Anchorage, Alaska The Board of Trustees for the Alaska Pacific University accepted a proposal Monday to work in partnership with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and work toward a tribal college designation.
“It’s to help train ANTHC’s workforce and work, hopefully to the successful designation as a tribal college,” said APU Trustee John Wanamaker.
A tribal college designation requires a 51 percent Native enrollment and qualifies a university for support funding from the Bureau of Indian Education and scholarships for students.
“A tribal college designation is really important to ANTHC because it helps to create that path for not only our employees that are Alaska Native, to ensure they have career opportunities and educational experiences that mean a lot for them, their traditions, their values,” said LeeAnne Garrick, Chief of Staff with ANTHC.
Wanamaker said the partnership will lead to more students than the 500 it maintains today, as well as growth in other areas.
“I’m sure we’ll see some new academic programs, perhaps some infrastructure growth as well,” Wanamaker said.
Garrick said there is a great need for healthcare jobs in Alaska.
“Across the state we also have our Community Health Aid program, we have a Behavior Health Aid program, Dental Health Aid program, all of which need more folks for them to be able to serve Alaska Natives across the state,” said Garrick.
Wanamaker said a tribal college designation will take time to achieve, possibly two years.