Apply to the Outer Coast Semester here.

The Outer Coast Semester

The Outer Coast Semester offers a diverse cohort of up to 15 Alaskan, Lower 48, and international high school graduates a transformative educational experience in Sitka, Alaska founded on the belief that students should have agency and ownership of every aspect of their academic and personal lives and the responsibility to affect positively the communities to which they belong.

Over the course of a 15-week semester, students immerse themselves in fast-paced, intellectually rigorous academic coursework; engage in work-based service and meaningful labor in Sitka; and practice self-governance of key-aspects of the Outer Coast experience. Through small seminars, close-knit residential living, and involvement in the wider Sitka community, Outer Coast Semester students will learn how to identify, analyze, and address the challenges — both big and small — that face the world today.

Program Dates

Monday, January 20th - Saturday, May 9th, 2020


High school graduates are eligible to apply. We are looking for students who want to develop their critical thinking, listening, and communication skills while engaging with the communities around them, both big and small. We place a special emphasis on recruiting students from under-resourced backgrounds.


The Outer Coast Semester is hosted at the Sitka Fine Arts Campus, located on the former Sheldon Jackson Campus at G̱eiy Ta.aan. This National Historic Landmark is set on 160 beautiful, forested acres of Tlingit land.

Students perform community service
Students engaged in self governance discussion
Students on a hike

Educational Model

Over the course of four months, students immerse themselves in two fast-paced, seven-week college-level academic courses; participate in a meaningful, work-based service program; and explore the powers and responsibilities of self-governance. Both inside and outside the classroom, Outer Coast students will learn how to identify, analyze, and respond to the challenges that face the world today.

Academic Calendar

Date Event
January 21-26 Arrival and Orientation (students, staff, and faculty)
January 27-March 12 First term
March 13-22 Spring Break
March 23 Mid-Semester Reflection
March 24-May 8 Second term

Program Overview

For more details on the Outer Coast Semester, please see the Program Overview. The Program Overview and website will be updated as faculty and course descriptions are announced.