Wayne State, Aksarben Foundation announce new cooperative scholarship program

NORFOLK – Some of the first steps in the Northeast Nebraska Growing Together initiative are being put in motion.

Wayne State College and the Aksarben Foundation announced the creation of the Cooperative Education Program in a news conference Friday.

The program will take 15 Nebraska students interested in business, information technology, and communications fields. The students will get scholarships financed through a $360,000 dollar donation by Aksarben, with the idea that the students will spend their final year of school living and interning in Norfolk.

“In their senior year,” said president Rames. “The cooperative-education students will move to Norfolk where they’ll earn 18 credit hours by working for a Norfolk business for approximately 30 hours a week over a ninth-month period.

College officials say the goal is to keep students in the region.
“We want to help the students connect with the community and gain a real appreciation for the many exciting social and cultural opportunities that are available here in the City of Norfolk,” president Rames added.

The program includes an Aksarben scholarship package worth $24,000 over four years.

“We have done research across the country on cooperate education programs,” president Rames mentioned. “I can tell you nobody is doing it as this level with these majors and connecting them to industry and socially bringing the students together to connect them and keep them in the rural parts of our country.”

Wayne State says they plan to grow the program to 75 new students each year.