The grant — the largest ever received by ANSEP — will support the continuation and growth of the program, which works to effect systemic change in the hiring patterns of Alaska Natives in science and engineering by putting students on a career path to leadership. The university will match the grant with an annual $1 million increase in institutional support after year five to help maintain the program.
The Anchorage-based foundation has been a longtime supporter of ANSEP. In 2003, it provided a $2 million challenge grant for a state-of-the-art ANSEP building at UAA that subsequently opened in 2006, and in 2008 it awarded a $2 million challenge grant to establish the Dr. Herbert P. Schroeder ANSEP Endowed Chair.
"For decades leaders in the Native community and rural villages have struggled with how best to raise their students' achievements," said Rasmuson Foundation president Diane Kaplan. "The key to ANSEP's success is really simple. If you raise expectations for students, provide access to challenging curricula, and provide a supportive environment that expects high achievement, the students will exceed expectations."