Prince William Sound College joins UAA as the fourth community campus
by Michelle Saport |
Prince William Sound College (PWSC) will become the fourth community campus of University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and will join the university's accreditation effective in the new academic year.
As the college moves under UAA's accreditation, the school will be formally renamed from Prince William Sound Community College to Prince William Sound College. This change in accreditation will provide students, staff and faculty of the college with additional accessibility to wider university resources and will bring no visible changes in staffing, structure or programs.
In response to the decision by the UA Board of Regents, UAA and PWSC worked together on the transition plan. The approximately 2,000 students at PWSC will now have access to support systems and academic programs throughout the university system, including courses at UAA's other community campuses-Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College and Mat-Su College. Likewise, PWSC faculty may now serve as elected officials of the UAA Faculty Senate.
Over the next three years, PWSC's courses, policies and processes will be revised to align with UAA, and, as with the other community campuses, the campus will maintain its unique mission to serve the communities in its region. In addition to the primary campus in Valdez, PWSC also operates extension centers in Cordova and Glennallen, and outreach sites offering videoconference classes in five rural communities.
The four community campuses-including PWSC-offer about 20 percent of all UAA academic credits each year. They deliver UAA degrees, certificates and non-credit courses catered to the needs of their communities, such as vocational training at Mat-Su College, outreach education with the U.S. Coast Guard in Kodiak and workforce development courses in marine industries at PWSC.
"Even though we're coming under the UAA umbrella of accreditation, we are still this community's college," explained Dan O'Connor, director of PWSC. "Our name may change, our accreditation may change, but we're still an important part of this community."
"We certainly appreciate the support that the city and the people of the region have given us," O'Connor continued. "We're going to do everything we can to provide what our city and our service area needs to have access to the classes and programs they need to reach their goals."