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, MCC 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.
Students to learn "All About Recycling" in free class
The new semester of Caring Kids Classes will begin Wednesday. This is a free class offered through the Kid's Academy at the Business and Community Education Department at McCook Community College. This year the focus is "All About Recycling." Students will learn the importance of giving back to the community and how to become a caring individual, creating community spirit and good citizenship all while having a good time at the Kid's Academy. Students take part in a classroom setting, craft projects and often take nearby field trips to locations pertaining to the class' focus for the year.
This monthly class is open to all students and is held the fourth Wednesday of January, February, March and April, 2:30 – 4 p.m. in McMillen Hall. Call the BCE for more information or to sign up, 308-345-8122.
iPhone for Dummies Will Smarten You Up
Attention all iPhone users! Have you ever wondered how to download an app? Do you know how to take a screenshot of that adorable picture that your daughter just sent you so you can save it? Or just need to set up your voicemail? IPhones can do so much if you just have the knowledge on how to use it. This is the perfect class just for that.
"IPhone for Dummies" will help relieve some of the anxiety that comes with your iPhone. Class will be held from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at McMillen Hall, room 201, on the McCook Community College campus. The course fee is $19. To register, go online at our website www.mpcc.edu/bce or call the Business and Community Education Department at 308-345-8122.
Students to create their own electromagnetic train
Students will be fascinated as they explore both electricity and magnetism while creating an "Electromagnetic Train" in the latest STEM class offering by the Business and Community Education Department at MCC. In this class, third through sixth graders will build their very own incredible electric "train" with no motors, gears, pistons or actuators: yet, the train will race around the track at over five miles per hour.
The class will be held Thursday, Jan. 31, from 4:30-6 p.m.; however, sign up deadline is Jan. 24. The class will be in MCC's McMillen Hall, room 201. Elementary teacher Gayl Korus is the instructor. Course fee is $29; all supplies are included. For more information or to register, go online at www.mpcc.edu/bce or call the BCE Department at 308-345-8122.
This is the second in our series of STEM classes. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.
Crafters to make "Do-It-Yourself" Valentine wreath
There will be a two-day class to create a unique do-it-yourself wall-decoration to adorn your house for the upcoming Valentines' Day. In this class, the pages of a book will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind pink and red Valentine splendor. All supplies will be included for crafters who wish to create this paper heart-shaped wreath.
The class will begin by tearing out the pages of a book (you may bring your own book or one will be provided.) Once the pages are torn and formed into shape, the edges will be colored with paint and laid to dry. Then they will be attach to the heart-shaped wreath form and adorned with ribbons or decorations of your choosing.
Class will be held Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 28 and 29) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in McMillen Hall. The course fee is $25, all supplies included. Instructors are Sharon Kircher and Marlene Goodenberger. Please call MCC's Business & Community Education Department for more information or to register, 308-345-8122. You may also register online at www.mpcc.edu/bce.
Kids Academy guitar classes begin Wednesday
Kids Academy: Guitar 1 classes will begin Wednesday, Jan. 23. This six-week class will be held every Wednesday through Feb. 27. Class for ages 6-8 will be from 4 to 4:30 p.m.; and ages 9-11 will be from 4:30 to 5 p.m. at McMillen Hall on the MCC campus. In this class, students will play favorite folk songs using the first three chords and will start learning to read music. After this first six-week sessions, students will be ready for the Guitar 2 class, which will begin the following week. The course fee is $45. Students are to have a quality child-sized guitar or may contact the instructor for information on a rental program. For more class information or to sign up, please contact the MCC Business and Community Education Department at 308-345-8122.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2019 Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team Banquet. The event is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Holiday Inn Express in North Platte.
The banquet is open to the public. It will begin with a social hour and silent auction at 5:30 p.m., followed by a live auction and a prime rib and Rocky Mountain oyster dinner at 7 p.m.
Banquet proceeds will go toward scholarships, practice equipment and travel expenses for the rodeo team. Previous funds have been used to purchase trailers, roping dummies and a bucking machine.
A portion of the proceeds will be put toward a $1,000 dual excellence scholarship, which is awarded twice a year – once each semester. Recipients are rodeo team members who have demonstrated success both in the arena and in the classroom. The spring scholarship will be awarded at the banquet.
Additional activities for the night include a recognition of all MPCC rodeo team members and a drawing for a Green Mountain wood-fired pellet grill. Dustin Elliott, rough stock coach, and Garrett Nokes, timed event coach, will provide a recap of the 2018-19 season and talk about the team's goals for the future.
Admission to the banquet is $50 per person or $350 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased from any team or booster committee member through Feb. 1. They are also available by calling Stacy Hughes at 535-3783, Bobbi Muehlenkamp at 535-3731, Brenda Peters at 345-8117 or by emailing email@example.com.
Donations of live and silent auction items can be dropped off at the college's south campus welcome center, 601 W. State Farm Rd., in North Platte.
Jonathan Spradlin is North Platte Community College's Business Student of the Month for January.
Spradlin graduated from North Platte High School in 2017 and is currently pursuing an Associate of Arts degree with an accounting certificate at NPCC.
"Mid-Plains seemed like the obvious path for me after high school," said Spradlin. "I didn't think I was ready for a university, but I knew I wanted to continue my education in accounting. Mid-Plains appeared to be a middle ground. The cost of Mid-Plains also played a role because I could get my associate degree without breaking the bank."
Spradlin is on track to graduate in May. After that, he plans to stay in Nebraska and transfer to a university. Eventually, he would like to earn a master's degree and become a certified public accountant. His ultimate goal is to one day have his own CPA firm.
"Mid-Plains has been a great launching pad for my pursuit of higher education," Spradlin said. "I am more prepared for a university than I was two years ago. The instructors at Mid-Plains have been fantastic in assisting me in my path of learning. Instructors Lynn Lupomech, Kathleen McCune, Dr. Glynn Wolar and Cathy Nutt have definitely been the most influential."
Lupomech said Spradlin's excellent character and commitment to learning make him most deserving of the recognition.
"He is an inquisitive student who wants to understand why things are done the way they are," said Lupomech. "Knowing just the facts is not good enough. His intellectual curiosity drives him to think beyond the basic level of understanding. I have truly enjoyed working with Jonathan in the classroom and look forward to seeing what the future holds for him."
On campus, Spradlin is involved in NPCC's STEM club. Off campus, he enjoys American history, marksmanship, weightlifting and investing.
His parents are Chris and Marci Spradlin, of North Platte.
McCook Community College hosted the first of three MCC College Visit Days Wednesday.
These Visit Days were created to give prospective students and their families an opportunity to experience MCC's programs first-hand.
It also allows MCC to showcase the campus, offerings and services. The camera caught up to tours of the weight room in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center, a Brooks Hall dorm room, Barnett Hall and the Student Union.
Wednesday's visitors toured their programs of interest, met instructors, and learn about the various services MCC offers. They also met with specialists from a variety of departments about financial aid, housing and credit transfer among many other topics.
Additional Visit Days are planned for Feb. 13 and March 6. RSVPs are required at https://campus.mpcc.edu/ICS/RSVP/.
The following students qualified for the Dean's List during the 2018 Fall Term at Mid-Plains Community College. To be eligible, they had to complete 12 or more applicable credit hours of college-level courses and maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 – 3.89 on a 4.0 scale.
Arcadia - Clay Bauer
Arthur - MacKenna Turner
Big Springs - Caprice Brown
Blair - Mark Starks
Brady - Jared Most, Jerry Mull
Broken Bow - Ina Bradley, Laurissa Epley
Callaway - Grady Lashley, Jessie Parshley
Cambridge - Aubri Ross, Kristian Roth
Cozad - Karleigh Kleinknecht
Culbertson - Beth Hoyt, Emma Matson, Courtney Searcey, Matthew Searcey
Curtis - Rylie Brown, Payton Kahler
Eddyville - Zachery Jones
Enders - Cydney Spady
Gering - Kaylee Bohnsack
Gothenburg - Tanis Sack, Olivia Williams
Grand Island - Vann Stevenson
Grant - Logan Cunningham, Whitney Spencer
Hastings - Ty Neill
Hershey - William Schillinger, Konner Sonneman
Imperial - Diana Benitez Aguilar, Taylin McNair, Rogelio Vargas
Indianola - Drew Hofman, Alec May, Wyatt McConville, Kayela Parker, Patrick Sughroue, Bethany Vogel
Lexington - Katy Esquivel Cruz
Loomis - Ethan McKenna
Maxwell - Emily Breinig, Jeremy Ochsner
McCook - Bradley Ackermann, Jaden Bryant, Zachary Burkey, Taye Collicott, Kyle Geisler, Easton Gillen, Allison Johnson, Steven Keenportz, Halie Lindquist, Nicholas Macfee, Alyson Marin, Trevor Oberg, Mary Osborne, Casey Quagliano, Madison Riemenschneider, Ian Shepherd, Danielle Slaby, Brandon Smith, Ethan Wilcox
Memphis - Cody Magness
North Platte - Britni Bandy, Rylee Brott, Kayla Bush, Nicholas Bussard, Jamon Davis, Evan DeKok, Taitiana Ditch, Jed Dizmang, Nicholas Doucet, Kelsey Epp, Tyler Floro, Amanda Hanson, Samuel Hergenrader, Makenzi Humphrey, Megan Johnson, Madison Kleewein, Jennifer Lantis, Dasia Lively, Elijah Malsbury, J'Naea Matlock, Kathleen McIntyre, Megan Morash, Brooke Orr, Jade Osborn, Dalton Prokop, Shawn Simpson, Amanda Smith, Seth Smith, Kathryn Smitherman, Samantha Sonneman, Lyndell St. Clair, Brandon Tolle, Eric Travis, Gary White, Ryan White, Kade Wroot
Ogallala - John Diaz, Ethan LeGrande
Omaha - Tanner Cissell, Ashley Ellingson, Connor McGonigal
Paxton - William Babbitt
Stapleton - Brady Baumgartner, Kaylie Beierman, Ashley Houser, John Main
Sutherland - Alexandra Baker, Shelly Compton, Ashley Hanneman
Thedford - Danya Mintle, Seth Pearson
Valentine - Luke Hockenbary, Michelle Witt Moore
Wallace - Austin Hanson, Abbey Rohde
Walton - Austin Jensen
Aurora - Hannah Jensen
Breckenridge - Graham Gaspard
Brighton - Makayla Harris
Delta - KC Carlson
Fleming - Bailey Chintala
Greeley - Levi Dart, Hannah Emerson, Isaac Vargas
Lakewood - Chanel Siebenthal
Littleton - Ashlynn Krueger
Windsor - Kali Kelley
Wray - Kedric Tufton
New Port Richey - Katie Cox
Makawao - Maysen Medeiros
Council Bluffs - Alea Binkly
Belvue - Reed Murray
Effingham - Jade Hollands
Charlotte - Ngoye Bobmanuel
Henrietta - Kailee White
Aberdeen - Karley Martin
Houston - Da'May Jones
League City - Donta Smith
Dayton - Angel Richards
Richmond, British Columbia - Kayla Harrison
Victoria, British Columbia - Emily Charchuk
Brampton, Ontario - Samuel Lebel
Gatineau, Quebec - Anthony Kingsbury
Helsinki - Iftin Mao
Hamburg - Lena Goerke
Rome - Tommaso Mostarda
Valmiera - Edgars Kaufmanis
Akoka - Chidi Okwarabizie
Reus - Anna Sanjuan
Kiev - Ilya Tyrtyshnik
The following students qualified for the President's List at Mid-Plains Community College during the 2018 Fall Term. To make the list, each student had to complete 12 or more applicable credit hours in college-level courses and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.9 or greater on a 4.0 scale.
Anselmo - Luke Christen
Brady - Madison Christophersen, Colton Lovitt, Jessica Most, Daniel Wardyn
Cambridge - Cole Nickerson
Cozad - Ashley Linke, Steven Walker
Culbertson - Brittany Williams
Curtis - Colleen Mortensen
Gothenburg - Keisha Blake, Dillon Higgins, Dillon Wilkerson
Grant - Kaden Kammerer
Holdrege - Tatiana Young
Imperial - Mikaela O'Brien
Indianola - Rhonda Tryon, Jack Vogel
Kearney - Ronald Foutch
Lewellen - Ramona Steward, Shaun Swoboda
Lexington - Hana Brock, Bianca Gomez, Cesar Venegas-Villezcas
Louisville - Nicholas Snodgrass
Maxwell - Natalie Miller
McCook - David Brewster, Mary Kain, Brittanie Nolan, Emmerie Roth, Elise Stevens, Sydney Thompson, William Watts
North Platte - Larry Allen, Emily Bagley, Alyssa Bergeron, Larissa Berol, Jack Carlson, Kayla Douglas, Troy Dye, Danny Fourtner, Lucas Friedrich, Jonathan Hastings, Alexandria Hatch, Matthew Haynes, Dawson Heinzen, Ashley Husemoller, Haley Jackson, Gary Koch, Haiden Kreber, Rebecca Lindley, Gabrielle Menghini, Jayden Miles, Brian Mixer, Angel Murphy, Mercedes Nolda, Lindsi Orr, Kaitlyn Ostrander, Nathan Ostrander, Sarah Phares, Mirabella Pigati, Vanessa Rodriguez-Sanchez, Bailey Roeder, Jessica Slattery, Keifer Smith, Nathan Snider, Ryan Sorenson, Jonathan Spradlin, Patricia Tofilau, Jade Vak
Ogallala - Justine Gall
Ord - Ashley Carson
Paxton - Ashley Lugar, Justin Neilsen
Stapleton - Dylan DiGiovanni
Sutherland - Angela Evans, Scott Taylor, Alyssa Weber
Tryon - Caleb Goosey
Venango - Valerie Perez
Wauneta - Zachary Thompson, Roseanna Vapenik
Carlsbad - Michael Trunfio
Pleasant Hill - Liliana Belton
Colorado Springs - Makenna Bodette
Fleming - Shaylee Johnson
Granby - Kiera Barr
Nucla - Carlie Wytulka
Wheat Ridge - Emily Anderson, Aurora Storrer
Hubbard - Ricks Polk
Richmond - Candice Biltz
Bend - Nickolas Gylling, Travis Martin
Fort Belvoir - Preston Parry
Seattle - Valerie Schaeffer
Spokane Valley - Travis Oliver
Laramie - Luke James
Willetton, Western Australia – Emma McLean
Summerville, New Brunswick - Shaun Hickey
Maputo - Nelo Nducuia
Badalona, Barcelona - Laura Mata Garcia
It's not too late to purchase tickets for a Green Mountain wood-fired pellet grill being raffled by the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to help offset travel and other team expenses. Tickets will be available until Feb. 8. A winner will be drawn at the team's rodeo banquet Feb. 9.
The grill, a Daniel Boone model, comes with a cover for a total value of more than $800. Some of its features include a digital control, meat probe, peaked lid for stand-up chicken/large fowl/rib racks, a convenience tray with utensil hooks, hard rubber tires and a venturi-style firebox for cyclone combustion.
It also has Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors the ambient temperature. When the weather gets cold, the sensor kicks the grill into turbo mode, resulting in shorter heating time.
The grill contains a positive pressure hopper fan to prevent burn-back, "fan only" mode with automatic shut-off to blow ash out of the firebox after grilling is complete, an approximately 432-square-inch cooking surface and a 13.5-inch clearance inside. It weighs 152 pounds.
Tickets for the grill are $5 each, or five for $20. They are available at the college's welcome centers in North Platte and McCook as well as through any MPCC Rodeo Team member.
Tickets can also be purchased by calling coaches Dustin Elliott, 520-2966, and Garrett Nokes, 350-0514, or Carol Garrison, chair of The Wranglers booster committee, 535-3778.
Class is back in session at McCook Community College, student numbers are strong, the spring calendar is filled with a variety of activities, and von Riesen Library is set for a major upgrade late in the semester.
Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy told a group of faculty and staff last week that enrollment numbers area-wide looked to be up about 2 percent for the spring semester. The staff also learned of plans to reconfigure von Riessen Library and move student services upstairs. These include Career Services, Student Success tutoring and testing, As part of the change the library stacks will be moved downstairs.
Key academic dates this semester include: Spring Break March 18-22, Finals May 5-9 and Commencement May 10.
The first of three MCC College Visit Days is coming up Wednesday to give prospective students and their families an opportunity to experience MCC's programs first-hand. The event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
These Visit Days showcase the campus, offerings and services. Among other things, participants will tour their programs of interest, sit in on a class, meet instructors, join in hands-on projects, and learn about the various services MCC offers. Specialists from a variety of departments will be available to answer questions and provide information about financial aid, housing and credit transfer among many other topics.
Anyone thinking about taking college classes is encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided, and all prospective students will receive a free hoodie. Additional Visit Days are planned for Feb. 13 and March 6. RSVPs are required at https://campus.mpcc.edu/ICS/RSVP/.
There are only three more basketball games left on the January schedule. The MCC men play Air Force Prep Tuesday then both the men and women take on North Platte Community College Jan. 29, which will be "Blue Out/Disabilities Awareness Night, an event sponsored by MCC's Phi Theta Kappa and the Walk In My Shoes group. A variety of events will be set for both the men's and women's games including a free-throw contest. Raffle tickets will be sold for "The Best Seats In The House" (courtside)." Mr." and "Miss" MCC will be crowned. Shirts are being sold ($10) through McCook Lettering, but the order deadline is Jan. 20: You can order shirts at:
All proceeds go to "A walk In My Shoes."
The annual Dick Driml Chili Cookoff to raise money for the MCC Music Department is set for Feb. 23 in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center during the final home basketball games of the season. The MCC women play Lamar at 2 p.m. and the men play at 4 p.m. The cook-off caps a busy month of games for the basketball teams as they play on home court 13 times during the month.
Also in February, the softball and baseball teams will begin their spring schedule that calls for a combined 49 games at the Jaycees Sports Complex (115 total.) The Lady Indian softball team is scheduled to open home play Feb. 10 against Northwest Kansas Technical College. The baseball team is set to begin home play Feb. 13 against Colby.
McCook Community College will host the annual Inter-high Day Scholastic competition on campus March 13.
ON THE ARTS CALENDAR, the first exhibition of the 2019 art calendar at MCC will be a display titled "Fundamentals of Design Through Art," an exhibit on loan from the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) in Kearney. That exhibit was installed this past weekend and continues through Feb. 1.
"This is an exhibit I'm excited about for my students at MCC," said MCC Art Instructor Rick Johnson.
MCC art students in the Fundamentals of Design Through Art for the secondary level of Family and Consumer Science students will be exposed to general elements and principles of design including: line, color, texture, balance, emphasis, and rhythm.
While the exhibition was structured for MCC students, it – and all showings – are open to the public and free of charge. The Wrightstone Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m Monday through Friday and Tuesdays and Thursdays until 9:30 p.m.
In February, the gallery gives way to the McCook High School Showcase featuring a selection of works from the MHS art department. The show runs Feb. 4-22 with an opening reception to be announced. From March 25 through April 5, will be the annual MCC High School Paint-in exhibition leading up to the April 4 paint in competition in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center. From April 8–19 will be the exhibition of the students in the MCC Graphic Design and Visual Communication department. From April 22-May 3 will be the exhibition of MCC art students in the Associate of Fine Arts thesis portfolio class with a reception to be announced at a later date. Those students will present their oral defense May 3.
The MCC Music Department's Spring Concert is set for April 28 at Memorial United Methodist Church at 7 p.m.
MCC's Theater Department's spring production is in the process of being selected but is tentatively set for late April. The student theater group Not Your Average Theater Group (NYATG) plans a Valentine's babysitting fund-raiser Feb. 15 at the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall. Theater students won' charge an hourly rate but will accept donations. The night at the theater will include theater games, activities and snacks.
GUITAR INSTRUCTOR, Rebecca Bogardus, shows students the beginning chords during a class that she directed through the Youth Arts Program in Oregon before moving to Nebraska.
January offerings at Business and Community Education
MCC offering beginning youth guitar class
Rebecca Bogardus will be offering introductory guitar classes to students ages six to 11 beginning later this month. These classes are part of the Kids' Academy Classes developed by the Business and Community Education Department at McCook Community College.
Bogardus will offer two levels of classes. In the Guitar 1 class students will play favorite folk songs using the first three chords and will start learning to read music. After this first six-week sessions, students will be ready for the Guitar 2 class, which will begin the following week. In this class students will learn the most used chord progression of all time. It will let them play hundreds of popular songs and expand their finger- picking and music reading skills.
Students need their own quality child-sized guitar or may contact the instructor regarding a rent-to-own option. Cost is $45.
Bogardus has been teaching private and group music classes since 1998, including classes taught in public schools and for nonprofit art organizations. Her teaching experience includes flute, guitar, piano, choir, band, and orchestra. She studied flute at Brigham Young University and is constantly improving her teaching and musical credentials. She currently runs a private music studio in McCook and arranges and writes music.
Kids Academy: Guitar 1 will be held on Wednesdays beginning Jan. 23 through Feb. 27. Class for ages six-eight will be from 4 to 4:30 p.m.; and ages nine-11 will be from 4:30 to 5 p.m. at McMillen Hall at MCC.
The follow-up class, Guitar 2, will also be on Wednesdays, beginning March 6 and run through April 10 at the same times. For more information or to register for class you may go online to www.mpcc.edu/bce or call 308-345-8122.
Other January classes scheduled at MCC's BCE
The Business and Community Education Department has some very exciting classes coming up next week. The brochure for the Jan.-Feb.-March classes is just coming out. You may view it on our website at www.mpcc.edu/bce. You may also have a copy mailed or emailed to you simply by calling 308-345-8122.
Be sure to check it out. There is something for everyone. Included here are just few of the classes scheduled for next week.
Canvas Creations: Cardinal in the Snow. Saturday, Jan. 19, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., MC 213, $29. One Saturday a month students have the opportunity to relax, have some laughs and get creative with their friends and or co-workers. In just three hours, with a paint brush in hand and step-by-step instructions, artists of all skill levels will create their very own canvas creation. This month's painting will feature "A Cardinal in the Snow," a winter wonderland, with a crimson colored bird among a snowy canvas backdrop. Pre-registration is required; act fast as these classes fill up quickly.
Kids' Academy: Introduction to Spanish (grades 3-6). Mondays, Jan. 21- Feb. 11, from 5-6 p.m., McMillen Hall room 213, $25. Students will learn beginning level Spanish, including expressions, grammar and pronunciation, as well as days of the week, month, alphabet, birthdate and more. This is a perquisite to the Spanish Part 2 class which will bill begin Feb. 18.
Knitted Reversible Patchwork Throw. Tuesdays, Jan. 22- Feb. 26, from 6-9 p.m., McMillen Hall, room 210, $25. Students will be knitting simple patterns in small patches then piecing them together to make reversible patches, ultimately piecing the entire project together or a quilt-like knitted throw. A great wintertime pastime.
Kids Academy: MCC Caring Kids-We're All About Recycling. Wednesdays, Jan. 23, Feb. 27 and Mar. 27, from 2:30-4 p.m., Student Union. Class will be learning about recycling (3-Rs) and how what we do directly effects our earth. There is no course fee for the class.
IPhones for Dummies. Thursday, Jan. 24, from 6-7:30 p.m., McMillen Hall, room 201, $19. Attention all IPhone users! Have you ever wondered how to download an app? Do you know how to take a screenshot? Learn the tips, tricks and shortcuts to using your IPhone. We are here to relieve some of the anxiety that comes with figuring out your new phone.
Beginning Computer and 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. The time and date are still to be determined. Please call the BCE, 308-345-8122, for more information.
Students at Valentine Community Schools are receiving a head start on their college education thanks to the VCS Foundation.
According to Ronelle Kilmer, Valentine High School counselor and foundation member, the foundation is paying more than $43,000 in tuition during the 2018-19 school year to help nearly 70 students take dual credit courses through Mid-Plains Community College.
Dual credit courses are taught in the high school, but count toward both high school and college credit at the same time.
"We've been partnering with MPCC to offer dual credit classes for our students for years," said Kilmer. "But, this is the first time the foundation has covered the tuition up front. In the past, the students were responsible for that cost, and it was challenging for some. We have students taking six, 10 and even 16 credit hours, and when you throw a sibling into the mix that adds up. Last year, we had students bringing in dollar bills and quarters to try to make their payments."
Because of generous contributions from community and alumni donors, the foundation had the funds to take over the initial cost.
"As a foundation, we thought, 'If we can do this, why aren't we'?" Kilmer said. "We felt like it was a safe investment because we are getting the money back from Mid-Plains. The growth we have seen as a result has been phenomenal."
During the 2017-18 school year, Valentine had 42 students taking 259 credit hours through Mid-Plains. This year, participation has increased to 69 students taking 405 credit hours.
"That's a pretty significant difference, and it's all because of the change," Kilmer said. "Some of those students would not have been able to afford college if the foundation hadn't stepped in to cover the initial cost, which is a shame because the value of taking dual credit classes is immense."
The way Kilmer looks at it - not only are students saving money by taking college classes while still in high school, VCS also pays for their books, but they could be shaving off a semester or even a year of college.
She makes sure to tout the benefits of dual credit when registering students as young as eighth grade. Dual credit classes are also promoted in the high school by the instructors who teach them and are listed in Valentine's course description booklet both in print and online.
"What we've seen is that students who take dual credit courses in high school are more likely to continue their postsecondary education because they've had that start and that exposure to a college environment," Kilmer said. "Every one of our seniors who took dual credit last year continued on. The expectation was there for them to do so."
More information about Mid-Plains and the dual credit classes it offers can be found online at mpcc.edu.
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.
Area Communications Specialist
Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator