More than 140 students representing 24 countries and 22 states will graduate from the University of Nebraska High School (UNHS), the university’s fully online, accredited high school, on Friday, June 16, 2017. The graduating class includes 26 Nebraska students.
The graduation ceremony is at 2 p.m. Friday in the City Campus Student Union Ballroom on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. It will be live-streamed. Fifteen of the graduates, including a student from the Netherlands, are expected to attend.
“We are excited to celebrate our graduates from around the world. Our students have such varied experiences and different reasons for studying with us. Each year, our faculty and staff look forward to this ceremony,” said Barbara Wolf Shousha, director of the University of Nebraska High School. “Completing high school is a wonderful accomplishment, and we appreciate the hard work and success of all of our students. We are so pleased to create the opportunity to earn a respected diploma from an accredited school.”
The University of Nebraska High School, established in 1929, offers more than 100 online core, elective, Advanced Placement, and dual enrollment courses to students in Nebraska and around the world. UNHS was one of the first accredited online high schools to offer a full diploma sequence online. UNHS students may complete their entire high school education online or take courses for transfer. Graduates have gone on to universities such as the University of Nebraska, West Point, Yale and Stanford.
UNHS currently serves over 2,500 students, of whom nearly 400 are Nebraskans, an increase of nearly 60 percent of in-state students over just two years ago. Growing resident enrollment is a key goal for the high school as the university works to contribute to higher graduation and college-going rates in the state. Students can enroll in courses at any time and courses may be completed on a self-paced schedule. UNHS also offers teachers, academic advisers and administration assistance for students and schools.
The University of Nebraska High School attracts students from diverse backgrounds. Many have demanding extracurricular activities that make a traditional high school schedule too restrictive, including students who participate in highly competitive traveling athletic or performance art programs. Some students are home schooled and find that UNHS courses offer the breadth and rigor they desire in a curriculum. Others take online courses because certain subjects are not available at their local high school.
One of this year’s graduates, Spencer Hokett of Papillion chose UNHS because it gave him a singular academic home and the ability to pursue his creative interests in music and writing all while being part of a military family. He said he learned a lot about self-discipline and his own learning style because of the courses he took with UNHS.
“I liked the unique presentation of the various subjects and the ability to take extra classes that fit my interests,” Hokett said. He plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha and major in computer science.
Another 2017 graduate, Naomi Lohr of Grand Junction, Colorado, has been accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston where she will study jazz vocal performance and music therapy.
“I learned that it is possible to be very successful outside of traditional high school,” Lohr said. “UNHS is a great opportunity to build a complete, well-rounded life. High school can be done as part of all of your interests. It doesn’t have to be your entire identity.”
The University of Nebraska High School is part of the University of Nebraska Online Worldwide – a university-wide initiative with the primary goal of providing increased access to education for Nebraska residents, and to people throughout the world. Through this initiative, students have access to more than 100 online degree, certificate and endorsement programs, from bachelor to doctoral, offered by the four campuses of the university across 16 fields of study.