In Alaska, many bright young students like Summer Morse don’t have local access to the quality of high school education necessary to academically prepare them for college level courses. In 2016, ANSEP took another step to alleviate this issue when it created a full-time high school component in partnership with the Matanuska-Sustina Borough School District. At ANSEP Acceleration High School, students like Summer Morse and her peer Jonah Settle, can start earning college credits the moment they begin high school.
In its inaugural year, the Acceleration Academy High School had a total of 27 students, including Summer and Jonah. (You may remember Jonah Settle from his recent Student Success blog.) The first students to graduate as ANSEP Acceleration High School students, Summer and Jonah celebrated their graduation on May 17, 2018. We caught up with Summer to see what her plans are now that she has her high school diploma.
ANSEP: How did you first get into the ANSEP pipeline?
Summer: My school counselor knew I was interested in a STEM career and recommended I look into ANSEP.
ANSEP: Do you think ANSEP has helped prepare you for college?
Summer: Definitely! They helped me learn how to study in a more productive way, and to know that I’ve already successfully completed many college courses boosted my confidence.
ANSEP: What’s the biggest challenge ANSEP has helped you surpass?
Summer: When I started high school, I was taking lower-level math classes. By my senior year, I’d completed calculus 2. It’s really cool how ANSEP helped me excel past other people my age to complete upper-level courses.
ANSEP: What’s your favorite thing about ANSEP?
Summer: My favorite part about ANSEP is the community. I’ve met a network of peers, mentors and professors who guide me on my journey to a STEM career. I am really looking forward to staying involved with ANSEP through University Success and weekly recitations at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
ANSEP:What are your plans now that you’ve graduated?
Summer: I’m going to work a paid internship and earn college credit through ANSEP Summer Bridge before enrolling full-time at the University of Alaska Anchorage this fall.
ANSEP: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your STEM education and career?
Summer: I’m not exactly sure what I want to do, but I am going to major in biology. I am confident that my Summer Bridge internship and other University Success internships will help me decide!
Congratulations to Summer and all 2018 high school graduates. After more than doubling its enrollment in the second full year of Acceleration High School, ANSEP created its newest component, Acceleration Academy (UAA), which will provide even more opportunities for high performing students to jumpstart their STEM careers. Click here to learn more about full-time opportunities that ANSEP offers in partnership with the Matanuska-Sustina Borough School District and Anchorage School District.