Fifty-nine Alaska Native high school juniors and seniors graduate on July 9 from the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. RAHI offers six weeks of college-credit courses—preparing students to adjust academically and socially to college life.
A study by the American Institutes for Research concluded that, compared to other rural Alaska Native students who enroll at the University of Alaska, students who have attended RAHI are twice as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree. Students in the program also tend to perform better academically, according to grade point averages measured by the research.
During the six-week program, RAHI students take classes in English, library science, emergency management team building, reading and study skills. They also choose from electives in process technology, business, chemistry and math. And for physical education, classes are offered in karate, yoga and Alaska Native dance. RAHI research students study organic chemistry and are paired with a mentor to perform research.
Students live on campus in Fairbanks and earn up to 10 college credits through the program. This year’s class came from 34 communities around the state.
RAHI was created by the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1983, at the request of the Alaska Federation of Natives. At tomorrow’s graduation ceremony, the keynote address will be given by 1989 RAHI graduate Kathy Milligan-Myhre. She is originally from Kotzebue, and after completing post-doctorate study in microbiology, Milligan-Myhre will join the faculty at UAA.
Students attend RAHI at no cost and their travel expenses are paid for. An application for the program can be found on the University of Alaska Fairbanks website.