Off Campus Programs Offer Professional Skills

Opportunities For Career Exploration Offered


McKenna Dubes

At Northland Career Center Dec. 18, students in the Aviation Technology department observe an airplane before starting to work on it.

Elyse Bredfeldt, Reporter, Copy Editor

     High schoolers typically begin considering future careers and planning their next steps. One way to figure things out is to get hands-on experience in a professional setting. That’s where the district’s career education programs come in. 

     “I definitely do think it’s beneficial. I have friends in other programs and they think it is super beneficial to them too,” senior Mia Alvarez said. 

Northland Career Center     

Cassie Ford

     One of the two main career education opportunities available to students in the district are the programs offered by Northland Career Center. NCC offers 13 different career programs, allowing them to see if  the career path is a good fit before they commit to pursuing the field after high school. Some of the programs offered include Agriculture Sciences, Culinary Arts, Construction Technology, and Law Enforcement Crime Scene Investigation. 

      Alvarez is part of NCC’s  teaching professions program. She is interning as a second grade student teacher in the Platte County School District. In this role she helps the teacher with behavior management and assists students with work and comprehension of challenging concepts. 

     “We mostly focus on the basic understanding of what you’ll need to learn to become an educator,” Alvarez said. “Things like classroom management, how to create lesson plans, child development, that kind of thing.”

     Senior Kori Matlock is part of NCC’s culinary arts program. Matlock has learned about restaurant management and graphic design for menus. She also has created multiple meals for school board members. Culinary students also sell the food they make to other NCC participants.  

     “I have dismantled a turkey for Thanksgiving,” Matlock said. “I learned how to do that; I’ve never known how to do that. I learned how to debone chicken and learned how to use fryers.”

      While Alvarez and Matlock are in different programs, both said NCC provided them with opportunities that would not have otherwise been available to them. 

     Alvarez has gotten ahead in her teaching internship hours. 

     “By the time I graduate from NCC next semester, I will have 380 hours of internship,” Alvarez said. “It’s a lot; it’s definitely given me a head start.” 

      Matlock said her new skills would be valuable in a culinary profession. 

      “It teaches working with others and doing different positions even if you don’t like that position necessarily,” Matlock said.  

      Those in the program are off-campus half of the school day working on developing professional skills and exploring their chosen field. 

Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies

     Another career program available to students is the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (NCAPS) program. While the NCC and NCAPS programs are relatively similar, there are some differences between the two. 

      “They’re both off-campus programs,” school counselor Mallory Parra said.“The offerings at each one are a little different. NCAPS has an internship, always second semester, which could be anywhere in the metro area. NCC has different partnerships with different businesses.”

Graphic by Cassie Ford

     Junior Macy Attebery is in the Global Business and Logistics program at NCAPS and will be interning for an attorney.

     “I’ve been learning about marketing and doing marketing projects before my internship in the spring,” Attebery said. 

      Senior Alex Secaida is part of the Medicine and Healthcare program at NCAPS where she has earned multiple medical certifications.  

      “I’ve been certified in HIPPA, CPR, how to insert an EpiPen, things like that,” Secaida said. 

     Secaida also said the program has offered her opportunities in the field. 

“We’re able to apply for internships that go with the field that we’re interested in,” Secaida said.  “I’ve applied for internships that involve pediatrics or the NICU.”     

       The main distinction between the programs is the focus. 

      “NCAPS, the benefit they feel is creating professional students,” Parra said. “They go over resume writing, etiquette in the workforce, professional dress with career training as well. NCC focuses on actual career exploration.” 

     If students have an idea of what career they hope to pursue or want to explore a career field they find interesting, either of these programs could offer them professional opportunities.