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Historical Context

A.1. What is the institution's historical context?

The University of Alaska Anchorage’s (UAA) history is described as follows in official university documents.

UAA traces its origins back to 1954, when Anchorage Community College (ACC) was founded. That year, ACC began offering evening classes to 414 students at Elmendorf Air Force Base—the first time that college-level courses were offered in the Anchorage area. In 1962, ACC, along with other community colleges around the state, was incorporated into the University of Alaska Statewide System. Five years later, ACC began offering both day and evening classes at the current campus location. ACC provided academic study for associate degrees, the first two years of work toward baccalaureate degrees, and a wide variety of adult learning, career, and continuing education programs.

In the late 1960s, strong interest in establishing a four-year university in Anchorage brought about the birth of the University of Alaska, Anchorage Senior College (ASC). While ACC administered the lower division college, ASC administered upper division and graduate programs leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees, as well as continuing education for professional programs. In 1971, the first commencement was held at West Anchorage High School where 265 master’s, baccalaureate, and associate’s degrees were awarded. ASC moved to the Consortium Library Building in 1973. The following year, when the first classroom and office facility was completed, daytime courses were offered for the first time. In 1977, ASC became a four-year university and was renamed the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UA,A). Ten years later, ACC and UAA merged to become what is now known as the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

The College of Education’s rich history, along with a more detailed description of UAA’s history, is described in the document entitled Transformations: The Development of UAA’s College of Education 1950-2010.