The new Nebraska Business at Standing Bear High School focus program officially kicked off this fall at the newest school in Lincoln. The high school teachers and University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty collaborated on ways to teach students about the dynamic world of business.
“The partnership between LPS’s staff and College Business staff is part of what makes me excited about the potential of what can become and what is available to our students,” said Sue Cassata, principal of Standing Bear. “We’ve talked about how to give students an experience from the moment that they enter to the moment that they leave at Standing Bear and have experiences with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.”
Standing Bear teachers and College of Business faculty came together to brainstorm and discuss ways to integrate business into all courses offered at the high school, from art to math and science, and help them explore their talents and career opportunities in marketing, management, accounting, finance, supply chain management and economics. College faculty also guest lecture in the high school’s World of Business class.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to start a new school and create the foundation from the ground floor,” said Jacob Shaffer, chair of Standing Bear’s business department. “We’ve been very intentional to make sure students have access and plan for the future as we expand our reach and add more courses, faculty and students.”
This summer, the high school teachers learned to utilize their top five CliftonStrengths at the college. Brian Vu graduated from Nebraska and taught instrumental music for eight years before his department chair position at Standing Bear.
“It was great to meet the people who orchestrated this partnership,” Vu said. “I learned so much about myself through my CliftonStrengths. I have the Restorative strength in my top five, which is perfect for this role, as I love to solve and talk through problems. For example, I can talk through the misconceptions of music entrepreneurship, such as not being able to find a job. There are so many facets of the industry. I want our students to realize their dreams and be informed about the possibilities.”
“Students at Standing Bear can earn three to 12 hours of college credit before high school graduation. It’s a great opportunity to earn credit for courses that count toward requirements or electives for a business major at the College of Business or for other majors,” said Lindsay Tillinghast, ’04 and ’13, director of Lincoln Center for Economic Education, director of Nebraska Business at Standing Bear and lecturer of economics.
The program prepares students to pursue a two- or four-year college degree or enter the workforce after graduating high school. Additional courses designed for college credit will be offered for reduced tuition for students in grades 11 and 12, as well as non-credit experiences free of charge, making the program accessible and affordable.
“We continue to connect with middle school families to tell them about this new program,” Tillinghast said. “We look forward to seeing the students at Standing Bear become future business leaders, and we welcome them to Nebraska Business for the next step in their educational journey.”