• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 7s

Episode 52: Pipeline to Success

By KTVA Alaska 3:41 PM April 25, 2016


In Alaska, when you hear the word “pipeline,” you tend to think of oil traveling for 800 miles. In this Frontiers program, we take a look at another kind of pipeline — one for academic success, in which students from small, isolated communities can get credentials from the Rural Human Services (RHS) program, headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Some of the highlights of this week’s program:

  • Profile of Elizabeth Fleagle, a Fairbanks elder who mentors students in the Rural Human Services Program.
  • A look at how this flexible program allows students to earn a RHS certificate over a two-year period, by attending an intensive week of class once a month.
  • Our guests this week: Annie Hopper, the statewide manager for RHS; and a recent graduate of the program, Dora Smith, currently a case manager at Cook Inlet Tribal Council.

Many students in the program are already working on the front lines of some of Alaska’s most difficult social problems — suicide, sexual assault and domestic violence. The RHS program gives them a basic working knowledge of these issues they can use on the job. Most of the students work for tribal governments or nonprofits, which constantly struggle with a high burnout rate — possibly because many of the workers have experienced trauma in their own lives, which can be re-triggered in the process of helping others.

That’s why the RHS program emphasizes self-healing, which seems to have resulted in higher retention rates. The RHS certificate has also been a stepping-stone to higher education. After earning their credentials, many have gone on to pursue degrees in social work.

To me, this is an exciting frontier — in which a program designed to meet some dire needs in rural Alaska, also serves a career ladder for those, who by culture and experience, are well suited to serve. Over the years, we’ve seen how itinerant social workers don’t seem to have the same impact as counselors based in the community.

There’s also a uniquely Alaskan creativity in problem solving that’s at work here. RHS says its mission is to transform rural Alaska. While that’s a tall order, RHS is definitely one of those little-known success stories worth hearing about.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Pride Fest celebrates 40 years in Anchorage

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 24, 18:04

    Hundreds of people turned out in downtown Anchorage for the 40th annual Pride Fest. Mo Haddock and Callene Monasmith set their lawn chairs up early to get a front for the parade. “It’s a lot of fun. We like to people watch anyway but today is very fulfilling. Very heartwarming to see so many people […]

  • News

    Here’s what is pushing up U.S. home prices

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:53

    When it comes to buying a home in the U.S., the tide is turning in favor of sellers. The typical residential property that’s up for sale currently stays on the market for 77 days, according to Zillow — that’s the shortest listing time since the real estate service started tracking the data. While demand for […]

  • Mom left 2 children who died in hot car as punishment, police say

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:35

    A Texas woman told investigators that she left her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son in a hot car last month to teach the girl a lesson, police said. The children died after spending several hours in the car. Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, was being held Saturday on two counts of causing serious bodily injury to […]

  • Six inmates who saved guard’s life rewarded with shorter sentences

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:32

    Officer down. It’s one of the scariest calls a sheriff can receive. But when Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats got that call on June 12, it didn’t turn into the nightmare scenario he might have expected. On the contrary, that hair-raising call was the start of something heartwarming. Its unexpected source? A group of selfless […]

  • Lifestyle

    How would the Senate health care bill actually affect Medicaid?

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:26

    Democrats and left-leaning think tanks say Senate Republicans’ health care bill would be disastrous for individuals and families on Medicaid, the federal program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans. But White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday said President Trump is “committed to making sure that no one who currently is in the […]

  • News

    How the U.S. Army counters North Korea threats

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:23

    SEOUL, South Korea — While “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell and her team were in South Korea, the U.S. Army took CBS News on an aerial tour to give us a first-hand look at what they are doing to counter threats from North Korea. We hitched a ride from Yongsan Army Garrison on a […]

  • News

    Inside the Gates: JRTC brings new challenges

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 24, 14:07

    Alaska’s 4-25 Airborne Brigade Combat Team has been at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, for the last month. It’s a very different place than the Last Frontier and has been presenting the soldiers with new challenges. The mission at JRTC is to liberate a fictional country called Atropia. It prepares […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaskans rally ahead of U.S. Senate health care vote

    by Daniella Rivera on Jun 24, 13:15

    Dozens of Alaskans took to the Delaney Park Strip Friday with signs in hand to demanding their U.S. senators take a stand against the Senate’s proposed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. T The bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, includes significant cuts to Medicaid and defunds Planned Parenthood for a […]