Program Spotlight: Grand Island Career Pathways Institute

Program Spotlight: Career Pathways InstituteAs we mentioned in our last program spotlight on the University of Nebraska-Kearney, one of the great features on our website is a list of industry partners and more specifically, educational institutions.

These are Nebraska resources that provide a curriculum to support a career in manufacturing, and the majority of these institutions are at a college or technical college level.

The Grand Island Career Pathways Institute is in a category of its own, and is the only place on our list specifically geared to be a middle school and high school technical program. So high schoolers, listen up!

The idea for the institute arose out of a need for technically trained employees not only in Nebraska, but across the country. So, Grand Island Public Schools stepped up to the plate and became the first school district in Nebraska to create a dedicated career center modeled after the Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma.

If you haven’t heard of the CPI, don’t be surprised: it’s pretty new. Construction began in the spring of 2012, and the career center officially opened its doors in 2013 to a pioneer class of 150 students.

There’s three campuses to learn at, but each one is focused on the same goal. All classes at the institute strive to give students a fantastic working experience as well as an educational experience, important for many careers involving technical skills. ‘Pathways’ offered include finance, hospitality & tourism, manufacturing, automotive, welding, construction, design & pre-construction, information technology, and more.

Although learning begins earlier than usual, qualifying students spend half their day at their regular high school and take daily three hour courses at the Career Pathways Institute. Although it’s school, the CPI makes every effort to treat it as an actual workforce environment–students actually ‘clock-in’ using their student ID!

To be admitted to the program, students must have a 2.0 G.P.A or higher, ten absences or less, a record of good behavior, and 2 references. A full list of requirements and more information how to apply or transfer can be found by the online application.

Programs like the Grand Island Career Pathways Institute are one of the reasons students are lucky to be educated in Nebraska. The opportunities to have hands-on experience on something new at a young age is truly invaluable. Learn to weld, design a skyscraper, build your own home: the opportunities are endless with the CPI!

Photo credit: Barrett Stinson via The Grand Island Independent