Environmental Studies at PWSC
Study Environmental Science Tuition Free at PWSC!
Have you ever been interested in marine or natural sciences? If so, then this could be a great opportunity for you! PWSC is offering free tuition and housing for student enrolled in the Natural Resource Technician or Marine Natural Resource Technician Occupational Endorsement Certificate (OEC) programs. This has been made possible by grant funding and will be available through 2026!
Experience immersive semester-long programs focused on environmental sciences at Prince William Sound College (PWSC) in Valdez, Alaska. Set amidst some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery with easy access to ocean, mountain, and glaciated environments, students are exposed to hands-on learning in unique outdoor venues.
We invite students from around the country interested in pursuing or exploring biological or environmental sciences to join us for a semester-long journey of academic exploration and discovery beyond the traditional classroom setting. Here, students delve into the intricate world of natural science amidst breathtaking natural landscapes, making learning a truly engaging and unforgettable experience.
PWSC offers a terrestrial focus during the fall semester and a marine focus in the spring semester. After completing the semester students will have earned an accredited occupational endorsement certificate (OEC) in their respective field of study. An OEC gives graduates an immediate edge in the job market or prepares students for further study with transferable credits. Choose to complete one semester or stay for both semesters! Students who stay for both semesters can also continue on to complete an associate of applied science degree through PWSC.
During the spring semester: marine focus
In the spring semester, students gain specialized knowledge about the unique ecosystems of Alaska with an emphasis on marine environments. Students who may be interested in a career in oceanography or marine biology can study marine life and ocean processes by directly engaging with an Alaskan oceanic environment. Learning experiences are often held outdoors, and students may find themselves taking water samples, monitoring marine community development, aiding in mariculture research, and observing wildlife like sea otters and seabirds. Classes focus on experiential learning and building students into marine scientists and professionals through hands-on training. Students learn research methods by directly participating in research projects as well as having the chance to develop and carry out their own projects. Classes are developed with industry input into the skills and knowledge needed, ensuring the applicability of the program and training. At the end of the semester, students will have completed 16 credit hours and will recieve an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Marine Natural Resource Technician accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
During the fall semester: terrestrial focus
In the fall semester, students gain a well-rounded and practical education in environmental sciences with a specific focus on Alaska's unique terrestrial ecosystems. The curriculum provides foundational course-work for students interested in understanding and conserving diverse and unique ecosystems. The availability of industry-recommended and elective courses allows students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals, for example a student can choose to complement their academic studies with a CPR and first aid course or a field-based course like backpacking. At the end of the semester, students will have completed 16 credit hours and will recieve an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Natural Resource Technician accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
- LIMITED FUNDING PER SEMESTER!
Not everyone who applys for funding will recieve funding - please click the button below to view important information about the grant funding.
- The OEC in Natural Resources is only offered in the fall semester and the application for grant funding is open Feb 2024.
- The OEC in Marine Natural Resource is only offered in the spring semester. The application to recieve grant funding to attend tuition free and recieve free housing is now open!
Who is eligible for free tuition, fees and housing for the Natural Resources Technician
or Marine Natural Resources Technician Occupational Endorsement Certificates?
- The grant is open to any US citizen 16 or older.
What is not covered by the grant?
- Students will pay for their own transportation to and from Valdez, AK.
- Can I transfer credits from my current college for the writing, communications, math
or oceanography requirements?
Students can transfer up to four credits into an occupational endorsement certificate if they fulfill the graduation requirements. It is up to the UAA Registrar to determine transfer equivalency.
How long does the program typically take to complete?
- Both programs can be completed in one semester.
Is remote or part-time learning an option?
- Due to the hands-on learning environment, and field excursions, this program is only offered in person in Valdez, AK.
Is financial aid available?
- Students are welcome to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and seek additional scholarships to cover transportation to and from Valdez, food and living expenses while in school.
How does the admissions process work?
- Students first must apply for admission, send their official transcripts to email@example.com. Then they must work on their essay for grant funding consideration. Please be thoughtful in your response as we anticipate there will be many applications.
Prince William Sound College (PWSC) is a campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage. All degree and certificate programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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