On Oct. 22, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) officially announced their intentions to enter an academic partnership with Hastings College, offering supplemental educational opportunities at UNO and UNMC for Hastings students.
Given that UNO and UNMC are public institutions in urban settings and Hastings College is a private university in a rural environment, this partnership truly provides students with a holistic collegiate experience. As the agreement states, students at Hastings College will be able to register for remote and/or “online upper division courses” at UNO and UNMC beginning in the spring of 2021, while continuing to pursue their educational program(s) at Hastings.
In addition, students at Hastings College will still be allowed to take part in other activities on campus, including athletics, fine arts and other campus life-related events.
“We are excited to undertake this partnership to build cooperative academic programs with UNO and UNMC,” said Rich Lloyd, Ph.D., the executive president of Hastings College. “It is our priority to further enhance our strong academic offerings by allowing our students to take courses not offered at Hastings College but that align with career aspirations or meet academic needs as students look to add an emphasis area or apply to graduate or professional programs.”
If a student at Hastings College is interested in pursuing coursework at either UNO or UNMC, they can meet with their academic advisor to determine what courses would best complement their current curriculum at Hastings. Specialized courses offered include classes in accounting, cybersecurity, foreign languages, public affairs, social work, history, art, and more.
Though Hastings College will primarily be paying UNO and UNMC for courses taken by their students through these colleges, it is noted that students may be required to pay a small fee to Hastings at some point to cover various administrative costs.
Going forward, UNO, UNMC, and Hastings will also be looking to cooperate on initiatives surrounding internship exchanges or degree programs that begin at one institution (either UNO/UNMC or Hastings College) and can be completed entirely at the other.
UNO Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. offered plenty of words of praise for this partnership.
“This partnership is an important example of our role as a premier public institution,” Gold said. “We understand it is our mission to serve the people and the institutions of Nebraska that support workforce development, educational attainment, economic development, and premier health care. We hope these steps are just the beginning of this partnership, given our common interest in early child education, the liberal arts, STEM, business, technology, and the arts.”
University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter also announced his approval for the collaboration between all three colleges, and he illustrated how such an initiative could improve the state of Nebraska as a whole.
“The future of higher education will be about creating new and innovative pathways for students to complete their degrees and be successful in the workplace,” Carter said. “This exciting partnership with Hastings College is one more way we can expand access for students and put our collective strengths to work to meet the urgent needs of our state. It’s a win for Nebraska students, for both our institutions, and for the economic growth and competitiveness of our state. I commend the UNO and UNMC teams for their leadership on this effort, and we look forward to a long and successful collaboration with our Hastings College colleagues.”