NORFOLK – In the four years Northeast Community College has worked with area high schools through its Fridays @ Northeast program, the number of students who have enrolled in classes has increased every year. At the beginning of the current academic year, over 100 high school seniors are taking part in the program.
In welcoming students to the program recently, John Blaylock, Northeast executive vice president, told the students that that the schools they attend are true innovators in helping to deliver education.
“To have you folks dismiss all day on Fridays to come to Northeast to learn about a career is just awesome! So when you go back to your schools, please tell your counselor, your principal and your superintendent ‘thank you’ for allowing you to do this.”
The Fridays @ Northeast program allows high school seniors to spend the final day of their school week on campus as college students and introduces them to a variety of career and technical education classes that lead directly into programs of study upon completion of their high school education.
This year, students from 23 schools are enrolled in 13 courses that take place each Friday on Northeast campuses in Norfolk and O’Neill. Classes have also been held at the Northeast extended campus in South Sioux City.
Makala Williams, director of early college, said Fridays @ Northeast is successful in two ways.
“A class will either solidify their decision that ‘yes this is what I want to do for a career,’ or they take a class and then decide that that area may not be for them, which is okay. That is as much of a success as a student who finds something they love to do.”
Fridays @ Northeast programs include animal science, auto body technology, building construction, certified nurse assistant, criminal justice, early childhood education, emergency medical technician (EMT), engineering, graphic design, health sciences, horticulture, and welding.
Students enrolled in the Fridays @ Northeast program are from the following high schools, Allen, Bancroft-Rosalie, Battle Creek, Bloomfield, Clearwater, Creighton, Humphrey, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Lutheran High Northeast, Madison, Neligh-Oakdale, Norfolk Senior High, Norfolk Catholic, Orchard, St. Mary’s in O’Neill, Osmond, Randolph, Ponca, Rock County, Stanton, Stuart, Winside, and Wynot. Some homeschool students are also enrolled.
Blaylock said Fridays @ Northeast is all about career awareness.
“It’s about helping you figure out what you want to do with your lives. But for now it will help you learn a little bit about the class you’re in and see if that is something you want to do in the future. You may want to do that and we’re here to help you if that is what you want to do.”