WaNIC provides alternative class oportunities

Drew Brady, Senior Writer

Spending a few minutes in the Career Center could provide a student with more than just peace and quiet for finishing a calculus assignment. If students wish to, they could take advantage of a valuable resource outside the Liberty campus.

The Washington Network for Innovative Careers (WaNIC) provides specific technical and career education programs based on rigorous academic standards. In addition to our own Issaquah School District, the WaNIC is available for students in seven other school districts, including Bellevue and Lake Washington.

Among the many courses WaNIC offers, some of the more notable are Agriculture, Arts, Media, Communication, Business, Marketing, Engineering, Health, Human Services and Information Technology. The WaNIC also offers courses tailored to specific career paths, such as Composite Engineering Design, Dental, Firefighting/EMS, and Health Science careers.

“A lot of kids don’t realize this valuable thing that could really set them on the right track,” Career Center specialist Judy Co said.

Co was surprised by the esteem of some of the organizations that are offering internships.

“It allows students to learn in an appropriate field in highly coveted organizations,” Career Center specialist Judy Co said.

Most courses have no fee to enroll, but some of the more prestigious businesses that offer courses require a lab fee ranging from about $20 to $100.

“Organizations like DigiPen, which would typically offer educational courses for hundreds of dollars at a time, offer internships and learning opportunities for students through the WaNIC for a fraction of the cost. It’s really quite incredible” Co said.

Even the well-established business CISCO—which designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment—offers education in corporate enterprise networks for no fee at all.

WaNIC programs are available to all students in grades eleven and twelve. In addition, almost all WaNIC classes are year-long and meet every day.

While the main roadblock seems to be the lack of transportation available for students, the Career Center experts and students involved in the WaNIC program would say the benefits far outweigh the minor inconvenience.

“Kids who have the passion are the ones that stick with it,” Co said.

Registration began on February 2, and all courses are first-come, first-served. If students have questions or are interested in the WaNIC program, they are encouraged to talk to Judy Co and Mardi Nystrom in the Career Center soon to be eligible.