Grand Island ninth-graders get preview of academic future

· 3 min read

Grand Island ninth-graders get preview of academic future

Nebraska partnering with high school on new Academies and Pathways program
GISH academies
Greg Nathan | University Communication
A ninth-grader speaks during a breakout session led by Radell Nared, associate director of Admissions. The sessions were held for high schoolers enrolled in Grand Island Senior High's new Academies and Pathways program.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Office of Admissions hosted more than 600 ninth-grade students from Grand Island Senior High School to continue to support their transition from a traditional high school experience to their academy model.

The Grand Island Senior High Academies and Pathways program offers students in grades 10-12 five academies to choose from—each providing students a unique and career-focused curriculum. The five academies at are Education, Law and Public Safety; Engineering and Technology; Business and Communication; Technical Sciences; and Medical Sciences.

All ninth-grade students start by enrolling in the Academy of Freshman Exploration, where they’re are encouraged to explore their interests and passions while learning about the opportunities in the five academies. The goal is to get students thinking about future careers and which academy will provide the best fit.

“Last week, we picked our academies,” said Kendra Poppe, a freshman who chose the healthcare pathway. “It just helps you when you go to college, like what you have in mind.”

Each pathway allows students to start to connect what they are learning in the high school classroom to college and the real world.

Poppe is already thinking about her future career, and she hopes to be a dentist.

This year, the Office of Admissions partnered with Grand Island Senior High School by inviting all freshmen to campus Dec. 18-19 to imagine what their academic future will look like at the college level. Students attended breakout sessions, ask questions about college life and meet with university faculty and staff.

Grand Island Senior High students gather information about the university from a display table.

“For a career, I want to be a police officer and the Education, Law and Public Safety Academy will help me with most of the stuff, get scholarships and help me pursue my career,” said freshman Caleb Schrock-Schmitt.

Schrock-Schmitt attended the Criminology and Criminal Justice breakout session during the on-campus event.

“The speaker today talked about how local police here in Lincoln are involved with the program at Nebraska—I really appreciate that,” he said.

“We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with GISH in this unique way,” Abby Freeman, director of admissions, said. “Since the academy program is still in its infancy, we felt it was important for our partnership and the students to provide a meaningful campus visit experience that allowed them to investigate their academic future.”

As a land grant university, Nebraska is committed to access. Supporting Grand Island Senior High’s new academy system is one of many college preparedness initiatives the University has partnered on with the school, including the new $6 million dollar GEAR UP grant (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) from the Department of Education, the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, Nebraska Extension and Nebraska 4-H. Nebraska has partnered with the high school through its Nebraska College Preparatory Academy since 2006.

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