BY MARSHA SQUIRES
For the UAS Whalesong
With all the talk of state budgets and decreased funding how reassuring and refreshing to know that UAS has faculty and staff providing students with outstanding academics, creative research options, field work, employment, campus activities, services, and more. The fact of the matter is this university offers a high-touch experience with many of opportunities. We are glad you- our students, are here and hope you will participate in what you can; balancing health, academics, work, recreation, and life wisely.
As this semester passes, and believe me it will pass quickly, we suggest that you seek out opportunities and take advantage of the academic possibilities, student services and college experiences presented to you. You, and no one else, can create your personal college experience It is up to you to decide how to engage and maximize on the multitude of opportunities.
One option, the National Student Exchange (NSE), is a program that allows UAS students to explore and attend another university for a semester or year. With over 200 accredited college/university choices you could find yourself in the warmth of a New Mexico desert or on the shore of a volcanic-rock beach in Hawaii. You may decide to travel to New England to experience the fall colors or to the western states of red rocks and spectacular mountains. If you are passionate about language and want to obtain Spanish credits, Puerto Rico might fit the bill. Or if French is a desire, what about Montreal, Canada? If you are thinking about an international experience, how about preparing by diving into a German or Japanese course in the U.S. before you go? Whatever you are looking for -southern hospitality or open plains, NSE program has an option for all academic programs and your desires.
During the application process students may choose up to five different universities, and like most application processes the paperwork is somewhat tedious but not difficult. There is a non-refundable application fee and students need to be aware there is no guarantee of placement, yet with good advising and years of experience, Marsha Squires, the UAS Exchange Coordinator, offers solid information on the processes, options, finances, concerns, and chance of participation.
The financial aspect of the program allows students to either pay UAS for 15 upper division credits and fees or (usually) in-state tuition at the host campus. The guidelines set by the NSE mandate that each student be full-time, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, be in good academic standing and have no outstanding financial issues. UAS also requires UAS academic history with a minimum of 16 to 24 UAS credits completed.
The NSE priority deadline for fall semester and full academic year (2016-17) placements is Feb. 22 but if you are thinking about a spring 2017 placement, NSE is still available to you! The UAS Mandatory Preliminary Application and the NSE application are on line at http://www.uas.alask.edu/exchanges under “applications” yet note that a meeting with the Coordinator is vital. Marsha will provide you with the application packet which includes reference forms and more information regarding the process.
Money matters are the talk of the town, institution, and the state. With market fluctuations, academic programs, services, and tuition costs plaguing our conversations note that there are still opportunities to be had and positive outcomes possible. The National Student Exchange program is one of the most efficient, well executed collegiate programs in the country and UAS embraces your participation!