Education in Lincoln, NE – 2018
No matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. For those contemplating continuing their formal education, it remains a rewarding pursuit. Better yet, there are more options available than ever before, many of which having been designed with accessibility and flexibility in mind. Vocational training and online degree programs are great examples, and more specifically, here in Lincoln, we’re fortunate to benefit from the programs offered by institutions like Southeast Community College and the University of Nebraska.
“Our mission at SCC is to empower and transform students from the diverse communities we serve,” says Dr. Paul Illich, President of Southeast Community College. “We are able to do this while we make educational opportunities more accessible for southeast Nebraska residents.
In addition to our three campuses in Lincoln, Beatrice, and Milford, we’ve added six new Learning Centers located in our 15-county service area in Falls City, Hebron, Nebraska City, Plattsmouth, Wahoo, and York. They are designed to meet the educational needs of the residents in these areas, offering credit and non-credit classes as well as continuing education. We recently received a grant for three of these Learning Centers to expand their distance education programs.
SCC is also undergoing some big changes with the upcoming addition of several new facilities. We just completed a $4.2 million expansion to our Culinary/Hospitality program and brand new high-end restaurant open to the public. Now we are focusing on a new health sciences building at our Lincoln Campus, a new diesel technology facility at our Milford Campus, and new multi-purpose classroom buildings at our Beatrice and Milford Campuses. These new facilities will enable us to grow and expand with the College into the next generation.”
Many SCC programs offer flexible scheduling to take into account that students work and often juggle commitments outside of school. In fact, more than 70 percent of SCC students work and go to school at the same time.
Most notably, SCC places a great focus on small class sizes and hands-on learning. This assists the students in learning material that will prepare them for the career field of their choosing. With the small class sizes, it also assists the students in getting to know their instructor, making it more comfortable for them to ask for help. Another highlight of SCC is the graduate employment/transfer rate. Each quarter many students who haven’t even graduated yet receive multiple job opportunities for when they do graduate.
As far as current trends, Dr. Illich notes, “One of the fields of study where we’ve seen the highest demand is in Health Sciences. Historically we’ve seen a large student demand in healthcare fields and have had waitlists for students to enter some of our most popular programs, such as Nursing. The high levels of student demand are due to the strong employer demand for workers in these fields and the relatively high levels of pay in some of these fields. Graduates in most of our health sciences programs earn average salaries above $30,000, and our recent graduates in Physical Therapist Assistant, Associate Degree Nursing, and Respiratory Care reported average salaries over $40,000.
We expect demand to remain high in these fields. Projections based on Department of Labor statistics show an 11% increase in healthcare industry jobs in our region over the next 10 years. As the population in Lincoln continues to grow and age there will be an increasing need for healthcare workers at all levels.
SCC offers thirteen programs in Health Sciences, from a short-term course in Nursing Assistant to Associate of Applied Science degrees in a variety of in-demand specialized health fields, such as Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology, Paramedicine, and Medical Laboratory Technology.”
In addition to the strong forward momentum maintained by our community colleges, based on sustained growth and value of offerings, online degree programs are another popular option for continuing education. Many are opting to go this route exclusively or alternatively, do a combination of classroom and online courses.
The most prominent example here locally is University of Nebraska. The University of Nebraska Online website showcases more than 125 programs online from four highly-respected institutions: University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), and University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK).
The University of Nebraska Online is NU’s collaborative online initiative providing access to academically-respected degrees offered online. NU Online continues the University of Nebraska’s long history of providing high-quality, flexible distance education programs designed to meet the needs of a diverse set of learners, helping build your career and enhance your life. Students experience the same rigor, faculty, and support expected from a leading university, and any degree obtained reflects that.
University of Nebraska online programs give adult learners in our community and from around the world access to the opportunity to be taught by the same expert faculty who teach at the four University of Nebraska campuses. Their online courses are challenging, current and relevant. As such, they attract highly qualified, strongly motivated, undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are serious about their education.
NU faculty and staff are extraordinarily responsive to student needs, creating a highly interactive community of learners that encourages and values collaboration between professors and students. As a result, you will be well equipped to achieve your academic goals, and to immediately apply what you learn in the workplace.
When you choose an online program from the University of Nebraska, you receive:
- The high-quality education and student services you’d expect from a leading university.
- A degree from the University of Nebraska – diplomas and transcripts for online students are identical to those of on-campus students.
- Campuses that are fully accredited regionally by the Higher Learning Commission—a commission of the North Central Association—and many programs that also carry accreditation by prestigious associations in specific fields.
- Highly competitive tuition and fees.
- Access to outstanding library services, technical support, financial aid advisers and other professionals who are committed to helping you achieve your educational and career goals.
Whether your goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate, or a certificate or endorsement that will help you further your career, there are a multitude of diverse options available for online programs. These online programs can be found at online.nebraska.edu.
Whether you’re a first-time student, returning to further your education, or interested in pursuing opportunities for training or development of marketable skills and competencies, it’s important to find the best fit for your needs that will fully support you in reaching your goals. You have so much to offer the world, and our local institutions have so much to offer you!