Agreement offers chemical engineering degree path for Alaska students

Feb. 26, 2016

The University of Alaska Anchorage and University of Alaska Fairbanks have joined forces with Washington State University to make it easier for Alaska students to earn chemical engineering degrees.

The 2+2 agreement allows Alaska students to fulfill the first two years of core requirements at UAA or UAF, then complete the final two years of study in Pullman, Wash., at Washington State University’s Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. Students would earn their degrees from WSU. The program comes with no additional cost to UAF and UAA and will begin accepting students immediately.

“We are pleased to be able to make use of existing resources on all three campuses to offer new opportunities and bright futures for our students and our state,” said Fred Barlow, dean of the UAA College of Engineering.

Industry partners have demonstrated strong support for a chemical engineering program in Alaska, in part to reduce the need to recruit outside the state. Hiring graduates with existing ties to Alaska helps reduce expensive turnover.

“We know that Alaska industry needs chemical engineers, and a full four-year program is part of UAF’s long-term plan to meet that need,” said Doug Goering, dean of the UAF College of Engineering and Mines. “Until that’s a reality, the agreement with WSU offers our students an immediate option to earn this high-demand degree and then return home to live and work.”

The program is designed to encourage Alaskans to return after graduation through incentives such as Alaska-based internships. This collaboration opens up more opportunities for Alaskans and demonstrates the university’s cooperation with the state and engineering industry to help fill gaps in Alaska’s workforce.

“This collaborative program recognizes the historically strong linkages between Washington and Alaska, and we're pleased to be able to help meet the need for a chemical engineering program for students from Alaska,'' said Candis Claiborn, dean of the WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

The three universities, along with industry and community partners, will celebrate the collaboration at a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 26, at 3:30 p.m., in the 2nd floor atrium of the UAA Engineering & Industry Building.

Additional resources