CTC: Responding to community, workforce needs

A student works on a welding project at the UAF Community and Technical College in Fairbanks, Alaska.
UAF photo by JR Ancheta
UAF Community and Technical College offers a comprehensive welding program, where students can advance through various skill levels in hands-on welding classes, providing a pathway to mastery in the art and science of welding.

— By Bryan Uher, UAF Community and Technical College interim dean

The Community and Technical College at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has had a busy and fruitful year. With increased enrollments and interest from partners and industry, CTC has been on a track of growth and expansion, which has been exciting and rewarding. CTC has started some new academic programs and is looking forward to aligning, modernizing  and launching some others in response to workforce needs. 

  • The licensed practitioner nurse program has received candidacy status within the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, with a site visit scheduled at the end of July. The LPN program teaches students basic patient care and comfort. 

  • CTC has brought over the wildland fire science occupational endorsement, which is now under the fire science department and will be revitalizing the Nanook wildland fire crew and partnering with the State of Alaska Division of Forestry to offer wildland fire academies in spring 2024.   

  • The construction trades technology program has also been brought over to CTC under the construction management department to provide students additional pathways and educational opportunities within the construction industry.

  • After four years, the CTC culinary arts program will be opening the Bistro in the Hutchinson Institute of Technology on Feb. 22. The Bistro, which is a student-led restaurant, is not the only opportunity the community will have to enjoy our amazing students' food. Be on the look out this summer for our Bistro food truck to open on campus.

CTC has also hired new faculty in several programs, including automotive and diesel/heavy equipment, culinary arts, aviation, fire science and developmental education. These faculty have been instrumental in CTC’s 9% enrollment growth, as the college is more equipped to respond to industry needs. 

One of CTC's greatest strengths is its connection to the community and employers. One recent example is within the welding program, where two students asked the faculty if there were any job opportunities available locally. The faculty connected the students with a local welding business owner, who had the students take a required skills test to gain employment. Surpassing the owner’s expectations in the test, the two students were hired, while still in their first semester of the program. The students now work in their chosen field and are on track to completing their Occupational Endorsement in Welding this spring.

The partner and welding business owner attested to the students' success, stating, "It has been a total success and those two have been doing great! I appreciate any welders you can send our way."  

Connecting students to employers is a mission that CTC holds in high regard, and it is through the dedicated and passionate staff and faculty of the college that this is accomplished. CTC is continuing to grow and expand in its programing, student support and community outreach with new and exciting partnerships that are in the works that we will be announcing soon. For more information or if you have any questions about programs at CTC please visit our website or contact us at uaf-ctc@alaska.edu.

As the former dean of CTC Michele Stalder would say "CTC is the place to be." It truly is.