SOLDOTNA, AK (May 11, 2011) – Alaska Christian College (ACC) broke ground last week on a 3,300 square foot Academic Success Center. Completion is slated for early fall of 2011.
A federal grant is funding construction. The grant could ultimately reach as much as $2.8 million over the next five years. The college received $540,000 this year, and ACC anticipates it will receive a similar amount annually over the course of the five years.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded the grant under the Alaska Native and Native Hawaii Title III Program. According to the department, “The program provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education to enable them to improve their academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability, and increase their self-sufficiency.”
The school qualified for the grant because of the student population it serves, Hamilton says. A majority of ACC students come from remote villages with high unemployment, limited higher educational offerings, and various abuse issues and suicide.
“Our rosters are filled with educationally struggling, yet capable, minority students who enter ACC with significant academic and financial challenges,” Hamilton said after the church received the grant.
This year marks the school’s 10-year-anniversary, and enrollment has almost doubled to roughly 40 full-time equivalent students since the school first started classes in 2001. Ninety percent are Alaska Native.
The school focused its initial development on a specialized first-year curriculum, as well as the outreach, basic skills, and counseling services necessary to transition students from village life to higher education.
The grant ultimately will fund expanded curricula, building renovations, tutoring, support and assessment services, general education library holdings, and professional faculty development.
The school continues to search for a new director of enrollment. Current director Curtis Ivanoff recently was elected to be the new field director for the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska.