MPCC Ogallala Campus to celebrate 10-year anniversary

Ogallala Campus outside
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Mid-Plains Community College Ogallala Campus will celebrate its 10-year anniversary with a Keith County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connection from 8-10:30 a.m. Aug. 19.

The event, which is open to the public, will serve as a thank you to area residents, whose continued support has made the college’s existence in Ogallala a success.

Guests will be able to tour the building, visit with college officials and learn about the opportunities the college has to offer.

While MPCC has had a presence in Keith and surrounding counties for decades, the Ogallala campus opened its doors Aug. 9, 2012.

The past decade has been one of tremendous growth for the campus, which served a total of 251 students during the 2020-21 academic year.

Campus staff work one-on-one with students to assist them in completing degree, diploma or certificate programs.

“And, it’s not just about getting a degree,” Mary Pierce, campus administrator, said. “We work with students to build skills that will help them start new or advance in their careers.”

In recent years, the campus offered a basic plumbing course, and this fall, will offer a private pilot certificate exam preparation course. Pierce said classes like those can enhance knowledge and open doors to employment.

In addition to academic and skill-building course offerings, the local campus focuses on community enrichment classes.

From the twice a year popular Woodcarving With Archie course, taught by Grant artist Archie Silvrants, to the Try It Out Thursday summer youth program that has provided courses to hundreds of area youth, Pierce and outreach administrative assistant Gigi Berol aim for fun.

“We’re always looking for interesting classes where people can learn something and have fun at the same time,” Berol said.

Not all of the college’s work is accomplished inside the campus walls. The development of  programming in response to community needs is forged in partnerships with local organizations, including Keith County Area Development (KCAD) and the Keith County Foundation Fund.

An example is the creation of KC Business Launch, a business pitch competition offered in 2020.

This fall, the Keith County Youth Entrepreneurship Contest, a business contest for high school students, is scheduled. The purpose is to stimulate creativity and spur economic growth by providing high school students in Keith County with an opportunity to receive funding for new or existing businesses.

MPCC’s Ogallala Campus also partners with KCAD in the program and Exploring Careers and Education Locally (EXCEL). Entering its sixth year, EXCEL takes Ogallala and Paxton high school students to businesses to learn about local career options.

Business representatives visit with the students and provide information about their career choices and the education required for particular fields.

Looking toward the next decade, Pierce said education remains a critical component to individual career success, although the philosophy is changing.

“It’s not always about getting a degree,” she said. “It is about having valuable skills. We look forward to continuing to provide those opportunities for years to come.”

The MPCC Ogallala Campus is located at 512 E. B St. South. More information about program offerings is available by calling (308) 284-9830.