Rural Alaska Honors Institute adds teaching and language options

by Leona Long

Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Rural Alaska Honors Institute will have new options to explore teaching careers and Alaska Native languages during the summer 2019 session.

The deadline to apply for the free program is March 1, 2019.

At RAHI, high school juniors and seniors from across Alaska will attend classes on the Fairbanks campus from May 28-July 12. They’ll earn up to 11 college credits, which are transferable to any college or university in the United States.

This year, RAHI will offer a new education exploration pathway, funded by the University of Alaska. UA President Jim Johnsen wants 90 percent of Alaska teachers to be educated in Alaska by 2025.

“We are excited to offer this focus on teaching as a career,” said Sandra Kowalski, director of indigenous programs at the UAF College of Rural and Community Development. “Alaska students will benefit greatly as we prepare more of them to teach in rural and Alaska classrooms. Alaskans who become teachers are more committed to staying in our communities.”

Students this year also can enroll in a new three-credit class introducing four Alaska Native languages — Iñupiaq, Athabascan, Yup’ik and Gwich’in. The elective is the first step toward earning a K-12 teaching degree with credentials in Alaska Native languages.

The RAHI application packet is online at Students must submit an application, two essays, and their high school transcripts and test scores. They also need recommendations from a teacher, principal or school counselor, and a community member.

At RAHI, students take writing, library science, and a class in study skills and transitioning to college. They choose an elective from several options: Alaska Native language and education, process technology, business, chemistry, or math. RAHI Research students work on a project with a UAF faculty member. Three times a week, all students participate in a karate, yoga or Alaska Native dance class.

Students attend at no cost. A scholarship covers airfare, tuition, on-campus housing, meals, recreation, textbooks, supplies and local transportation — a value of $8,500 per student.

The program is made possible by the University of Alaska and the UAF College of Rural and Community Development. Sponsors have consistently and generously provided funding. They include Wells Fargo, New York Life, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Arctic Slope Community Foundation, Sitnasuak Native Corp., ConocoPhillips, Shell, Future Educators of Alaska, Donlin Gold, NANA Management Services, Ravn Alaska, Boeing, Crowley and Kuukpik Corp.

For more information and to apply, visit Email the program at [email protected], or call 907-474-6886 or 1-800-478-6886.