Outer Coast students Gabe Stenek, Lodoe Sangmo, Olivia Olson, Johanna Prince, and Angelina Kimoktoak follow Service Coordinator Jessica Twydell down the Indian River Trail, where they performed volunteer trail work in July of 2018. (Photo by Johnny Elliott)

Outer Coast is a Sitka-based organization focused on higher education, but they’re not your typical college. The organization’s goal is to provide an alternative to traditional four-year colleges and universities by involving students in the running of the program, incorporating indigenous studies into the curriculum, and focusing on building community among a small cohort of students. Since 2018, they’ve been offering summer programming, and now they’ve expanded to offer a full academic year of courses with the eventual goal of becoming a two-year accredited college that awards associate’s degrees.

Outer Coast Program Coordinator Johnny Elliot and student Adonna Adams spoke with KCAW’s Morning Host Erin Fulton about what makes their model unique and how the school is operating during the pandemic.

For more information, interested students can visit outercoast.org or email info@outercoast.org with questions.