• Integrating family systems into substance use treatment

      Burke, Danielle M.; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Wilson, Hilary (2016)
      It is important to understand the powerful influence of loved ones in the recovery process. This influence can help encourage substance users to receive treatment, help them remain engaged in treatment, and allow those being treated to receive understanding from their loved ones they might not have received without this treatment component. Providing effective substance use treatment to families should take different aspects into consideration, including family dynamics, cultural aspects, and using the best treatment methods available. Treatment providers may not know how to incorporate social supports into specific treatment interventions. Providing information to providers and describing how to incorporate friends and family into an individual's treatment may enhance many substance use disorder treatment programs.
    • Lesson plans for the seventh grade Alaska State standards in language arts

      Gieser, Kenneth E. (2014-04)
      The SBE (standards-based education) reform movement calls for clear, measurable standards for all school students. Rather than norm-referenced rankings, a standards-based system measures each student against the concrete standard. Curriculum, assessments, and professional development are aligned to the standards. However, many teachers find standards burdening and restrictive, and it has been challenging for teachers to infuse them with her, or his personal passions. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that not only can these new standards be taught effectively, but that teachers can find them accommodating enough for their passions. This project's outcome will include lesson plans, activities, and assessments, along with my personal reflection as to the efficacy of using these new standards without losing the passion for teaching with them.
    • Movement activities for kindergarten through second grade teachers in an Alaska classroom

      Borba, Krista K.; Green, Carie; Vinlove, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2018-12)
      Physical activities in the classroom are very important for student growth and learning. Classroom teachers often teach physical activities in between core subjects in order to meet the Alaska Physical Activity in Schools Law which states that children should be getting 54 minutes of movement a day. However, many schools throughout Alaska do not have a designated PE teacher. Subsequently, this puts the responsibility of these standards on the general education teacher. However, few elementary teachers have a background in physical education, making it more challenging to know how to integrate meaningful physical activities in the classroom. The purpose of this project is to provide general education teachers, kindergarten through second grade, with multiple physical activity lessons that can be incorporated into their own classrooms throughout the day that include some of the Alaska PE Standards.
    • The Northwest Arctic institute: an indigenous approach to prevention

      Peter, Evon; Wexler, Lisa; Ramos, Judith; Leonard, Beth (2016-05)
      This paper will cover concepts of leadership in Indigenous contexts, Indigenous community development strategies, and Indigenous community healing and wellness, as they apply to the history and framework of the Northwest Arctic Institute (NWAI) program. The NWAI is a weeklong culturally based prevention program designed for Alaska Native peoples. The program incorporates Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy into the sharing of core teachings about resilience, adaptation, and cultural identity. It covers the impacts of rapid social, cultural, and political changes on the lives of Alaska Native peoples. The NWAI is for adults interested in furthering their own personal healing and in working on wellness within their families and communities. This paper explains an Indigenous approach to healing and the theoretical framework for supporting community level capacity building models among Alaska Native peoples. The paper also describes the NWAI planning process and methodology. In addition to the paper, which will meet completion requirements for the Masters in Rural Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I will co-produce a documentary film on the NWAI to share our experience with the intention of raising awareness, fostering conversation, and inspiring others to action. The analysis and descriptions are based on the my life experience as an Alaska Native leader. I have served Indigenous communities for twenty years in roles spanning ten unique capacities, including education administrator, tribal administrator, tribal chief, national tribal non-profit executive director, for-profit Alaska Native owned corporate chief executive officer, tribal renewable energy manager, tribal wellness manager, and as a board member to regional, national, and international Indigenous organizations. The theoretical framework for leadership selection is derived from my work in developing, planning, and leading facilitation of the Northwest Arctic Institute, which was based on Indigenous youth leadership development and prevention experience at the local, national, and international levels. This history is covered within the Introduction and Program History sections.
    • Outpatient care in Fairbanks: supporting people with schizophrenia

      Wiley, Alex; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Harrison, Lynn (2015)
      With the current lack of residential treatment facilities, long-term hospitalization, and mental health agencies that can fully support people with schizophrenia in Fairbanks, Alaska, there are many ethical concerns that must be addressed to best support clients with schizophrenia. The ethical considerations present in the success of outpatient care include: a) promoting the welfare of clients, b) utilizing plans that offer reasonable promise of success, c) understanding the limits imposed on the support networks of these clients, and d) the limitations of employment opportunities for these clients in an outpatient setting. Reviewing literature on the experiences of people with schizophrenia revealed three stages of treatment normally experienced: a) acute care, b) transition care, and c) chronic care. Areas most impacted for people with schizophrenia are socialization and work, memory and intelligence, suicide risk and other disorders, and interactions with family, friends and the community. In Fairbanks, Alaska where weather hinders socializing and available services are limited, building many strong support resources is incredibly important to give people with schizophrenia the best chance of recovery and a stable quality of life.
    • Place-based curriculum in the eighth grade English language arts classroom

      Cassidy, Lindsey K.; Hogan, Maureen; Green, Carie; Vinlove, Amy (2016-04)
      In this project, I am investigating the role of place-based education (PBE) in the eighth grade English Language Arts (ELA) classroom and creating a place-based curriculum to use in this class. While PBE has many different definitions and connotations, I define it here as a type of education that takes advantage of the local opportunities to learn in a community and place as a basis for an educational experience. PBE engages student learning by making connections to their community through their work, identifying how their classwork is connected to life, and providing students with an authentic audience for their products beyond the school setting. ELA is an overlooked content within PBE because it is often aligned with courses in science, social studies, or outdoors content. In reality, because ELA is a class of skills and knowledge and not content memorization, it meshes perfectly with PBE. Therefore, the focus of this project is an informational writing curriculum based on PBE methodologies embedded in ELA Alaska Standards at the eighth grade level.
    • Positive behavior supports and interventions: is it the best approach for Juneau elementary schools?

      Anderson, Bobbie; Renes, Susan L.; Morton, James Jr.; Bratton, Imelda (2018-12)
      The US public educational system strives to assist students to develop the academic and social skills they will need to be competitive in the world market. A considerable obstacle to this goal is behavioral problems in schools, which disrupt important learning time for both the student who is demonstrating the behavior and for his or her peers. Additionally, current literature asserts that behavioral problems interfere in social and academic relationships, create stress for school faculty, and are linked to school failure and increased high-school dropout rates, which have a negative economic impact on both the student and community. Given the correlation of problematic behavior (which appears to be trending upward) with negative outcomes, it seems clear that identifying the best approach to preventing and correcting problematic behavior is imperative. The purpose of this project is to critically examine some commonly used approaches to determine the most effective and efficient method used in elementary schools to prevent and correct problematic behavior. In addition, implementation and continuance of the chosen approach is discussed with the Juneau School District in mind.
    • Resources, support, and advocacy for Alaskan secondary school students who identify as LGBTQIA+

      Nickell, Jasmine L.; Gifford, Valerie; Dahl, Heather; Wilson, Hilary (2017-05)
      This comprehensive literature review presents findings associated with the needs of students in grades 7-12 who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and/or asexual (LGBTQIA+). In addition, the roles of school counselors, faculty, and staff in addressing these needs are discussed, and policy decisions and legislation supporting safe and inclusive environments are examined. A comprehensive guidebook is included which explains the legislative process that can be used to promote systems change in order to address these needs. The legislative proposal in this guidebook would mandate Alaskan school counselors receive proper training, resources, and guidance to appropriately support and advocate for students who identify as LGBTQIA+. Although there are legislative bills currently being introduced to the Alaska Legislature that support more inclusive anti-discrimination state-based laws, Alaska has yet to pass such a bill and its efforts remain inadequate concerning the institution of state law preventing bullying, discrimination, and violence in schools based on a student's gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual.
    • Restorative practices as tools for reducing the outcome data gaps in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District

      Kettle, Anne; Gifford, Valerie; McMorrow, Samantha; Repetto, Elizabeth (2018)
      Childhood adversity, toxic stress and trauma have physical and mental health impacts on individuals and affect academic and career success. The result of which may present as challenging or off-task behavior in the classroom. Trauma-informed techniques are being implemented to address these challenges in schools and classrooms across the United States. Restorative practices are proving to serve as successful tools for mitigating the impact of adversity on students and build a more cohesive and successful school atmosphere. There is potential for restorative practices to be used by school counselors as part of a comprehensive school counseling program to work to close gaps in the rates of graduation, suspension/expulsion and attendance between students from the majority population and those from traditionally marginalized populations. Based on a review of the literatures of trauma-informed schools, restorative practices and school counselor roles, a presentation and tool-kit has been developed for the Fairbanks North Star Borough school counselors. This tool-kit builds awareness around the impact of trauma, restorative practices and provides resources to support their implementation in this district via school counselors.
    • Spiritual coping in counseling with trauma survivors

      Bronson, Damaris; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Swisher, Kimberly (2016)
      Instances of past trauma are common in clients who are seeking help working through feelings of anxiety and depression. This research project will investigate the use of spiritual coping with clients who have experienced trauma involving intimate partner violence. The literature will identify areas that are important to consider when working with this population. Spirituality will be explored and along with Existentialism serve as the framework for working with trauma survivors. Due to the concentration of Alaska Native and American Indian individuals in Alaska, culture specific interventions are described. The application for this project, based on a review of the literature, is a training for master's level counseling students designed to educate future counselors about spiritual coping.
    • Stress reduction support for new teachers in rural Alaska

      Wray, Tapiana; Renes, Susan L.; Topkok, Sean A.; Morton, James (2018-05)
      Teachers experience many different facets of stress that directly affect attrition and burnout in the profession. While the research on teacher retention and attrition in Arctic Alaska is limited, that does not diminish the impact felt by the students, the community, and the state. Teacher attrition and retention is a multidimensional issue that could benefit from an intervention created on behalf of administrators, communities, and the teachers themselves. This paper presents one approach to address teacher retention: teachers and administrators incorporating stress reduction techniques into their lives have been proven successful in reducing teacher stress to mitigate teacher burnout.
    • Supporting parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders

      Grennan, Lindsey; Cook, Christine; Healy, Joanne; Harrison, Lynn (2015)
      According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (ADEED), in the year 2013, 1,110 children with an ASD were enrolled across all the school districts within the state of Alaska (ADEED, 2013). Children with an ASD experience social, behavioral and academic difficulties and parents raising children with an ASD face numerous challenges related to meeting the needs of their child and family (Hall & Graff, 2010; Murphy, Christian, Caplin, & Young, 2007; Solomon & Chung, 2012). This paper reviews current research on experiences of ASD diagnoses for children and parents, and the efficacy of parental engagement with social support and family therapy. The literature review informed the creation of a PowerPoint presentation and a handbook that discuss the experiences of children and parents related to ASDs, describe the research to support the efficacy of local resources, and present the local resources for parents of children with ASDs.
    • A treatment planner for severely emotionally disturbed (SED) youth in residential treatment programs

      Lotze, Brian; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Morotti, Allan (2016)
      Writing treatment plans is a necessary but time-consuming step for busy counselors and mental health workers. Treatment plans are an important way of documenting and showing (a) the need for treatment, (b) the goals or objectives of treatment, and (c) how progress in treatment is measured. A well-written plan is critical to successfully treating clients, but must also allow agencies and counselors to document their work. Treatment planners assist counselors and other mental health workers when developing treatment plans, but existing planners are broadly focused to appeal to a wide audience. A review of the literature, and data from a residential treatment program for Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED) youth was used to create a more narrowly focused treatment planner.
    • The use of social network analysis by school librarians to evaluate and improve collaborative networks in their secondary schools: a pilot study

      Rinio, Deborah; Jacobsen, Gary; Adams, Barbara; Stanley, Sarah; Richey, Jean; Gerlich, Bella (2018-05)
      Social capital, in the form of relationships among teachers, results in sharing information and resources, which leads to improved student academic achievement. As schools continue to seek out ways to improve performance, social capital is often overlooked in favor of development of human capital in the form of professional development and training. Schools that have implemented collaborative groups have the potential to increase social capital, but often fail to structure the groups intentionally or evaluate their outcomes. School librarians in secondary schools often face challenges when it comes to collaboration. The job of a school librarian is inherently collaborative. To effectively serve the school's population, school librarians must understand the needs of their community. To teach information literacy skills, they must have access to students, typically via classroom teachers. Not surprisingly, collaboration between teachers and librarians is a major focus of both professional and research literature, yet librarians report it is one of their biggest challenges. Librarians are urged to start small, work with the teachers who are willing, and hope that others in the school will see the value of collaboration; in other words, build it and they will come. This research sought to determine if school librarians could use social network analysis as an evaluative and strategic planning tool. This study used a mixed-methods approach in a three-phase process to collect social network survey data in two secondary schools, develop the Social Network Analysis for School Librarians (SNASL) Process, and pilot test the process with the school librarians in the pilot schools using participatory analysis. Analysis revealed that the SNASL Process has the potential to enable school librarians to evaluate and improve upon the collaborative network of their school by identifying individuals in specific role positions and producing generative insight regarding the structure of the school network.