Enrollment opens for six UNK classes in Grand Island

KEARNEY – Enrollment is underway for six University of Nebraska at Kearney courses being offered at College Park at Grand Island.

The first slate of courses that begins Jan. 25, 2021, includes two upper-level criminal justice classes, three 100-level classes for “early entry” high schoolers and other first-year students, and a Montessori teacher education class that will also be offered worldwide through remote technology.

The partnership at College Park was announced in September as an opportunity to expand educational access in central Nebraska. An ongoing assessment of regional and community needs will identify UNK courses for future semesters.

“The spring 2021 courses will launch UNK’s commitment to offering courses and degree pathways on-site in Grand Island,” said Peter Longo, associate vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “Our partnership with College Park and Central Community College will allow greater access to educational opportunities for Grand Island and surrounding communities. We look forward to providing these opportunities in the spring session and beyond.”

Courses for the spring semester are:
  • Women and Crime, Criminal Justice 370, Mondays 3-5:50 p.m.
  • Victimology, Criminal Justice 315, Thursdays 5:30-8:20 p.m.
  • Fundamentals of Speech Communication, Speech 100, Tuesdays 4-6:45 p.m.
  • Foundations for Learning, Learning Skills 103, Tuesdays 6-8:50 p.m.
  • Personal Money Management, Finance 160, Tuesdays/Thursdays, 8-9:15 a.m.
  • Montessori Philosophy and Child Development, Teacher/Montessori 403/803P, Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-noon

Each course is three hours of UNK credit.

The variety of spring courses reflects several immediate needs identified through conversations with area educators, businesses and community leaders.

The 100-level courses are offered as “early entry” options for high school students at the junior or senior level, and are available for a fee of $75 per credit hour. The 100-level courses are also appropriate for students with high school diplomas or GEDs looking to start their bachelor’s degree, or transfer or continuing students who need any of the three courses for their degree program.

“There is no such thing as being overprepared for college,” said Josh Pierce, a coordinator in UNK’s Academic Success Offices. “By enrolling in these classes, students are equipping themselves with the knowledge and experience they’ll need to successfully take that next academic step.”

Other than the early entry options, courses are offered at the standard UNK tuition rates. The Montessori course is offered at the undergraduate or graduate level. This course is the only one of its kind in the Midwest and will be offered to students in remote locations through streaming technology. The classrooms have new technology that will accommodate remote learning if necessary, but the courses are presented in-person.

Julie Campbell, a professor in UNK’s Department of Criminal Justice, said she is excited to provide additional learning opportunities in Grand Island.

“With a growing need for law enforcement and correctional professionals in Nebraska, we’re pleased to offer upper-division coursework for college students who want to work toward a four-year degree in criminal justice,” Campbell said. “These classes complement the slate of courses currently provided by CCC, and serve as transition electives for students who are currently working in or seeking a career in law enforcement, corrections or the courts. The evening classes are also ideal for working professionals and those from the Grand Island area who are currently commuting to the Kearney campus.”

Located at 3180 W. U.S. Highway 34, College Park at Grand Island provides an environment for education, arts and entertainment by collaborating with partner institutions to offer postsecondary education, personal enrichment and lifelong learning opportunities. The nonprofit was created as a pathway for adult learners to earn degrees and address the need for skilled workers in the region.

Through its College Park location, UNK will work with Grand Island-area businesses and high schools, Central Community College and other community organizations to provide education and training that prepares students to begin or advance in their careers. This includes academic advising, undergraduate and graduate courses, certificate programs, workshops and seminars.

Other College Park opportunities, such as fine arts performances and community engagement activities, will be identified.

UNK’s space is two classrooms and two offices in College Park that will be utilized by faculty and staff. The university also has access to a large auditorium, meeting room and library/media center within the 55,000-square-foot educational facility.

“UNK’s partnership with College Park demonstrates the commitment of our faculty and staff to students in the greater Grand Island area,” said Charlie Bicak, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “We expect this to be a long-lasting partnership that addresses higher education needs throughout the region.”

Students will first need to apply to UNK and obtain admission before enrolling in the College Park courses. More information on the application process is available at unk.edu/admissions.

Spring classes begin Jan. 25, 2021. Interested students should plan to apply and enroll before Jan. 11.

For more information on UNK’s College Park classes, contact Matt Bice at 308-865-8886 or bicemr@unk.edu, or visit unk.edu/collegepark. Interested students and community members should check that webpage often for updates on course offerings and events.