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Regents approve academic programs at UAA

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a graduate
certificate in advanced human service systems and a bachelor's degree
program in environment and society at the University of Alaska
Anchorage as it wrapped up its two-day meeting in Fairbanks today.

The graduate certificate would allow students who've already earned a
bachelor's degree in human services, social work or a related field to
further their education for supervisory careers in human services. The
human services profession connects clients with services available in
the community, both as case managers and through organizations such as
the Boys & Girls Club, Catholic Community Services, senior centers,
and government organizations at the state and local level.

UAA anticipates about 20 students enrolling in the 18-credit program
by spring 2011. Tuition revenue will cover the cost, said UAA Provost
Mike Driscoll. The human service sector is a growing area of Alaska's
workforce, with the state Department of Labor routinely noting
shortages in health, behavioral health and associated human service
occupations. This is particularly true in mid-level management and
supervisory positions, Driscoll said.

"The whole point of human services is getting the necessary services
to the individual," he said.

The other program the regents approved would provide students with a
bachelor's degree (either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science)
in environment and society at UAA, which Driscoll described as a
connection between hard science and policy.

Graduates of the interdisciplinary program would fill high-demand jobs
in a wide variety of Alaska industries, including petroleum, fishing,
tourism and others. The new program will repackage existing courses
already offered at UAA, with the addition of one new course at minimal
expense. The program is expected to attract about 25 students.

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