We know that traditional education simply isn’t for everyone. Some students love the rigor, the structure, and the lifestyle of academia, and some students march to a different drum. That’s okay, fantastic even, because everybody learns in a different way. There’s a happy medium for those looking for it, however, and we find those by joining Career Student Organizations (also referred to as CSO’s).
With a CSO, students can attend school and receive the benefits of a traditional education while also participating in an extracurricular designed to strengthen skills and prepare for the real world job market. Other benefits of joining a CSO include social interaction and the extra boost on college applications. With leadership positions in a CSO, for example, many schools and colleges look favorably on students that have that type of experience on their record.
Here are some of the CSOs available at schools throughout Nebraska (not all are available at every school, so check this list to see what chapters your school offers).
Nebraska DECA: DECA is a major and very popular student organization, and with good reason: DECA prepares high school students for career-sustaining, mid-management, or entrepreneurial positions by providing activities to develop technical skills, basic scholastic and communication skills, human relations and employability skills, and a strong emphasis on economics and free enterprise. It originally began with a few hundred students in 17 states, and has now grown to over 185,000 students in all 50 states, the District of Colombia, Canada, Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Germany. This means there’s a wide alumni network for job-seeking DECA students to take advantage of.
Nebraska FFA: Agriculture is Nebraska’s #1 industry, meaning that related industries like manufacturing are greatly impacted by the future of students choosing to work in agriculture or agricultural sciences. The Nebraska FFA association was the sixth charter of the National FFA Organization in 1928, and is student-led: The Nebraska FFA Association is led by seven students who are freshmen and sophomores in college, along with some adult guidance from the state Executive Director and Agricultural Education Director. Leadership training, agricultural education, and more are all important parts of the Nebraska FFA mission.
Health Occupations Students of America: Also called HOSA, this organization is for high school and post-secondary students interested in healthcare professions, including health sciences, environmental science, health-related manufacturing, and more. They work with national and local health education projects, and students have opportunities to collaborate with health professionals and future employers. Students also travel to state and national conferences, and seek internships in the Office of the Surgeon Generals and others. Overall, though, students in HOSA share their enthusiasm about the health field with their communities, and actively work to learn, grow, and become better individuals.
Check out this page to learn more about any of these awesome organizations, or to learn about one not mentioned here! There are fantastic opportunities for students to learn, grow, and take advantage of pre-professional work.