High School Students Celebrate Earning Nursing Credentials from Oakton

(Aug. 14, 2020) Each year, Oakton helps high school students get a jump on earning college credit by offering dual credit opportunities. Recently, 61 Maine Township High School District 207 students celebrated graduating high school while also relishing in earning their first post-secondary credential – the Basic Nurse Assistant Training (BNAT) Certificate. Students were recognized for their accomplishment at a virtual graduation ceremony July 29.  

This stackable credential qualifies students for a job as a nurse’s assistant and is also a prerequisite for entrance into Oakton’s Registered Nursing Program.

Last year, Maine Township High School District 207 students pursued Certified Nurse Assistant Training during their senior year of high school. Also, a similar BNAT program starts this fall for Niles Township District 219 students.

Oakton dual credit programs have grown tremendously over the past few years. In addition to Maine Township High School District 207, the college has over 3,600 students enrolled in dual credit programs at Evanston Township High School District 202, Glenbrook High School District 225, New Trier High School District 203, Niles Township High School District 219 and Loyola Academy.

Courses allow students to obtain high school and college credit simultaneously. Dual credit courses are taught in the high school classrooms by Oakton approved high school teachers.

“There are many benefits for high school students to take dual credit courses,” Cindy Nijmeh, coordinator of college transitions, says. “These include saving money, earning college credit, experiencing the rigors of college-level academics, gaining flexibility in college by completing credits in high school and gaining confidence in pursuing a college career.”

At the virtual graduation, Oakton President Joianne Smith shared her enthusiasm with graduates.

“You accomplished your goal in the midst of an international pandemic! I hope that you are able to appreciate what this says about each of you – you are ambitious, work hard and are resilient. These traits will serve you well in your career and as you continue on life’s journey. You will always be known as the first group of students at Oakton to have achieved this distinction. Oakton is very proud of you. You can now consider yourself not only Oakton students, but also alumni of the college,” she said.

For more information about dual credit programs, contact dualcredit@oakton.edu.