Alaska offers numerous options for K-12 students who want to attend online school, including one statewide virtual school and one small state online school. There were also numerous stand-alone supplemental courses; the Alaska Learning Network (AKLN) offered 52 courses online in the 2013-14 year. The Alaska Virtual Academy, offered through the Wrangell Public School District, is a fully-online school open to students across the state. Other schools are more localized. Fairbanks B.E.S.T., for example, is a small school confined to one district, serving 290 students in K-12 during the 2013-14 year. Fourteen statewide programs offered correspondence courses to K-12 students.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|Alaska Virtual Academy||K - 8||Wrangell||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(907) 874-3397|
|Delta Cyber School||K - 12||Delta Junction||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(877) 895-1043|
|Interior Distance Education of Alaska||K - 12||Fairbanks||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(877) 582-4332|
|Raven Correspondence School||K - 12||Fairbanks||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(907) 374-9400|
|Connections Charter School||K - 11||Soldotna||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Private||(907) 714-8880|
|Copper River School District Correspondence Program||K - 12||Glennallen||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(888) 822-3234|
|Frontier Charter School||K - 12||Anchorage||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(907) 742-1180|
At the post-secondary level, online education is offered through the University of Alaska System, as well as through smaller, private institutions. Students can find online programs ranging from an associate degree to a post-doctorate at Prince William Sound Community College, the University of Alaska at Anchorage, and Alaska Pacific University. Higher education schools dedicated to delivering online content include Ilisagvic College and the University of Alaska Online.
The majority of university students in Alaska attend publicly funded institutions through the massive University of Alaska System. In fact, 35,000 full- and part-time college students attend a branch of this public university network, which consists of three major campuses and various extensions, including the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast campuses.
Each of the three main campuses of the University of Alaska System offer in-state tuition fees of roughly $5,000 per year. Academic programs range from two-year associate’s degrees to post-doctorate degrees.
Although there are few private universities in Alaska, and the majority of students attend one of the colleges in the public university system, there are options for students interested in very targeted learning experiences. Alaska Bible College, for example, is a very small and selective school with a Biblical, theological academic focus, preparing its graduates for a profession in ministry. Alaska Pacific University (APU) also has religious roots, originally operating as Alaska Methodist University until it restructured and changed its name in 1978. Today, APU’s coursework reflects the values of its Judeo-Christian heritage. APU also promotes Alaska Native educational topics and is a member of the Eco-League, a nationwide student exchange program of colleges offering strong programs in marine biology and environmental science.
Alaska’s Native population has fostered many college programs that educate both Native and non-Native Alaskans, with a focus on the state’s rich cultural history and the historical and contemporary issues facing residents. Alaska also has several Christian colleges, which cater to religious affiliations or ministerial academics. For example, Alaska Christian College offers associate degrees and certificate programs that prepare students for life in the seminary.
University of Alaska, Anchorage
While the University of Alaska, Anchorage doesn’t offer full degree programs online, there are many online courses available in a variety of subjects, including financial accounting, anthropology, biology, personal finance, child nutrition and comparative education. Students also have the option of enrolling in blended classes, which combine online and on-campus instruction in subjects such as art, science, education and communication.
Whether fully online or blended, most of the courses at the University of Alaska, Anchorage require an in-person, proctored final examination. The university has 18 approved testing locations around the state, and students are allowed to request an alternate location and proctor if needed.
Learn more about online class options and requirements at http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/distanceeducation/index.cfm.
Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC)
Although Prince William Sound Community College does not offer online degree programs, they do have a number of online and blended courses each semester. Students can enroll in classes such as cultural anthropology, solar system astronomy, human biology, physical geology and western civilization.
Online courses are managed through a variety of tools, such as Blackboard, Course Compass, and Pearson’s Reading, Writing and Econ Lab. Video conferencing, print materials and even phone calls with the instructor also help to facilitate communication. Each class requires a proctored final exam at the end of the semester.
Learn more about the distance learning options at PWSCC, visit http://www.pwscc.edu/academics/distance-learning/.
University of Alaska Online
The University of Alaska System, along with its affiliated campuses and community colleges, boasts a large, modern and comprehensive distance learning program. Students can choose a campus, with its own particular curriculum, and sign up for the corresponding semester. Once enrolled, students can buy and sell books online, download an app for either iOS or Android, apply for admission, track their grades and check the status of an application, all without ever visiting a campus.
Online programs vary widely, from certificates to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Occupational endorsement certificates include accounting and health care information technology, while online certificates are available in diverse fields like fisheries management or health care privacy and security. The University of Alaska offers distance learning programs at campuses such as the Anchorage main campus, Kodiak College, University of Alaska Southeast, Prince William Sound Community College and Kenai Peninsula College.
Visit the University of Alaska Online at https://uaonline.alaska.edu.
Alaska Pacific University (RANA)
With fewer than 1,000 students, Alaska Pacific University is the state’s only private, nonprofit, four-year institution. APU’s Rural Alaska Native Adult (RANA) distance learning program allows students to choose a structured synchronous program or a self-paced asynchronous program. APU’s online courses harness the power of two innovative Web-based applications. Conferencing app Elluminate, a live chat program, connects students with the virtual classroom. The second application, Moodle, is where students receive assignments, turn in work and check their grades.
Alaska Pacific University offers full degree programs in the categories of arts and humanities, business and MBAs, computers and IT, criminal justice, education and teaching, health and medicine, nursing, science and engineering, social sciences, and trades and careers.
For a breakdown of Alaska Pacific University’s distance-learning program, visit http://www.distancelearning.com/alaska-pacific-university/.
Ilisagvic College and Online Learning
Ilisagvic College is the country’s northernmost public college and its northernmost accredited college. Located in the Alaskan Tundra, the school sits on the coast of the Arctic Ocean in a region that is ice-locked for nine months of the year and not connected by rail or road. This college proves that distance learning can connect even the world’s most remote and isolated regions.
Recognizing the technological challenges that some of its students may face, Ilisagvic offers support for digital expertise and network connectivity. Those who can visit the campus can utilize its computer resources. Online courses include teleconference options as well as courses delivered via MyCampus, the college’s Web-based course management system. In addition to traditional course offerings such as arts, humanities and social sciences, MyCampus lists distinctive options such as Alaska Native studies, Inupiaq studies, math for carpenters and math for electricians.
Ilisagvik is one of Alaska’s “tribal-controlled colleges,” meaning they are formally controlled, sanctioned or chartered by the government body of an Indian tribe or tribes, according to the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978.
Visit Ilisagvic College’s distance learning website at http://www.ilisagvik.edu/academic-degrees-and-certificates/distance-education/.
4 Year Online Colleges in Alaska
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|University of Alaska Southeast||Public||11120 Glacier Highway||Juneau||+|
Best for Future Service Members
Alaska is enormous, and so are the opportunities for Alaskan students who are interested in serving their country. While prospective students can choose from a multitude of degree tracks, many Alaskan undergraduate and graduate programs can also be combined with ROTC programs. Students can choose between the Army, Navy or Air Force ROTC. We’ve compiled this list of four-year degree granting, nonprofit colleges that offer at least two ROTC programs.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|University of Alaska Anchorage||$5,475||Anchorage||Yes||No||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
Alaska may be known as the Last Great Frontier, but it features colleges and universities that rival the lower 49 states. Students can choose between colleges offering broad degree programs and those with more specialized options. Many students who enroll in online schools in Alaska are seeking an education from a great college without feeling crowded by other students in every class. The Alaska colleges and universities below all maintain small, intimate classrooms averaging fewer than 20 students for every faculty member. Congratulations to these Alaska nonprofit four-year colleges with the best student-teacher ratios.
|University of Alaska Anchorage||15 to 1||26,030||$5,475||Public||Anchorage|
|University of Alaska Southeast||13 to 1||5,787||$5,475||Public||Juneau|
|University of Alaska Fairbanks||12 to 1||14,850||$5,475||Public||Fairbanks|
|Alaska Pacific University||7 to 1||620||$29,700||Private not-for-profit||Anchorage|
|Alaska Bible College||4 to 1||46||$6,840||Private not-for-profit||Glennallen|
Best for Women in Technology
Women are often underrepresented in technology majors, but these Alaska schools boast higher-than-average female representation. Mentorship programs and women-only housing are just two reasons more women are pursuing male-dominated technology degrees at these colleges. Through specialized programs and support systems, women receive a quality education in a positive, comfortable environment. Women will help grow the technology field even further at these online schools in Alaska.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|University of Alaska Anchorage||$5,726||Anchorage||79||8,322||Public|
|University of Alaska Fairbanks||$5,898||Fairbanks||27||4,506||Public|
Best Schools Fighting for Families
For many, supporting children and families is a dream job that can be realized with a degree in social work. Counseling, psychotherapy and public administration are just a few careers that graduates of a quality social work program may pursue. At these online schools in Alaska, students receive a quality education that allows them to work in a school setting, hospital, private practice or for a government entity, contributing to the well-being of others. The programs you’ll find in these Alaska schools offer the hands-on learning students need to achieve their dreams while positively impacting our nation’s future.