The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, is collaborating with the Lower Kuskokwim School District and University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus to create a permanent Acceleration Academy at Bethel Regional High School. Enrollment for the program, which enables students to study college classes while in high school, is open now. Michael Ulroan, with ANSEP, said that the program could save as much as $75,000 in college costs for students.
“You’re getting a high school diploma and making your way to a bachelor’s degree at the same time,” explained Ulroan. “Students can earn a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering, or anything that they want, one year after graduating from high school. That’s five years from the end of 8th grade to earning a bachelor’s degree.”
This is the third Acceleration Academy created by ANSEP in the state. The first two were both on the road system: one in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the other in Anchorage. Ulroan said that the Bethel program is the first Academy in rural Alaska. It is also the first ANSEP academy to provide housing, which enables students throughout the school district to apply.
“ANSEP is super excited about this opportunity because we get to have a permanent ANSEP presence in the region from here on out,” said Ulroan. “I know we’re just starting with this high school acceleration academy, but we want to expand even further through middle school, through kindergarten, all the way through the PhD; all students in the region.”
Students entering high school who are interested in enrolling in the ANSEP Acceleration Academy in Bethel can find out more and apply online at ansep.net. ANSEP was created to help Alaska Native students pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.