Fridays @ Northeast

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by jamesc  9/14/2017 4:55:15 PM -- 

NORFOLK, NE – Several area students who have yet to graduate high school are already considered college students. “You’re college students now,” said Lyle Kathol, vice president of educational services at Northeast Community College, as he spoke recently to approximately 70 seniors from 16 high schools who are enrolled in the College’s Fridays @ Northeast program.

Fridays @ Northeast allows the seniors to spend the final day of the school week on campus as college students. This semester, classes are held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., on the main campus in Norfolk and at the extended campus in South Sioux City.

Classes offered through the program introduce the students to a variety of career and technical education program areas. The number of students and schools taking part in the second year of the program has doubled from the inaugural year in 2016-17.

Makala Williams, director of early college at Northeast, said Fridays @ Northeast takes place when
full-time Northeast students are not in class on the final day of the week.

“Northeast students who are in many of the programs in which these seniors are enrolled have classes Monday through Thursday, so they are not using the classrooms and labs on Fridays, which allows us to have the high school students on campus.”

In October 2015, the Northeast Nebraska Career Academy Partnership (NENCAP), made up of several school districts and educational service units (ESU’s) across the region, agreed to join together to have their students participate in the program.

Williams said the districts realized they did not have the space or technology to offer programs such as welding, animal science, or nursing.

“They said “Let’s do this for our students…we want our students to have the best and most opportunities that they can (through Fridays @ Northeast).’”

The students are truly college students in that they are registered and have a Northeast student identification. The grades they earn will go on a Northeast transcript which will lead into a program of study at the College or they can be transferred to another postsecondary institution. Because all faculty have completed the dual credit permit process through the Nebraska Department of Education, a student’s high school can elect to give high school credit for the courses.

NENCAP is paying for items such as the students’ books, tools, personal protective equipment, shirts and other supplies. Tuition and fees for students enrolled in Fridays @ Northeast is $69 per credit hour, which is reduced from the full-time rate.

Dr. Michael Chipps, president, told the students during an orientation session recently that the Fridays @ Northeast model will likely be replicated at institutions across the country.

“I have never seen anything like this. It just makes good sense to offer a program like this,” he said. “Fridays @ Northeast allows you to have an opportunity during your senior year to discover what you like or dislike in pursuing a particular career pathway. We want you to feel free to be able to figure out ‘is there something here for me?’”

Chipps said the program would not be possible without Northeast’s dual credit permitted certified faculty and its staff members.

“They are so passionate about what they do here. You are going to be taught by people who truly understand these career fields…our full-time faculty who do this for a living.”

Classes offered this fall on the Norfolk campus include animal science in agriculture; suspension, steering and brake systems in automotive technology, machine fundamentals in diversified manufacturing; introduction to early childhood education and infant and toddler development as part the early childhood education program; comprehensive medical terminology, lifetime wellness and certified nurse aide (CNA) as part of the health and wellness program; and welding.

Lifetime wellness and welding are courses offered this semester at the South Sioux City extended campus. In addition to Norfolk and South Sioux City, classes for the spring term will be held at Northeast’s extended campus in O’Neill.  

Each of the students enrolled in Fridays @ Northeast are easy to spot while they are on campus. All of them have received program-specific shirts. For example, welding students wear industry certified shirts that they may wear in any welding situation, CNA students wear scrubs while they are in their classes and in labs, while others wear polo shirts.

Schools that have students enrolled in Fridays @ Northeast programming this year are located in Allen, Bancroft-Rosalie, Battle Creek, Bloomfield, Elgin, Humphrey, Madison, Norfolk (including Lutheran High Northeast and Norfolk Senior High), Omaha Nation, Osmond, South Sioux City, Stanton, Tekamah-Herman, Winside, and a home school.

The NENCAP Board is made up of representatives from ESUs #1, #2, #8, #17, Norfolk Public Schools, South Sioux City Public Schools and Northeast Community College.

To learn more about Fridays @ Northeast, go online to or contact Williams at (402) 844-7118 or



                PHOTO CUTLINE 

Braden Forney, a senior at Norfolk Senior High, and Riley Gomez, a student at Bancroft-Rosalie High School, compare the measurement of a part to the part drawing in a Diversified Manufacturing class at Northeast Community College. Forney and Gomez are among 70 high school seniors participating in the College’s Fridays @ Northeast program this semester. The program introduces students to a variety of career and technical education program areas.

Posted In -- Degrees and Programs, Norfolk, Press Releases, South Sioux City, Students and Alumni

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