ANSEP welcomes largest-ever group, with its first virtual Acceleration Academy

The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program continues to help Alaska’s students get ahead during these uncertain times by holding its Acceleration Academy (Summer) component virtually for the first time. ANSEP selected 93 students from 31 communities across the state to participate.

This five-week component, designed to prepare students academically and socially for college and eventually a successful career, gives current high school students the opportunity to take college courses, receive academic support and engage in hands-on learning. Students who stick with Acceleration Academy year-round can go from their freshman year of high school to completing a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska system in six years or less. This has them ready to enter Alaska’s workforce as early as age 20. Acceleration Academy (Summer) also lessens the financial burden of college by allowing a student to earn college credits as part of their high school experience without having to pay for college tuition.

It’s traditionally held on the UAA campus to allow students to be immersed in the college lifestyle to set them up for success after high school, however, due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, ANSEP decided to hold its summer components online. ANSEP educators and UAA professors teamed up to make these components possible.

“For 10 years, Acceleration Academy (Summer) has given students the ability to get on the fast track to a STEM career,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Schroeder. “For the first time, ANSEP had no choice but to hold all of our summer components online. With the health and safety of our future STEM leaders in mind, our educators stepped up and recreated the components so it could all be held virtually.”

ANSEP’s Acceleration Academy (Summer) for 2020 has been adapted in the following ways:

1. Students enrolled in a UAA math course taught by university professors remotely and upon successful completion will receive college credit.

2. Acceleration Academy students attended online group study sessions hosted by ANSEP staff;

3. Students received weekly support meetings to assist with building relationships with other students and ANSEP staff.

The students participating in Acceleration Academy (Summer) include:

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation: Frank Beecroft (Kotzebue), Salusalumalo Fosi (Anchorage) and Debra Lane-Hayes (Anchorage)

Bering Straits Native Corporation: Stephan Anderson (Nome), David Bahnke (Nome), Aiden Burcham (Soldotna), Victoria Fisher (Unalakleet), Taylor Huett* (Seward, also a shareholder in The Aleut Corporation), Markayla Katchatag (Anchorage), Alicia Michels (Juneau), Kellie Miller (Nome), Halle Nelson (Anchorage) and Kael Osborne (Nome)

Bristol Bay Native Corporation: Liam Evans (Dillingham), Kaeli Pulice (King Salmon), Daniel Smith (Anchorage), Nivek Ramsey Thompson (Anchorage), Zane Warner (Anchorage) and Bella Young (Naknek)

Calista Corporation: Kallie Andrew (Bethel), Noah Andrew III (Bethel), Cassandra Brown (Kongiganak), Emily Charles (Anchorage), Alexie Evan (Goodnews Bay), Kaitlyn Hanson (Anchorage), Kacey Igkurak (Kwigillingok), Quinn Jacobs (Fairbanks), Nalon John (Kwigillingok), Alandra Jones (Anchorage), Andrew Jones (Anchorage), Charlee Korthuis (Bethel), Dollie Martin (Kipnuk), Jessica Martinez (Anchorage), Eliza Spangler (Wasilla), Annalayne Ulroan (Napaskiak), Haley Ulroan (Chevak) and Dirk Warren (Anchorage)

Chugach Alaska Corporation: Jackson Kompkoff (Anchorage) and Isaiah McPherson (Anchorage)

Cook Inlet Region, Inc.: Glenda Root (Wasilla) and Emilee Wilson (Kenai)

Doyon, Limited: Cedric Deacon (Anchorage), Ellenia Dommek (Anchorage), Brennan Garcia (Glennallen), Milo Huntington (Galena), Julius Oprenov (Wasilla), Grey Phillips (Palmer), Sean Taylor (North Pole), Clifton Terwilliger (Palmer) and Kai Whitmore (Kotzebue)

NANA Regional Corporation: Marysue Beck (Kotzebue), Kiya Frey (Anchorage), Sam Larson (Homer), Emory Ranes (Anchorage), Iris Wilson (Kotzebue)

Sealaska Corporation: Kaden Jim (Juneau)

The Aleut Corporation: Taylor Huett (Seward) *also listed above as a shareholder in the Bering Straits Corporation)

Unaffiliated: Gabriel Abdelnoor (Anchorage), Wesley Beck (Anchorage), Jack Beltzer (Anchorage), Benjamin Brown (Denali Park), Aden Burch (Houston), Daniel Cho (Anchorage), Spencer Co (Homer), Amelia DeSentis (Anchorage), Josiah Dowdy (Wasilla), Leena Edais (Anchorage), Lucas Ermold (Soldotna), Alivia Fefelov (Homer), Andrew Gebert (Chugiak), Benjamin Goldstein (Juneau), Anna Lea Hyer (Anchorage), Sydney Jordan Johnson (Kenai), Mary Kim (Anchorage), Vanessa Kim (Anchorage), Sydney Lewis (Anchorage), Jayden Lopez (Anchorage). Isabelle Maillet (Anchorage), Eugene Mulinde (Anchorage), Hayden Mullikin (Home), Ibelas Ngiraingas (Anchorage), Rory Peters (Bethel), Joshua Pierson (Juneau), Eric Rangel (Wasilla), Holten Reid (Anchorage), Landen Romero, (Anchorage), Krishna Sanguni (Juneau), Marcus Santos (Utquiavik), Grace Stewart (Metlakatla), Marion Swope (Bethel), Liam Thompson (Tok), Evan Veihdeffer (Kasilof), Laela Welsh-Morel (Anchorage), Jordan Wheeler (Bethel), Ethan Williams (Seward), Doyeong Yu, (Anchorage)

Acceleration Academy (Summer) began May 25 and will conclude this week with a virtual closing ceremony, when the students are applauded for the hard work they put towards their college courses. The virtual ceremony will be available to watch on Facebook Live beginning at 3 p.m., Friday, June 26.

Students who were unable to attend virtually can still apply for other ANSEP components including Middle School Academy, full-time Acceleration Academy and University Success. New students will join the approximately 2,500 other Alaskans in the ANSEP pipeline. The program is creating change for students from across Alaska and developing a more empowered workforce for communities around the state.