In 1971 the University of Alaska established a “rural education center” in Kotzebue. By 1978, the University of Alaska, Board of Regents had established Chukchi Community College, which operated until 1987, when the newly named Chukchi Campus became a branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).
Based in the community of Kotzebue, Chukchi Campus serves eleven communities amid more than 36,000 square miles of spectacular mountain and tundra wilderness known as the Northwest Arctic Borough. No modern road system connects the villages to each other or to the outside world. The Northwest Arctic Borough population is 7,300, of which over 82 percent are Iñupiaq. The pursuit of a traditional way of life and subsisting off of the land are the driving forces behind most of the residents. At the same time, western higher education and the UAF are becoming increasingly crucial to the region’s future. Residents recognize the need of an appropriate balance between the increasing presence of western institutions and preserving Iñupiat traditions.
UAF Chukchi Campus Advisory Council
The UAF Chukchi Advisory Council has 13 members. It is composed of leaders or representatives from:
- Maniilaq Association
- City of Kotzebue
- NANA Corporation
- Northwest Arctic Borough
- Northwest Arctic Borough School District
- Northwest Iñupiat Housing Authority
- Kikiktagruk Iñupiat Corporation
- Native Village of Kotzebue
- Alaska Technical Center
- National Park Service
- Regional Village Representative
- UAF Adult Student Representative
- UAF High School Student Representative
UAF Chukchi students have two options to choose from for taking classes:
Face-to-Face Campus Courses
Some courses are held on-site at the Chukchi Campus. These courses are designed for students who are able to attend classes at the campus location in Kotzebue, Alaska.
Distance Education Courses
Distance education courses are conducted through audio-conference. Additionally, some courses use the Internet, E-mail, Blackboard and/or Zoom.
UAF Chukchi Campus is a charter member of the Northwest Arctic Workforce Development and Education Consortium.