Getting to class is half the fun
Visualize a clear dark morning, the North Star is perfectly visible and moose can be heard rustling among the trees. Believe it or not, this is a typical morning walk to the bus stop for many Alaska students. For student athletes, it is typical to fly in a twin-engine plane or take the Alaska State Ferry to compete in games, races or tournaments.
Quality programs utilize techology
Best of all, these amazing moments don’t require sacrificing the quality of education. Public schools across the state are ranked among the finest in the nation and the Anchorage School District’s average SAT and ACT college entrance exam scores are consistently above the national average. Alaska has long been on the cutting edge of using computers and distance education to expand learning opportunities. Most schools teach computer technology and many students participate in distance education and classroom activities on worldwide computer networks.
Schools big and small
The size of schools runs the gamut. Approximately 50,000 students attend public schools in the Anchorage School District , where a typical public high school may serve more than 2,000 students. Schools in other urban areas such as Juneau, Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula, or the Matanuska-Susitna Valley may serve hundreds and are similar to schools in small cities in the rest of the United States. Many schools in rural areas are small, some with 20 or fewer students at a variety of grade levels.
Sports and activities
Are there sports and other activities? Of course! Alaskans are passionate about the outdoors and athletics. Football, soccer, cross-country skiing, cross-country running, basketball, softball and volleyball are a few of the many after-school sports programs offered by schools in Alaska’s major cities. And most schools offer other extra curricular activities such as choir, drama and band.
Alaska offers premier opportunities for higher education. The University of Alaska’s educational system spans three separately accredited urban universities in Fairbanks and Juneau. The UA system includes a dozen community campuses, from Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska to Kotzebue in the far north.
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is the state’s largest campus, offering education in fields ranging from medicine to construction. Through its Community and Technical College UAA plays an essential role in preparing Alaskans for high-demand careers in construction, culinary arts, and transportation. It’s also home to the WWAMI Program, which is an affiliate of the University of Washington School of Medicine and a collaborative medical school agreement among the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
There are plenty of other options as well. Alaska Pacific University, the only private liberal arts university in the state, is headquartered in Anchorage, as are non-traditional institutions like Wayland Baptist University and Charter College.