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Gabrielle Perlinger, of Paxton, and Larissa Walter, of North Platte, clean equipment following a chemistry lab Thursday at North Platte Community College.
It’s not the easiest program on campus, but it’s not supposed to be.
If there was no challenge to chemistry, then it wouldn’t serve its purpose, which is to prepare students at Mid-Plains Community College to be successful – no matter what career they choose.
“Chemistry serves multiple roles here at the college,” said Aaron McLean, chemistry instructor at MPCC in North Platte. “It can be used as a science elective, but it’s also much, much more.”
The class is a necessity for people who want to be professional chemists, or go into another scientific field such as biology.
Chemistry is also a prerequisite for those headed down a healthcare path such as medical technology, radiation technology or nursing.
“Doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists and dentists all need four semesters of chemistry,” said McLean. “Engineers need at least one semester, sometimes two, depending on what kind of engineering they plan to do.”
Erik Davis and Kelsey Rhoden, both of North Platte, hit the books during a chemistry lab Thursday at North Platte Community College.
Those who don’t want or need to take a core science class can opt for one of two survey courses that provide a broad overview of chemistry.
However, students requiring the full four semesters of chemistry will find themselves enrolled in two semesters of general chemistry followed by two semesters of organic chemistry.
“The general part is a detailed overview of certain principles as applied to all chemistry,” said McLean. “It involves the mathematical relationship with chemistry phenomena and tries to explain why things occur the way they do.”
According to McLean, the organic classes focus on the chemistry of carbon and its chemical behavior.
“Life is carbon-based,” said McLean. “The majority of biological molecules are carbon-based, so the more we understand them, the more we understand life.”
Living tissue isn’t the only substance with its roots in carbon. Plastics, adhesives and fossil fuels are just a few examples of non-living materials that also contain the element.
Because aspects of chemistry are everywhere in the physical world, there are lots of open doors for those who have a background in that particular branch of science.
“One of my former students is now a food chemist for Cargill,” said McLean. “Another is in her second year of medical school, planning to go into psychiatry, and a third is in vet school.”
McLean believes the small class sizes and low tuition rates at MPCC offer a huge advantage to chemistry students.
The largest class he will teach is 24 students. Most are smaller. In organic chemistry, the average is five to seven students.
“That’s compared to a class of 80-100 at a university,” said McLean. “Not only is it intimidating to be in a class that large, but one-on-one time with an instructor is almost impossible. I know all my students, and I think the key to success for a lot of them has been one-on-one instruction.”
According to McLean, tuition at MPCC is about half that of a university and credits transfer seamlessly to other colleges and universities throughout the state.
“People can get their first two years of schooling here then move into programs such as pre-med or pre-vet,” said McLean. “Those are high-paying jobs. Any way you look at it, starting out at a community college just makes sense.”
Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy, Area Vice-President of Academic Affairs and North Platte Community College Jody Tomanek, Callahan Cancer Center director Kathy Feagler, Great Plains Healthcare Foundation director Libby Lashley and Elizabeth Peters, music instructor at NPCC, were part of a check presentation this week.
Peters and her students raised a little over $400 by collecting donations and selling t-shirts during a Concert of Hope in October. The money was given to the Callahan Cancer Center during an MPCC Board of Governors meeting Wednesday night.
Cynthia Duncan (District 3), Ben Lashley (District 4) and Karen Knisley (District 5) are sworn in during the Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors meeting Wednesday night in North Platte. Lashley and Knisley are from North Platte. Duncan is from Broken Bow.
An architectural rendering shows what the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium will look like after new bleachers are installed. Fundraising for the project continues.
The Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors has made a commitment to replace the bleachers in the North Platte Community College McDonald-Belton Gymnasium.
The board approved a contract with Irwin Seating Company, of Grand Rapids, Mich. Wednesday night to begin manufacturing new seating to replace the current bleachers, which are more than 40-years-old.
The approval came with a stipulation that if all the money for the project is not raised by April 8, installation will be delayed.
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The following students qualified for the Dean’s List during the 2014 Fall Term. To be eligible, they had to complete 12 or more credit hours of college-level courses and maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 – 3.89 on a 4.0 scale.
Anselmo - Rebecca Rossenbach
Arapahoe - Christen Williamson
Arnold - Jami Andre, Hannah Magill
Axtell - Gabrielle Nickel
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The following students qualified for the President’s List at Mid-Plains Community College during the 2014 Fall Term. To make the list, each student had to complete 12 or more credit hours in college-level courses and maintain a grade point average of 3.9 or greater on a 4.0 scale.
Arapahoe - Kyla Monie
Benkelman - Raquel Ohrman
Brady - Valerie Most, Dakota Terry
Broken Bow - Jeffrey Frede
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Registrations are now being accepted for spring community classes through the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise in North Platte. The classes include:
Arts and crafts
“Bob Ross Painting, Canyon Lake” - People will learn how to paint a gorgeous mountain range overlooking a peaceful valley with a beautiful blue lake, an old cabin and a fence.
The price if students take their own supplies is $40. If provided supplies are used, the cost is $75. The class meets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at the south campus. Sharon Rodeman is the instructor.
“Filet Crochet” – Participants will learn how to read symbols and follow pattern charts while doing filet crochet. Each student must take crochet thread and a steel hook.
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Time is running out to sign up for an ARTS 1400 “Fundamentals of Photography” class at North Platte Community College. The class begins Feb. 3 and will be taught by Dik Haneline, art instructor. It is worth three credit hours.
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Carra Johnson, of Madrid, works on a car in the automotive technology department at North Platte Community College. She developed an interest for tools and machinery while helping her father repair farm equipment.
They’re giving the boys a run for their money.
Carra Johnson, of Madrid, and Jessica Schaben, of Gothenburg, are taking classes at North Platte Community College in programs most women don’t go into: automotive technology and auto body technology.
Johnson is the only female in her class, and Schaben is the only female in her class. The fact that most of their gender shies away from the fields has done little to damper the spirits of the two women. In fact, they embrace the idea of being unique.
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Blaker Morrisey, a senior at Maxwell High School, practices his soldering skills on copper tubing Monday at North Platte Community College. Morrisey won the HVAC/R division of the seventh annual NPCC Technical Skills Contest.
North Platte Community College was a flurry of activity Monday. About 80 students from seven area high schools converged on the north campus for the seventh annual NPCC Technical Skills Contest.
Their knowledge and talents were tested in the areas of auto mechanics, team building construction, cabinetmaking, construction drafting, electrical technology, welding and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R).
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Mike Janecek, automotive instructor, hooks up a clip car to a scanner Friday at North Platte Community College. The clip cars allow students in the automotive technology program to easily observe and practice skills they hear about in the classroom.
Don’t let their size fool you.
The cars parked in the automotive technology shop at North Platte Community College may be little, but the role they play in training students is huge.
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Jared Daily, MPCC mathematics and physics instructor, and Matt Kellie, student, work on a Harley-Davidson hard saddlebag Wednesday. Redesigning the lock and hinge on the saddlebag so the lid doesn’t fall off is one of the projects students in the STEP program are working on.
It’s called “Strengthening Transitions into Engineering Programs,” otherwise known as STEP, and people around the country are reaping the benefits of it. Students are set up for success the minute they enroll.
“There are three major advantages of the STEP program,” said Jared Daily, a physics and engineering instructor at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte. “First, STEP introduces students to engineering in a non-threatening and informative way. Second, students can complete many challenging courses with the support and guidance they need to succeed. Third, STEP students save a lot of money by starting out in community colleges.”
The program started in 2006 as the result of a partnership between Nebraska’s community colleges and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering.
Through STEP, prospective engineers can complete two years of core courses at one of the community colleges then transfer to UNL for a bachelor’s degree.
Daily and Roger Volentine, MPCC mathematics instructor, were chosen to represent Nebraska's community colleges and report on STEP to the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. The reports have been positive. A lot of that has to do with the gradual transition into university classes that STEP offers.
“Going to an engineering class at a big university is like getting dropped into a tank of ice water,” said Daily. “You’re thrown into the toughest classes with the smartest people, and that can be intimidating. The dropout rate in engineering is about 50 percent freshman year.”
Daily believes part of the problem is that students don’t always know what they’re getting into.
“At MPCC, we introduce students to engineering disciplines and the design process without the academic pressure of a university,” said Daily. “We’ve also developed a dual credit course where high school students can get a taste of engineering early on. It’s part of an Engineering Career Academy.”
One of the biggest benefits of STEP courses is that students learn in a small classroom setting with lots of hands-on and one-on-one instruction.
“We’ve been holding steady at six or seven kids in our main engineering class,” said Daily. “That’s compared to hundreds at a big university.”
Another benefit MPCC STEP students have is internships. So far, Daily has worked with students to land internships with the Nebraska Public Power District, the Omaha Public Power District, the Nebraska Department of Roads and the UNL West Central Research and Extension Center.
"Internships give students real-life experience that is not only an invaluable education, but also a springboard into careers and other opportunities,” said Daily. “Few, if any, freshmen and sophomores are given internships at universities."
Attending MPCC is also less expensive than attending a university.
“Most engineers take five to six years to get a bachelor’s degree, which amounts to $50,000-$100,000 minimum,” Daily said. “If they can get a couple years for $90 per credit - that’s a huge help."
Engineering books, which are usually close to the $300 range, are at most $75 at MPCC. Daily has also been working for years to develop courses that use free textbooks and online resources.
Presently, he teaches two physics courses, two engineering courses and two math courses that all use free textbooks and/or free online learning materials.
"I believe education should be affordable,” said Daily. “Students should not be denied opportunity because somebody is trying to make more money."
Matt Kellie, of North Platte, is one of the students currently enrolled in STEP at MPCC. He’s been impressed by the program.
“I signed up because I’ve always had an interest in math and science and had been looking at NPPD jobs,” said Kellie. “STEP is great because it gives me a head start on engineering courses before moving on to a university. It’s just a little bit of an edge.”
Jose Estrada, of Bridgeport, Gunnar Hodges, of Chappell, and Joe Godfrey, of North Platte, carry trusses to a forklift on the north campus of North Platte Community College as Roger Fattig, building construction instructor, supervises.
The trusses were placed on NPCC's project house Wednesday. First and second-year building construction students are creating the house from scratch as part of a two-year project that will give them real-world experience. The house will be auctioned in the spring of 2016, and proceeds will be used for scholarships for building construction students.
Carlos Aguilar, of Wallace; Taylor Stockman, of Curtis, and Eric Linnemeyer, of Gothenburg, connect wires in a junction box Tuesday. The students are part of the electrical technology class at North-Platte Community College.
They have been gaining hands-on experience by helping with a remodel of the advanced diesel technology classroom on NPCC’s north campus. Among other things, they ran new conduit and wire, replaced receptacles and switches and installed new lights.
In an effort to increase the number of registered nurses in Nebraska with bachelor’s degrees, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing will provide early, guaranteed admission in the RN to BSN program for qualified students enrolled in associate degree nursing programs at the six community colleges in the state.
The intent of the Nebraska RN-BSN Collaborative is to encourage seamless transfer opportunities for students and enhance communication between the institutions. The agreement also is one strategy towards Nebraska’s goal of attaining 80 percent of registered nurses with BSN degrees, said Juliann Sebastian, dean of the UNMC College of Nursing.
“With an increased need for BSN qualified nurses, this partnership shows a commitment across the state of Nebraska to provide qualified nurses to our local hospitals and clinics,” said Jody Tomanek, area vice-president of academic affairs and North Platte Community College. “The community colleges are pleased to partner with UNMC on this venture that will be beneficial to students, colleges and employers.”
The six community colleges are: Central Community College, Kearney/Grand Island; Metro Community College, Omaha; Mid-Plains Community College, North Platte/McCook; Northeast Community College, Norfolk; Southeast Community College, Lincoln; and West Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff.
“This will be a wonderful opportunity for students and will help boost the BSN pipeline in the state,” Sebastian said. “One of the most exciting things is each community college worked with our faculty to design the program in a way that will work optimally for students and strengthen opportunities for seamless progression from the associate to the baccalaureate degree.”
She said the program is streamlined and has been customized to meet the needs of registered nurses. Students at the community colleges still will have opportunities to apply for any UNMC nursing program of their choice, Sebastian said, but the agreement provides a unique early entry option for students who meet the qualifications.
Community college students approved for early admission will have completed at least one quarter of nursing coursework and have a minimum GPA of 3.25. Students will be admitted pending completion of the ADN program and attaining their registered nursing license.
The RN to BSN program requires 20 credit hours and is delivered online. An additional 11 credits are required and are met through documentation of professional and educational accomplishments.
The program is designed to bridge the gap between the credit hours students already have taken in their associate degree programs and what they need for a BSN. Flexibility of the program enables students to finish it full time in two semesters or part-time over three years.
Applications will be accepted in February 2015 for the semester that begins in August 2016. Guaranteed spaces will be made available at the beginning of each academic year for a select number of students.
Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler, professor and associate dean for academic programs at the UNMC College of Nursing, said the RN to BSN program provides skills and knowledge in leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, best practices, patient safety and quality improvement. It also provides education in population-based care.
According to a 2012 report by the Nebraska Center for Nursing, 48 percent of the 20,434 registered nurses working in Nebraska have earned a BSN. About 51 percent of nurses in the nation have a BSN degree, Stamler said.
Three instructors from Mid-Plains Community College have been selected as Excellence in Teaching recipients by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD).
The full-time instructors are Nicole Kissinger and Anne Schmit, and the adjunct representative is Carla Long. It’s the first time MPCC has allowed adjunct faculty to be nominated.
“It is always wonderful when we can recognize the accomplishments of our faculty whether they are full-time or part-time,” said Jody Tomanek, area vice president for academic affairs and NPCC. “This particular award is based on nominations from the faculty, themselves, so to be selected is really a recognition by their peers as well.”
NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.
The three recipients from MPCC will be presented with awards at NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 23-26, in Austin, Texas.
They will receive a specially cast, pewter medallion, and their names, titles and college they represent will be included in a commemorative booklet.
“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Edward Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”
Created in 1978, NISOD is an organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges.
NISOD supports its member colleges by providing professional development resources and learning experiences, including practitioner publications, webinars, the international conference and the excellence awards.
The first NISOD Excellence Award ceremony was in 1989. Response was so positive that NISOD launched what has become the largest gathering to recognize contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators and staff.
Connie Bunning visits with Peggy Warner, team supervisor for the American Red Cross, after giving blood Monday morning. The blood drive will continue until 3:30 p.m. in the student lounge on the north campus of North Platte Community College. Walk-ins are welcome.
Soup bowls such as these will be made during a one credit hour class MPCC will offer at the Prairie Arts Center in February. The partnership between the college and the arts center has proven positive for everyone involved.
That’s how Mid-Plains Community College instructor Dik Haneline and his students feel about the new Prairie Arts Center in North Platte.
The building has been a huge boost to MPCC so far, and Haneline expects the benefits will continue as more of the facility is opened to the public.
“It has already increased the awareness and importance of the arts in our community, and it’s not even finished, yet,” said Haneline. “It will be an asset both as a cultural center and as a tourism draw and boost to economic development.”
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Ryan Purdy speaks during an all-campus meeting earlier this month. Sunday will mark the three-year anniversary of his presidency at MPCC.
It’s been almost three years since Ryan Purdy took over the helm as president of Mid-Plains Community College. Although relatively short in duration, his leadership has been accompanied by a tremendous amount of success.
“There were a lot of good systems in place when I stepped into the job,” Purdy said. “It was just a matter of expanding on the groundwork.”
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Crockpot cooking will be taught at North Platte Community College on Jan. 22. Participants will learn how to make fast, easy and delicious meals.
The deadlines are approaching to sign up for two new classes through the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise: “The Cook's In the Kitchen: Crockpot Meals” and “Real Estate Principles and Practice.”
Those who enroll in the cooking class will learn how to put together delicious and easy dishes in minutes. Everyone who attends is asked to take a crockpot and liner. Participants will leave with a complete meal.
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Knitting, crocheting and beginning clothing construction are just a few of the fun, arts and crafts classes MPCC offers. Complete listings can be found through any MPCC campus.
Crochet For Geeks, Ballroom Dancing and Pesky Virus Removal, those are just a few of the classes that will be offered at Mid-Plains Community College this spring.
“We have classes geared toward anyone 15 or older,” said Angela Raby, area director of the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise. “The focus is adult short courses, and there’s a blend of online and on the ground training opportunities.”
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Special Olympics athletes were honored Wednesday night at North Platte Community College. They were treated to a reception in the VIP Room of the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium and were recognized at halftime before meeting the NPCC Knights men's basketball team during an autograph session.
North Platte Community College is preparing for a journey “beyond imagination” – one that will never be replicated.
Jim Wand, hypnotist, will perform at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 in the McDonald-Belton Theater. His show is free and open to the public.
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North Platte Community College will host an American Red Cross blood drive from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 19. The event will be in the student lounge on the north campus. All participants will receive a free T-shirt.
Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged. People can schedule an appointment by calling Ryan Glenney at 563-260-4115, or emailing email@example.com.
Jessie Allen, English instructor, speaks to a class at NPCC on Tuesday. Allen is originally from New York. She moved to North Platte specifically to work at the college.
More isn’t always better - just ask Jessie Allen.
Allen is from the city of Rochester, in Monroe County, N.Y. She traded the hustle and bustle of the area for the quietness of rural Nebraska in 2007 when she accepted a job as an English instructor at North Platte Community College.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Monroe County was 749,606 in 2013. In comparison, Lincoln County’s 2013 population was 36,051.
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Administrators at Mid-Plains Community College issued a response Monday to President Barack Obama’s idea that tuition at community colleges should be free.
MPCC President Ryan Purdy said it’s too early to tell exactly what the proposal will mean for community colleges, but he does appreciate the national attention they are getting.
“It’s a great opportunity to identify community colleges as the way to bridge the gap in business, industrial and technical training,” said Purdy.
His concerns include the red tape and accountability that would accompany such an action and whether Nebraska’s community colleges are staffed to handle any mandated compliance requirements.
“Free sounds great if you’re a student,” said Purdy. “But, from the taxpayer standpoint, the cost may exceed the anticipated outcomes.”
He said tuition makes up 20-35 percent of the general fund budgets of community colleges statewide. According to Purdy, the tuition revenues that would have to be replaced by state and federal money would be in the tens of millions of dollars per year just for Nebraska alone.
Obama unveiled the proposal, known as America’s College Promise, on Friday, and the White House issued a press release about the matter.
“Today, more than ever, Americans need more knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a growing global economy without having to take on decades of debt before they even embark on their career,” the press release reads.
The proposal is likened to a movement about a century ago to make high school widely available. The White House credits that movement to a rapid growth in the education and skills training of Americans, which drove decades of economic growth and prosperity.
“America thrived in the 20th century, in large part because we had the most educated workforce in the world,” the press release reads. “But, other nations have matched or exceeded the secret to our success.”
Success of the new proposal would require a team effort, according to the White House. Community colleges would have to strengthen their programs and increase the number of students who graduate, states would have to invest more in higher education and training and students would have to take responsibility for their education, earn good grades and stay on track to graduate.
The White House maintains that if all states participate, an estimated 9 million students could benefit, and a full-time community college student could save an average of $3,800 in tuition per year.
MPCC officials don’t believe attendance costs should ever be a deterrent to people taking college classes.
“Our Mid-Plains Community College system prides itself on its accessibility, and probably more importantly, its affordability,” said Chuck Salestrom, area associate vice president of public information and marketing for MPCC. “We have a wide variety of funding mechanisms in place to underwrite costs such as Pell Grants, scholarships and tuition waivers. If used correctly, a student can graduate here with little or no debt.”
Andrew Parish, an Eagle Scout and student at North Platte Community College, sings the Star-Spangled Banner during “Scout Saturday” at North Platte Community College.
All Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers and their families were admitted for free Saturday to a Knights doubleheader basketball game. They were also treated to popcorn and given the opportunity to meet the men’s basketball team. In return, Boy Scout Troop 283 led a flag ceremony.
The North Platte Community College Knights will host the Laramie County Golden Eagles on Wednesday at the McDonald – Belton Gymnasium. The game has been designated as “Special Olympics Night.”
There will be a reception for Special Olympic athletes in the VIP Room starting at 6 p.m. They will also be recognized during halftime of the game and will participate in an autograph session with the men’s basketball team after the game.
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Those interested in taking aviation classes will now be able to do so through Mid-Plains Community College via distance learning. The course is currently taught in Valentine.
“We look forward to offering this course in other areas,” said Jennie Nollette, Valentine extended campus coordinator. “We had interest in North Platte and Ogallala, so it seemed like a great time to get this started.”
Les Olsen will teach both a Basic Ground Training and an Advanced Ground Training class – each worth three credit hours. The classes are offered at the same time, so students will have to choose one or the other.
Basic Ground Training is for people interested in earning either a pilot’s certificate or a ground instructor certificate. Successful completion prepares students for a federal written exam.
Advanced Ground Training is for those wanting more than a basic knowledge of flight. The focus is advanced systems, instrument flight and complex aircraft operation. Completion qualifies the student for instrument flight written examinations.
The classes are scheduled for 7-10 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 27-May 12. The cost of each is $282. Registration can be done online at mpcc.edu, or by calling 402-376-8033.
It’s easier than ever to receive an education from North Platte Community College. That’s because NPCC is increasing the number of night classes it typically offers in an attempt to work around people’s busy lives.
“For the most part, Mid-Plains Community College is about the ‘As’ - accessibility and affordability,” said Chuck Salestrom, area associate vice president of public information and marketing for MPCC. “Classes, both academic transfer and technical, taught at night are a viable option to learning for the love of learning or the completion of a degree or certificate.”
A variety of night classes for academic credit are available. They include those in the accounting, arts, business, chemistry, computer science, education, medical laboratory and information technology fields among many others.
Emergency medical personnel have the chance to learn about patient assessment, airway management and ventilation, instructor training and emergency medical technician skills.
Fire prevention and investigation and Hazmat awareness and operations are some of the things discussed during fire science technology night classes.
Classes for the technical trades are also offered. They include training in refrigeration and air conditioning, automotive preventive maintenance and minor repair, welding and auto body painting and refinishing.
Introduction to coaching, power sculpting and prevention and care of athletic injuries are among the physical education classes featured.
Numerous hobby classes such as furniture upholstering, furniture repair and cabinet making are also available.
Many of the night classes start Jan. 12 and run through April or May. Sessions last approximately three hours.
Scholarships and tuition waivers may still be available for those who qualify, and people 62 or older can take advantage of a senior discount.
Registration can be done online at mpcc.edu, or by calling 800-658-4308 ext. 3774.
Mid-Plains Community College faculty participated in an On Course workshop Friday in North Platte. The course stressed student engagement, academic success and retention.
Instructors at Mid-Plains Community College received a crash course this week on empowering students to become active, responsible learners.
Faculty were required to participate in a one-day On Course professional development workshop with the goal of improving student engagement, academic success and retention.
The training happened at McCook Community College on Thursday and at North Platte Community College on Friday.
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A professional truck driving course is being rolled out at Mid-Plains Community College this month. Classes begin Jan. 12.
“We are so excited to offer this course to meet area workforce development needs,” said Crystal Welch, area operations manager for the MPCC Center for the Enterprise. “This is a blended course with online classroom instruction. It provides flexibility to students who have full-time jobs, but want to explore a new career.”
The intensive eight-week program is designed for people without trucking experience who want to complete commercial driver’s license (CDL) training in as little time as possible.
It prepares students for a career in intrastate and interstate commerce. Training includes driving on city streets and rural roads as well as on two-lane highways and interstate systems.
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Julie Timmerman, of Burwell, is the 2014 Miss Old West Trail Rodeo queen. She is currently enrolled at Mid-Plains Community College.
She may be rodeo royalty, but Julie Timmerman doesn’t let the status go to her head. The Burwell native is too busy focusing on a prize bigger than any crown she could ever win – a quality education.
Timmerman, 21, is Crawford’s reigning Old West Trail Rodeo queen. She is also a student at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte where she competes on the MPCC rodeo team.
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Chris Barber, of Cozad, takes advantage of the Career Services Testing Center on Monday at North Platte Community College. In addition to educational testing for students, the center also provides certification testing for the public.
North Platte Community College remained relatively quiet leading up to the winter holiday break this week. There was, however, one exception.
A steady stream of people flowed through the Career Services Testing Center on the north campus. Most were there to take pre-employment testing – in the hopes of starting a new year with a new job.
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Data Analysis has been named the continuing education Course of the Year for 2014 by the Learning Resources Network (LERN), the leading continuing education association in the country.
The continuing education unit at the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise offers a certificate in data analysis. The course is composed of three one-month online courses. Data analysis experts serve as instructors, providing frequent feedback and online discussion.
“Data analysis is a new 21st century skill for the workplace,” said William Draves, LERN president. “The interest in it from people in all sorts of occupations and fields zoomed this year. The vast majority taking courses in data analysis see it as part of their job - as one of the new skills they need to incorporate into their skill set.”
According to Draves, the area of data analysis has emerged in just the last few years. Popularity-wise, it has replaced social media in business, the previously top trending course in continuing education.
LERN data shows that nationally more than 100 continuing education units in colleges and universities that didn’t provide data analysis last year now offer it.
“We have had all this data. Now we can do something with it,” says John Rutledge, who teaches a course in data analysis. “Data analysis is now an integral part of a business organization’s drive for efficiency. It can help increase income or decrease expenses. It also drives efficiency in the use of people’s time.”
LERN is the largest continuing education association in the nation, counting more than 1,100 educational institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada as members.
More information about Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise offerings, is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Hornung receives a plaque from Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy on Wednesday night during her final MPCC Board of Governors meeting. Hornung has served on the board for the past 29 years.
It was a good time to leave.
That’s how Jane Hornung felt about stepping away from the Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors after 29 years of continuous service.
“I think the board is in a good place,” said Hornung, of Arnold. “I feel like I can leave them and they will behave themselves when I’m gone. The leadership at the college is stronger than it’s ever been.”
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Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy presents Pat Wood with a plaque Wednesday night. Wood was honored during a MPCC Board of Governors meeting for his time spent serving on the board. Other outgoing board members recognized included Jane Hornung, Glenda Hasenauer and David Lynch, who resigned earlier this year.
Members of the North Platte Community College Knights softball team stuff envelopes in the McDonald-Belton Building as part of an alumni mailing project. The mailing was the first of its kind. Updates about the college were sent to 14,000 McCook Community College and NPCC alumni.
Marge Kouba, nurse educator for Mid-Plains Community College, moves an enteral feeding pump Wednesday in the Health and Science Center. Kouba is retiring after nearly 40 years in the nursing profession.
She’s spent her life caring for others, now Marge Kouba is getting the chance to enjoy some time to herself.
“I think I wrote down Dec. 23 as my retirement date,” said Kouba, nurse educator at Mid-Plains Community College. “But, because of Christmas break, my last day will actually be Friday.”
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Trevor Blake practices his nursing skills on a mannequin simulator Tuesday at the North Platte Community College Health and Science Center. He’s one of five men in the Mid-Plains Community College nursing program this year.
Who says nursing is only for girls? Trevor Blake doesn’t believe it is, and he’s out to prove the stereotype wrong.
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Berva Arensdorf, area employment services coordinator for Mid-Plains Community College, proofreads a résumé Tuesday. It’s one of many ways staff at the MPCC Career Services Center prepare college students for life after graduation.
Not all college students know what they want to be after they graduate.
Narrowing down options and finding the best match for a particular personality can be challenging, which is where the Career Services Center at Mid-Plains Community College comes into play.
“If our students have gone through the technical preparation for a job, then I think we owe it to them to make sure they’re prepared for the application process,” said Berva Arensdorf, MPCC area employment services coordinator.
The Career Services Center is a comprehensive assessment and career planning resource available for free to students within MPCC’s 18-county service area.
“We offer formal workshops, but can also work with people on an individual basis whenever they need us,” said Arensdorf.
A variety of screening assessments are used to help students discover their strengths, interests, values and aptitudes. Data showing projected job outlooks, salaries, education requirements and training opportunities is also provided.
The Career Services Center walks students through every step of the job application process, from creating a cover letter and résumé to preparing for an interview.
“I always tell students there are some things they have complete control over,” said Arensdorf. “Résumés and cover letters can be error-free, but when it comes to interviews, those are a little bit harder to plan for. If there’s one thing we see on a regular basis, it’s a lack of interview preparation and understanding of how important practice is.”
Staff in the Career Services Center conduct mock interviews upon request. If distance is an issue, Arensdorf sets up practice interviews between students and qualified individuals closer to them.
“We teach job applicants what to wear to an interview, how to interact with employers, how to appear confident - basically everything from the opening handshake to the thank-you note at the end,” Arensdorf said.
The Career Services Center serves as a liaison between local employers and students. It maintains an electronic job posting system where businesses can advertise their openings online. It also assists in arranging field trips to employer sites and visits by potential employers to MPCC classrooms.
“It’s good community service for our college to reach out to local employers and ask if there’s something we can do for them,” said Arensdorf. “We don’t ever want to place students, but we do want them to be ready should an opportunity present itself.”
Those interested in receiving help with the job application process can contact the Career Services Center at email@example.com, or reach Arensdorf directly at 535-3619.
People searching for last minute Christmas gifts don’t have to look any farther than Mid-Plains Community College. MPCC is offering tuition gift certificates – an increasingly popular option that helps defray the cost of classes and other college-related expenses.
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***ATTENTION*** Current and former North Platte Community College Phi Beta Lambda members- don’t forget to attend the PBL alumni dessert reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. The event will be in Room 122 in the McDonald-Belton building on NPCC’s south campus. It will be a fun evening of food, memories and networking.
Trevor Blake, of North Platte, is a first-year associate degree nursing student at Mid-Plains Community College. He has been selected as a “Nursing Student of the Month” for December. He is seen here with Kathy Harrison, MPCC director of nursing.
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A camera crew films in the North Platte Community College McDonald-Belton Theater on Wednesday.
Choirs representing NPCC, North Platte High School and St. Patrick High School will continue a longtime tradition of recording holiday music for playback programming, which will be broadcast Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
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Front row left to right: Michael Esch, of Spalding, Eric McClain, of Wilcox, and Josh Yeutter, of Eustis stand around new engines purchased for the Diesel Technology Program at North Platte Community College. In the back row are: Markus Znanieki, of North Platte, Chase Lampmann, of Madrid, Colten Chandler, of Douglas, of Wyo. and Kelly Cole, of North Platte.
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Audience participation was encouraged during the final song, “White Christmas,” performed by the concert choir.
The McDonald-Belton Theater was full Thursday night as North Platte Community College students, faculty, staff and community members gathered to enjoy the sounds of the holidays.
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Jamie Peters, area human resources specialist, presents Nancy Eisele with a “You Rock” award Thursday afternoon at the North Platte Community College south campus Welcome Center.
Eisele is a custodian at NPCC. She received the award from the college’s Internal Customer Service Team because of her exceptional customer service skills.
Becky White, of Paxton, and Sara Boyer, of North Platte, wrap gifts at the North Platte Police Department on Thursday as part of the Santa Cop program.
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Sally Thalken waves to the crowd gathered in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium Tuesday night. Her retirement celebration was attended by her family, friends and former players.
It was an emotional night for Sally Thalken.
“I can’t believe this,” Thalken said looking around at the people crammed into the Knights VIP room. “I wasn’t prepared for all this, but isn’t it fun?”
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Luke Pittle, of Brisbane, Australia, speaks to fourth grade students at Osgood Elementary on Tuesday. Pittle attends and plays basketball for North Platte Community College.
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Jan Knight, bookkeeper for The Connection Homeless Shelter, accepts a basket full of food from Joshua York, assistant student activities director for North Platte Community College, on Monday.
York made the donation on behalf of the NPCC Student Life Department. A total of 200 cans of non-perishable food items were collected from two campaigns at the college.
Admission to the Santa’s Workshop on Dec. 3 was a can of food. Dec. 2, NPCC resident assistants hosted a “Can for a Cone” event, during which people donated cans of food in return for ice cream cones.
Samantha Young has been named “Business Student of the Month” for December at North Platte Community College.
The daughter of Jim and Patty Young, Samantha is a North Platte resident who graduated from Maxwell High School in 2008.
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Josh Yeutter, of Eustis, tries out a tire alignment gauge in the North Platte Community College Diesel Technology department. The gauge was purchased with grant money from the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation.
The North Platte Community College Diesel Technology Program will receive state-of-the-art equipment thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation.
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Kevin May, lab assistant, helps Misael Garcia, of Imperial, wire a Habitat for Humanity house at 1019 N. Walnut St. Garcia is one of 10 electrical technology students from North Platte Community College working on the project.
Carlos Aguilar, of Wallace, and Taylor Stockman of Curtis, are also part of the class. Jake Elmshaeuser, electrical technology instructor, said the project is a good way for the students to gain real world experience through on-the-job training. His students help with at least one Habitat house per year.
Sally Thalken is the winningest active coach in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
During her 34-year career as head volleyball coach at North Platte Community College, Thalken has had 921 wins and 610 losses, coached 12 All-Americans and led her team to nationals five times.
She has been named Region IX Coach of the Year, District Coach of the Year and has been inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball Hall of Fame. However, it’s not the athletic victories that stand out in her mind – it’s the personal ones.
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Jazmin Chang, hangs a drawing on the wall Thursday in the North Platte Community College art department. The drawing will be among those featured during an art show and "Winter Wonderland" Christmas concert Dec. 11.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at North Platte Community College. Next week, it will sound like Christmas too.
The music department will host a “Winter Wonderland Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in the McDonald-Belton Theater on the south campus.
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Pam Burks hangs a wreath on the saddle that will be raffled to raise money for travel and other expenses incurred by the Mid-Plains Community College "Wranglers" rodeo team. The saddle is part of the Christmas decorations in the William F. Cody mansion at Scout's Rest Ranch.
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Students from Gothenburg and Perkins County compete against each other during a quiz bowl Wednesday morning at North Platte Community College.
They were among 250 Future Farmers of America (FFA) students participating in the District 9 Nebraska Leadership Skills Event.
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Joshua York, assistant student activities director for North Platte Community College, and Nancy Eisele, custodian, set up puppets at the NPCC McDonald-Belton Theater on Tuesday. Eisele made the puppets, which will be on display Wednesday during a Santa’s Workshop.
Making puppets is more than a creative outlet for Nancy Eisele. It’s a way to touch lives.
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Exterior walls went up Monday on the North Platte Community College project house. The work was conducted by first and second-year building construction students.
The house will eventually be auctioned to raise money for student scholarships.
Alexis Franzen, North Platte Community College student, interviews Memphis Brown and Ryleigh Lampe, fifth grade students, Monday at Osgood Elementary. The interview was part of a service learning project.
Children at Osgood Elementary had a chance to be heard Monday, thanks to students from North Platte Community College.
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Networking is a big part of what the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise does. Course offerings in everything from leadership and management training to customer service give the CFE the ability to influence as well as educate the communities it serves.
What role do community colleges play in rural development? A big one, if you ask Angela Raby.
Raby is the area director of the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise, the continuing education and community service division at Mid-Plains Community College.
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Nils Koch, of Germany, answers a phone in the North Platte Community College Welcome Center. He is living in the U.S. as part of a cultural exchange program.
It’s been the experience of a lifetime.
Nils Koch, of Germany, is almost halfway through a yearlong stay in the U.S., an eye-opening opportunity granted by the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program.
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Lisa Tsauchner, co-founder of the “Open for Business Magazine,” will lead two Business Boot Camp workshops Dec. 6 at North Platte Community College. They will focus on legal issues and creating successful relationships with customers.
Established businesses and potential start-ups have one last chance to enroll in the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise Business Boot Camp.
“These Business Boot Camp courses are intended to provide valuable insight for individuals going through the start-up or expansion phase of business,” said Charlie McPherson, area Nebraska Business Development Center coordinator. “The classes will discuss in great detail how to enhance your understanding of employer responsibilities and comprehend basic business law practices. It will also explore customer service principles to help build and sustain a relationship with your customer base.”
Lisa Tsauchner, co-founder of the “Open for Business Magazine,” will lead two educational workshops Dec. 6 at North Platte Community College.
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Current and former Phi Beta Lambda members from North Platte Community College are invited to attend a PBL alumni reception at NPCC next month.
The reception is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 in Room 122 of the McDonald-Belton building on the south campus.
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Alex Gurciullo, of Maxwell, has been named Business Student of the Month for November at North Platte Community College.
Gurciullo, the daughter of Terry Gurciullo Jr. and Veronica Sederlin, is a 2013 graduate of Maxwell High School. She is studying accounting at NPCC and will graduate in May of 2015.
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Mid-Plains Community College is teaming up with other organizations across the country to promote #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2.
“It’s a simple idea,” said Carol Bodeen, the college’s area director of development. “#GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving back.”
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More students than ever will now have access to online courses and programs through Mid-Plains Community College.
MPCC officials received notice Nov. 18 from the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) that the college has been accepted as a participant in the SARA initiative.
That makes it one of 11 postsecondary institutions in Nebraska that can offer classes to people residing outside the state. As of Monday morning, four out of six community colleges in Nebraska were approved, but none of the universities were.
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Rodney Rawson, of Norwalk, Calif., studies in the fireplace area of the North Platte Community College McDonald-Belton Building. He is working his way toward an Associate of Applied Science degree thanks to a Bridge Grant Program.
It was just what he needed.
When Rodney Rawson signed up for a Bridge Grant Program through Mid-Plains Community College, he got more than he bargained for - namely a sense of direction.
“I was just kind of floating around before,” Rawson said. “I was going to college, but only taking random classes that interested me.”
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Spencer Bierfreund, Rachel Towne, Andie Chapman, Liz Dowling and Jessa Lemon assist in placement of a composite filling on a mannequin Thursday at North Platte Community College. Dowling is a dental assistant student at NPCC. She gave demonstrations to the rest of the group, which consisted of Medicine Valley High School students.
It’s a fast track to the professional world.
Eight students from Medicine Valley High School in Curtis explored the Health and Science Center at North Platte Community College on Thursday.
All are part of a Career Academy, a free and unique opportunity that allows them to blend high school and Mid-Plains Community College classes geared toward a specific field.
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Sarah Thelen is a finish carpenter in Omaha. She got her training at North Platte Community College.
Sarah Thelen is used to having people tell her she can’t do things because she’s a woman. The criticism doesn’t break her spirit – it motivates her to push harder.
“I don’t hear the comments much from my generation – it’s older generations and usually homeowners,” said Thelen. “I don’t listen to it. It just makes me want to prove them wrong.”
Thelen, a Burwell native, is a finish carpenter for high-end homes in Omaha. She installs handrails and spiral staircases and builds custom furniture, mantles, benches and cabinets.
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Rascal Martinez has been recognized as the North Platte Community College “Business Student of the Month” for October.
Martinez is the son of Matt and Pennie Martinez, of Sutherland. He graduated from Sutherland High School in 2012 and is currently pursuing a business marketing degree at NPCC with plans to graduate in 2016.
Ann Reichle, NPCC accounting instructor, said Martinez is a good example of the highly talented and hardworking people that attend the college.
“Rascal is very entrepreneurial and currently manages his own entertainment business that aligns musicians, including himself, with various community performance engagements,” said Reichle. “He has taken a keen interest in marketing and is working hard to develop a broad understanding of several business disciplines, which will allow for a strong framework on which he can build a career.”
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Back row left to right: Nadyne Crumly, NPCC speech and human relations instructor, poses with her students: Stanly Pendergrass, Justin Rimpley, Courtney Nunberg, Christian Farmer and Tyrene Peter. In the front row from left to right are: Trevor Pochop, Djimoni Jackson, Cara Sanchez, Amanda Hastings and Colton Dailey.
“Diapason,” “mnemonic” and “loquacious” - those were just a few of the winning words at the bi-annual Word Speeches Competition at North Platte Community College.
A handful of students from Nadyne Crumly’s public speaking class were recognized with awards Monday in the McDonald-Belton building.
All had been challenged to select a word then research and develop a speech around it. The speeches were presented to the class, Crumly and a judge, Linda Deeds.
The students were scored on how well they defined their chosen terms and their abilities to use the selections in ways not typically associated with the words.
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Rex Kemp, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration instructor, works with student, Vinh Tran, Thursday at North Platte Community College. Kemp said the demand for skilled HVACR technicians is tremendous.
It’s a small investment for such a large return.
“Students that go through this program and want a job – have a job,” said Rex Kemp, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration instructor at North Platte Community College.
Kemp teaches a rigorous 11-month course that prepare students for skilled positions installing and servicing heating and cooling systems as well as commercial refrigeration units.
Classes include elements from electrical, welding, mechanics and building and construction trades. Kemp focuses on hands-on learning and makes sure his students receive real world experience by working with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had,” said Vinh Tran, a student originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam who now lives in North Platte. “He takes care of his students.”
Tran said he decided to pursue an HVACR career because of the potential to earn a lot of money.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for HVACR technicians vary by location and the type of equipment worked on.
The Bureau reports that in 2010, those in the top 10 percent earned more than $66,930. The median salary was $42,530.
And, there’s a demand for the work.
“It’s insatiable,” said Kemp. “Nationwide there’s a shortage of HVACR technicians. A lot of it has to do with the fact that so many of the current technicians are reaching retirement age.”
Kemp said some of the more commonly recognized contractors in North Platte got their start at NPCC. They include Todd Bissell, owner of AJ Sheet Metal, Jim Schneider, owner of Knobel Refrigeration, Brian Lusk, owner of Lusk Heating and Air Conditioning and Duane Norman, owner of Norman Refrigeration.
Many of those businessmen are people Kemp turns to when trying to line up an internship, a requirement for students in the HVACR program.
“They’re always in need of skilled technicians,” Kemp said of the contractors.
Vinh Tran, a student at North Platte Community College, works on a project Thursday at the north campus. Tran is learning about heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration because of the potential that exists to earn a lot of money with a HVACR career.
Over past decade, Kemp has taught students from Scottsbluff, Sidney, Ashland, Fremont and every Nebraska town in between. One even traveled to NPCC from Texas.
“The ages vary,” Kemp said. “Some are right out of high school, and others are in their late 40s or early 50s. A lot of them have four-year degrees, but no job. Several years ago, when the economy tanked, there were quite a few business people looking for other careers. Many came to me.”
Mid-Plains Community College is one of five colleges in Nebraska that offers a HVACR program. It’s the only one west of Kearney.
“We’ve had recommendations from industry officials,” Kemp said. “A smaller class size is one of the big benefits to our program. I would definitely recommend a career in HVACR because of all the potential that’s out there. It’s year-round work, and it can definitely be a lifelong profession.”
Gail Knott is the new director of outreach for Mid-Plains Community College. Knott, who has been the Ogallala extended campus coordinator for the past 14 years, will begin work at North Platte Community College on Dec. 1.
Knott will oversee operations at the four MPCC extended campuses and will be based out of Room 100B in the W.W. Wood Building on the north campus of NPCC.
“I’m really excited and am looking forward to the challenge,” Knott said. “I’ve done this for a while, and it will be nice to bridge the extended campus and the main campus and take that responsibility to the next level. It’s especially exciting with Valentine going through the development and construction of getting its new campus facility. ”
According to Michael Steele, vice president of administrative services for MPCC, Knott brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the outreach director position.
College officials will begin the process of replacing the Ogallala extended campus coordinator position in the near future.
Here is a reminder of the numerous adult short courses offered by North Platte Community College’s Center For Enterprise in the upcoming weeks. Please pre-register for each class that you plan to attend.
Forklift Training - Each year, thousands of injuries related to forklift accidents occur in the US. Unfortunately, most employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of safe operating procedures, lack of safety-rule enforcement, and insufficient or inadequate training. As it is a violation of Federal law for anyone under 18 years of age to operate a forklift or for anyone over 18 years of age who is not properly trained to do so, this class will OSHA train and qualify you to legally operate a forklift. A certificate of completion will be offered upon conclusion of the class.
Class meets Friday, November 21, from 9 am – 1 pm at the North Campus, instructed by Doug Wenz. Class fee is $85.
Prezi – Add Wow to Your Presentation – Move away from traditional presentation slides and discover Prezi, an interesting non-linear presentation software that will keep your audience engaged. Get started with the basics!
Class meets Thursday, Nov. 13 from 6-9 pm at the North Campus, instructed by Angela Raby. Class fee is $29.
For more information, call Crystal Welch at (308) 535-3614 or register online at https://register.centerforenterprise.com/.
Lennox dealers from North Platte, Eustis, Gothenburg, McCook, Imperial and Ogallala attended a Lennox Industries Service School at North Platte Community College on Tuesday evening.
The training was led by Clint Stotts, territory manager, and Robert Newton, field technical consultant, both of whom are from Denver, as well as Mark Tweedy, a field technical consultant from Omaha.
Topics included the sizing, installation and troubleshooting of heat recovery ventilators and the installation, setup and programming operation of modulating gas furnaces.
Participants earned continuing education credits for their North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification. The event was hosted by the NPCC heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration department.
Angela Raby, area director of the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise, and Fran Hagler, administrative assistant, unpack copies of “STARTUP NP” Tuesday at North Platte Community College. The resource guide offers tips for starting a small business in or around North Platte.
The “STARTUP NP” small business guide is now available. The booklet offers information about creating a small business in or around North Platte. It also highlights local resources for both potential and current entrepreneurs.
Business placement, financing options, continuing education, accountant selection and legal consultation are some of the many topics covered. Local entrepreneurs also share their stories and insights into starting a business in North Platte.
The publication is the result of a partnership among the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation, Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise, Nebraska Business Development Center, Nebraska Department of Labor and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
Representatives from those organizations, along with other community stakeholders, participated in the Entrepreneurial Community Activation Process facilitated by the UNL Extension last year.
ECAP, as the program is otherwise known, helps communities understand their unique characteristics, assets and potential opportunities so they can support innovation and entrepreneurship.
“At the ECAP meeting, we discovered North Platte and the surrounding area needed to build visibility for the existing entrepreneurial culture and really provide a greater sense of place for entrepreneurship,” said Angela Raby, area director of the Center for Enterprise. “Basically, the idea is to remove the silo mentality from all resource providers and offer a unified approach in supporting area start-ups.”
The booklet was funded in part by a $2,000 grant from the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation.
The first copies were handed out at a North Platte Chamber banquet Nov. 6. Additional copies will be available at the partnering organizations and will also be distributed to area businesses and high schools.
“We believe that no matter how young or old you are, or how long you have lived in the area, there’s information in this book that can assist small business development,” said Clarine Eickhoff, STARTUP NP committee member and manager of the Platte River Mall. “It is just as important for employees to connect with the information as it is for potential business owners. People may not know they will own a business next year or the year after. It is important to make sure the connections are available when the time is right, and continuing to connect the resources to the people is key in the longevity of a business.”
A digital format can be found online at www.startupnp.com/guide.
For more information, contact the Center for Enterprise at 535-3678.
People listen to representatives from Microsoft and Certiport Tuesday in North Platte. Mid-Plains Community College is one of six community colleges and 40 Nebraska high schools participating in the Nebraska Microsoft IT Initiative.
The program provides the opportunity to earn certification in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. The skills learned are important tools to have in today's workplace.
Nebraska Distance Learning Association members joined Gov. Dave Heineman for a proclamation signing, during which Nov. 10-14 was declared Nebraska Distance Learning Week. They were Gordon Roethemeyer, Mary Lister, Laura Huntimer, Mike Irwin, Al Steckelberg, Heineman and Linda Dickeson.
Gov. Dave Heineman has proclaimed Nov. 10-14 as Nebraska Distance Learning Week. In doing so, he has drawn attention to a progressive form of education, gaining speed around the state because of its success rate, accessibility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
The benefits are nothing new to Mid-Plains Community College. Officials there have been touting the advantages of distance learning for years.
“Distance learning has been around in some form or another since the mid ’90s,” said Mary Lister, area Blackboard coordinator. “Basically, it’s an Internet connection between two or more locations.”
At one of the sites, there is an instructor leading the course. That teacher can be seen and heard by students in other classrooms, sometimes hundreds of miles away, thanks to video chat capabilities.
“It used to be we could only offer distance learning in up to three locations,” Lister said. “Now, we can provide services to eight or more thanks to the type of connection we use and the Internet speed we have.”
Abby Kurtzer, of Haxtun, Colo., takes part in a distance learning class Monday at North Platte Community College. This week is Nebraska Distance Learning Week.
MPCC offered 426 distance learning courses and served more than 3,100 students during the 2013-14 school year. Of those courses, 390 were dual credit, meaning high school students had the opportunity to take them and earn both high school and college credits simultaneously.
“Our youngest daughter graduated from high school with 19 credit hours,” Lister said. “Because she played volleyball, having some of the classes out of the way helped lighten her load during sports season.”
Lister estimated that about 95 percent of the dual credit courses taken via distance learning will transfer to other colleges and universities. They include: college algebra, art appreciation, critical thinking, expository writing and public speaking.
The types of students that take distance learning courses following high school graduation vary. Many are nursing hopefuls from rural areas.
“We have one student right now who is a stay-at-home dad with six kids –the oldest of which is in second grade,” said Lister. “He also has a set of twins and a set of triplets. When they lay down for naps, that’s when he jumps online and works on assignments.”
According to Lister, MPCC can offer distance learning almost anywhere in Nebraska.
“We’ve been to Shelton High School, Pleasanton High School and Southern Valley Schools at Oxford,” Lister said. “We take math classes to Ovid, Colo. If there’s a student out there that needs a class – we’ll make an effort to make it available to them.”
So what’s next for distance learning? It appears the sky is the limit.
“It’s hard to say because technology is ever-changing,” Lister said. “One thing I do know is that there’s no end to distance learning. It’s definitely here to stay.”
Mid-Plains Community College officials have received word that Sally Thalken, NPCC Women’s Head Volleyball coach, submitted her intent to resign her position as NPCC’s Head Women’s Volleyball coach.
Her resignation will be effective Nov. 30, 2014 to allow the college ample time to conduct a search for her replacement and allow volleyball recruiting to continue effectively.
Sally further indicated that while she will step away from her coaching duties, she will remain as the college’s assistant athletic director, Mathematics & Science Division Chair and Physical Education instructor.
In her letter to NPCC Athletic Director Kevin O’Connor, Sally stated, “Thirty-four years ago I was given a tremendous opportunity to coach for the college and have coached nearly 1,800 volleyball and basketball games during my tenure. I feel grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the friendships made during my career.”
“Sally is truly a quality person and we’ll miss her courtside,” said Dr. Jody Tomanek, MPCC’s Area Vice-President of Academic Affairs. “Her coaching record, her Volleyball Hall of Fame recognition and the many successes of her former players speak for themselves. “We’re all grateful that she will remain in our classroom and on campus.”
According to Dr. Tomanek, plans are being formulated for the college to host a formal public celebration to honor Coach Thalken sometime in the very near future.
“We will be announcing our plans as soon as we have them in place,” she added.
Great strides have been made on the new Nebraskaland Days office at the Wild West Arena. The structure is a project of second-year building construction students from Mid-Plains Community College.
David Fudge, NLD executive director, said Friday that a cement pad has been poured, the plumbing is in and most of the interior and exterior walls are done. The goal is to completely enclose the building before winter.
The 3,000-foot structure will feature four offices, a board room, a reception area, storage facilities, a copy room and restrooms with showers. Fudge hopes to be able to move his staff into it by spring - that's when the lease is up in the space the NLD office is currently in at 509 E. Fourth Street.
The NLD board has dreamed of creating permanent headquarters at the arena for years, but it wasn't fiscally possible before the college stepped into the picture. The partnership has turned out to be a win-win for both organizations.
The students are gaining real-world experience, and NLD is saving money by using labor the students provide. A total of $180,000 has been budgeted for the project.
CG Architects, of North Platte, designed the building and local contractors will be used for some of the construction aspects such as mechanical and plumbing work.
Students and faculty from the Mid-Plains Community College nursing program gather around Cindy Lovette, administrative assistant, Wednesday at the North Platte Community College Health and Science Center.
MPCC students in the Nebraska State Student Nurses Association and the Licensed Practical Nurse Association of Nebraska, as well as those at distance learning sites, raised $380 during an annual bake sale Oct. 29.
Every year, they donate the proceeds to charity. This year, they opted to give the money to Lovette to help her with medical expenses incurred from multiple personal and health-related issues.
The students presented Lovette with the funds on Wednesday. They waited for her in a classroom then surprised her with balloons full of money.
The MPCC STEM Club will be holding their first activity of the year tomorrow. Meet us in the gym on South Campus for a Sci-Fi movie night. The movie showing is the 2005 thriller The Island, co-starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Walid Jumaily will be introducing the movie with a short discussion on cloning and genetic engineering, and he will also be available for questions and discussion following the feature.
The STEM Club will be selling popcorn, candy and Pepsi products at the game. All proceeds will go towards funding the clubs efforts promoting science, technology, engineering and math in our college area. Please invite your students to attend this activity on Thursday night. Faculty and staff are also welcome to attend.
NPCC Theater Department presents the play: Dead Man’s Cell Phone Nov. 5-8
The North Platte Community College Theater Department will present “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” a comedy/drama by Sarah Ruhl in the McDonald-Belton Theater, on the NPCC South Campus, starting November 5 and running nightly through Nov. 8th. Curtain time is at 8:00 pm.
Picture the opening scene with an incessantly ringing of a cell phone in a quiet café, a stranger at the next table who has had enough, and a dead man with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man's Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative comedy by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl. Ritch Galvan, NPCC theatre instructor and play director said the play is about how we memorialize the dead—and how that remembering changes us—it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.
“This play takes a deep, satirical look at communication, technology, and relationships,” Ritch said. “The play can best be described as a zany, oddball comedy, with a dark twist.”
Dead Man's Cell Phone, will be presented at NPPC’s McDonald-Belton Theater on November 5 through November 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm. The play contains strong language and adult situations. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Tickets prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students & seniors.
Rehearsals are open to the media on Monday November 3 or Tuesday November 4. Arrangements can be made with the director or by special arrangement if another date is more convenient. Contact Ritch Galvan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 535-3767 to schedule interview or photo ops.
A 32-student contingent of Lexington High School seniors visited Mid-Plains Community College campuses in North Platte and McCook Wednesday.
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Classes at Mid-Plains Community College campus locations are set to begin Aug. 25, but there is still time to register for the Fall 2014 term. Whether you are interested in updating your computer skills, improving your golf game, or taking the classes you need for your associate’s degree, MPCC is the place that can make it happen.
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North Platte Psychologist/Counselor Shari Shore was the presenter of the “Psyched Up!” workshop session during North Platte Community College’s annual “Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics” conference Tuesday.
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Want to keep your career in logistics moving at a quick pace? Mid-Plains Community College is now offering an accelerated path to earning a Logistics Certificate.
The logistics field includes industries providing transportation of passengers and cargo, warehousing and storage of goods, scenic and sightseeing transportation, and support activities related to such modes of transportation as air, rail, water, road and pipeline.
Individuals who begin classes in January will be on track to earn a Logistics Certificate by the end of July. Classes in MPCC's Logistics Certificate program include: Introduction to Logistics; Global Logistics; Purchasing Logistics; Transportation Logistics; and Supply Chain Logistics.
"I am so excited to be able to offer the logistics program at MPCC," said Jean Condon, Business/Office Technology Instructor. "With the many logistic resources such as the railroad, interstate highways, agriculture, and distribution centers we have available in our area this makes a great fit for us to provide education in logistics. This is an opportunity for people to learn more about the many components that make of logistics and how it is a part of our everyday life."
For more information about the Logistic Certificate or other MPCC course offerings, call (308) 535-3609 or (800) 658-4308 ext. 3609.
The North Platte Community College Music Department will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the McDonald-Belton Theater on the South Campus of the college. The concert will feature the college choir and jazz band.
The choir will sing an array of songs ranging from "Agnus Dei" to a very modern piece called, "Rainstorm." The band will play songs ranging from Glenn Miller's, "American Patrol," to a jazz rock tune entitled, "After Shock." The choir will also feature several student soloists and small ensembles.
The choir is directed by Elizabeth Peters, with Gayle Lawson as the accompanist. The band is directed by Virgil French.
Members of the NPCC Choir are: Talia Cole of Gothenburg; Nicole Cox, Ann Kuroki, and Ivy Kuroki of Hershey; Bert Ogg of Madrid; Scott Gray of Mullen; Ellen Duggan-Bailey, Raven Berggren, Mikayla Brauer, Brittany Davis, Amanda Ferguson, Adriana Flores, Cassandra Horn, Traci Marsh, KateLynn Moore, Wayd Odle, Nikki Radke and Jeffery Small of North Platte; and Jessica Fisher and April Troxel of Ogallala.
Members of the NPCC Jazz Band are: Talia Cole of Gothenburg; Justin Lafferty of Hershey; Bert Ogg of Madrid; Raven Berggren, Mikayla Brauer, Brittany Davis, Adriana Flores, Josh Goodwin, Aubrey Halligan, Kate Hergenrader, Hannah Hokanson, Cassandra Horn, Natasha Jahnke, Ben Miller, Traci Marsh, Levi Most, Jill Peterson and Robert Rucker of North Platte; Jessica Lenhart and April Troxel of Ogallala; and Victoria Daly of Sutherland.
The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Michael Chipps, President of Mid-Plains Community College, gets a laugh from students who are visiting from North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe, England, during a welcome reception Wednesday at North Platte Community College. The NLC group of three staff members and eight students will spend time at MPCC campuses in North Platte and McCook, as well as visiting other areas in Nebraska from April 7-13.
Eleven representatives from North Lindsey College (NLC) in Scunthorpe, England, were welcomed during a breakfast reception at North Platte Community College on Wednesday.
"This is the third group of guests we've had from North Lindsey College," said NPCC Vice President Marilyn McGahan. "We are looking forward to sharing with them and having them share with us."
The NLC group of three staff members and eight students will spend time at Mid-Plains Community College campuses in North Platte and McCook, as well as visiting other areas in Nebraska from April 7-13.
Staff members in the group include Glyn Brumby, Lecturer in Built Environment; Catherine Griffith, Head of School-Construction; and Martin Salter, Lecturer in Wood Occupations, Bench Joinery and Site Carpentry. Students in the group are in the building trades areas at NLC and include Brindley Axe, Grant Beacock, Sam Cross, Terry Davis, Philip Garbutt, Ashleigh-Ellan Kavanagh, Matthew Roberts, and Craig Tuffs.
"Their time at the college will mainly be spent working with students and faculty members in the building trade areas," McGahan said. "We also have many great activities lined up for them, such as tours of the Parker Hannifin Corporation and Wardcraft homes, visiting the North Platte Rotary Club, and having an American Cuisine pot luck dinner at the college."
The group is also scheduled to visit the Pioneer Ranch in Tryon, Dancing Leaf Lodge in Wellfleet, Gerald Gentleman Station in Sutherland, Lake McConaughy in Ogallala, and Scouts Rest Ranch, the Golden Spike, and Bailey Yard in North Platte. A tailgate party and NPCC Lady Knights softball games are also on the agenda.
At Wednesday's welcome reception, McGahan joked with the NLC group about having such a full schedule while they are here.
"You can sleep when you get back to Scunthorpe!" she laughed.
The visit from the NLC representatives is part of the Global Education Partnership Agreement, which was ratified by both colleges in November 2007. It was designed to "develop the academic cooperation, exchange and development of relationships among students, faculty, administration, and board members of the two colleges under the principle of reciprocity and mutual benefits."
All classes and activities will return to normal on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009 at both McCook Community College and North Platte Community College.
North Platte Community College will close at 12 noon, today, Tuesday, Dec. 8th. All afternoon and evening classes and activities are cancelled.