Academy Program Grant Students Real-life Opportunities

A Unique Learning Experience

Dual enrollment and Academy classes are here! Gross Catholic has always been known for tailoring its curriculum to its students’ needs. When the high school first opened its doors in the late 60’s, students were able to take woodshop and other various courses to gain hands-on experience and prepare for jobs in the trade industry, if they desired. In the early 2000’s the curriculum shifted and began to offer ACT Prep and AP courses to help better prepare its students to go onto post secondary institutions. During this time the laptop program commenced, which helped incorporate technology in the classroom and jumpstart a new wave of learning for students.

Dual Enrollment Courses Added

In the last couple of years, Gross Catholic has undergone not just a facelift to its academic wing, but a new shift to add more dual enrollment classes. Students who successfully complete these classes earn college credit in addition to high school credit. These courses will also expand student’s knowledge for their future career choice and give them a head start after they graduate. Many of these dual enrollment classes are offered through new Academic Academies, which were introduced in the fall of 2021. The Academies grant students real-life experiences and opportunities for networking outside the traditional classroom setting.

Tim Powers, Dean of Curriculum and Faculty Support, oversees the dual enrollment courses. “The dual enrollment classes allow us to partner with local universities and colleges as well as places like CHI Health. It gives students a handson and unique learning experience based on whatever track program they are enrolled in,” Powers says.

Health Sciences Academy

Senior Audrey Swanson has been studying nursing in the Health Sciences Career Academy. “I started the nursing track program when I was a junior, taking online classes through Metropolitan Community College,” Swanson says. “I just earned my CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certification this past summer.” Swanson’s recent certification allows her to divy her time between school and CHI Health Immanuel Hospital, allowing her to apply what she’s learning in her classes to the workplace. I’ve always known I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field,” Swanson says. “It just makes sense that Gross Catholic provides classes and academies for us students, giving us the experience not just for college, but after college too. Students aren’t the only ones attaining certifications for the academies. Gross Catholic’s teachers are required to have at least a master’s degree to teach the college level courses as well attain any specific certifications which come along with facilitating dual enrollment courses.

Suzanne Nano, who oversees the Health Sciences Career Academy and helps supervise the catered curriculum, works hand-in-hand with universities to adjust syllabi based on each student’s needs.

“Our students are getting all the benefits of a university level course, but our classes are still in person and smaller,” Nano says. “This just allows us to continue to show our students more and give them the attention they need.”

Athletic Training Academy

This past year, Gross Catholic added the Athletic Training Track Program. Students are able to take classes such as Care and Prevention of Medical Injuries and Medical Terminology which are just a handful of the newly catered courses in the program. Senior Jake Garcia, who is part of the Athletic Training Track Program hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy. “I came to Gross Catholic because I wanted to play football here,” Garcia recalls. “But this school gives us students the opportunity to try different classes, supports what we might want to do in the future, and that’s something that other kids my age aren’t going to get anywhere else.”

Academy 1

Mrs. Suzanne Nano explains to seniors Connor Capece and Jake Garcia how to use the electric stimulation machine.

Academy 2

Students in the Care and Prevention of Medical Injuries Course experiment with different types of modalities.

Academy 3

Alumnae Mari Jo (Hrabik) Schneiderwind ‘78 and Alexis (Schneiderwind) Herting ‘15 spoke to students in the Healthcare Academy about their careers in the medical field. Mari Jo is a medical assistant at Ear Specialist of Omaha and Alexis is a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. In this photo Mari Jo is showing senior Audrey Swanson how to use an otoscope.


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About Gross Catholic

Gross Catholic, a co-educational, college preparatory high school, began its proud heritage of academic excellence rooted in the Marianist tradition in 1968. We consider ourselves one of the best Catholic schools in Omaha, Bellevue, and Papillion. The school motto Dux Esto (“Be a Leader”) is at the core of its extraordinary mission, innovative spirit, and fundamental values. The school offers a challenging environment and outstanding quality of life, both in academics and co-curricular activities, with a strong focus on STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) education. The spirit of Christian service and giving back is part of everything the school does. Gross Catholic’s top-tier status is reflected in its talented faculty, staff, and coaches who take great pride in seeing virtually every graduate head to college, often to the most prestigious domestic and international universities and service academies. Together with families and alumni, Gross Catholic forges relationships for a lifetime, helping to ready the next generation to be exemplary, principled leaders of the world.

To discover the Gross Catholic difference, contact us at 402.734.2000 or visit our Admissions page.