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Kenai Peninsula College's growth continues upward trend

Posted: September 12, 2011 - 9:44am

Unprecedented student enrollments continue to fill the halls of all KPC campuses and extension sites. This is the tenth semester in a row that KPC enrollment records have been broken.

According to KPC Student Services Director Bill Howell total enrollment shows a 35 percent increase in the number of students and a 26 percent increase in credit hours over last fall’s statistics.

Extension of Poppy Lane paved walking path sought

Over the summer, KPC Director Gary Turner drafted a letter to area legislators requesting that the paved sidewalk along Poppy Road be extended. Turner cited safety concerns related to increased usage by K-Beach elementary students, Alaska Christian College students, and in two years, KPC resident students living in the new student housing facility.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Steve Atwater and ACC President Keith Hamilton joined Turner in the request for improving the existing pathway. Specifically the letter asked that a capital project be considered to extend the paved pathway that ends at a crosswalk in front of K-Beach Elementary to end at the intersection of Poppy Ridge Road near the Kenai River Campus entrance (approximately 0.4 mile).

Other justifications for the paved path extension included increased usage by area residents accessing K-Beach businesses, more elementary students walking and biking to school, and an increase in the number of students, all without vehicles, being housed at ACC in the next two years.

KPC anthropology faculty working to provide cultural assessment in Bristol Bay

Dr. Alan Boraas and Dr. Catherine Knott have received a $180,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to undertake a cultural assessment of the importance of salmon and streams to the villagers of the Nushagak River, Kvigak River, Larke Iliamna and Lake Clark area.

So far there have been elder interviews, many in Yup’ik, conducted in New Stuyahok, Nondalton, Pedro Bay, Iliamna and Newhalen. Interviews are planned in Koliganok, Ekwok, Igiagik and Levelok.

“The elders are anxious to be heard. We have spent many 12 hour days recording,” said Boraas.

This project is part of a broader geological and biological assessment having to do with advising the EPA director whether or not to apply a section of the Clean Water Act (404c) to the area.

KRC English professor’s sabbatical will enrich courses

Associate Professor of English Janice High recently returned to KRC after concluding a year-long sabbatical entitled, Alaska Identity: Enhancing Pacific Links in Higher Education.  High engaged with several universities in Canada, New Zealand and Australia regarding best practices in teaching literature and e-learning courses as well as researching how they engage their surrounding communities. Her work set the groundwork for future cross-university collaborations.

High also spent time at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. conducting further research on an ongoing project titled, CSS Shenandoah: A Civil War Pacific Voyage.

“I’m glad to be back at KPC,” High said, “and I am excited about incorporating my findings into my courses and to share with my colleagues the information I gathered.”

This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, Kenai Peninsula College Advancement Programs Manager.

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