Associate's degree in welding being cut at UAA

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:07 PM AKDT
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The University of Alaska is eliminating the Welding and Nondestructive Testing Associate’s Degree (AAS) at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The program is among 40 programs that are being cut or reduced in an effort to scale down the university to close a budget gap.

The cut will save the university more than $170,000. Currently, 49 students are enrolled in the program and will be allowed to complete their degree. No faculty will be affected.

There will be two welding certificates that will still be available:

• occupational endorsement certificate

• undergraduate certificate

Norman Lowery, 42, graduated from the welding program at UAF last year and now works as a welder at the North Pole Refinery. He says not having the option to get an associate’s could affect some student’s job prospects.

“It is just going to be a little bit tougher because having my certificate and everything, jobs were looking for people that were more qualified and can get a job done without having their top guy teaching me the things that I didn't learn in school,” Lowery said.

Lowery says he was a mover for most of his life and now has a fulfilling career thanks to the program.

“It paid off in the long run, more doors opened, I can go anywhere I want and my family is financially secure now,” he said.

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