“Based at the University of Alaska, the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) is designed to prepare and support Alaska Native students from middle school through graduate school to succeed in engineering and science careers. ANSEP offers intensive academic support, exposure to industry, and the opportunity to participate in a learning community incorporating Alaska Native cultural identity” (p.2).
“In addition to supporting individual students, the ANSEP model is also designed to effect systemic change to improve the climate for Alaska Natives in the Alaska kindergarten through 12th grade (K–12) educational system, the University of Alaska, and Alaska’s STEM industries” (p.2).
The Brief summarizes the findings of an implementation and participant-outcomes evaluation of ANSEP, conducted by The Urban Institute from September 2013 to December 2014. The evaluation sought to assess “the ANSEP model to inform its programming and planning as well as provide lessons for other STEM education programs that serve underrepresented minorities nationwide” (p.3).
Full Publication Title: Building Alaska’s Science and Engineering Pipeline: Evaluation of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)
Major Findings & Recommendations
Findings from the implementation and participant-outcomes analysis include: • “To date, 164 ANSEP scholarship recipients have graduated from the University of Alaska with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields. These STEM and STEM-related professions are in demand in Alaska’s industries. Eighty-eight percent of a nonrandom sample of graduates who were employed in the first year after graduation report being employed in STEM occupations” (p.11). • “ANSEP rewards students who are high achieving relative to their geographic and racial group cohorts, particularly in the precollege components. Rigorous academic requirements drive eligibility standards and ongoing participation. However, many participants, in particular those who have not taken part in ANSEP precollege components, may still suffer from academic and personal barriers in pursuing their degrees” (p.11). • “Stakeholders credit ANSEP for contributing to an improved climate for Alaska Natives at the University of Alaska and in the state’s STEM industries. One strategy shaping these perceptions has been ANSEP’s use of marketing, branding, and advocacy efforts as well as promotion of Alaska Native cultural identity” (p.11). • “ANSEP has an employer-centered model, built on a wide range of partnerships with STEM organizations in the private and public sector that are important funders and also provide internships and other career exposure to link participants to STEM employment. These relationships make the program highly dependent on the strength of the industries that hire scientists and engineers” (p.11). • “ANSEP has benefited from a charismatic leader whose personality is central to the program, and who has developed the program’s visibility and connections to significant funding resources. Careful sustainability planning, which is currently under development, will be crucial to ANSEP’s long-term success” (p.11). (Abstractor: Authors)