Peru State College gives students an edge in the working world

Pure Nebraska
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 10:16 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 11:08 AM CST
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PERU, Neb. (KOLN) - During a recent visit to the “Campus of a Thousand Oaks”, we learned about some opportunities students have there to build a bright future.

You could say Peru State College is giving students an edge in the working world. For example, the school offers three criminal justice majors where students get important training.

“We have a Milo Simulator, that allows us to work on de-escalation techniques, which is basically in a no fault environment,” Peru State School of Professional Studies Workforce Liasion Shawn Sherman said. “If they make a mistake or it doesn’t go well, it doesn’t hurt anything. We just start over, as opposed to if a student doesn’t get these opportunities, and they have to learn when they get to, where they are going, they will be less successful if they haven’t had this practice.”

Students also learn how to process crime scenes at Peru State, and deal with jail cell incidents. Criminal justice majors also benefit from the Correctional Leadership Scholarship Program. It provides scholarship money while students get hands-on experience working at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution. This could lead to future employment.

“They have the opportunity to hire on at Corrections at maybe a potential higher rate, because they’ve gone through this leadership academy with the Department of Corrections,” Sherman said. “Instead of having their foot in the door, they might be a few steps ahead of others that just walked in the door because of this.”

Students are also getting special training in the “TELL” Lab at Peru State’s College of Education. “TELL is our Teaching Experience Learning Lab,” College of Education Dean Dwayne Chism said. The lab gives future teachers a chance to experience the most up-to-date classrooms they might encounter. “What this provides for our candidates is an opportunity to experience flexible seating,” Chism said. “The beauty of this is, the classrooms can be transformed within minutes, to look however they want them to look, to fit the needs of students.”

The future teachers in the program are also exposed to innovative technology.

“We’ve got smart boards, we’ve got one-to-one devices,” Chism said. “It allows students to record their own teaching, and to analyze and look at their lessons, and learn.”

The learning continues in the College of Arts and Sciences. At the Performing Arts Center at Peru State, you are bound to find any number of events happening. When we visited, a show choir camp was taking place. And, inside an organic chemistry lab, we found students building bonds with one another.

“It’s that personalized, individualized education that’s really cool,” College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Hinrichs said. “One of the things we offer in the sciences is undergrad mentored research. We have practicing scientists, and as they get grants, they have students work on those grants.”

Peru State College President Michael Evans says the school is a community.

“It’s not a place where people go to work and go home, or go to class and go home,” Evans said. “They belong here.”

Evans says he’s excited about what’s happening now at the college, but also says the future looks bright as well.

“Among the things we are working on right now is something we call project R.O.A.R.,” Evans said. “That stands for Renewed Opportunities for Activity and Recreation, and it’s going to result in five new buildings on campus. This will more than double the space we have for recreation, junior varsity, intramural teams, and club sports. The real goal is to get students up, and get them moving.”

As the future of Peru State College continues to take shape, students are taking advantage of what’s offered right now. They are making the most their time at this small and well-rounded college.