History

The University of Alaska Anchorage traces its origins back to 1954, when Anchorage Community College (ACC) was founded. That year, ACC began offering evening classes to 414 students at Elmendorf Air Force Base—the first time that college-level courses were offered in the Anchorage area. In 1962, ACC, along with other community colleges around the state, was incorporated into the University of Alaska statewide system. Five years later, ACC began offering both day and evening classes at the current campus location. ACC provided academic study for associate degrees, the first two years of work toward baccalaureate degrees, and a wide variety of adult learning, career and continuing education programs.

In the late 1960s, strong interest in establishing a four-year university in Anchorage brought about the birth of the University of Alaska, Anchorage Senior College (ASC). While ACC administered the lower-division college, ASC administered upper-division and graduate programs leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees, as well as continuing education for professional programs. In 1971, the first commencement was held at Anchorage’s West High School, where 265 master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees were awarded. ASC moved to the Consortium Library Building in 1973. The following year, when the first classroom and office facility was completed, daytime courses were offered for the first time. In 1977, ASC became a four-year university and was renamed the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UA,A). Ten years later, ACC and UA,A merged to become what is now known as the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

Serving approximately 13,000 students, the UAA of today is a comprehensive, open access institution of opportunity offering a range of certificates and degrees to meet the needs of our communities and the State of Alaska.