STEPS Alaska Updates
Stepping Up for Alaska's Youth!
Previous Newsletters
Theme: Post Secondary Plans & Dual Credit Enrollment
Inside Scoop: Dual Credit

New research shows that taking dual credit courses in high school can help more students enroll in and complete college. Read more for updates from the STEPS Post-Secondary Workgroup on their solutions in this area.

Partner Highlights
Distributed Guidance Strategies Underway in Sitka
New strategies for individualized career and college preparation are being devised and implemented around the state that expand the role of teachers and administrators in sharing this responsibility that is often left to counselors, students, and parents. Read on to learn how the Sitka School District is planning to develop these methods into something that works for their students and schools.

Dual Credit Soars in Hoonah
For the last three years, Hoonah City School District has offered a unique dual enrollment program for its high school students which has been met with increased participation and success rates. Read the full story to see how students from Hoonah are leaving high school with more college credits than ever.

Hoonah High School
Photo: MVLastDance
Dive into Data
In 2011, 65% of graduates of STEPS high school students enrolled in a two- or four-year college. Six years later, 48% of those students had graduated compared with 55% of students nationally.
Source: Alaska Commission on Post Secondary Education and National Student Clearinghouse
Across the Country
Hawai'i P-20 Partnerships for Education is a state-wide initiative working to have "55% of Hawai‘i’s working age adults to have a two- or four- year college degree by the year 2025." Students are finding success in their dual credit programs, and the data is starting to show that this is transferring into post-secondary success, as well.

Around the STEPS Community
Check out upcoming events and resources occurring within STEPS!
Upcoming Events
Regional STEPS Partner meeting

April 29 -30, 2019 in Juneau; Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall

**We recently received confirmation for a block of rooms at the Four Points - Sheraton. Use this link to reserve a room by March 28, 2019 to take advantage of a discounted rate.

In the past several months, we’ve held rounds of community meetings and held some work group meetings in key areas such as early childhood, trauma informed practices, cultural integration, family engagement, STEM/STEAM, and post-secondary. The work has just started and there is more we can do to keep aligning our work.

Thank you everyone for your response to the survey! The STEPS team has begun planning the sessions based on your input. Please look for more information on our upcoming meeting in early April.
AASB 2019 Spring Academy & Legislative Fly-In

April 6-9, 2019 in Juneau

At the Spring Academy/Legislative Fly-In, School Board members and young adults from around Alaska will gather in Juneau to make sense of their districts' data, discuss issues and topics influencing education in 2019, meet with legislators and much more. Participants are encouraged to register by March 31st. The training costs $455 per person if registered by this date; it costs $465 to register afterward. Feel free to contact Claudia Plesa with any questions!

Discovery Southeast Courses

Discovery Southeast is offering two courses this spring that are free to teachers, open to community members, and are both worth 1 university credit.

"The paired May and June classes are part of a multi-year series in which we investigate Juneau’s special places. In week-1 we focus on geology/landforms, and in week-2, return to those same places, ‘layering on’ the biology: habitats, succession, culture, etc. Because we feature different places each year, teachers can take them in successive years without fear of redundancy. Taking both the landform and habitat classes (totaling 2 Ed-581 credits) makes a great complementary pair but is not required." - Kate Cruz, Discovery Southeast
Landforms of Áak'w & T'aakú Aaní: Year-2: Kaxdigoowu Héen(Montana Creek) &Eeyák'w (Amalga Harbor)

May 30, 31: 6pm – 8pm
June 1, 2: 10am – 4pm

This field-based class helps educators examine coastal and glacial geology and resulting landforms.
Habitats of Áak'w & T'aakú Aaní: Year-2: Kaxdigoowu Héen (Montana Creek) & Eeyák'w (Amalga Harbor)

June 6, 7: 6pm – 8pm
June 9, 10: 10am – 4pm

This experiential class introduces habitats and successional trends by investigating coastal, glacial, and alluvial habitats.
Send us your stories by the 8th to get your work featured in the STEPS Newsletter!
Funding for Afterschool Programming

Applications Due by April 26th

The Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, is seeking proposals from eligible applicants to provide services through the Positive Youth Development Afterschool Program. The Positive Youth Development Afterschool Program will support projects increasing youth protective factors and reducing youth risk factors through services provided outside of school hours, i.e., evenings, weekends, and school breaks for youth entering grades 5 through 8. Proposals for awards ranging from $100,000 to $350,000 are due April 26th.

Research and Articles
60 Percent of All College Students Graduate with a Bachelor’s, Associate or Certificate Degree within Eight Years
Todd Sedmak; National Student Clearinghouse

This number is about a 5% increase from the 6-year graduation rates for the high school class of 2010. Read more for additional breakdowns of this data by race, gender, and college type.

Rethinking Dual Enrollment to Reach More Students
Jennifer Zinth and Elisabeth Barnett; Education Commission of the States

Evidence shows that dually enrolled students are more likely to finish high school and pursue post-secondary education, but access to these programs is the primary road block for most students. Read more for data on and strategies to address this problem.

Concurrent Enrollment Thriving in Rural Schools Despite Challenges
Kimberly Mobley; National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships

Dual Enrollment opportunities are expanding across the nation for rural students who face a variety of accessibility challenges. Check out this webinar from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships addressing some of these issues and the resulting opportunities.

Past Events
AASB 2019 Leadership Fly-In & Youth Advocacy Institute

February 9-12, 2019 in Juneau

Over 100 school board members, superintendents, students, and chaperones from 28 school districts across Alaska gathered for AASB's annual Leadership Fly-In and Youth Advocacy Institute (YAI). For four days attendees heard presentations from government officials, toured the capital, met with lawmakers, and provided committee testimony. 

CDVSA Prevention Conference

March 6-8, 2019 in Anchorage

This March the Alaska Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault hosted its biannual Prevention Summit. STEPS partners from Hydaburg, Angoon, Juneau and Sitka had a chance to learn, connect and share resources with each other as well as communities across the state. A video documenting the students' experience in Lead On is available here and the CDVSA has posted resources from the conference here.
Supporting Transitions and Educational Promise is a Collective Impact effort between regional partners and partners in Angoon, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Juneau, Klukwan, Sitka, and Yakutat which strives to improve outcomes for Southeast Alaska’s youth. We aim to do that by:
  • Ensuring that all kids - from womb to world - are safe and supported in their schools, homes, and communities
  • Partnering to smooth transitions, fill gaps, and align existing resources
  • Collaborating to move the needle on key measures

STEPS Alaska is made possible by the US Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods funding award to the Association of Alaska School Boards
The US Department of Education Promise Neighborhood Grant U215N170038 supports cradle to career solutions for the STEPS AK partners. This publication is the sole responsibility of the Association of Alaska School Boards and its contributors.