Header Logo

Video plays in a new tab

video screen shot

Universitywide initiative #1 — No-cost/low-cost courses

image for no-lo program

In spring 2021, UAF added a new attribute to Banner titled "No or Low Cost Course (NoLo).” A NoLo course is one that may utilize open education resources (OER) and/or freely available resources in order to reduce textbook and material costs for students to under $40 per course. This amount does not include lab or special course fees but does include textbooks and other required materials. Learn more about NoLo courses

If you are aware of a NoLo course not on the listing, please ask the admin staff for the relevant department to update the CourseLeaf Course Section Scheduler with the NoLo attribute.

Students will be able to find NoLo courses on UAOnline through the advanced search options. They can also find a current NoLo course listing and more information here. A special thanks to Jen Moss for her leadership and her efforts in continuously updating the information on this site.

Based on fall enrollments and a $100 average textbook cost per course--a standard established by the Open Textbook Network and currently used at many institutions across the country to estimate savings--UAF students have already saved around $100,000 in 2021 NoLo courses.

Universitywide initiative #2 — Dual enrollment expansion, including middle college

students in a group

UAF photo by JR Ancheta

Dual enrollment refers to enrollment at the university by a student who is simultaneously enrolled in a K-12 school (or homeschool) for which the student may receive credit at both the K-12 school and postsecondary levels. UAF encourages dual enrollment. Numerous multi-institution and statewide quantitative research studies have shown that dual enrollment increases high school graduation rates and improves college readiness. 

We have two new dual enrollment initiatives at UAF that are growing rapidly. The North Star College features a partnership between UAF and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. This brick-and-mortar middle college, located on UAF’s Troth Yeddha’ Campus, enrolled 40 high school seniors in the fall of 2020 and again in the fall of 2021. UAF and FNSBSD are working to expand North Star College. The expansion, if approved, will accommodate a class upwards of 125 juniors and seniors for the fall of 2022 with the goal of growing to a full sized cohort of about 175 students for the fall of 2023.  

In the fall of 2019, UAF launched the Alaska Advantage Program to provide Alaska's high-achieving high school students an in-state, high-quality and affordable option for dual enrollment. Within its first year, the program served 208 high school students around the state. They earned 1,067 student credit hours. In fall of 2020, UAF also partnered with the University of Alaska Southeast in offering courses through the Alaska Advantage program. In just the second year, the program served 509 high school students earning 3,795 student credit hours. The program has now grown to 37 school districts with two private school partners by the end of the second year. 

Fall 2021 enrollments are at a record high with 436 high school students enrolled in 2,127 credit hours represented from 57 high schools around the state. If you’re interested in dual enrollment, please check out the resources below: 

Universitywide initiative #3 — Faculty development opportunities

masked people sitting in chairs From left to right: Amanda White, Madara Mason, Anupma Prakash and Srijan Aggarwal planning faculty development opportunities. UAF photo by JR Ancheta.

UAF's amazing faculty development opportunities are all featured on the Faculty Accelerator website, a great resource to bookmark and check frequently for up-to-date information on all upcoming events and programs. A huge thanks to Madara Mason, Amanda White and Srijan Aggarwal for their creativity and energy in leading the faculty development efforts. Here I highlight a recent presentation and an upcoming opportunity:

Centering indigeneity/Decentering whiteness

Last month, Dr. Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq told us, “As a scholar, I am driven to use my work to benefit those who have been left out of academia’s self portrait and create space for these important voices. My work strives to recognize, reveal, and reject oppression and injustice in academic and societal practice. I aim to inspire and equip others to better recognize their power and their ability to replace oppression and injustice with equity.” Dr. Itchuaqiyaq, who was invited by UAF’s Faculty Accelerator for this virtual visit, went on to share her framework for relating Iñupiat values to antiracism, imploring us to center these values in our antiracism work. You can watch a recording of her lecture, “Decentering Whiteness in Antiracism Initiatives” and review slides/transcript on the Faculty Accelerator’s website. Follow Dr. Itchuaqiyaq on Twitter: @CanaItch.

Dr. Itchuaqiyaq’s words resonated last month in particular, as we celebrated Native American heritage. Thank you to the many groups and individuals across UAF facilitating programming this month and beyond. Interior Alaska Campus (IAC) hosted events on Alaska Native Creativity & Wellbeing Panel as well as Centering Indigeneity in the Classroom: Nothing About Us Without Us, both of which you can view recordings of on their youtube channel. UAF’s Nanook Diversity Action Council (NDAC) also hosted a “Truth about History” series as well as Culture Bearer Workshops throughout the month. Read more about these events and NDAC’s ongoing work.

Want to do more in your courses? Check out the tips from the UAF Drumbeats Consortium and/or join the Indigenous Authors Book Club. The Faculty Accelerator is also accepting proposals for spring Faculty Learning Communities, including one on “Diversity, Equity of Access & Inclusion.” 

Student-led course review program is accepting applications

The Learner Experience Advocacy Program (LEAP), is accepting applications for its spring 2022 pilot. In this new program, undergraduate students learn about course feedback strategies and partner with participating instructors to observe and share feedback on course design and delivery. The goals of the program are to meaningfully improve the learner experience at UAF, build community among instructor and student leaders, and provide professional development to students and instructors alike.  We’ve modeled our program on success at other universities, where program leaders assert that the “pedagogical partnerships affirm students’ rights and extend their responsibilities.” We’re thrilled to offer this opportunity and invite interested instructors to apply on the Faculty Accelerator website.

Selected news from academic units

Film about the UAF Native Arts Center 

The College of Liberal Arts' Film and Theatre Department developed a fantastic film about the Native Arts Center, which was produced with support from KUAC. It's titled “Continue or Be Remembered: Perpetuating and Sharing Alaska Native Arts." This 20-minute video (linked image below) is an excellent film introducing you to the classes offered at UAF's Native Arts Center.

Select the image below to play the video in a new tab.

man hammering small item

Theatre returns

The College of Liberal Arts' Theatre Department offered the first in-person, small-audience production of “The Misanthrope,” adapted by Timothy Mooney, based on the play by Molière and directed by Michael Shaeffer. This was the first in-person production offered since April 7, 2019! I witnessed first-hand the hard work of the crew, the amazing performance of the cast, and the optimistic enthusiasm that a carefully managed in-person play sparked. I encourage you to check out the spring 2022 production announcement.

Name change for the College of Business and Security Management and fantastic metrics about the college

group of studentsCBSM (formerly SOM) alumni Christine Rosini, Olivia Bowen, Jack Hughes-Hageman and Jessica Raymond pose in their inspiring T-shirts made for a class project. UAF photo by JR Ancheta.

The School of Management has changed its name to the College of Business and Security Management. The change was unanimously approved by the University of Alaska Board of Regents during its September 2021 meeting.

Why did they request the name change? The name change recognizes the diversity and growth in the school’s academic programs, instruction, community outreach and research over the last two decades. CBSM has outgrown its “school” status and “college” more fully describes the breadth of its programs, including the recent addition of the applied management and sport and recreation business programs. The new name also reflects the relationship between CBSM’s traditional business courses and its robust homeland security and emergency management program. 

“We see this as a really big deal,” said Mark Herrmann, dean of CBSM. “This change reflects our academic growth over the past 47 years, and offers us a chance to respond to student and employee needs, keeping us relevant in a changing world.”  

The goal of this change is to better serve students, employers and the state of Alaska. The renaming will allow faculty and staff to better meet changing community and business needs, and improve CBSM’s ability to attract new students from Alaska and the nation. It will enhance its fundraising opportunities and put CBSM on equal footing with peer colleges and programs nationally. 

Below are some of the prestigious rankings received by CBSM:

  1. Intelligent.com ranked the CBSM the third Best Master’s in Management Degree program for 2022
  2. Intelligent.com ranked CBSM the third Best Master’s in Homeland Security Degree program in 2022
  3. Intelligent.com ranked CBSM the second Best Master’s in Emergency Management Degree program for 2022
  4. Best Accredited Colleges ranked CBSM the fourth Best Online Accounting Degree program
  5. The prestigious U.S. News and World Report ranked CBSM 50th on its list of the Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Degree programs for 2022
  6. Best Value Schools ranked CBSM 4th on its list of the Best Online Bachelor’s in Nonprofit Management for 2021

Bus 142 — An example of collaborative excellence at UAF

old bus in a buildingPhoto by Ned Rozell

Bus #142 is a shining example of amazing accomplishments that can materialize when UAF departments work together. Collaboration between the Community and Technical College’s welding department, the College of Engineering and Mines, and the UA Museum of the North brought this international and historical treasure to the UAF campus. People from all over the world will be traveling to our campus to see this bus for many years to come. Way to go, UAF! 

The Cornerstone published Ned Rozell's great story on the bus’ final journey. If you haven’t read it, it is surely worth your time.


UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.