Alaska Pacific University receives $2M to promote Alaska Native education

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Five-year U.S. Department of Education grant will support Alaska Pacific University’s Indigenous One Health programs

News Release

Alaska Pacific University

Alaska Pacific University (APU) has been awarded a five-year, $2 million Alaska Native-Serving grant by the U.S. Department of Education.

The University will use the grant to increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates, specifically among Alaska Native and American Indian students enrolled in its Indigenous One Health programs, including Environmental Public Health, Health Sciences, and Nursing. 

“This funding will allow the University to continue expanding education offerings to Alaska students and help in our effort towards becoming a Tribal University,” said Alaska Pacific University President Dr. Robert Onders. “Our mission and vision are to promote an educational experience that is excellent, that is culturally responsive, and that prepares our students and our state for a bright future. This grant will help us advance those goals.” 

Alaska Pacific University’s Indigenous One Health programs are interdisciplinary courses of study developed around the belief that humans, the environment, and animals are all One. Along with affiliates like the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Pacific University is working to promote academic and research programs that will prepare Alaska students for careers in health science fields that are evolving rapidly. 

Funding will be used to fund curriculum and faculty development; academic instruction; lab equipment and improvement; and student support services. Under the leadership of Provost Hilton Hallock, the University will add faculty positions in health sciences and Indigenous pedagogy; a health sciences advisor and educational support activities; and a nursing simulation lab. The existing aquarium lab will also be upgraded and expanded to support research using animal modeling for human health. 

“This is incredible news for Alaska Pacific University, our students, and the community,” said Chief Advancement Officer Clarice Dickess. “With this grant from the Department of Education, we’ll be able to increase our capacity to expand delivery of high-quality programs that will benefit not just Alaska Native students but, ultimately, all Alaskans.” 

This latest grant award brings the total awarded federal grants to $2,514,346 in the first four months of Alaska Pacific University’s current fiscal year. Highlights include:

  • A Study Abroad grant by the U.S. Department of State was awarded to Alaska Pacific University for $34,846 to increase the capacity for APU to grow and diversify its study abroad program for its students.
  • An AmeriCorps Indian Tribes grant by the Corporation for National Community Service was awarded for $409,500 to fund AmeriCorps members who will deliver health-impacting legal assistance to low-income patients at healthcare facilities in Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma and Utah.
  • The Natural Resources Conservation Science grant by the U.S Department of Agriculture was awarded to Alaska Pacific University for $55,000 to help fund research related to soil health and cover crop field demonstrations in order to demonstrate cover crop management, weed management, seeding rates and cover crop termination on cropland for use in cropland management systems across Alaska.

The Indigenous One Health Expansion project is supported entirely by a grant from the U.S Department of Education.

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 located in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska Pacific University is a fully accredited four-year Alaska Native-serving and tribally controlled University offering academic programs ranging from certificates to a Ph.D. program. Alaska Pacific University continues to add and maintain programs and degrees that serve all Alaskans attracting, local, national, and international students and attention.

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