By 1950, the population of Anchorage was 30,060, but there was no local campus of higher learning offering four-year degrees available. Dr. Terris Moore, president of the University of Alaska along with Elmer Rasmuson and Earl Albrecht, both regents of the university, began a campaign to expand from the Fairbanks campus to bring college courses to military bases and community colleges in the area. They developed a plan to partner with local school districts and the university began offering courses on Southcentral military bases.
In 1953, the Territorial Community College Act established a cooperation between school districts and the University of Alaska, allowing the first community colleges to be created in Anchorage and Ketchikan in 1954. The Anchorage Community College opened on the second floor of what is now known as West High School, offering primarily academic and business courses. Palmer Community College was founded in 1958, one year before Alaska became the 49th state.
By 1960, the population of Anchorage had grown to 82,833, prompting the University of Alaska to offer Masters of Education and a Masters of Science in Engineering programs in Anchorage. These were the first graduate degrees offered in Southcentral Alaska. The Kanai Peninsula Community College opened in 1964 and the Palmer Community College was renamed Matanuska-Susitna Community College. Kodiak Community College was formed in 1968, two years after the Anchorage Regional Center was established to consolidate higher education programs in the area.
The same year Kodiak Community College began, the Anchorage Regional Center became the Southcentral Regional Center, expanding to include community colleges, military education and graduate programs. This was the forefather of the current University of Alaska Anchorage. In 1968, construction began on a new campus for the center. The new campus opened in 1970 and, that same year, joined the University of Alaska as well as the Anchorage Senior College to form the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Today, the University of Alaska Anchorage is Alaska’s largest university, surrounded by both urban areas and the wild. There are satellite campuses in Homer, Kodiak, Soldotna, Valdez and Mat-Su. The college offers associate, bachelors, master’s and doctorate degrees. Located in the only Arctic state in the United States, students seek to leverage Alaska’s position in order to develop better understanding of the culture, policy and environmental issues that are unique to the state.
University of Alaska Anchorage Accreditation Details
The University of Alaska Anchorage is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Many of the colleges and programs are also accredited by industry-specific licensure organizations. Accreditation indicates that the university meets or exceeds criteria set forth by the accrediting agency demonstrating excellence in education and that they strive to improve programs as necessary.
University of Alaska Anchorage Application Requirements
Undergraduate students must complete an online application and official high school transcripts. Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and must hold a high school diploma or GED before enrolling in classes. Transfer students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
Graduate students must complete an online application and provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. One transcript must include the conferring of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some programs may also require standardized graduate test scores such as the GMAT or GRE.
University of Alaska Anchorage Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate lower division course tuition is $192 per credit hour for residents and $681 per credit hour for non-residents. Upper division courses for undergraduate residents is $232 per credit hour and $721 per credit hour for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $444 per credit hour for residents and $907 per credit hour for non-residents.
Financial aid is available to all students. In order to qualify, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Grants, federal wok study, federal direct loans, scholarships, alternative loans and tuition awards are all types of financial aid available at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
University of Alaska Anchorage Online Degree(s) Available
Master of Education in Special Education
The Master of Education in Special Education is designed for those who are professionals in education who wish to specialize in special education. The program includes theory, research and practice relating to individuals with disabilities. Students develop the ability to use a variety of assessments to identify areas of student strength an weakness, using results to guide instruction of those students. Instruction is provided in how to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities as well as tools for supporting and promoting inclusiveness and equity for students who may have unique cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The program covers the legal and ethical principles associated with special education. Students develop knowledge and skill in promoting positive social environments for all students, especially those with emotional or behavioral disorders. Students develop and maintain strong teamwork skills, learning to collaborate with parents, colleagues, administrators and paraprofessionals. Research skills are also part of the program as well as theoretical perspectives associated with human development and learning.
Courses required for the program include:
- Autism: Communication and Social Disorders
- Fundamentals of Research in Education
- Special Education and the Law
- Theories and Strategies
In addition to these 15 credit hours, students must complete 21 credit hours in elective courses related to their chosen field. The program requires 36 credit hours for completion. Students must also complete a comprehensive examination documenting that they have obtained Council for Exceptional Children standards.
In order to apply for the program, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their most recent 30 credits and provide evidence of a current teaching certificate or proof of eligibility to obtain a teaching certificate. Students must provide a resume that documents educational experience as well as at least one year of professional experience. A 300 to 500-word goal statement is also required that explains the student’s career goals and how they relate to the program. Three letters of recommendation are required and must be provided by professional colleagues. An interview may also be required. Students must undergo a background check before being assigned a field placement.
The University of Alaska Anchorage is also affiliated with two graduate schools outside the state offering master’s degrees in speech-language pathology. The graduate schools offer academic coursework using distance education with all internships and leveling courses offered through the University of Alaska Anchorage.
The University of Alaska Anchorage offers programs online or in a hybrid format that allow working adults to achieve their higher education goals. Students who may have work, family or social obligations that make it difficult for them to attend traditional classrooms benefit from the online flexibility, allowing them to move into a new career or advance in a current career.