SCF Expands Alaska Native and American Indian Student Opportunities

Students of the Salish Kootenai College/SCF Dental Assisting Technology Program listen to a lecture while taking notes.

One of Southcentral Foundation’s objectives is to increase the number of Alaska Native employees in all job categories. Through partnerships with accredited schools, SCF has increased the number of programs available and expanded existing employee education opportunities. The newest is the Certified Medical Assistant Student Scholarship Program, which has a goal of supporting 40 Alaska Native and American Indian students in becoming SCF-employed CMAs. During the two-year pilot program with Alaska Career College, there was a 100% program success rate with all graduated CMAs being hired at SCF.

In another recent partnership, the second class of the Salish Kootenai College/SCF Dental Assisting Technology Program students graduated in June, and the six graduates have interviewed for full-time positions. The August 2019 DAT cohort interview process is underway. The goal is enrollment of at least 18 DAT students.

SCF also offers an internship program for youth. The RAISE Program provides opportunities for on-the-job work experience with an emphasis on Alaska Native cultural values. The program is designed to develop leadership skills in Alaska Native and American Indian youth 14–19 years old, by offering three sessions per year: summer, winter, and graduate programs. Each exposes participants to health-related careers and the expectations of the workplace, while supporting them in both personal and professional development. Sixty-eight interns were hired during the 2019 summer session.

Many RAISE students go on to accept positions within SCF programs or pursue additional training opportunities provided by SCF such as the Administrative Support Training Program. This program trains Alaska Native and American Indian employees for administrative support positions ranging from entry-level to highly skilled and offers a variety of support services in different areas of the organization. ASTP is an eight-and-a-half-week training that places about 80 employees a year in various departments.

SCF has many ways to develop employees for increasing levels of responsibility, including developing the organization’s future leaders. The Executive Leadership Experience program is a two-year program designed for SCF employees who want to gain an understanding of the organization from an executive leadership perspective. Since the pilot in 2012, 10 employees are now senior directors reporting directly to SCF vice presidents.

These examples are just a few of the ways SCF has worked to expand its efforts to create opportunities for education. By supporting these new programs and partnerships, SCF is standing in the gap and partnering with customer-owners to achieve financial health in addition to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

For more information on these student opportunities, please contact

by Jake Johnson

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