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Thread: University of Alaska Fairbanks

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    Default University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Hello everyone. I am a high school senior who is planning on attending college in Waynesburg PA next year. However after 2 years of school down here I would like to transfer to the University of Alaska Fairbanks since it would help me work my way into a location I want to live in, however not familiar with. I was wondering if anybody on here is either an alumni or is currently enrolled there to give me info on what it's like. Are there things to do there, especially in the winter months. What are the students and teachers like and I was wondering about their secondary education and history programs. Also since I want to become a history teacher I heard that the state hires more out of state teachers then it does in state. Is this true, because it is hard enough to find a job as a social studies/history teacher, I don't want to lower my odds. And if you could give me any other basic information about it like campus life, what Fairbanks in general is like, and the surrounding area. I would greatly appreciate it.

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    http://www.uaf.edu/

    Take a look at their web site for a starting place.

    UAF has one of the top rifle teams in the nation. They have basketball, hockey, swimming, volley ball and who knows what else if you are in to those things. My daughter will be attending UAF next fall so that is a plus for the school. I have a preference for Fairbanks as far as a place to live, after 30 years I call it home.

    I would assume the state hires more out of state teachers simply because they have no choice. Alaska has a small population base and probably does not generate the numbers of teachers needed in state.

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    That actually makes good sense to me lol. Hopefully it is true because I do want to attend there just to get used to Alaska living before I have to join "the real world" and making it harder to find a job that is hard to begin with would not be a smart idea lol. But it looks like I am gonna have to harness my jump shot so I can show you Alaskans how we ball down south This is a joke because I am absolutely horrible at basketball lol

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    My daughter is attending UAF as we speak. She is doing quite well. At enrollment I was impressed with the teachers and students. Have never heard anything bad about the school. BTW.......my daughter is a true Alaskan....born and raised. She was born in Dec. and loves the winter sports. Lots of kids enjoy x-country skiing up there.

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    I graduated from UAF back in 2001 with a BS in Civil Engineering. I can't necessarily speak to your specific education subjects, but their engineering program was pretty strong. No problems finding jobs after school. There is, or at least was, a lot of intramural activities going on at the school in addition to the main sports teams, so if you are just looking to do something fun like broomball, soccer, volleyball, etc..., there are good options. Off campus....there isn't a lot to do. Then again, it is also so cold at times that you don't really want to drive a vehicle due to the wear and tear. One thing to do is to make sure you have something outdoors to do in the winter. Staying inside all the time, especially with the short daylight hours, will drive you nuts. Get out and ski, hike, ride a bike, etc... Just get outside and move around.

    Fairbanks is a great place for some, hell on earth for others. It just depends on which type of person you are and a lot of people probably don't really know which category they fit into until they are actually there.

    As rambling raven said, the hiring of outside teachers is almost certainly a result of supply, not hiring preferences. In reality, there are a lot of employers, the State and City governments being big ones, who put a priority on local hire unless they just can't find enough people to fill the vacant slots. There is no way I could see them picking someone from out of state before someone from in state, all other things being equal.

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    May daughter and her friends at UAF this past winter.......crazy kids...!!!......lol


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    UAF: university of alcoholic fitness. We were drinkers with a skiing, running, climbing, biking problem.

    Winter: snow machine, downhill ski, cross country ski, fat tire mountain biking (it started over 20 years ago in Fairbanks at All Weather Sports), dog sledding, drinking, spooning, hockey, skinny dipping in remote hot springs. ice fishing. During school I barely had time to do much other than school work, but with proper planning many great things took place on some weekends.

    Summer: mountain bike, canoe, float the Chena, grayling fishing, hike to the Tors/Angel rocks, choke on forest fire smoke, drink, swat bugs, trail running, thunder storms from 3pm to 8pm then clear evenings for volley ball all night at the howling dog (old school days). Your first summer you will struggle with the midnight sun and may be awake for three to four days straight until you crash.

    Fall: ruff grouse, ptarmigan, spruce grouse, moose, black bear and griz (depends on unit) and caribou hunting. Some good laker fishing.
    Spring: black bear or griz.

    Students: dirty hippies in dog hair felt sweaters that live in dry cabins, dirty hippies that live in commune like rental houses after they get tired of outhouses at 40 below, urban kids that hate dirty hippies and only spend a year up there before finding a way to get out of state and thaw out, the rest (the majority) are kids going to school doing kid stuff. Not a lot of miniskirts until June.

    Teachers: awesome engineers and scientists, all the history and geography teachers I had are either dead of old age or retired. The old Kiwi guy that taught Asian history classes was wonderful. He is long gone now.

    Warning: evening classes are typically taught by grad students. Grad students have no training in teaching other than being a student.

    Campus life: you can hide in your room, hang out at the gym, movie nights, the animal noises coming from the grad student offices in the library in the afternoons can be very entertaining, opera, musicals, bands, dances, student apartment living in groups of friends, huge anti drinking party rules since my days up there. The campus is up on a hill and looks down on town. Cold air sinks. Campus is warmer in the winter that town.

    Fairbanks: one giant suburb of 70,000 people surrounded by wilderness on all sides. Oil workers both suit and tie as well as dirty handed. Lots of fed workers and state workers. Huge military with lots of family. Plenty of dirty hippies living the dream. Fairbanks is a "break in bulk" business point for the northern half of the state and gets lots of in and out traffic always headed someplace further out a road.

    The state is in charge of getting teachers into bush communities if the communities are using the teacher placement program. Locals who grew up here don't typically want to get out into that environment. This makes it easier for the state to hire out of staters since the locals are not applying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    UAF: university of alcoholic fitness. We were drinkers with a skiing, running, climbing, biking problem.

    Winter: snow machine, downhill ski, cross country ski, fat tire mountain biking (it started over 20 years ago in Fairbanks at All Weather Sports), dog sledding, drinking, spooning, hockey, skinny dipping in remote hot springs. ice fishing. During school I barely had time to do much other than school work, but with proper planning many great things took place on some weekends.

    Summer: mountain bike, canoe, float the Chena, grayling fishing, hike to the Tors/Angel rocks, choke on forest fire smoke, drink, swat bugs, trail running, thunder storms from 3pm to 8pm then clear evenings for volley ball all night at the howling dog (old school days). Your first summer you will struggle with the midnight sun and may be awake for three to four days straight until you crash.

    Fall: ruff grouse, ptarmigan, spruce grouse, moose, black bear and griz (depends on unit) and caribou hunting. Some good laker fishing.
    Spring: black bear or griz.

    Students: dirty hippies in dog hair felt sweaters that live in dry cabins, dirty hippies that live in commune like rental houses after they get tired of outhouses at 40 below, urban kids that hate dirty hippies and only spend a year up there before finding a way to get out of state and thaw out, the rest (the majority) are kids going to school doing kid stuff. Not a lot of miniskirts until June.

    Teachers: awesome engineers and scientists, all the history and geography teachers I had are either dead of old age or retired. The old Kiwi guy that taught Asian history classes was wonderful. He is long gone now.

    Warning: evening classes are typically taught by grad students. Grad students have no training in teaching other than being a student.

    Campus life: you can hide in your room, hang out at the gym, movie nights, the animal noises coming from the grad student offices in the library in the afternoons can be very entertaining, opera, musicals, bands, dances, student apartment living in groups of friends, huge anti drinking party rules since my days up there. The campus is up on a hill and looks down on town. Cold air sinks. Campus is warmer in the winter that town.

    Fairbanks: one giant suburb of 70,000 people surrounded by wilderness on all sides. Oil workers both suit and tie as well as dirty handed. Lots of fed workers and state workers. Huge military with lots of family. Plenty of dirty hippies living the dream. Fairbanks is a "break in bulk" business point for the northern half of the state and gets lots of in and out traffic always headed someplace further out a road.

    The state is in charge of getting teachers into bush communities if the communities are using the teacher placement program. Locals who grew up here don't typically want to get out into that environment. This makes it easier for the state to hire out of staters since the locals are not applying.
    Wow that is a lot of information, and I appriciate it. Everyone down here tells me if I transfer there I wll die of boredom cause nothing goes on, especially in the winter but this definatly shines a light on it. It sounds like a great place for education and being a kid the last couple years you have. I can definatly see me going there now. Thank you for all of this AK Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjennings2012 View Post
    Everyone down here tells me if I transfer there I wll die of boredom cause nothing goes on...
    Methinks the folks you're talking to don't particularly have a clue. Winter is what you make of it and if you're an outdoorsman you can make quite a lot of it. Defintately take up some outside winter activities- skiing and snowshoeing being particularly doable on a college kid's budget.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    You might possibly want to consider getting a Bachelor's Degree in history and a minor in something else, then take another year and a half to get a Master's of Arts in Teaching from either UAF or UAA. In that case you would end up making quite a bit more money as a starting teacher and you could get more than one teaching endorsement in the process. If you majored in History and minored in English, Natural Science, etc...you could end up being far more employable in the small districts that hire fewer teachers. Just a thought... I went the MAT route and started at roughly the same salary as people who had been teaching 5 or so years with fewer credits and no Master's Degree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjennings2012 View Post
    Everyone down here tells me if I transfer there I wll die of boredom cause nothing goes on, especially in the winter...
    Those people don't understand the power of cheap booze.

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    I have another question. Like I said I am going to Waynesburg University next semester for 2 years before I plan on transfering to UAF. However I am majoring in Education but specifying in Social Studies/History. However there is no secondary education major at UAF, just a minor, but there is a history major. Could I still graduate in 2 years (after 2 at Waynesburg) with a bacholers degree for secondary education for social studies/history if i majored in history and a minor in secondary education at UAF. Or would my 2 previous years be pointless.

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    You should just call the registrar's office at UAF with that kind of question. They can tell you with authority as to what degrees are available.

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    I graduated 2005 with a MS in chemistry, emphasis in environmental chemistry.

    UAF is easy to get into, don't let that fool you though, there is a 60% washout rate. Meaning 60% of first year students do not return. It is an engineering school with excellent (meaning rigorous), programs. There is plenty to do, you just need to be motivated to find things to do that you like. UAF services knows all about deep, dark winters and will keep you occupied.

    Fairbanks is still a large town with a small town feel. I loved being at UAF.

    Try to get a single room on the top floor of Bartlett, it is quiet, and centrally located on the campus so you can get to all of your classes quickly.

    The campus food is pretty good so don't worry about that. Freddy's is a half-hour walk straight from campus so another plus. Bank branch on campus and is very easy to open an account. All the rest of the major banks are within 10-minutes walking distance. Bus transpo to all parts of Fairbanks available on campus too, so a car isn't necessary, but you may want to consider a bicycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    I graduated 2005 with a MS in chemistry, emphasis in environmental chemistry.

    UAF is easy to get into, don't let that fool you though, there is a 60% washout rate. Meaning 60% of first year students do not return. It is an engineering school with excellent (meaning rigorous), programs. There is plenty to do, you just need to be motivated to find things to do that you like. UAF services knows all about deep, dark winters and will keep you occupied.

    Fairbanks is still a large town with a small town feel. I loved being at UAF.

    Try to get a single room on the top floor of Bartlett, it is quiet, and centrally located on the campus so you can get to all of your classes quickly.

    The campus food is pretty good so don't worry about that. Freddy's is a half-hour walk straight from campus so another plus. Bank branch on campus and is very easy to open an account. All the rest of the major banks are within 10-minutes walking distance. Bus transpo to all parts of Fairbanks available on campus too, so a car isn't necessary, but you may want to consider a bicycle.
    Are there any close off campus apartments I could rent, or is it best to stay in the dorms?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjennings2012 View Post
    Are there any close off campus apartments I could rent, or is it best to stay in the dorms?
    There are some good options for housing not too far from campus, but keep in mind that they are all in the "lowlands". Fairbanks typically generates a pretty good temperature inversion in the winter when it gets cold. It can easily be 20+ degrees different between the low elevations and up just a small amount on the hills. Campus is on the hill while all the surrounding area is low. When it's 30-40 below zero, it may only be 15-20 below on campus. If you are living off campus, you will have to deal with the lowest temps every time to get to and from class. If being off campus means you have to drive, that adds a lot of time to warm up a vehicle not to mention the added cost of gas and maintenance. Living on campus saves a lot and is convenient, but doesn't fit for everyone for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjennings2012 View Post
    Are there any close off campus apartments I could rent, or is it best to stay in the dorms?
    With the current cost of heating oil an off campus apartment might not be affordable without several room mates.

    Across Geist Road there in a neighborhood that has many rental houses that older students use in groups. Some houses have been student houses for decades now with 2 to 6 people living in them. Most are split levels or full basement apartments. No garage access without paying higher rent. Most have laundry so you don't have to drag your stuff to campus or use one of the laundromats in town.

    If you are really robust you will head to Gold Hill Road or Blaine Hill Road and rent a dry cabin and ski, walk or bike in to school each day.

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    My daughter also goes to UAF, I was looking for her in that picture. They should have waited until the sign changed over to -45 degrees Farhenheit. There are lots of things to do up there. She also says it feels colder down here in Anchorage then it does up there in Fairbanks. We are close to the ocean so maybe that's it. She is going back next year and is going to life in the dorms again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjennings2012 View Post
    I have another question. Like I said I am going to Waynesburg University next semester for 2 years before I plan on transfering to UAF. However I am majoring in Education but specifying in Social Studies/History. However there is no secondary education major at UAF, just a minor, but there is a history major. Could I still graduate in 2 years (after 2 at Waynesburg) with a bacholers degree for secondary education for social studies/history if i majored in history and a minor in secondary education at UAF. Or would my 2 previous years be pointless.
    In Alaska, secondary licensing is a post-grad program. You major in your content area (history or whatever), and then go through the licensure program after that. I know other states do things differently, but that is the way it is here. The licensing program is 1 year (12 months), beginning in June. You have the option of doing it as an M.Ed. or simply for licensing. I (and a lot of other people I know) started in the summer thinking I would do the M.Ed. and quickly realized that I despised Ed. classes. I took the summer classes as 600-level grad classes, then took the fall and spring classes as 400-level just for licensing. While I was student teaching I applied for and received a fellowship to complete my M.A. in a "real" field.
    If you haven't already been exposed to the debate over Ed. degrees vs. content degrees, you will. My own opinion is that Ed. classes and degrees are not in any way mentally stimulating and are more or less worthless outside of the education field. Content-area degrees (particularly grad degrees) are far more academically demanding and rigorous, much more mentally stimulating, and applicable to a much wider spectrum of "real world" settings.
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    History is a stupid degree. Like anthropology, wildlife management, and zoology it is not a degree to stop at only a bachelors.

    Saying that, I have a bachelors in History and Anthropology from the University of Maryland. If you want to teach in Alaska you need to get a secondary education degree. No one is going to hire a recent college grad, to teach in school with 5 kids that can only teach one subject.

    All you are doing is ensuring that you can only teach in a large school. Then you would be competing with teachers that were certified from other districts in Alaska, teachers from other states, and teacher students like yourself that are qualified to teach K-12 all subjects. Doesn't sound like a smart thing to do.

    As for your other questions about UAF being fun, yes there are girls there, yes there is booze there, maybe not the kinds of things you did for fun in PA but you'll have fun if you go with an open mind.

    The state hires teachers with experience out of state or in, same as any place else. Best qualified is more important that location of the teacher.

    Fairbanks is a town of about 100,000 people sitting very close to the Arctic Circle. Very quickly you can be in the absolute middle of nowhere.

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