Apply now for spring 2022!

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Preparing teachers to serve and honor their
new communities and students in rural Alaska

For thousands of years, Alaska Native communities have developed rich and varied traditions that encourage the values of Sharing and Cooperation, Respect for Others, Hard Work, Respect for Nature, Spirituality, and Humor.

Today, people in remote, rural Alaska constantly navigate the tension between sustaining their traditional culture and thriving in a changing world. The teachers who serve these communities are challenged to negotiate these tensions themselves, while adapting to a way of life that is unfamiliar, and discovering who they are within a new cultural context.

The Alaska Humanities Forum partners with communities, Alaska Native organizations, and school districts across three rural regions to provide the Creating Cultural Competence (C3) program. Newly hired teachers participate alongside Elders, culture bearers, local youth, and peers in a cultural immersion during the summer under the structure of a university-level multicultural studies course. 

PROGRAM CONTACT
Amanda Dale
Director of Cross-Cultural Programs
[email protected]


Program Overview

Cross-cultural experience: Orientation, immersion, and a debrief process assist participants in gaining knowledge of the region as well as local communication, learning, and teaching styles.The C3 journey invites teachers not only to learn about the culture of the community they'll become a member of, but also to develop a deeper understanding of their own racial, ethnic, and cultural identities and how those identities shape their values and assumptions about teaching. Through the C3 program, teachers build relationships that help them connect with the people, communities, and region where they will be teaching.

  • Earn graduate credit: Free enrollment for teacher participants in multicultural studies course required for Alaska certification or renewal credits.
  • All expenses paid: Airfare to your new home community, program materials, and course credit are covered by the program.
  • Experiential Learning: Cultural immersion experience with local Elders, youth and community members (virtual in 2022).

Program Regions and Partners

North Slope Region
Partners: Arctic Slope Community Foundation, North Slope Borough School District, Iḷisaġvik College
> Download the brochure

Northwest Arctic Region
Partners: Maniilaq Association, Northwest Arctic Borough School District
> Download the brochure

Eligibility

Educators must be:

  • New to one of the school districts listed above.
  • Available to attend programming during spring semester 2022, both online and in-person, including enrolling in a 3-credit Multicultural Studies for Alaska’s Teachers course and attending gatherings during Spring Break (NWA) and in mid-May (NS). 

Program Impact

A 2017 five-year study shows significant impact: 

  • Twice as many C3 teachers chose to stay in Lower Kuskokwim School District compared to non-C3 teachers; in NWABSD, 1.7 times as many C3 teachers chose to stay compared to non-C3 teachers.

  • The C3 induction model becomes cost effective by year 2 or 3, depending on the scale of teacher replacement in a district.

  • Increasing cultural competency, as the C3 Project does, increases teachers' grit and growth mindsets.

> See the "5 Year Evaluation Report" to learn more about the full study.

C3 is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Alaska Native Education Program.