Alaska Pacific University is expanding its degree programs to include four new offerings in the health care field.

Starting this fall, the private university in Anchorage will offer bachelor of science degrees in health sciences or environmental public health, a pre-nursing degree leading to an associate degree in nursing, and an associate degree in applied science in health occupations.

APU spokesman Scott Levesque said the new degrees are meant to fill a void in Alaska's work force. A report from the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. shows Alaska gained 600 healthcare jobs in 2018, with another 400 expected to be added this year.

Levesque said the environmental public health degree has never been offered in Alaska before.

"We are really looking forward to not only fulfilling the workforce needs that we have here in Alaska, but also showing Alaskans that APU is really diving into the healthcare industry," he said. "(We're also) trying to train people to fulfill the unique needs that Alaska has in its health care industry." 

Levesque said enrollment for the programs has already begun. He advised potential students to check out the university's website for more information.

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