About Us

Our Mission Statement

Rural Student Services is committed to responding to student needs by providing quality services to Native and rural students who expend positive effort in the pursuit of higher education and its opportunities. Our comprehensive approach is unique in recognizing students' efforts to develop and maintain academic and personal balance as they contribute to the cultural richness of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and beyond.

Our History

Rural Student Services began in 1969 and was previously called Student Orientation Services. Students lobbied for a program that could assist Native students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks community. As a result, the 1969 Alaska State Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 56 and requested that the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska institute a comprehensive plan to provide services to Alaska Native students whose goal was to receive a college education

Our Purpose

Since then, the RSS program has continued to meet the ever changing needs of rural students by acknowledging and incorporating a strong cross-cultural counseling base and involving rural communities in forging new directions. The primary objective for these efforts is the retention and matriculation of rural students in the many degree programs offered through UAF.

RSS provides a vital link between the rural communities and the University. While RSS works in cooperation with other UAF departments and programs, we also provide an atmosphere which allows students to comfortably exercise their traditions on campus. UAF's Native and rural students use RSS as a forum for their concerns and as a gathering place for Native feasts offered in cooperation with the Alaska Native Studies (ANS) Elders-in-Residence program.

At UAF, there are many opportunities to grow and develop, both academically and personally. We are ready to work with any student whether a new freshman is just beginning an undergraduate degree program, a transfer student is continuing his/her education or a student is returning to school after several years of absence. RSS offers a variety of activities and programs ranging from pre-arrival services to cultural events, all of which are designed to meet individual needs. Every student is important to us. This attitude is reflected in all that we do, especially when assisting students in making choices regarding any aspect of their university experience.

Please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance to you or any student you know. We appreciate your input in helping us implement our mission statement.

Former students involved with the formation of Student Orientation Services

Patsy Aamodt Elizabeth Charles Fred Jackson Dee Komakuk Nancy Rose
Martha Aiken Carol Fields Martha Jackson Linda Lincoln Martha Sara
Jimmie Akaran Ad Hermann Dorothy Jordan Myron Naneng Richard Taylor
Nastasia Andrew Rita Hunter Reggie Joseph Dorothy Napoleon Elena Tikiun
John Angaiak Agnes Ivanoff James Joseph Louie Paukan Samuel Towarak
Helen Atkinson Elmer Jackson Reggie Joule Linda Pete Charlene Yacoff