Early College and Career STEM Program

Early College and Career STEM Program

Fostering futures in FEWS2

teacher talking with students

Lincoln Public Schools and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln are joining together to launch LPS-UNL Early College and Career STEM Program at Northeast High School. Through hands-on, immersive experiences and early college pathways, the program will prepare Northeast students in the areas of food, energy, water and societal systems, often called FEWS2 (pronounced “fuse.”)

The program is designed to provide pathways for learners at Northeast High School that are interested in FEWS2. Examples of these pathways include:

  • Students who plan to enter the workforce after high school graduation can earn non-credit competencies in certain areas that will give them an edge as they look for employment.
  • Students will be able to earn college credit for classes that will transfer to UNL and other post-secondary institutions.
  • Students who earn a certain number of credits can earn a certificate of college credit, which they can use to seek work after high school or can put toward a 4-year degree.
  • Most importantly, students will be able to explore careers in agriculture and natural resources.
Early College and Career STEM Program Lockup
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Timeline

The program will begin with a summer enrichment program in the summer of 2021. In the fall of 2021, FEWS2 concepts will be integrated into math and science instruction for all Lincoln Northeast 9th and 10th graders. 11th and 12th graders will be able to enter the early college and career pathways beginning in the fall of 2022.

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Cost

  • Non-credit experiences will be available to students free-of-charge. Student who opt to take classes for college credit will receive reduced tuition, and scholarship opportunities to further reduce the cost are currently being explored.
  • The program also aims to ensure that students of all backgrounds have access to post-secondary credentials (credit and non-credit) that will help them build bright futures.
Exterior of Lincoln Northeast High School and CASNR

History

Lincoln Public Schools and CASNR have a long history of collaborating to create enriching, hands-on programming related to agriculture, life sciences and natural resources.

Several IANR faculty, staff, and students have partnered with LPS over the years to create and offer a number of exciting education programs to LPS students and educators. Nearly 20 years ago, LPS, CASNR and the Lincoln Children’s Zoo joined together to launch the Our Zoo to You program, in which animals from the Lincoln Children’s Zoo lived in LPS elementary classrooms for six weeks and were incorporated into reading, writing, science and math curriculum. Other successful programs, including Bug Bash and the Summer Soybean Institute, have followed.

All have allowed LPS students to use design thinking and scientific inquiry and have prepared them to meet the challenges of a changing world.

Pathways

Our goal is to meet students where they are on their learning continuum. We have developed three pathways for students:

Pre-Pathway

The pre-pathway is for all 9th and 10th grade students at Northeast High School. FEWS2 concepts are integrated into math and science instruction. CASNR will provide experiential learning opportunities for students in the pre-pathway, as well as professional development opportunities for teachers.

Early College and Career Pathway

The early college and career pathway is for 11th and 12th grade students at Northeast High School who plan to pursue a 2- or 4-year degree upon graduation or who wish to enter the workforce with experience and knowledge that gives them an edge in attaining a job in a FEWS2 discipline. Students will be able to take college credit classes and receive a certificate or digital badge that demonstrates competency in a specific area. Students engaged in this pathway will also be able to pursue internship opportunities.

Non-Early College and Career Pathway

The non-early college and career pathway is for 11th and 12th grade students at Lincoln Northeast High School who do not wish to pursue college credit or FEWS2 programming. On- and off-ramps will allow students to easily reengage in the program, or to leave it if their interests change.