In an attempt to lure Alaska's top high school graduates, the University of Alaska Southeast administration is developing a summer lecture program, officials said Friday.
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Coming after the cancellation of a former summer program, the new one will consist of classes in several academic disciplines. It will be marketed to UA Scholars, state high school graduates who are in the top 10 percent of their class.
Planners hope that if they attract the scholars to UAS for the summer session, some will decide to stay. Each UA Scholar receives $1,375 per semester for eight semesters to attend a school in state university system- provided they remain in good standing. On average, UA Scholars graduate at more than twice the rate of other UA students. About 1,600 student are enrolled in the UA Scholars program.
Kevin Myers, spokesman for UAS, said no estimate has been made for how much the new program will cost.
"We're in the very early stages of planning this, so we don't know how much money it will be right now," he said.
The program is meant to be a temporary replacement for the Bread Loaf School of English, a summer program run by Middlebury College, of Middlebury, Vt. James Maddox, director of Bread Loaf, announced recently that the summer program would stop being held at UAS because there weren't enough students involved.
"Enrollment began to slip and try as we could, we couldn't get it back up," Maddox said.
The program had about 45 students but needed about 75 to be viable. Maddox said he hopes to bring it back someday. He started the program in 1996 and visited Southeast Alaska often. He cut the program "with great sorrow," he said.
"It was the toughest decision of my tenure," he said. "I love Juneau."
Myers said the UAS administration hated to see the program go.
"It was a good relationship and a good partnership," Myers said. "We see it as an opportunity to develop our own summer program. It's not a long-term solution, but the fact that they are not here allows us to do this."
Will Morris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org