ANSEP celebrates largest-ever Acceleration Academy graduating class

Average 2023 Acceleration Academy graduate has 43 college credits.

This year, the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program is proud to announce the largest-ever graduating class of its full-time, academic year Acceleration Academy opportunity. Twenty-eight students from the Anchorage, Bethel, Matanuska-Susitna and residential campuses will earn their high school diplomas when they graduate this May 2023. Along with their degree, the 28 students will be leaving Acceleration Academy with a total of 1,216 college credits, with one student earning a whopping 94 college credits during their high school career.

What began as a summer opportunity for high school students to earn college credits at no cost, Acceleration Academy is now a full-time opportunity. Students complete their high school graduation requirements through college courses taken during the academic year. The average Acceleration Academy graduate begins their freshman year of college with the number of credits equivalent to those of a college junior, eliminating two years of college courses and tuition costs.

By helping students go from eighth grade to a bachelor’s degree in just five years, the opportunity helps students and their families save over $75,000 in college costs. Additionally, state/local/federal governments spend only one third of the cost they would normally expend for a student to earn a degree at the University of Alaska.

The opportunity is designed to accelerate high school students’ academic careers, prepare them for the rigor of college coursework and position them for success in STEM careers, but it also hyper-prepares them socially and professionally. Since launching the academic year opportunity in 2015, it has seen tremendous growth and success in making an impact in the lives of students and their families across Alaska.

“Our largest Acceleration Academy class yet is a testament to the program’s success and its positive impact on Alaska’s students through cost savings and unmatched educational opportunities,” said ANSEP Director of Special Projects Michael Bourdukofsky. “We are honored to be a part of these students’ journeys and look forward to seeing their continued success. A huge thanks to all the ANSEP staff, parents and partners who collectively make this all possible. Qaĝaalakux̂ (Thank You in Unangam Tunuu)!”

Students graduating from ANSEP’s academic year Acceleration Academy this year include:


Andre Bergerson

Isabel Cage

Cedric Deacon

Johnathan Duke

Ayman Elthahir

Vernadette Fernandez-Alexie

Alexander Hazelton IV

Anna Lea Hyer

Jackson Kompkoff

Isaiah McPherson

Vally Mitchell

Eugene Mulinde

Jenessa Ross

Catherine Spangler

Aeryn Werning


Carter Conrad

Ivory Iverson


Kallie Andrew

Anson Jimmie

Austin Kirby

Alyssa Motgin

Marion Swope

AnnaLayne Ulroan

Zachariah Wasillie


Jena Boelens of Aniak

Dawson Keena of Sutton

Aria Olmsted of Kenai

William Tomeo of McKinley Village/Denali National Park

Laurel “Luca” Tony of Bethel

Any student enrolled in ninth, 10th, 11th or 12th grade in Alaska is eligible to apply and participate in the academic year Acceleration Academy opportunity. Elementary, middle, high school and university students across Alaska who are interested in participating in ANSEP can learn more about the opportunities available by visiting