High school offering college courses to prepare students for careers

FAIRFIELD, Neb. (KSNB) - Sandy Creek High School has been offering college level courses at no cost to students. Administrators hope to get students excited about careers and encourage them to start their careers locally.

Sandy Creek unified schools is taking a hands on approach to college courses being offered in high school.

“Three years ago the school board elected to pay for 100% of the college costs tuition and fees and that is incredible,” Secondary Principal Jason Searle said. “It really levels the playing field for all students because now as a principal we don't have to worry about a cost.”

Juniors and seniors can take courses in the nine pathways offered including business, health, manufacturing, and more. They are connected with mentors with jobs they are interested in to get field experience.

Certified instructors teach them real world subjects they can take with them to get their degrees. This program is partly funded by grants but mostly paid for by the taxpayers.

“The community outpouring for this has been really good,” School Board Member Brian Shaw said. “Businesses in the area, professionals in the area have really gotten behind it and I think they've kind of embraced the opportunity to influence these students and give them a real life look at what's happening.”

Board members hope to help their shrinking populations by getting students interested in careers they can start right here in central Nebraska with two and four year degrees. Students also get a chance to test out career paths before starting college.

“I appreciate it, like I said I was looking into anesthesiology at first to just branch out but if I wouldn't have I might have gone to college for it and found out I don't like it after spending 100 grand on classes,” Junior Jon Mueller said.

The courses have a 98% success rate and administrators say it puts students ahead in competitive job fields and college applications.

The open house and ribbon cutting for the new facility will be March 6 at 3 pm. Governor Pete Ricketts will be in attendance and the public is welcome to come and learn more.