Bantz: Expedition Alaska is ‘transformative’

DSCN0318 copy

Among faculty traveling the Yukon River with APU’s Expedition Alaska course was University President Don Bantz. He’s back at his desk, giving thought to Expedition AK 2014, and sends along these thoughts:

I’ve taught in several first-year college programs that I thought were excellent, but nothing even remotely resembling Expedition Alaska.

The course sent APU faculty, teaching assistants and 33 of our first-year and sophomore transfer students on a 158-mile Yukon River float trip. We returned Saturday.

ExpAk is a hybrid course involving classroom learning and field work. It was transformative for me and for our students. I could see them grow and mature during our time on the river.

The natural and cultural history of the Yukon River, coupled with its powerful setting and spectacular fall colors, provided a truly distinctive first-year experience that exemplifies the University’s vision of Alaska as our primary classroom.

Within their first weeks on campus, our new students saw for themselves what APU is all about: We’re an active learning community that fosters self-discovery and deep learning – wherever that leads.