Alaska Pacific University

aka APU   |   Anchorage, AK   |  www.alaskapacific.edu

Mission

Alaska Pacific University provides a world-class, hands-on, culturally responsive educational experience in collaboration with our students, communities, and Tribal partners.

Ruling year info

1962

President

Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson

Main address

4101 University Dr

Anchorage, AK 99508 USA

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Formerly known as

Alaska Methodist University

EIN

92-0023588

NTEE code info

Undergraduate College (4-year) (B42)

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Governed and guided by Alaska Native and American Indian people, APU’s academic programming and community-based research exists to serve the critical needs of Alaska. The needs, issues and unique opportunities of Alaska and the Circumpolar North comprise the focus of Alaska Pacific University’s (APU’s) mission and vision. Many Alaskans and people of the Circumpolar North grapple with issues of historical trauma and resiliency daily. Other critical issues facing the state include severe healthcare workforce shortages, particularly in Alaska’s rural communities and environmental crises triggered by climate change. Further topics beneficial to all Alaskans and particularly rural communities include financial literacy, business education, and food systems sustainability.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Undergraduate Studies

APU's undergraduate programs include Alaska Native Governance, Business Administration & Management, Counseling Psychology, Creative & Professional Writing, Environmental Public Health, Health Sciences, Liberal Studies, Marine & Environmental Sciences, Nursing, Outdoor Studies, and Sustainability Studies. From field courses to campus-based classes, students find themselves in a variety of settings intentionally designed to enhance their education experience in a way that is uniquely APU.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Students

The Early Honors program is APU's lets talented high school students enter college a year early, finish high school, and earn credit for both - credit you can roll into the college of your choice and continue your studies as a sophomore - completely the freshman year.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Students

APU's graduate degree offerings include Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Executive MBAs with focuses in Communication Technology and Strategic Leadership, Counseling Psychology, Environmental Science, and Outdoor and Environmental Education. Graduate certificates are also available in Entrepreneurship and Investments.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

The framework of learning at APU is built on five competencies interwoven through all academic degree programs. These essential competencies result in the attainment of critical skills and wide-ranging knowledge useful across a multitude of professions and industries. These program areas are: Alaska Native Governance, Alaska Rural Management, Business Administration and Management, Community Health, and Nursing. Professional Studies courses may be offered evenings, weekends, or online.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Adults

ANELP is a graduate certificate designed to meet the specific needs of Alaska Native Corporations by providing future executives with the foundational knowledge to excel in today's competitive business climate and the know-how to build a holistic approach to identifying areas for improvement and strategies for change.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Alaska Pacific University’s (APU’s) vision is honoring Alaska’s Indigenous heritage, exemplifying excellence, and preparing paths. Our mission is to provide a world class, hands-on, culturally responsive educational experience in collaboration with our students, communities, and Tribal partners.

The institution offered its first classes in 1960 as Alaska Methodist University. Founder Aleut Peter Gordon Gould recognized the need “for indigenous leadership . . . educated and trained in Alaska for Alaska.” Incorporated to APU from Alaska Methodist University in 1978, APU has delivered a high-quality liberal arts education for decades, developing a reputation for its experiential learning style coupled with small class sizes.

With the development of the unique partnership with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in 2017, APU has circled back to the original purpose “to enable Alaskans to make Alaska their home” (Hayden, 2008, p. 8). With the additional goal of becoming a Tribal University, APU, its Alaska Native Board of Trustees leadership, faculty and staff have committed to practices and programming that best serve its Native students. Further, APU has committed to ensuring the maximum participation of Alaska Native and American Indian people in all phases of the institution’s activities.

As the research bears out, “Indigenization” strengthens educational outcomes for all students, and the institution continues to embrace diversity. While seeking the official Tribal University designation, APU currently identifies as Tribal given the adoption of Indigenous practices, priorities, and partnerships that already exist and are daily growing stronger.

The initiatives outlined in APU’s Strategic Plan 2023 will enable us to enhance the student experience, address critical state and global issues, collaborate with Tribal and other community partners, and strengthen and sustain the university. The Plan represents the aspirations and collective wisdom of diverse university stakeholders, including Tribal leaders. Over the course of one year, we engaged members of the community in a broad conversation about the future of the university. The Strategic Planning Committee of over 40 faculty, students, staff and trustees met throughout the year to identify institutional priorities and envision a culturally vibrant and responsive learning environment. Hundreds of people contributed to the Plan through community visioning sessions, surveys, and other outreach.

As we move toward becoming a federally‐designated Alaska Native‐serving and Tribal University, we will draw on the strong foundation of liberal arts and sciences envisioned by our founders, listen to the wisdom of the Elders and other culture bearers, collaborate with our community partners, and rely on the continued efforts and commitment of members of the APU community.

The Strategic Plan provides focus and direction for the continued development of the university in the areas of Learning, Growth, and Innovation; Community Engagement and Impact; and Stewardship. Our plans to develop and implement programs and services specifically designed to increase the higher educational opportunities for Alaska Natives/American Indians are described within these categories, below.

Learning, Growth, and Innovation
Strategic Objective: Cultivate APU as a multicultural community where people love to learn and work

Community Engagement and Impact
Strategic Objective: In service to our peoples and communities, assist our students to achieve the best expressions of their potential and collaborate with partners to provide the highest level of collective impact

Stewardship
Strategic Objective: Act responsibly in service to our university and those we serve

APU has 35 faculty, 75 staff, and a total head count of 550 students, both full- and part- time, undergraduate and graduate. Recently, APU’s leadership committed to transforming the institution into a Tribal University, a movement which reaffirms the vision of founder Peter Gordon Gould, an Aleut from the island of Unga (Uĝnaasaqax̂ ), to develop Indigenous leadership in the newly recognized State of Alaska. The transition to Tribally controlled has been achieved by appointing Alaska Native leadership (Alaska Native/American Indian people comprise over 80% of APU’s Board of Trustees) and by prioritizing educational programs, research and outreach that are scientifically, economically and culturally relevant, particularly to Alaska Natives and rural Alaska. Over the last year, APU has been undergoing the required steps to become a Tribal University and has achieved official qualification as an Alaska Native-serving Institution based on Fall 2018 enrollment.

APU Board Chair Ethan Schutt is Athabascan and hails from the Interior community of Tok. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in mathematics from Washington State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School.

Dr. Robert Onders has been the President of Alaska Pacific University (APU) since January 2017 when APU entered into an affiliation with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). Dr. Onders also is the Medical Director of Community and Health Systems Improvement at ANTHC. Prior to joining ANTHC in 2015, Dr. Onders worked as clinical director for Kodiak Area Native Association and emergency department director at West Park Hospital in Cody, Wyoming. Dr. Onders graduated from a combined six-year B.S./M.D. program through Kent State University and Northeast Ohio Medical University in 1997. He completed his family medicine residency, Juris Doctorate, and Masters of Public Administration with the University of Wyoming.

Dr. Hilton Hallock serves Provost at APU. Hilton has over 30 years of experience in higher education, including serving as a vice president for academic affairs, vice president for enrollment and student engagement, director of student services, graduate program director, and professor of higher education. Hilton earned her PhD in Cultural Foundations of Education and a CAS in Social Movement and Conflict Studies from Syracuse University.

Strategic Objective: Cultivate APU as a multicultural community where people love to learn and work
Related Accomplishments, Activities and Plans:
• Hired Alaska Native Coordinator for Indigenous Education in 2018
• Creating an Indigenization Plan
• Review and revise APU institutional evaluation to reflect APU’s values and cultural relevance
• Revisit comprehensive assessment plan to incorporate APU’s values and cultural relevance
• Developed and signed Articulation agreements with Ilisagvik College (an Alaska Tribal College) and Alaska Christian College (ACC has over 80% Alaska Native student enrollment)
• Increased Alaska Native/American Indian staff/faculty hire

Strategic Objective: In service to our peoples and communities, assist our students to achieve the best expressions of their potential and collaborate with partners to provide the highest level of collective impact
Related Accomplishments/Activities and Plans:
• Establish and enhance programs in healthcare, sustainability, and education
• In partnership with ANTHC, will launch a new summer Alaska Indigenous Research Program in 2019
• Developed coursework with the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Chugachmiut, ANTHC and the Southcentral Foundation
• Developed partnerships to provide coursework in Alaska Native languages
• Created the Office of Research and Community Engagement which will identify and help resolve the most pressing issues facing Alaskans now and into the future.
• Convened 20‐member Alaska Native Elder Advisory Board
• Plan to create research journal with Indigenous focus
• Recognize Indigenous knowledge as valuable and equitable scholarship
• Created new student support center in Grant Hall, Sheł ch'naq'ahnilu, a place for student guidance and support from their Elders, staff, faculty and more experienced students
• Created new professional advisor staff position in 2017 for Transfer students to better serve the increase in transfer student attending APU.
• Increased Alaska Native cultural activities (on and off campus) through partnership with local Alaska Native Tribes and organizations.
• For the past year, operating an Elder Artist‐in‐Residence Program.
• Refined our Early Alert system
• In 2017‐18, provided the first year of Alaska Tribal Health System Scholarship

Strategic Objective: Act responsibly in service to our university and those we serve
Related Accomplishments/Activities and Plans:
• Continue to increase AN/AI enrollment
• Develop a strategic marketing plan which supports APU’s transition to a Tribal University
• Cultivate meaningful and long‐lasting relationships with stakeholders to support fundraising, including scholarships for Alaska Native students
• Develop board of trustees orientation and development plan

Financials

Alaska Pacific University
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Alaska Pacific University

Board of directors
as of 5/27/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Ethan Schutt


Board co-chair

Mr. Jim Roberts

Gerald Moses

Matt Carle

Trigg Davis

Tina Woods

Kimberley Strong

Margie Bezona

Mia Heavener

Susan Anderson

Christopher Hodel

Tabetha Toloff

Leah Pili

Don Keil

Gerald Moses

Edna Apatiki

Joe Williams

Willie Kasayulie

Jason Hart

LeeAnn Garrick

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/27/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data