Wayne State College
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Career Scholars Program: Columbus

The Columbus cohort program is coming soon.

Reimagining cooperative education

Cooperative education is a method of combining classroom education with real work experience for college credit. At its core, the Columbus 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 Columbus region. Throughout the program, you'll participate in career readiness activities. During your senior year, you'll live in the Columbus 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 Columbus. 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 $5,000 up to $15,000 per year to cover tuition and housing
  • 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

Eligible fields of study:

Business Administration

Computer Information Systems

Computer Science

Criminal Justice


  • Select education programs are eligible by approval. Please contact Dr. Michael Keibler at [email protected] for details.

Industrial Technology

Mass Communication

Speech Communication


What you'll experience and learn

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 Columbus, Nebraska, where you’ll be hired and mentored by one of our participating business cohorts. You’ll earn 18 credit hours while working 30-40 hours per week at a paid job using skills relevant to your degree.

  Icon droparrow programs

Freshman year

  • Receive a $5,000 scholarship
  • Reside in a living-learning community
  • Team-based case study
  • Fundamentals of professional practice
  • Vital transferable skills

Sophomore year

  • Recieve a $6,000 scholarship
  • On-campus residence life
  • Professional development
  • Self-development
  • Collegiate entrepreneurship
  • Employer engagement

Junior year

  • Receive a $7,000 scholarship
  • Develop career readiness skills
  • Employer site visits
  • Job interviews
  • Senior onboarding experience

Senior year

  • Receive a scholarship up to $15,000
  • Cooperative education
  • 30-40 hours paid work week
  • Live and work in Columbus
  • Live in provided housing
  • Mentor junior cohorts

"I have always enjoyed the energizing force that interns and recent graduates bring to my company.  Their enthusiasm, desire to learn and openness to new ideas are both contagious and challenging.  I am grateful to be a part of the Wayne State College's Cooperative Education Program as we develop relationships with career-ready students to improve our business and our community."


Scott Mueller

Owner - Samson, LLC.
Columbus, Neb.

Questions? Contact:

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