Outer Coast Year 2021–22

The Outer Coast Year offers a diverse cohort of Alaskan, Lower 48, and international high school and postsecondary students a transformative educational experience in Sitka, Alaska, founded on the belief that students should have agency and ownership in their education and the responsibility to positively affect the communities to which they belong.

Over the course of two four-month semesters and an intensive four-week Summer Seminar, up to 20 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 elements of the Outer Coast experience. Through small seminars, close-knit residential living, and involvement in the wider Sitka community, Outer Coast Year students will learn how to identify, analyze, and address the challenges — both big and small — that face the world today.

Read more in the program overview here.

Students jump on Bridge in Sitka

Year students jumping on the O’Connell Bridge in Sitka

Program Description & Academic Calendar

The Outer Coast Year 2021–22 folds the Summer Seminar and the Fall & Spring Semesters together into one continuous year of Outer Coast programming.

Summer Seminar 2021

July 7 - August 7, 2021

The Summer Seminar of the Outer Coast Year welcomes into the student body a cohort of up to 10 rising high school juniors and seniors, predominantly from Alaska, alongside up to 10 outgoing and incoming Year students, for an immersive four-week term together.

The Summer Seminar is a place of experimentation and continuation. Outgoing Year students transfer service partnerships, labor structures, and self-governing principles to the incoming Year students, while all students, united by a single intensive academic course, plant seeds for the year ahead.

Fall Semester 2021 & Spring Semester 2022

Fall: August 16 – December 11, 2021

Spring: January 11 – April 30, 2022

Outer Coast Year students spend nine months building academic skills and mindsets in a tight-knit and supportive postsecondary environment that empowers them to make real-stakes decisions, take risks, and learn from their mistakes. Cohorts of up to 20 students — some having just graduated high school, others with a bit of college under their belt — come together in Sitka for a formative year of education.

The Outer Coast Year consists of Fall and Spring Semesters, with discrete classes and faculty. Each semester consists of two terms, and students choose between two academic course offerings each term.


At both the Summer Seminar and the Fall & Spring Semesters of the Outer Coast Year, students earn college credit, practice the mechanics of making change, and build meaningful relationships as part of an intentional, in-person learning community in Sitka with comprehensive COVID-19 safety protocols.

Academic courses will appear here when courses have been announced.