SOLDOTNA, AK (March 11, 2014) — Alaska Christian College now has the highest number of students enrolled in the school’s history, and academic performance continues to improve, President Keith Hamilton said in a report to staff.
Enrollment has increased to 60 students, with 53 living on campus, Hamilton said. For the first time, there was a waiting list for housing.
Student retention also increased over the previous year. In 2012, retention was 72 percent from August to December. In 2013, that had improved to 87 percent.
Last semester, 16 students made the dean’s list with a grade point average above 3.0. In 2005, only four students had a GPA above 2.0. The institutional average GPA is now 2.24.
Hamilton said the staff commitment to the students was key to the improvements.
The college serves predominantly low-income Alaska Native students from villages stretched across the bush area of the state and has helped them make the difficult transition from village life to their first year of college.
Less than 5 percent of Alaska Native high school graduates complete even their first semester of college, statistics show. Alaska Christian College operates part of its program in cooperation with nearby Kenai Peninsula College, an extension of the University of Alaska Anchorage.
The school was founded in 2001 and received accreditation in 2012 from the Association for Biblical Higher Education, which was faster than normal. The ABHE cited the school’s continual pursuit of improving its program.