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 and on the program’s Facebook (facebook.com/ansep) and Twitter (@ansep_ak) pages.


Editorial note: Statistics regarding Alaska’s educational costs and performance are available from the National Center for Education Statistics, DEED, National Education Association, Education Week and WalletHub, among others.