Campus Profile: Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel

35-anek allrakunek arlulatellra — 35 years of enterprise

UAF’s Kuskokwim Campus has influenced the lives of thousands of rural Alaskans since it opened in 1973.

Using innovative technologies, KuC delivers instruction to students in far-flung villages throughout the state, but primarily those of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

In the early days, providing education to village residents required instructors to travel by small aircraft and rely heavily on HF radio for messages. Later, instructional television was beamed to villages that could receive KYUK’s broadcast signal, turning KuC’s instructors into TV celebrities. Today new tools and technology make it possible for KuC’s instructors and staff to interact with students in ways that were unimaginable 35 years ago.

KuC’s academic offerings include certificates in community health, rural human services, information technology and applied business; associate degrees in early childhood education, human services and tribal management; and a new bachelor’s degree in Yup’ik language and culture. Sixteen students were ready to enroll in the program in fall 2008.

“The B.A. in Yup’ik language and culture is an exciting and timely development — children here still speak Yup’ik as their first language,” said Mary Pete, KuC’s director. “As immersion programs expand, teaching staff in the region are looking to Kuskokwim Campus for leadership as they enhance their own skills and credentials.”

The Kuskokwim Campus has conferred more than 2,300 certificates and degrees on people from throughout the region.

KuC’s efforts at promoting adult basic education have resulted in more than 1,400 students receiving GEDs, allowing many to realize lifelong dreams of a high school diploma and encouraging others to advance their careers and pursue higher education.

Kuskokwim campus

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UAF alumna in this story: Mary Pete ’79, ’84