ENGAGE Projects

Teen Underground
Teen Underground is a dedicated space in the Loussac Library centered on teen learning,creativity and socializing in a safe environment. Since opening in 2011, the Teen Underground has housed all young adult materials and has Macbooks, iPads and Smart Boards readily available for teen use. Beginning in December 2012, a Homework Help program was developed as a block to time dedicated towards the academic needs of any middle school or high school student here in the Anchorage area. With the help of students from UAA, Teen Underground has Homework Help Tutors for each teen seeking assistance in the program. Additionally, the UAA students also serve as role models and mentors in teaching youth how to foster healthy relationships as well as putting a focus on education as a priority during these formative years.

Spring Hill Elementary
UAA and Spring Hill Elementary have created a partnership to provide college students the opportunity to serve as a classroom resource. As a classroom resource, UAA students are helping educate elementary school students in order to help them succeed in life. UAA students are placed under the guidance of a certified teacher in grades ranging from Kindergarten to sixth grade. Activities include partner reading, one-on-one work with students, leading small group activities as well as assisting the teachers on specific tasks or projects. Students are paired up with a teacher during all activities which usually take place in the classroom.

Project Puqigtut
Project Puqigtut (also known as Project P) is a program offered by the Anchorage School District designed for 21st Century Alaska Native or American Indian students to be successful in high school and beyond. Students can earn core credits through on-line classes in order to catch up or to get ahead in their studies. UAA students are working alongside certified Anchorage School District teachers to build relationships with the youth involved in Project P. UAA students serve as tutors/mentors assisting Alaska Native youth during "Super Smart Sessions" as well as helping them develop basic reading and writing skills. Super Smart sessions include academic learning as well as cultural or entertainment elements, such as drumming or storytelling, and the enjoyment traditional foods.

East High School
East High School's English Language Learners (ELL) Department houses their own Newcomer Center due to the large population of immigrant and refugee students who are zoned to attend East HS. The primary goal of this program is to help high school students improve both academically and socially. This is where University students come in. The primary activity of college students in this project is daytime one-on-one tutoring in all core subjects during designated "tutorial" periods. Each UAA student is matched up with a designated East HS instructor who guides & assigns the specific service activities each morning or afternoon shift. In addition, UAA students also serve as individual tutors in the newly formed after-school tutoring sessions M-R from 2:30-4:00pm.

Girl Scouts of Alaska
Girl Scouts of Alaska is the only girl-centered, girl-led organization that provides a proven leadership program to girls of all ages throughout the state. The organization seeks to develop young girls' courage, confidence, and character who will then work to make the world a better place. Recently, the organization has experienced a shortage in Troop leaders. Now, with anew partnership in place, UAA students serve as Mini-Series Leaders or Coaches designed to generate girls' interests and curiosities about the ways that they can discover themselves, connect with the others, and take action through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). UAA students help young girls develop their leadership skills while exploring the girls' interests in away that fits their schedules. This three month commitment provides UAA students access to relevant learning opportunities, materials that prepare for and support this role, and support from a member of the Girl Scouts of America. Each college student serving as a Mini-Series Leader prepares the girls for participation in local series events such as the Jr. First Lego League for grades K-3, First Lego League for grades 4 – 8 or a Hiking series leading up to a multi-day hike.


UAA Projects

Creative Activities Fair

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
UAA's Early Childhood Education Program and the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department co-sponsored a Creative Activities Fair on Nov. 12 at the Spenard Rec Center. More than 300 caregivers and children (infants through third grade) participated along with more than 70 early childhood and elementary education students from UAA. Professor Robert Capuozzo, with the College of Education, is in charge of the biannual event that started running in 2007. Free for families, the fair featured 20 different activities to engage young children in a variety of ways. While the next one comes around in March 2012, enjoy this slideshow from this past fair.

Campus Connections
This is a mentoring project started in fall of 2011 which strives to help foster care students transition into college life.  Current college students are mentors to foster care students who are transitioning into college life. The goal is to help foster care students stay in college and earn their degrees. This program is developed by UAA's Center for Community Engagement and Learning.

UAA Transitions
This is a project put together by ISER and is run by Professor Marie Lowe which strives to help at risk high school students learn leadership skills and transition into college life. The program occurs over the course of the spring semester and the students meet three times for full days over this time. They participate in teamwork and leadership building activities and learn what life is like on a college campus. UAA students can be involved by helping as mentors for the high school students. To find out how to get involved, visit UAA Transitions' website!

The Alaska Seeds of Change Transitional Youth Program
This program will assist in transitioning youth aging out of the foster program as it becomes fully funded and is currently a program that has engaged UAA Professor Michael Sobocinski in initiating and planning with community partners through the Selkregg Award given by CCEL in 2009. The goal is to prepare youth with skills and resources so that they are successful in building self-sufficiency. AK Seeds of Change is proposed now as a greenhouse operation to provide employment and skill development for career paths for youth ages 16-21. The project is collaboration between UAA and United Way of Anchorage, Division of Juvenile Justice, Division of Behavioral Health, Office of Children's Services, and the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition (AYDC) as well as Denali Family Services. The program will also be linked to a service-learning course, HUMS 660, Promoting Positive Development in At-Risk Youth.


Community Projects

Providence Early Learning Lab
The Providence Early Learning Lab (PELL) is a partnership between the Providence Center for Child Development and the University of Alaska Anchorage department of teaching and early learning program. This is an opportunity for preservice students to observe and engage the young children through creating and implementing lesson plans with the guidance of their professors. The mission has two major components; the first is to create a program that is gives hands on learning and guidance to preservice students so that they can be the best possible teachers. The second is to play a role in the development of best practice learning environments that improve early learning in communities all over the state. Research is conducted improve and provide the best possible early education for our younger Alaskans.