Wayne State College
Brownell Beltine Trail in Grand Island

Career Scholars Program: Grand Island

Receive a generous scholarship package, and work at a job in your field for college credit during your senior year while living in Grand Island, Neb.
Apply by Feb. 1, 2022, for the 2022-23 school year.

Reimagining cooperative education

Cooperative education is a method of combining classroom education with real work experience for college credit. At its core, the Grand Island cohort of Career Scholars Program supports workforce and economic development in Nebraska. To participate, you must be passionate about earning a degree in one of the eligible fields, and you must be committed to remain in the Grand Island region. Throughout the program, you'll participate in career readiness activities. During your senior year, you'll live in the Grand Island area with your peers. This living experience will help you socially connect with the community and gain an appreciation for the many exciting social and cultural opportunities available in the city of Grand Island. Upon graduation, the goal is for you to be hired into full-time positions in Nebraska.

Cooperative education program benefits:

  • Receive a scholarship ranging from $2,000-$10,000 per year to cover tuition, fees, room, and board
  • Earn college credit while getting paid to work during your senior year
  • Gain real-world experience in your career field
  • Network with businesses to find and secure meaningful employment after graduation
  • Practice skills learned in class
  • Develop relationships with like-minded students in a community living environment
  • Discover your place after college and grow into a vibrant community

Program details

Learn by doing

Your journey as a cooperative education student begins your freshman year at Wayne State College. During your time here, you’ll participate in career readiness activities, including business site visits and job shadowing, all while learning the fundamentals of professional practice. After three years on campus at Wayne State, you’ll complete your senior year while living in Grand Island, Nebraska, where you’ll be hired and mentored by one of our participating business cohorts. You’ll earn 18 credit hours while working 30 hours per week at a paid job using skills relevant to your degree.

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Freshman year

  • Participate in a freshman living-learning community.
  • Learn the foundations of cooperative education and career readiness
  • Learn and demonstrate the competencies desired most by employers
  • Network with Grand Island business leaders

Sophomore year

  • Participate in a sophomore living-learning community
  • Work on soft skill development while employer engagement continues
  • Opportunities for professional development and upskilling
  • Mentor incoming program freshmen

Junior year

  • Continue soft skill and career readiness development with Career Services
  • Participate in mock interviews and job interviews and engage with businesses
  • Collaborate with employers, faculty, and co-op director to define learning outcomes
  • Have an employer hire and mentor you, and begin the senior year onboarding process

Senior year

  • Transition to co-op employment in Grand Island
  • Work up to 30 hours per week and “learn by doing” with hands-on experience
  • Collaborate with the co-op director and employer to ensure learning objectives are met
  • Have regular meetings with the co-op director and complete mid-term and final reflections

Get a full-time job earning a competitive wage by the time you graduate

Explore different employers, make money, and earn college credit while working in your chosen career field. The Career Scholars Program offers a full-ride tuition scholarship during your senior year of college. You'll get to live in a community with your peers and friends you've already made, and you'll get to live in a town that's committed to cultivating an environment for young professionals to live and thrive.


"The Cooperative Education Scholarship program is vital to the future economic growth for the city of Grand Island and surrounding areas. The community is excited! Wayne State College is ready to be a part of something special for the City of Grand Island. This program is truly a win-win for the students and the Greater Grand Island area. When the students see what Grand Island can offer it will be an eye-opener of opportunities. Grand Island is fun, progressive, and alive. The goal is to have these skilled and talented students stay in the Grand Island area and boost the local economy. That is what is it is all about! Helping the students, community and employers in an ever-changing world of business."


Brad Keasling

Director, Workforce and Community Education
Grand Island, Neb.

Grand Island ballfields



Together, we can grow Grand Island

The Grand Island region is committed to retaining its young professionals - our future workforce. The city's downtown has undergone a transformative process over the last 10 years, making it the hottest place to shop, eat, and gather with friends. Through the Grow Grand Island initiative, the region is actively pursuing new ways to achieve growth and progress for the area.

Learn More About Grow Grand Island

Questions? Contact:

Dr. Michael Keibler
Executive Director of Cooperative Education, Industry Liaison
Hahn Administration, Room 208