The Next Ten Years

Ray
Ray Henning, UNHS Academic Adviser

As the year 2020 begins, you have probably heard the saying that “time flies.” I am not sure of your personal experience, but for me it seems like the past ten years have flown by so quickly!

With the start of a new decade, I’d like to look back and review some notable events in our history at UNHS, across the globe and within my own personal life since the year 2010.  Perhaps you may even recall a few of these during the years 2010-2019 (a very haphazard list):

  • We witnessed two high profile royal weddings (congrats William and Kate; Harry and Meghan)!
  • In 2010, the 21st Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, Canada, and a total of 258 medals were awarded across 26 nations.
  • The world did not end on December 21, 2012 as some people had predicted it to (according to the Mayan calendar).
  • In 2013, UNHS joined the University of Nebraska Online Worldwide, now known as University of Nebraska Online, or NU Online for short.
  • In 2014, many people were doing the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote ALS awareness.
  • In 2016, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians and won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.
  • In August of 2017: For the first time since 1918, we experienced a total solar eclipse.
  • In 2019, UNHS celebrated 90 years of academic excellence!

Personally, I will share three important items that happened in my life during the past ten years:

  • In 2012, my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and after a year of treatment, she is now seven years cancer free.
  • All four of my grandchildren were born (the oldest is now six and the youngest is two years old).
  • I started working at the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS) in 2014.

Now as you look to the future, how do you predict your world will change over the next ten years?  Maybe you will graduate from high school and/or college, get a job, travel, start a family, etc. As I have shared above, so much can happen in ten years’ time!

Noted author J.R.R. Tolkien once said this about time, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

I would encourage you to make the best use of your time and the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS) will be here to support you in your academic and personal endeavors! In fact, we have already been here for over nine decades and continue to be an excellent option for many students who desire to learn independently from an accredited, college preparatory high school.

Let’s count on us all having great things to share when 2030 rolls around!

Your Education, Your Pace

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A UNHS Staff Article Collaboration

Classes, homework, and extracurricular activities can take a toll on high school students, especially teenagers who are yet to master skills like time management – something even adults struggle with. The reality for many is that rehearsals, practices, and even volunteer schedules are among the most demanding parts of a busy teen’s life.

Alanna, a University of Nebraska High School (UNHS) graduate, discovered that pursuing her passion for theater required more dedication than a traditional high school schedule allowed. Likewise, Harrison’s training schedule as a champion skier frequently kept him away from home, but completing his coursework online allowed him to both travel the world for competitions while learning the valuable skills of self-discipline and independence.

Online courses, like those offered by the University of Nebraska High School, allow budding performance artists, student athletes, and other busy students to study at their own pace and set their own schedules. This means that students can study when their concentration levels are high and practice their craft when they aren’t physically or mentally exhausted.

At UNHS, students can enroll year around and complete courses in as few as 5 weeks or as many as 52 weeks. Courses can be used to supplement a traditional high school path or to complete an entire UNHS diploma program online. Learn more about how our school can help students follow their passions without compromising academic goals.

Significance of a Distinctive Diploma

Ray
Ray Henning, UNHS Academic Adviser

What does high school graduation mean to you?

With a myriad of opportunities, expectations, and results, your high school experience and graduation can stir many different emotions and feelings.

At the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS), we look forward to honoring and celebrating our graduates.  Here I want share some of my random thoughts on high school graduation and specifically graduating from UNHS.

Graduating from high school is a part of the transition of becoming an adult. It is an important milestone to celebrate and also a good time to . . . .

Reflect on your high school experience and recall the good, and not so good, times. However, whatever you have for past memories it is soon time to get on to the next step, which could be . . .

Attending a two or four year college. Since UNHS is a college preparatory high school, this is the path for most of our students, but not for everyone.  Some students . . .

Do something else. Whether it is joining the workforce, the military, taking a gap year, or another route, for their life path. This happens because . . .

Unique individuals make up a graduation class. Isn’t it great that students are distinctive and do not all have the same interests? In fact, at UNHS our graduation class is made up of . . .

Athletes, visual and fine art students, homeschoolers, students from public and private schools, students with health conditions, highly gifted, and don’t forget we serve . . .

Traditional and non-traditional students. Many UNHS students complete their high school program in the typical four years or less, but some graduate later in life. Also, not all are U.S. students . . .

International Students are an essential part of UNHS. At least half of our UNHS graduates are located outside the United States. No matter where our graduates are from, they have this in common . . .

Online courses with the University of Nebraska High School. The state of Nebraska currently has a tourism slogan of “Honestly, it is . . .

Not for everyone.” This statement may also be true for some students who may be considering UNHS, but UNHS is an integral pathway for our honored graduates.

So back to my initial question . . . What does high school graduation mean to you?

A Refreshing Reflection on UNHS Graduation

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Hugh McDermott, Principal, UNHS

As 2018 nears its end, I have been reflecting on some of the more memorable activities that happened at UNHS this year, and my thoughts immediately turn to our annual graduation ceremony. This past summer, I presided over my third UNHS graduation ceremony. What a fun time it was for all, as we had 18 students attend this year’s ceremony on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln campus. Relative to previous years, this was a large group to be in attendance and was part of the more than 200 students who graduated with us this year. For those who are not familiar with UNHS, we are a distance education program and therefore we serve students all over the planet. So, it can be difficult for students and parents to travel thousands of miles for the actual ceremony. Therefore, we “live stream” our commencement so that folks around the world can see what it is about and stay connected with us.

At this year’s ceremony, we had 12 students from Nebraska, but we also had students from Thompson’s Station, Tennessee; Centerville, Georgia; Lubango, Angola; Katy, Texas; Bogota, Colombia; and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Our total class of graduates represented at least 31 different countries and 30 of these United States. The graduating class had at least 26 Nebraska students, representing approximately 15% of the total class. The cultural and geographical diversity of our graduates demonstrates the strength of our program and the need that exists for UNHS.

Graduation remains one of those rites of passage that allows students to recognize that a high school diploma is a “big deal.” It’s the culmination of many years of strong academic work and other activities and experiences. Just for a brief moment in time, students can reflect on reaching this milestone which then opens the door to many additional opportunities and experiences ahead of them. At UNHS, we are anxious to support our students in any way we can. Some students take our courses to supplement their local high school diploma, while others take all of their coursework with us to obtain the UNHS accredited diploma.

Here are some comments I gleaned from the 2018 student biographies at our ceremony:

Cassara dreams of one day working for National Geographic or starting her own business and is toying with the idea of pursuing a degree in photojournalism or business management.

Nick is planning to become an electrician and liked UNHS because it allowed him to work independently and at his own pace.

Abigayle’s advice to others is to embrace hard work, not avoid it. Hard work is what helps you grow and achieve what you want in life. Abigayle plans to pursue a Bachelor of Nursing degree.

Jazmine learned that UNHS teachers play a valuable role and are critical to helping students learn. She also encourages students to “find a good role-model or someone you can depend on to help you through difficult times.”

Gabriel had the experience of playing soccer at age 16 in Spain! He believes that taking courses online taught him to assume responsibility for himself, and he is thankful for his teachers who were always there for him. He also mentioned the importance of family support in helping him reach this goal.

Maxwell is looking forward to an internship at a medical center in Omaha, which may also guide him in the direction of his future course work. He commented how UNHS provided him with access to a good curriculum.

Conner expressed several options awaiting him, such as attending a community college to further his skills in auto mechanics, or he may join the U.S. Army or Army National Guard as a helicopter mechanic.  His optimistic advice for fellow students was, “go for it” and to not be afraid of learning online.

Logan indicated that he will pursue an occupational therapy degree because he finds great satisfaction in helping people make the most of their everyday lives. He even is attempting to write a book by the end of this year! His advice, “Keep going! The end is never the end until you say so.”

Emma stated that what she liked best about UNHS was that she was able to travel whenever she wanted without worrying about the structure of a traditional school. This gave her the freedom to learn the way she wanted to and at a speed that worked well for her.

Denton plans to major in Agricultural Business. He was raised in an agricultural community here in Nebraska and was exposed to the business side of it at an early age. He chose UNHS because his local school schedule made it difficult for him to participate in rodeo at the level he desired.

Paul is interested in multiple fields in the area of information technology. What Paul looked for in UNHS was, “I wanted a school that could teach me from home but still challenge me and carry the weight of a proud Nebraska program.” He especially enjoyed psychology and several elements of the English reading assignments.

Camryn is taking a “gap year” to pursue her modeling career before making other career choices. Camryn advises others to establish a schedule that works well for them and stick to it. She also says that in times of need, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

Jay has recently been an artist intern at a non-profit. Jay is passionate about animation, cosplay, sewing, art, and writing. Jay’s advice is, “Do whatever works best for you and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”

Odon came all the way from Lubango, Angola (approximately 8,000 miles) and believes in “investing in technological innovation and providing resources to encourage bright ideas and talents.” UNHS allowed him to travel with his family without compromising on his education.

Shaye said that UNHS was a good fit for him as he traveled to Barcelona, Spain to play for a soccer academy. He progressed at his own pace and worked around his soccer schedule. He learned from UNHS that communication is key, and he encourages students to consult with teachers anytime they do not understand a concept or material.

Laura came all the way from Colombia, South America and loved the fact that UNHS courses allowed her to take control of her studies, and she also chose UNHS because of its accreditation. She encourages students to use their time wisely and take advantage of the many things that UNHS has to offer them.

Princesse also came from far away, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and headed to Fresno State University this fall. She believes the courses at UNHS have made her more independent and responsible without sacrificing her ability to participate in her extracurricular activities.

William is planning to pursue a degree in construction management and someday become a general contractor. He learned through UNHS to manage his days well and still make time for his extracurricular activities such as fishing and camping. His advice to others doing online schooling is to maintain a strong network of friends to feel connected and supported.

As I reflected on these students’ comments, I am reminded of how important a role UNHS plays in all of these situations. Every student is unique and UNHS helps each of them meet their specific goals. The UNHS graduation ceremony will always be a special event that reinforces the importance of students earning their diplomas. Congratulations once again to all the graduates of the UNHS class of 2018! And for those interested and eligible to attend the UNHS graduation ceremony in 2019, mark your calendars for Friday, June 14, 2019

The Future is Bilingual – 5 Reasons to Learn Spanish

If there was ever a time to follow the crowd, this would be it. More than 400 million people speak Spanish. The future lies in knowing at least one language apart from English.

 

sumitThis post has been written by Sumit Jagdale, Social Media and Communications student intern with the University of Nebraska High School. Sumit is an Advertising and Public Relations major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Being multilingual, he brings a unique and valuable perspective to this article.

If there was ever a time to follow the crowd, this would be it. More than 400 million people speak Spanish. The future lies in knowing at least one language apart from English. Even if you are a native Spanish speaker, being able to converse isn’t enough. True proficiency lies in being able to read and write just well as you can speak. If English is your first language, Spanish is one of the easiest languages you can learn. Stats look great on paper but there are some tangible benefits to being fluent in Spanish as well. Read on.

  1. It Makes You More Marketable

That near-perfect GPA might open some doors for you, as would being president of that popular student organization on campus, but Spanish-language fluency would get you a definite foot in the door. Large companies have an increased global presence and prefer to hire bilingual employees as it simplifies their operations in other countries. So whether you’re pursuing your company’s interests in Guatemala or helping develop relations with businesses in Argentina, you’d be dealing with native Spanish speakers. Chloe, an advertising and public relations major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln declared Spanish as a minor because Hispanics are one of the largest growing demographics in the United States. Understanding both the language and their culture will definitely work in her favor.

  1. Don’t Settle for Safety Schools

You’ve sacrificed enough in high school to get good grades and clock in all those extra-curricular activities, as have most of your peers. Well-rounded students make universities look better. You need to bring more than just academic potential and your charming personality to the table if you hope to enroll at a prestigious university. Most universities require two or more years of the same world language training for admission. Start your Spanish courses early. The competition’s heating up.

  1. It’s Not a Niche

No, you aren’t going to be restricted to embassy jobs (which are pretty cool, by the way) or work in some stuffy cubicle translating the pile of documents lying on your desk. Learning Spanish is a value-add irrespective of your degree. Taylor, a business major at the University of Nebraska– Lincoln, decided to learn Spanish because it helped her connect with her extended family who are of Mexican descent. Needless to say, a minor in Spanish also complements her business degree and opens up a world of possibilities that otherwise would not have been accessible to her.

  1. Immersion Is a Click Away

While traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, Spanish cultural immersion won’t require you to travel several thousand miles away. Netflix and HBO already have several Spanish language programs and your laptop is your gateway to the world. Your favorite podcast probably has a Spanish option. Broadcasts of most sporting events have an option to switch to Spanish commentary. You won’t just expand your vocabulary, you will end up learning colloquialisms and master the cadence and pronunciations of the native speakers.

  1. Hola! At Me

Language skills are the best ice-breakers. There are at least 21 countries with a majority Spanish-speaking population. You can bring a smile to the face of the person you interact with by just saying “Hello” in their native tongue. Imagine what you could do by conversing entirely in Spanish!

Have we given you enough reasons to add Spanish to your course load next semester? The University of Nebraska High School has four years of comprehensive Spanish-language courses. Students can increase their vocabulary and their understanding of grammatical constructions as well as their knowledge of Hispanic culture.

Confused about where to start? Take the University of Nebraska High School’s Spanish Placement Test and find out what level of courses to apply for.

UNHS advisers are happy to discuss our Spanish courses with you and, if necessary, develop a personalized curriculum plan. Contact our advising team at unhsadviser@nebraska.edu or visit highschool.nebraska.edu for more information.