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Nov 14
Memorial basketball tournament set for Sunday

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North Platte Community College will host a three-on-three Samson Charles Memorial Basketball Tournament on Nov. 18. The tourney will begin at 1 p.m. in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on NPCC's South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd. 

Registration and check-in will begin at noon. The cost is $40 per six-person team. 

Teams must include at least two women, one of which must be on the court at all times. No more than two college basketball players (one boy and one girl) can be on each team. 

Admission to the tournament is $5. A donation jar will also be set up. Proceeds will go to the Samson Charles Scholarship Fund. 

For more information, contact Janelle Higgins at higginsj@mpcc.edu or 535-3713.

Nov 12
NPCC students/employees thank veterans

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Angel Murphy, of North Platte, fills out a thank-you card for a veteran in the North Platte Community College Learning Resource Center on Monday. NPCC students and employees were encouraged to sign the cards and enjoy patriotic-themed cookies in observance of Veterans Day. 

Nov 12
Upcoming classes, workshops at MCC Business and Community Education

Whether you want to take a class for fun, to improve your skills, unleash your creativity, grow your business or prepare for a new career, Mid-Plains Business and Community Education Department at McCook Community College can help. Offering both traditional classroom and online classes, McCook Community College can meet your individual learning needs. Please join us in one or more of the following classes. Pre-registration is required, so call today at 345-8122.

Personal Development

Microsoft Basic Word 2016, Part 1: In this two-evening course, learn about the Microsoft Office Button, Ribbon, and how to modify the Quick Access Toolbar that you use in any Microsoft Office product. Learn to create a new document. This is a beginner's course. Thursdays, Nov. 15 and 29, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., McMillen Hall, room 201, instructor Renelle Mooney, course fee $59.

Beginning Computer & Internet: This class is perfect for any new computer user and will help beginners get up and running, quickly and simply. This hands-on course will cover very basic computer skills and terminology, and will include an explanation of the basic components of the computer, using the mouse, creating a document, and an introduction to navigating the internet. Laptop computers will be provided for class use. Monday, Nov. 19, 6 – 8 p.m., McMillen Hall, room 213, instructor Gayl Korus, course fee $25.

AARP Smart Driver Program: Refresh your knowledge of the rules of the road and learn research based safety strategies to help maintain confidence behind the wheel. Learn to adapt to changes in one's self, vehicle, and the driving environment to keep driving safely. The class is recommended for drivers age 50 and older but open to all ages. Cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. Payment to be made day of class - no online or credit card payments accepted. To register, call 308-345-8122. Monday, Dec 3, from 1-5 p.m., AARP/Russell Wood, $15 for AARP Member/$20 Non-AARP Member, McMillen Hall, room 213.

Lifestyle/Wellness/Arts & Crafts

Magic Happens When You Read a Book: For parents, teachers and anyone wanting to raise good readers...this workshop will give you direction on where to start and how to get kids to love reading. Thursday, Nov. 15, from 6:30-8 p.m., McMillen Hall, room 201, instructor Mary Dueland, course fee $9.

Christmas Centerpiece: Create and leave with your own beautiful centerpiece using decoupage techniques and burlap, which will look lovely glowing on your table during the Christmas season. This is a two-night class. All supplies are included. Monday, Tuesday, Nov. 26-27, from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Marilyn Hoyt, $39, McMillen Hall, room 213.

Canvas Creations: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Canvas Creations is a new BCE monthly course that will unleash your creativity. This month with just a couple hours and a paint brush, artists of all skill levels will create an acrylic 14-by-18-inch canvas painting of a tranquil winter scene featuring a shimmering Christmas tree in the foreground. So grab a friend and come for fun and adventure while creating your very own masterpiece to take with you when you leave. Saturday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., Rachiell Roberts, $29, McMillen Hall, room 213.

Kids’ Academy

STEM Engineering a Straw Roller Coaster (Grades 3 and above): Students will create and design a roller coaster out of straws, tape and a ping pong ball using the design thinking process, while learning about slope and gravity. Their completed projects will be tested to determine the top roller coaster design, with a satisfactory ball run. This beginner physics experiment will be scaled up or down for the appropriate age level. Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 13 and 15, from 4:30-6 p.m.; McMillen Hall, room 213, instructor Gayl Korus, course fee $29.

Kid’s Academy: Footprint Plate (Ages 4-8): Kids will make a nativity plate using their footprint as the manger. This is a precious keepsake that can be displayed every Christmas! (Important: Please make sure your child's foot is small enough to fit on a standard size dinner plate.) Saturday, Dec, 1, from 2-3 p.m., Kandie McCauley, $15, McMillen Hall, room 201.

Nov 12
MCC holding 'Magic Happens' reading workshop Nov. 15

Longtime educator Mary Dueland believes that "Magic really does happen when you read a book. It affects children in so many ways."
She has taken her love for teaching and combined it with her love for books to create a workshop called "Magic Happens When You Read a Book." This class will help guide parents and educators on the path of creating good readers and instilling a love for reading in children at a young age.
The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at McMillen Hall at MCC. This 90-minute class is designed to give direction on how to raise good readers, how to start them on the reading path and methods to guide them along the way to help them become a person who loves to read.             
"I will show them ways to help jump start reading and ways to help keep them interested in reading," Mary said. She will provide tactics and secrets to reading, targeting various age groups and reading ability, from the toddlers to the middle school students. 
"There are three secrets to reading, and this workshop will focus on all three," Mary said.  "I am very excited about this class. There are just so many ways to make reading a fun adventure as well as teach lessons along the way."

To register for this course, call the Business and Community Education Department, McCook Campus, at 308-345-8122 or go online at www.mpcc.edu/bce. Course fee is $9.

Nov 12
Parking lots reopen on NPCC’s South Campus

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The parking lots behind North Platte Community College's McDonald-Belton Building and the Health and Science Center have reopened.

Entrances and exits to the space had been closed since March so the area could be improved and expanded to meet the needs of the college's students and visitors. 

The renovations included adding 125 concrete parking stalls to the campus. Sixty-one were created south of the Health and Science Center and 64 were added on the south side of the McDonald-Belton Building. Additionally, eight of the existing stalls in the McDonald-Belton parking lot were converted into four handicap spaces. 

The improvements were Phase One of a three-phase plan intended to improve the look and functionality of NPCC's South Campus. 

Phase Two is tentatively scheduled to begin in the summer of 2020. That project will result in an updated entrance off Willow Street and parking on the west side of campus. 

Nov 09
Miles named NPCC Business Student of the Month

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Miles

Jayden Miles is North Platte Community College's Business Student of the Month for November. 

Miles graduated from North Platte High School in 2017. He is currently pursuing an Associate of General Studies degree and certificates in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship at NPCC. 

"NPCC was an easy choice for me because it's five minutes from my home, is affordable due to the scholarships available and it offers any class I would need," said Miles. "NPCC has been a great college to attend. It's easy to get to know the instructors, and they are great about offering one-on-one help if needed." 

Kathleen McCune, a business and office technology instructor at NPCC, said Miles is an excellent student that embraces academics. 

"As a student, he maintains a positive, engaging presence in the classroom," said McCune. "Additionally, he is one that learns course concepts and readily applies them to the working world around him. Jayden has the character and academic record that makes him most deserving of the NPCC Business Student of the Month." 

After Miles graduates in 2019, he plans to help run his father's fitness and cycling shop, Alive Outside. 

When not studying, Miles can be found biking, landscaping and otherwise enjoying the outdoors or working on vehicles. He also has a side job selling vinyl decals on Ebay. 

Miles is the son of Allen and Julie Miles, of North Platte.

Jayden Miles (Photo courtesy of Photographic Images)

Nov 09
NPCC offers StrengthsFinder Workshop

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The North Platte Community College Business and Community Education department is offering a workshop to help people determine their strengths. 

Gallup-certified strengths coach Mindy Hope will teach a StrengthsFinder Workshop from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 27 in the McDonald-Belton Building on NPCC's South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd. The fee is $39. 

Participants will complete a CliftonStrengths online talent assessment, which measures natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The results will help them determine what they do best, how to develop their greatest talents and how to better their lives. 

"This workshop is unique in that it provides individualized results for people in every stage of their personal and professional development," Hope said. "It's not a 'personality test,' but rather a self-awareness of the talents that are innate to each person and coaching on how best to develop those talents into strengths." 

Each participant will receive an online assessment code, an in-depth insight report based on his or her unique talents and individualized materials and activities to aid in the personal strengths journey. 

"Purposefully aiming the dynamic power of your unique talents is key to becoming the best version of yourself," Hope said. "We also work more cohesively with others when we are aware of their strengths – so this is a great opportunity to bring a friend, family member or co-worker and improve relationships, whether personal or professional." 

The registration deadline is Nov. 16. The assessment must be completed ahead of the workshop – by Nov. 21. 

Those interested in registering or obtaining more information about the workshop can do so at mpcc.edu/bce, by calling 535-3678 or by emailing bcestaff@mpcc.edu.

Nov 08
MPCC president named to national board

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Purdy

Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy will represent MPCC on a national level starting in January. 

Purdy has been selected to serve a three-year term on the American Technical Education Association National Board of Trustees - the ATEA's governing board. 

The ATEA is an autonomous, non-affiliated international association dedicated to excellence in postsecondary technical education. It places an emphasis on professional development and is a driving force behind workforce development as well. 

Dr. Rich Wagner, president of Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minn. and past president of the ATEA, nominated Purdy for the board. 

As one of 16 trustees, Purdy will lead in the creation and implementation of innovative programs that will serve as a foundation for the growth of workforce and economic development strategies for the nation. 

More information about the ATEA can be found at ateaonline.org

Nov 08
NPCC to offer Smartphone for Dummies class

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Smartphones for Dummies will be the topic of a new class offered by the Business and Community Education department at North Platte Community College. 

The purpose of the class is to eliminate any anxiety or confusion that could accompany the use of a smartphone, which is a mobile phone that performs the functions of a computer. 

Typically, the devices have a touchscreen interface, Internet access and an operating system capable of running downloaded applications. Learning to operate them isn't always an easy task. 

Those who attend the Smartphones for Dummies class will learn how to master common features and navigate apps, voice command and more. Information about purchasing and upgrading smartphones will also be provided. 

Participants are asked to take a smartphone or tablet to class with them as well as any email addresses or passwords associated with the device. 

There are two class times available - Nov. 19 or Nov. 26, both from 6-7:30 p.m. 

Marcia Gibson is the instructor for the class, which will meet in Room 131 of the McDonald-Belton Building on the NPCC South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd. 

The fee is $19. Registration can be done online at https://bceregister.mpcc.edu, or by calling 535-3614.

Nov 07
English classes – a fun way to gain valuable skills

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Christopher Spradlin, of North Platte, works on an assignment using an app on his smartphone. The incorporation of personal electronic devices into the classroom is just one of the many ways English instructors at Mid-Plains Community College have created a fun and interactive learning environment.

Almost all students are required to take an English Composition class as part of a degree program at Mid-Plains Community College. 

The classes provide students with the written skills needed to be successful both personally and professionally and prepare them for advanced studies requiring written expression.

"I personally build my English Composition classes to teach students to be effective academic researchers regardless of their field of study," said Jean Miller, English instructor. "My goal is to prepare them not only for research writing at the university level, but also for effective academic research during their career." 

A new way to learn 

Just because the classes are required doesn't mean they can't be fun. 

The English instructors at MPCC are constantly looking for new and creative ways to excite their students about learning. Smartphones and iPods are commonplace in the classroom as are videos and other interactive forms of multimedia. 

The flipped classroom model English instructor Kristi Leibhart began using this fall is a prime example. 

Flipped learning is a blended teaching style that introduces students to content outside the classroom - often online. Conversely, homework and other assignments that would have traditionally happened outside the classroom are moved into the classroom, mixing face-to-face learning with independent study. 

"Students can begin the learning process for each new concept at home, in their dorm room, at the coffee shop or even on the bus on the way to the next game," said Leibhart. "That way, when they enter the classroom, they are prepared for the face-to-face work, and I can really dig in. We begin writing and shaping the paper, do some revising activities and are able to work on a much deeper level because that first layer of learning already took place." 

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Betzy Castellanos, of Lexington, completes an assignment using multimedia in English instructor Kristi Leibhart's "flipped" classroom. 

Leibhart uses a program that integrates videos and interactive activities with the text students read. Quizzes and concept checks along the way gauge student understanding at regular intervals before they move on. 

Because of the media-rich presentation of content, students are more likely to complete their assigned reading, retain what they've read and show up to class prepared to learn. 

The content is available both online and off, and an app syncs information across all registered devices, so students can easily toggle back and forth - allowing them to study anytime, anywhere. 

There are highlighting and note taking options, and Leibhart can add her own notes to assignments, including reminders and study tips. Tracking tools allow her to assess student understanding and engagement and give her the opportunity to provide timely feedback or address any learning gaps. 

MPCC English Instructor Dr. Jessie Allen uses a "YouTube" channel to "flip" certain aspects of her classes as well. For example, instead of lecturing during class about how to make a Works Cited page then having the students make their own page at home, Allen posts Works Cited tutorials on YouTube and assigns the videos as homework. After the students have watched the videos, they create a Works Cited page in class.   

Literature 

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Literature is another branch of study that lends itself to the imagination and can be a fun experience for students at MPCC. It provides an opportunity for students to examine a variety of story-driven texts that introduce them to different genres and cultures and help them develop critical analysis and response skills. 

"Stories exist all around us – in books, on the internet, and even on TV or in video games," said Allen. "Depending on their interests, students can choose coursework at MPCC that will allow them to study novels, plays, short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, television programs, films or audio texts." 

No matter what students choose to study, their success is the top priority for MPCC's English instructors. 

A low student-to-faculty ratio allows students to receive individualized attention, and classes are offered in a variety of formats and at a variety of times to make the pursuit of a postsecondary education work with busy schedules. On-site, online, distance learning and Sunday College options are all available. 

More information about MPCC and the English classes it offers can be found online at: mpcc.edu.

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Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​