UAS and Sealaska Heritage Institute offer new scholarships for future Alaska Native teachers
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) are making new scholarships available to freshmen and sophomore Alaska Native students through the PITAAS program.
Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Alaska
Date of Press Release: August 14, 2019
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) are making new scholarships available to freshmen and sophomore Alaska Native students through the PITAAS program. PITAAS, short for Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska’s Schools, is a teacher preparation partnership between SHI and UAS in support of future Alaska Native teachers. The scholarship will cover up to 8 credits for qualifying courses at UAS.
To be eligible for these scholarships, students must be an Alaska Native freshman or sophomore with a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, be enrolled in a qualifying UAS course, and be interested in becoming a teacher or administrator in the State of Alaska. Tuition for junior, senior, graduate and Ph.D. students is already supported by the PITAAS program.
Qualifying UAS courses include any language courses in Tlingit, Haida, or Tsimshian. Alaska Native Studies courses also qualify, including introductory classes, as well as courses in Indigenous ecological knowledge and tribal governance. Several anthropology classes are also included with topics in Alaska Native cultures and history, artistic expressions and oral narratives, social change, and economic and political development.
PITAAS was created in 2000 at UAS to address the shortage of Alaska Native teachers. It is funded by an Alaska Native Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education to SHI. Alaska is diverse, and so are its educators. PITAAS teachers are the face of Alaska. When students have a teacher who has direct experience with their culture, they have a mentor, a leader, and an example of the power of education in their lives. As of this year, 192 degrees have been awarded to 138 Alaska Native students with PITAAS scholarship support; 94 of these graduates hold active professional education licenses. PITAAS graduates are employed by 28 of the 54 school districts across Alaska.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.
More information about the PITAAS program.