Goal 4

Become the educational center for Alaska Natives

UAF's five rural campuses serve predominantly Native student bodies in their home areas. In Fairbanks, the Rural Student Services program centers its efforts on bridging the rural educational experience and helping students succeed in the large campus setting. UAF must work even more closely with Alaska Native communities and organizations to create better opportunities In higher education for Native students. Native people must have full participation in the educational process. Such work has begun with the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Native Education and the College of Rural Alaska Council. To ensure the continuation of this collaboration and to reach the goal of retaining and graduating significant numbers of Alaska Natives, UAF should:

  1. Hire more full-time Alaska Native administrators, staff and tenure track faculty, including a Native liaison person to serve as special advisor to the Chancellor and as an advocate for Native students, faculty, staff and communities.
  2. Work with Native organizations to create an Alaska Native Cultural Center to coordinate Native activities and events in a holistic way. This center would:
    1. House information on all Alaska Native groups.
    2. Support collaborative research by, with, and about Alaska Natives and make this information available to outlying areas.
    3. Expand and broaden access to Rural Student Services programs including Upward Bound and the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. Maintain a database on these programs to record their success in attracting, retaining and graduating Native students.
    4. Provide cultural activities for students.
    5. Provide living and cultural centers like Nana House and Doyon House.
    6. Support advanced coursework on political and legal issues of Alaska Natives.
    7. Take an active role in the survival and growth of Alaska Native languages and cultures.
    8. Support programs to promote the development of Alaska Native leaders.
  3. Learn from elders, Native educators and Native communities how to employ Alaska Native culture as a base for learning.
    1. Provide orientation to faculty members concerning Native learning styles, face-to-face interaction, etiquette, and protocol.
    2. Provide students with early and on going personal contact with faculty.
    3. Establish stronger bridges between learning at rural sites and learning on the Fairbanks campus, including faculty visits and exchanges.
    4. Solicit community participation through policy councils, mentoring, cultural events, and class presentations and establish better articulation with local school systems to encourage and prepare Native students for higher education.
    5. Enhance Alaska Native students' financial aid scholarship packages.
  4. Improve programs and courses for place-bound rural students.
    1. Provide funding and faculty release time for the development of distance delivery courses as well as for the purchase and upgrading of distance delivery equipment.
    2. Provide advising, tutoring, and other student support, including financial aid.
    3. Provide on-the-job training opportunities through vocational education programs based on local needs.
    4. Offer a wider variety of courses in support of certificate and degree programs through distance delivery, and advertise their availability.