Bearcat Scholars Earn KHS Credit Before High School Begins

Bearcat Scholars Earn KHS Credit Before High School Begins image

Last summer, Kearney High School held the inaugural Bearcat Scholars class.  Originally tagged as a summer transition opportunity for incoming freshmen, KHS Principal Dr. Chris Loofe, wanted to give the students a positive introduction to high school.  Bearcat Scholars were given the opportunity to earn 10 high school credits in just four short weeks before school started. “The goal of the program is to develop skills for success both academically and socially,” said Loofe.  

Nominations were accepted from Horizon and Sunrise Middle Schools and 26 scholars started the program.  According to KHS Counselor and administrator of the program, Jason Owens, of the 24 students that finished the program, 21 completed five credits in geography and all 24 completed five credits in Career Development.

In addition to taking Geography and Career Development for credit, students were introduced to Habitudes, a leadership program that develops work and social skills.  They were also introduced to KHS Career and Technical Student Organizations (HOSA, DECA, etc), the four pillars of the KPS #BeKind program, mindfulness, study skills, and a host of personality and career interest tests.  On Fridays, the students went on field trips to different businesses around Kearney, visiting Kearney Regional Hospital, Steinbrink’s Landscaping, and others.

“One of our main goals of this program is to foster a population of students with the potential to have a sense of belonging at KHS,” stated Owens.  In the results of the Bearcat Scholar survey, 95% of the students enjoyed their teachers, 80% indicated they were proud of being a Bearcat Scholar, and 86% said they would recommend the program.  A typical sentiment shared on the survey indicated that the student thought he/she was going to struggle and was nervous but, by the end, was excited and felt that they had accomplished something great.   “Serving our Bearcat Scholars students was a privilege and I am proud to say that their dedication and commitment to personal growth and a positive mindset show their true potential,” stated Owens.

“ We want our students to develop positive relationships with each other and with staff at KHS,” stated Loofe. “Studies indicate that students with a sense of belonging have the potential to be more successful in high school.”