News Release

Alaska Pacific University

Alaska Pacific University (APU) will offer three new academic programs, ranging from an undergraduate certificate to a graduate degree. The programs were approved by the Alaska Pacific University Board of Trustees in December and received accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education in April. The new program offerings include:

Practical nursing (undergraduate certificate): This program meets a statewide demand for nurses by preparing students to earn a license of practical nursing, or LPN. The program will be based in Bethel and has been developed in collaboration with regional partners including Yuut Elitnaurviat, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, and the Lower Kuskokwim School District. The program has received provisional approval from the Alaska Board of Nursing.

Community and place-based education (bachelor’s degree): This new undergraduate program will train teachers in community-based education, with a focus on culturally relevant instruction and Indigenous education practices. Alaska Pacific University faculty from the departments of education, outdoor and environmental education, and Indigenous studies collaborated to develop the curriculum. Students who complete the bachelor’s degree will have the option to complete an accelerated program for K-8 teacher certification. Courses are expected to begin in fall 2021.

Master of Fine Arts in creative writing (master’s degree): Alaska Pacific University will launch a graduate program in creative writing in summer 2022. The low-residency program accommodates working professionals. Similar to Alaska Pacific University’s existing Master of Arts program, students will work with assigned mentors virtually throughout the year and attend two required summer sessions on campus. The program will support Indigenous and Northern writers in three concentration areas: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

“These new programs continue our mission to honor Alaska’s Indigenous heritage,” said Alaska Pacific University Provost and Acting President Hilton Hallock. “With low-residency graduate programs, place-based education courses, and our first regional program in Bethel, we will be the university of first choice for even more Alaskans. Each program fills a unique need in the state, and each has been developed with residents of Alaska in mind. We are excited to welcome students into these new degree programs.”

Students interested in the new programs in nursing, education, and fine arts can contact the Alaska Pacific University Admissions department ( for program updates and application timelines.

About Alaska Pacific University

Alaska Pacific University provides a world-class, hands-on, culturally responsive educational experience in collaboration with our students, communities and Tribal partners. Alaska Pacific University is a fully accredited four-year Alaska Native-serving and Tribally controlled University offering academic programs ranging from certificates to a doctoral program. Alaska Pacific University continues to add and maintain programs and degrees that serve all Alaskans and attract local, national, and international students and attention.

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