- Sheldon Jackson College
name =Sheldon Jackson College
president =Rev. Dr. David Dobler
website = [http://www.sheldonjackson.edu/ www.sheldonjackson.edu]
address =801 Lincoln Street
Sitka, AK 99835
Sheldon Jackson College (SJC) was a small private
collegelocated on Baranof Islandin Sitka, Alaska, United States. Founded in 1878, it was the oldest institution of higher learning in Alaska and maintained a historic relationship with the Presbyterian Church. Named in honor of Rev. Sheldon Jackson, an early missionaryand educational leader in Alaska, the school was formerly accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Infobox_nrhp | name =Sheldon Jackson School
lat_degrees = 57
lat_minutes = 3
lat_seconds = 3
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 135
long_minutes = 19
long_seconds = 15
long_direction = W
locmapin = Alaska
architecture= Octagon Mode
August 7, 2001cite web|url=http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=998408145&ResourceType=District
title=Sheldon Jackson School |accessdate=2008-01-08|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service]
February 23, 1972cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
governing_body = Private
Similar to the
Carlisle Indian School, SJC was initially formed as a "training" school for Alaska Natives. The school was founded in 1878 by Fannie Kellogg and future Governor of Alaska John G. Bradyfor the Tlingitpeople. Initially known as the Sitka Industrial and Training School, it nearly closed in 1882 after its original facility, located over a military barracks, burned down. The Presbyterian missionary Sheldon Jackson came to the rescue of the school, raising funds through a national campaign, leading to the construction of a new building on the site of the present campus. In 1910, after Rev. Jackson died, the school was renamed in his honor.
SJC added a boarding
high schoolin 1917, and a college program in 1944. The college program gained accreditation in 1966 and the high school was closed the following year.
In 1972, the school was added to the
National Register of Historic Placesas a historic district. [ [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/AK/Sitka/state.html National Register of Historical Places - ALASKA (AK), Sitka County ] ] The school was designated a National Historic Landmarkin 2001.citation|title=PDFlink| [http://www.nps.gov/nhl/designations/samples/ak/SJackson.pdf National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Sheldon Jackson School / Sitka Industrial Training School, Sheldon Jackson Institute, Sheldon Jackson College / (AHRS Site No. SIT-026)] |268 KiB |date=February 9, 2001 |author=Janet Clemens and Patty Henry |publisher=National Park Service and PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Photos/72000193.pdf "Accompanying 19 photos, exterior and interior, from 1935, c.1940, 1998, 2000, and undated."] |1.51 MiB ]
educational accreditationwas recently under review by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universitiesand State of Alaska, a process that happens nationally with colleges and universities. About this process, President David Dobler said, "SJC’s current authorization to operate as an Alaska postsecondary institution has been extended until July 2006, and SJC, at that time, will be required to provide the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) with documentation of financial and administrative capacity in order for authorization to be renewed." [ [http://www.sheldonjackson.edu/content/view/77/104/ Sheldon Jackson College - Offline ] ] Similarly, the college is under a "show cause" order from the Northwest Commission and must "show cause" why its regional accreditationshould not be revoked.
Sheldon Jackson College has a history of financial and retention issues. Due to extremely high turnover rates and poor financial management, the college has been forced to sell historic land and take out extensive loans to cover expenses. The college came under fire in the Fall of 2004 when a financial aid advisor they had hired misrepresented and over-awarded financial aid to nearly all students, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars of debt owed to the college by students.
On June 29, 2007 all academic operations were suspended and all faculty and staff were dismissed due to cash flow shortages. The Board of Trustees gathered together all staff and informed them that June 29th would be the final day of employment. They were also informed all health insurance coverage would cease at that time.
On July 17, 2007 the Alaska Commission on Post-secondary Education (ACPE) announced the cancellation of Sheldon Jackson College's authorization to operate a college in Alaska. The College was reported to be appealing the decision.
As of July 10, there had been no written notification to students regarding the closure of the college.
The school was in fact closed. In March 2008, the official website for the school was off line. In the summer of 2008, the College opened its dorms and facilities for use by local workers and companies.
Alaska Natives still made up over 25% of the last student body.
The school's library is
Stratton Libraryand the noted Sheldon Jackson Museumalso sits on college grounds.
Elizabeth Peratrovich, civil rights activist
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20071024204046/http://www.sheldonjackson.edu/ Official website (archived version)]
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