UA Interim President Pitney outlines goals for educational collaboration in presentation to Alaska Superintendents Association

Oct. 1, 2021

University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney spoke with the Alaska Superintendents Association Friday morning, outlining ways in which the university is collaborating with educational groups across the state to increase and improve opportunities for education, job training and economic development. 

In times of economic uncertainty, Pitney’s priority for UA’s three universities and community campuses is to ensure certainty and stability moving forward. This means stability in budgeting and certainty for our students moving forward. 

“We are focused on stability and collaboration and building trust in our institutions,” Pitney noted.

Alaska is fortunate to have educational grant and scholarship programs like the Alaska Performance Scholarship and Alaska Educational Grant which were both funded by the State of Alaska this year in time to support students enrolled in UA programs across the state, but protecting the Higher Education Investment Fund that supports those programs will be critical.

The central goal over the next year will be to position the University of Alaska as a fundamental piece in Alaska’s economic recovery. 

Part of this role involves working alongside Alaska’s school districts to improve FAFSA completions and college attendance rates across the state. UA is working with the Alaska Council on Postsecondary Education on this effort but collaboration with school districts is crucial. 

One point of success in this area is the creation of middle college programs across Alaska. 

Statistics have shown that 56% of students who attend a middle college will go on to enroll in a UA degree program. 

These collaborations include the UAA Alaska Middle College, UAA Mat-Su Middle College, UAF North Star College, UAA ANSEP Middle School Academy, High School Acceleration Academy and Summer Bridge program, UAA Kenai Peninsula College JumpStart Program and KPC middle college, UAS Supporting Transitions and the Educational Promise Southeast Alaska (STEPS) grant. 

Moving forward, the UA knows it is critical to create meaningful partnerships with school districts and communities across Alaska in order to achieve our common goal of an educated population, a strong work force and a stable and thriving economy.