The University of Alaska Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a new middle college option for Mat-Su high school students at UAA’s Chugiak-Eagle River Campus.
The Alaska Middle College School–scheduled to open in fall of 2012–will provide Mat-Su area high school students with a secondary school option to complete their high school diploma on a college campus. The middle college curriculum will ensure college readiness and give students the opportunity to earn college credit and pursue their educational goals at UAA, which could include earning an Associate of Arts degree.
“This exciting new partnership will allow students to successfully transition between high school and college, and from the first to second year of college,” says Mike Dunleavy, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District’s school board president. “It will open up many doors for students and will enable families to provide a college experience for their children at an affordable cost.”
To be accepted into the school, interested students must be actively working toward demonstrating their college readiness, evidenced by proficiency scores on the Accuplacer, SAT or ACT placement tests. Students will be enrolled in high school courses during the first semester of enrollment until college-ready, at which point they will enroll in UAA courses in the subsequent term. Students who are college-ready when they are accepted into the middle college will enroll in UAA courses immediately.
Students will earn dual credits for UAA courses that fulfill their high school graduation requirements. The UAA curriculum is sequenced so that students may progress toward earning an Associate of Arts degree within two years, if they choose, or make substantial progress toward their individual educational goals.
“The Mat-Su Borough School District aims at providing a world-class educational program for students at all academic and age levels,” says Dr. Deena Paramo, superintendent for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. “The School Board and Administration have worked for more than a year to partner with the University of Alaska in offering another option for public schools that prepares students as college ready. Our high school counselors will work with students, teachers and parents in identifying the students for whom this new, exciting option is a good fit.”
“UAA’s Chugiak-Eagle River Campus is pleased to participate in the founding of this new school, which will improve transitions for high school students to college, open pathways of completion for workforce credentials, and ready students for careers in Alaska,” says Cynthia Rogers, director of the Chugiak-Eagle River Campus. “The project fulfills key university goals, including expanding collaborative partnerships in the community and creating opportunities for efficiency in education that have real and lasting impact in the lives of our students, namely finishing their education faster.”
The Alaska Middle College School will accept up to 175 students into the program through the first two years. Joint outreach and information sessions for parents and students are scheduled for June 19 and 23. For more information and to apply, visit www.matsuk12.us/acs. The application, including a student essay, should be faxed to (907) 761-4087, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed or dropped off at the Department of Career and Technical Education at district headquarters at 501 North Gulkana in Palmer.
For more information: Ray DePriest, Director, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District Career & Technical Education, (907) 746-9274, or Cynthia Rogers, Director, UAA Chugiak-Eagle River Campus, (907) 694-3313.