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, more than 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 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,” he said.
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 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,” she said.
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.