WHAT IS THE Rural Development M.A. DEGREE PROGRAM?
First and foremost, this is a distance delivered master's degree program which allows students to pursue graduate study without leaving home!
UAF's MA degree in Rural Development is designed to educate a new generation of leaders for rural Alaska, the circumpolar north, and beyond. It emphasizes indigenous leadership development, orgzanization management, community development, program and project planning and an awareness of international indigenous issues in a dynamic, cross-cultural environment. We welcome you to this exciting new program, and look forward to working with you to achieve your academic and professional goals.
The major objectives of the M.A. program in Rural Development are:
- to educate leaders with a broad understanding of interrelationships between Indigenous and rural communities and the dynamic global economy;
- to offer a high quality program of advanced study for place-committed students in rural Alaska and the circumpolar north, combining personal networking with cutting-edge technology;
- to build strong ties to employers and leaders in Alaska and beyond to support program relevance and student success; and
- to be an innovative model for circumpolar graduate study.
The M.A. program offers new opportunities for higher education in rural Alaska for the 21st century. The year 2011 marks 40 years since the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and in that time expectations for managers and administrators in rural businesses and organizations have increased and become dramatically more complex. ANCSA corporations have become a major economic engine in Alaska. In 2010 nine of the top ten grossing corporations in Alaska were Native corporations formed under ANCSA. Rural Development M.A. graduates are found in all levels of management of ANCSA corporations including several presidents/CEO's. Other RD M.A. graduates are found at all levels of management in tribal organizations. These organizations are involved in tribal contracting and compacting bringing services worth many millions of dollars to their tribal members.
By earning your MA degree in Rural Development, you are broadening your own horizons, positioning yourself to take leadership roles in these settings, advance in corporations or organizations you are already working in and becoming role models for future generations of Alaska Native and rural leaders.
This Rural Development M.A. Student Guide provides you with basic information about earning your M.A. degree. As a UAF graduate student, you are also expected to familiarize yourself with UAF Graduate School requirements in the current UAF catalog. We encourage you to review these materials carefully and to ask questions of faculty and staff about how to make the most of this program.
Students can also include Peace Corps service in their M.A. Rural Development degree by applying for the M.A. Rural Development Master's International Peace Corps Option.