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RAHI Celebrates 20 Years of Success Stories

Submitted by Jim Kowalsky
Phone: 6886

07/02/02

Fairbanks, Alaska ľOver the past 20 years the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Rural Alaska Honors Institute has helped 837 rural and Alaska Native students sharpen their academic skills and prepare them for success in college and the workforce. "We are seeing increasing results," said program director Jim Kowalsky. "It's a great thing to watch former students move along toward the professional world."

Kowalsky said there are 113 RAHI alumni who have earned baccalaureate degrees, 35 who have earned associate degrees and several more who have earned graduate degrees. Many more are currently working toward academic degrees, he said. RAHI graduates include teachers, engineers, nurses, attorneys and tribal administrators.

The intensive post-secondary college prep program features a curriculum of university courses including writing, pre-calculus, chemistry, computer programming and Web design and Alaska Native art studio. The academic emphasis is balanced with a focus on the non-academic aspects of campus life.

"We feel our straight-ahead, hard-core structured academic approach is paying off," Kowalsky said. "We have designed a program that is quite tough, but we also make sure that the participants have a good time." RAHI was launched in 1983 by UAF's Alaska Native Programs at the request of the Alaska Federation of Natives. Currently the annual RAHI program is organized by UAF's College of Rural Alaska. Students complete the program with eight to 10 UAF credits, many of which meet requirements for an academic degree.

Note to Editors: Nearly 40 students from around the state will participate in the graduation ceremony for the RAHI class of 2002 at 1 p.m. on July 5, 2002 in the Pearl Berry-Boyd Lecture Hall, room 201 Natural Sciences Building on the UAF campus.

CONTACT: Jim Kowalsky, RAHI Director, at (907) 474-6886 or e-mail fyrahi@uaf.edu. CM//06-27-02/02-081

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