Around Campus: Spring registration at Kenai Peninsula College trends upward

Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010

The first statistics generated from general public registration for the upcoming spring semester reflect a nationwide trend that sees students shopping for college la carte. Compared to the record setting spring semester KPC saw last year, enrollment is up overall just under 25 percent. However, compared to last year, KPC is seeing a 25 percent decrease in full-time students (taking 12 or more credits) and a similar decrease in those students taking nine to eleven credits. On the flip side of that, enrollment for students taking six to eight credits is up almost 20 percent and those taking five or less credits are up 55 percent.

According to Assistant Director of Academic Affairs Paula Martin, this is a common theme being noted in higher education across the country.

"It's being called swirling. Students are piecing together their degrees from different institutions," Martin said at a recent KPC College Council meeting.

With the growth in distance delivered education, it is becoming increasingly common for students across the University of Alaska system to be taking classes from several different campuses in order to meet their degree requirements in the most efficient time frame possible.

KPC professor honored

It was recently announced by KBBI, the public radio station in Homer, that they received a "Goldie" award from the Alaska Broadcasters Association for outstanding achievement in a radio program unique to Alaska. The program, Not Yet! Alaska Voice Opposed to Statehood, was written and narrated by Michael Hawfield, assistant professor of history, with research assistance from Kachemak Bay Campus student Lucas Wilcox.

The program includes 18 voices from the Homer community, including Wilcox and Kachemak Bay Campus' English Professor Beth Graber, reading editorials and letters to the editor from Alaska newspapers of the 1950s. The program aired throughout the state on Alaska Public Radio Network stations in 2009 and 2010 and was funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum as part of the statewide commemoration of 50 years of Alaska statehood.

KPC professor's research accepted for publication in national journal

Dr. Alan Boraas worked with Dena'ina Cultural Historian Aaron Leggett to produce a paper titled "Dena'ina Wars and Shaman Wars in the Late 18th and 19th Centuries: Cook Inlet, Alaska" that has been accepted for peer review and publication in the Journal of Ethnohistory. The paper was originally presented to the Society of Ethnohistory's annual meeting in Ottawa, Ontario in October.

The abstract for the paper relates that in the late 1700s, Russian mercantile companies made incursions into coastal Alaskan Dena'ina territory establishing two redoubts. Hostilities came to a climax in 1797 when Dena'ina defeated the Russians at Kenai. The battle pitted not only Dena'ina against Russian, but also Dena'ina traditionalists against Dena'ina Russian supporters. After the Russian defeat, traditionalist Dena'ina maintained territorial sovereignty for the duration of Russian America. Nevertheless European presence initiated cultural dissonance encoded in narratives concerning shamanic activity. Dena'ina habitus was further impacted by a horrific 1838-1839 smallpox epidemic that challenged traditionalist beliefs, leading to significant Russian Orthodox baptisms. As a result, Dena'ina internalized a dual cosmology, traditional and Orthodox, sustained well into the 20th century.

This article was provided by Suzie Kendrick, advancement programs manager at Kenai Peninsula College.

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