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Jul 17
MPCC raffle car will tour McCook

raffle car2.jpg

The 2018 Mid-Plains Community College raffle car will tour McCook on Thursday. The public will have an opportunity to view and purchase tickets for the 1932 Ford Roadster at the following locations:

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m. - Wagner Ford
  • 11 a.m. to noon - Gateway Realty
  • 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - Wireless World
  • 2-3 p.m. – Arby's
  • 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Game On

About the car

The Roadster was built by students in MPCC's Classic Car Restoration, Automotive Technology and Auto Body Technology programs and is the result of a partnership with Lincoln-based Speedway Motors.

"The partnership with Speedway has been a wonderful experience," said Bryan Herrick, MPCC's first-year Automotive Technology instructor. "We built the car from scratch using mainly Speedway parts. Ninety-five percent of the project came straight from the Speedway catalog. The remaining five percent involved our construction of the interior." 

It's the first time MPCC has undertaken such a project. The past 13 years, the students restored and modified classic cars. Many of the lessons they learned through that process also applied to building a new car.

For the Roadster, Automotive Tech students were charged with building a new chassis, creating electrical systems and designing and building a new drivetrain.

Auto Body students were tasked with fitting the various body components together, painting the exterior and interior surfaces and designing and constructing the seats and upholstery.

"There wasn't a book of step-by-step instructions," said Don Wilson, MPCC Auto Body instructor. "Our students had to learn each process before they could make the various systems work properly and look amazing."

The goal was to create a car anyone could drive.

The Roadster's drivetrain consists of a 327 GM small block engine with three two-barrel carburetors coupled to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission and a Ford 9" rear end. Four-wheel disc brakes with Rocket racing wheels were added. The entire car is either painted, chromed, stainless or fabric.

"It turned out amazing," said Brandon McElwee, Auto Body student. "To see it come together from start to finish was unbelievable."

The car will tour the state over the summer, making appearances at car shows, parades and cruise night events.

A total of 10,000 raffle tickets will be available at a price of $10 each. Proceeds will be used for scholarships for students in the college's transportation programs and to help offset the cost of producing the next raffle car project.

Tickets will be sold everywhere the vehicle is displayed. A schedule is posted on the college's website, mpcc.edu

Tickets can also be purchased in the welcome centers at any of MPCC's campuses in McCook, North Platte, Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala and Valentine.

Additionally, a number of businesses, organizations and individuals will sell tickets. In North Platte, those include: North Platte Buick GMC, Cohagen Battery Store, Grandma's Memories Antiques and Collectibles, Isabelle's Auction House, A.J. Janas, Jim Pokorny, Pat Smith, Jody's Auto Sales, Larry's Barber Shop, Modern Tire Pros, Twin Rivers Body Shop, LKQ Corporation and E.J.'s Outdoor Sports. The Curtis Collision Center, in Curtis, will also have tickets available.

The drawing for the '32 Ford will be at 3 p.m. during Colonel Cody's Cruise Show and Shine in downtown North Platte on Sept. 8.  

Jul 16
Registration Day to offer in-depth look at NPCC

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Students interested in experiencing North Platte Community College firsthand will have the opportunity July 31. The college is planning a Registration Day where prospective students can sign up for classes and receive the information needed to begin coursework in the fall.  

North Platte Community College will offer its last Registration Day of the summer on July 31. The event will begin at 10 a.m. It will give prospective students an opportunity to sign up for classes and receive the information needed to begin coursework in the fall. 

Registration Day is more than just registering for classes. It also serves as a foundation - designed to keep prospective students on track and ensure they have a successful and rewarding experience at NPCC through graduation. 

"Registration Days help our incoming students set up for success as they transition into their college career," said Mindy Hope, area director of recruiting and admissions. "During the events, the students meet the faculty and staff who will support them on their journey. We want students and parents to know how much we care about the students' success and to be aware of all the services we offer to assist them." 

Students will be able to take placement tests, if needed, and campus tours will be available. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about: 

  • Class scheduling
  • Financial aid
  • Payment expectations
  • Bookstores
  • Career services
  • Advising
  • Library services
  • Student Success/tutors
  • Disability services
  • Student life
  • Student organizations
  • Campus housing

Although not mandatory, parents are also encouraged to be part of Registration Day. There will be a session designed specifically for them. 

Those interested in attending Registration Day are asked to RSVP at https://campus.mpcc.edu/ICS/First_Time_Student/. The first 50 to sign up will receive a free hoodie. More information is available by calling (800) 658-4308, ext. 3609.

Jul 13
White develops passion for learning through Kiewit Scholars Program

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Erin White

College is for everybody. 

That's what Erin White believes now that she's been through the Kiewit Scholars Program at North Platte Community College. 

The California native always wanted a higher education, but when life kicked in, her dreams ended up on the back burner. Eventually, she waited long enough that going back to school seemed too daunting of a task. 

"I had no idea where to start, or even what classes I wanted to take," White said. "I graduated from high school in 2011 and looked into some colleges, but then my family moved to North Platte. After that, I was just working and waiting for the right moment. I had a child, and that put the brakes on everything." 

Last summer, she stumbled across an opportunity that would change her life forever. 

"My mom showed me a newspaper article about the Kiewit Scholars Program at NPCC," said White. "It was a 10-month program designed to put me into the workforce right away. It was exactly what I was looking for." 

The Kiewit Scholars Program is open to non-traditional students, low-income individuals and GED recipients. It prepares them for entry or re-entry into the workforce by teaching specific skill sets that improve their chances of obtaining employment and/or increasing wages. 

White used the program to earn certificates in Medical Billing and Coding as well as Medical Office Technology. 

"I had always kind of wanted to do something medical-related because that's the field my mom is in and because those jobs are consistently in high demand," White said. "The Kiewit Scholars Program made it easy. Everything was laid out for me – from the classes I needed to take to the mentor who guided me through them." 

White received scholarships that covered the cost of her classes and books, and the program assisted her in transitioning back into an educational system. 

"It was a challenge after having been out for so long," White said. "But, there were people in the program in their 50s, which just goes to show it's never too late for an education. We all became so close. We formed study groups and stayed after class to finish homework together. It was like a built-in support system." 

Kiewit students follow a strict attendance policy, job shadow, learn about career expectations, participate in an etiquette dinner and receive guidance with résumés, cover letters and mock job interviews among other things. 

White made the Dean's List both semesters and was asked to interview for a position after the job shadowing. She turned it down, but only because she wanted to continue her education. 

"I earned my certificates in May, but now I want that Associate of Applied Science degree," White said. "I'm so close, and I've become addicted to learning." 

She doubts she would have gone back to school without the assistance of the Kiewit Scholars Program and its coordinator, Teresa Piccolo. 

"Teresa was incredible," White said. "She laid the foundation for success, and all we had to do was apply ourselves. She gave us all the resources, all the opportunities in the world, and those 10 months were worth it in the end." 

The deadline to apply for the Kiewit Scholars Program is July 27. More information is available by contacting Piccolo at 535-3700 or piccolot@mpcc.edu.

Jul 06
MPCC raffle car headed to Broken Bow


The 2018 Mid-Plains Community College raffle car will be on display in Broken Bow on July 12. The public will have the opportunity to view and buy tickets for the 1932 Ford Roadster from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MPCC Broken Bow Community Campus, 2520 S. E St.

About the car

The Roadster was built by students in MPCC's Classic Car Restoration, Automotive Technology and Auto Body Technology programs and is the result of a partnership with Lincoln-based Speedway Motors.

"The partnership with Speedway has been a wonderful experience," said Bryan Herrick, MPCC's first-year Automotive Technology instructor. "We built the car from scratch using mainly Speedway parts. Ninety-five percent of the project came straight from the Speedway catalog. The remaining five percent involved our construction of the interior." 

It's the first time MPCC has undertaken such a project. The past 13 years, the students restored and modified classic cars. Many of the lessons they learned through that process also applied to building a new car.

For the Roadster, Automotive Tech students were charged with building a new chassis, creating electrical systems and designing and building a new drivetrain.

Auto Body students were tasked with fitting the various body components together, painting the exterior and interior surfaces and designing and constructing the seats and upholstery.

"There wasn't a book of step-by-step instructions," said Don Wilson, MPCC Auto Body instructor. "Our students had to learn each process before they could make the various systems work properly and look amazing."

The goal was to create a car anyone could drive.

The Roadster's drivetrain consists of a 327 GM small block engine with three two-barrel carburetors coupled to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission and a Ford 9" rear end. Four-wheel disc brakes with Rocket racing wheels were added. The entire car is either painted, chromed, stainless or fabric.

"It turned out amazing," said Brandon McElwee, Auto Body student. "To see it come together from start to finish was unbelievable."

The car will tour the state over the summer, making appearances at car shows, parades and cruise night events.

A total of 10,000 raffle tickets will be available at a price of $10 each. Proceeds will be used for scholarships for students in the college's transportation programs and to help offset the cost of producing the next raffle car project.

Tickets will be sold everywhere the vehicle is displayed. A schedule is posted on the college's website, mpcc.edu

Tickets can also be purchased in the welcome centers at any of MPCC's campuses in McCook, North Platte, Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala and Valentine.

Additionally, a number of businesses, organizations and individuals will sell tickets. In North Platte, those include: North Platte Buick GMC, Cohagen Battery Store, Grandma's Memories Antiques and Collectibles, Isabelle's Auction House, A.J. Janas, Jim Pokorny, Pat Smith, Jody's Auto Sales, Larry's Barber Shop, Modern Tire Pros, Twin Rivers Body Shop, LKQ Corporation and E.J.'s Outdoor Sports. The Curtis Collision Center, in Curtis, will also have tickets available.

The drawing for the '32 Ford will be at 3 p.m. during Colonel Cody's Cruise Show and Shine in downtown North Platte on Sept. 8.  

Jul 06
NPCC to offer Driver Education course

Young driver.jpg

North Platte Community College will offer a Driver Education course July 23-27. Class time is from 8 a.m. to noon each day and driving sessions will be in the afternoon. The registration deadline is July 17. 

Driver Education is open to students as young as 14 who have a learner's permit. It is approved by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles and consists of 20 hours of class time and five hours of drive time. 

The instructors are: Will Winchester, Tom Allberry, Dennis Fornander, Jeff and Janet Henne, Lynn Rinehart and Bob Zohner. 

Those who successfully complete the program will receive a waiver, enabling them to skip both the written test and the drive test when applying for a license. Discounts on car insurance may also apply, depending on the policy. 

A $235 course fee, which covers the cost of a required textbook, must be paid in advance. Payments will not be accepted at the door. Registration can be done online at www.mpcc.edu/bce

More information is available through the Business and Community Education department at NPCC, (308) 535-3678.

Jul 02
MPCC raffle car headed to Curtis

Raffle Car.JPG

The 2018 Mid-Plains Community College raffle car will be on display in Curtis on Thursday. The public can view and buy tickets for the 1932 Ford Roadster from 1-4 p.m. at Western Nebraska Bank and from 4-8 p.m. at the Yellow Rose Lounge.

About the car

The Roadster was built by students in MPCC's Classic Car Restoration, Automotive Technology and Auto Body Technology programs and is the result of a partnership with Lincoln-based Speedway Motors.

"The partnership with Speedway has been a wonderful experience," said Bryan Herrick, MPCC's first-year Automotive Technology instructor. "We built the car from scratch using mainly Speedway parts. Ninety-five percent of the project came straight from the Speedway catalog. The remaining five percent involved our construction of the interior." 

It's the first time MPCC has undertaken such a project. The past 13 years, the students restored and modified classic cars. Many of the lessons they learned through that process also applied to building a new car.

For the Roadster, Automotive Tech students were charged with building a new chassis, creating electrical systems and designing and building a new drivetrain.

Auto Body students were tasked with fitting the various body components together, painting the exterior and interior surfaces and designing and constructing the seats and upholstery.

"There wasn't a book of step-by-step instructions," said Don Wilson, MPCC Auto Body instructor. "Our students had to learn each process before they could make the various systems work properly and look amazing."

The goal was to create a car anyone could drive.

The Roadster's drivetrain consists of a 327 GM small block engine with three two-barrel carburetors coupled to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission and a Ford 9" rear end. Four-wheel disc brakes with Rocket racing wheels were added. The entire car is either painted, chromed, stainless or fabric.

"It turned out amazing," said Brandon McElwee, Auto Body student. "To see it come together from start to finish was unbelievable."

The car will tour the state over the summer, making appearances at car shows, parades and cruise night events.

A total of 10,000 raffle tickets will be available at a price of $10 each. Proceeds will be used for scholarships for students in the college's transportation programs and to help offset the cost of producing the next raffle car project.

Tickets will be sold everywhere the vehicle is displayed. A schedule is posted on the college's website, mpcc.edu

Tickets can also be purchased in the welcome centers at any of MPCC's campuses in McCook, North Platte, Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala and Valentine.

Additionally, a number of businesses, organizations and individuals will sell tickets. In North Platte, those include: North Platte Buick GMC, Cohagen Battery Store, Grandma's Memories Antiques and Collectibles, Isabelle's Auction House, A.J. Janas, Jim Pokorny, Pat Smith, Jody's Auto Sales, Larry's Barber Shop, Modern Tire Pros, Twin Rivers Body Shop, LKQ Corporation and E.J.'s Outdoor Sports. The Curtis Collision Center, in Curtis, will also have tickets available.

The drawing for the '32 Ford will be at 3 p.m. during Colonel Cody's Cruise Show and Shine in downtown North Platte on Sept. 8.  

Jul 02
Imperial man returns home through HVACR

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Brett Harmon went into heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration because he knew it would provide a steady income. The field has allowed him to return to his hometown of Imperial. 

Brett Harmon is a realist. 

He's known what he wanted to do with his life and where he wanted to be from a very young age, and he developed that goal based on what made sense. 

"I knew from day one that you've got to pick a career that will always be needed," said Harmon. "It seems like there are a lot of professions out there that people want to pursue, but that there's no demand for. I picked [heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration] because as long as there's electricity, I will have a job." 

Harmon is the maintenance supervisor for Chase County Community Hospital in Imperial. His responsibilities vary – from working on boilers and rooftop units to servicing split system air conditioners and managing contracts with service providers. 

"I wasn't a failing student in high school, but I wasn't a straight 'A' student either," Harmon said. "I got bored sitting in a classroom. I wanted to work with my hands, so that's why HVACR appealed to me. It just seemed natural."

The Imperial native got his first glimpse at the world of HVACR while attending Chase County High School. 

"I always saw the school's facility manager messing with the boiler and air conditioner," Harmon said. "That caught my eye because I enjoyed fixing things. He said that if I went into HVACR, I could make pretty good money." 

Harmon knew of two HVACR companies in Imperial that were advertising for technicians at the time, and he ultimately wanted to stay in the area because of the small-town atmosphere. 

So, by the time he graduated from high school in 2009, Harmon had made up his mind to enroll in the HVACR program at North Platte Community College. 

"NPCC was my first choice," Harmon said. "It was close to home, so I could go back and work on the weekends. I also really liked the instructor, Rex Kemp. I met Rex when I toured the college, and that was the deciding factor for me. I just got along really well with him." 

Once in the HVACR program, Harmon appreciated the one-on-one instruction, hands-on learning, state-of-the-art technology and the variation of brands of units available to practice on. He especially enjoyed an internship with Troxell's Heating and Appliance in Imperial. 

"I interned for a full summer, and I'm so glad I did," Harmon said. "I gained so much by applying what I had studied at the college to real-world situations. I had to learn to think on my own without being guided by an instructor." 

Brett_Harmon1.jpg

Brett Harmon, of Imperial, checks the voltage on a domestic boiler at Chase County Community Hospital on Monday. Harmon graduated from the HVACR program at North Platte Community College.

Troxell's offered Harmon a full-time job as soon as he finished training at NPCC. He worked for the company for seven years – an experience that also allowed him to learn about appliances. 

He then spent a year doing maintenance at a nursing home before being recruited to his current position in September. 

"I enjoy the variety of my job now," Harmon said. "I can use the training I went to school for and apply it to something different every day."

He credits NPCC, not only for putting him on the path to his current occupation, but also for broadening his skills across the board. 

"That's the great thing about the HVACR program – you learn things, from reading schematics to soldering and running power tools, that open doors to other jobs not directly related to HVACR," Harmon said. 

And, unlike some friends of his, Harmon didn't walk away from college with a burdening amount of student debt. 

"The cost of the HVACR program in North Platte is not much at all, and you're pretty much guaranteed work right away – anywhere in the country. Demand is super high," Harmon said. "The fact that I could go to school for a year for less than $10,000 and get a job right away and have my schooling paid off was way better than going to school for four years, having incredible debt and not being able to get work anywhere. From small towns to big cities, there's always a need for HVACR." 

More information about North Platte Community College and its HVACR program can be found online at mpcc.edu

Jul 02
New plumbing class addresses worker shortage

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A new class offered by the Mid-Plains Community College Ogallala Campus aims to address a shortage of plumbers in West Central Nebraska. 

"There's a real need in Keith County and surrounding counties for skilled plumbers," said Mary Pierce, campus coordinator. "MPCC is trying to meet that need." 

Bill McMillan, founder of McMillan Plumbing in Ogallala, will serve as the instructor for the course, which is scheduled for Aug. 27-Oct. 17. 

"I started my plumbing company in 1991, and over the years, the biggest problem I had was getting qualified employees," said McMillan. "There just wasn't anyone who wanted to learn the business. It's happening in other places, too. I think it's mainly an image issue. When people think of plumbers, all they picture is Roto-Rooting sewer lines." 

To him, the profession is so much more. He's excited about the opportunity to train a new generation of plumbers and to help provide public contractors with a source for employees. 

"I see plumbing as a creative type of work," McMillan said. "When we install plumbing, we design it ourselves, and that's very fulfilling. There's also a lot of variety to the job. Every day is totally different. One day, we might be putting tubs in a motel and the next fixing a faucet. Not to mention, plumbers can go virtually anywhere in the world and find work." 

His class will be hands-on and will include a variety of fieldwork. It will prepare students to take the Nebraska Journeyman Plumber Exam. Upon successful completion of the test, students would be qualified to work under a master plumber as an apprentice. 

McMillan said the knowledge needed to be a plumber has changed dramatically because of new technology. While it's not easy to pass the state test and get a license, McMillan believes the class could be a definite advantage. 

"People who have gone through a course like this are also more marketable than those who haven't," said McMillan. "Employers typically pay more for those they don't have to train." 

The class will be offered from 4-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Registrations will be accepted throughout the first week of the class, or until the limit of 12 students is reached. 

There is a $499 fee. Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify through the GAP program. 

More information is available by calling Pierce at (308) 284-9830 or emailing piercem@mpcc.edu

Jun 29
LPN students honored with pinning ceremony

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Fourteen Licensed Practical Nursing students were recognized during a pinning ceremony Friday at North Platte Community College. 

Pictured back row, left to right are: Brett Niemeth, area nursing support coordinator; Students Emily Gottschalk, Broken Bow; RaeLynn Foster, Sarah Griesfeller and Shalee Fillmer, North Platte; Randii Byrd, Mullen; Beth Helmink, McCook; Jennifer Gaston, Trenton and Lana Albrecht-Watson, nurse educator/clinical coordinator. 

Pictured front row, left to right are: Dr. Kathy Harrison, director of nursing/nurse educator; Students Nichole Powers, Broken Bow; Crashell Foster and Kelsey Hanson, North Platte; Amber Wehrbein, Valentine; Jasmyn James, McCook and Nicole Kissinger, nurse educator. Not pictured were: Sasha Taylor, Ainsworth and Jean Kelley, Blair.

Jun 28
Chaviras make attending MPCC a family affair

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Kevin Chavira (pink shirt) and Edgar Chavira (white shirt) compete in a "Souper Bowl" cook-off with the MPCC rodeo team. 

Attending Mid-Plains Community College is becoming a tradition for the Chavira family of Imperial. 

Kevin, Jony, Edgar, Brandon and Eric are cousins who represent three families of Chaviras. Kevin and Jony are brothers, and Edgar and Brandon are brothers. All either obtained or are currently pursuing a postsecondary education through MPCC. 

Kevin Chavira 

Kevin_Business student.jpg

Kevin Chavira

When Kevin graduated from Chase County High School in 2015, MPCC wasn't just one of his choices for college – it was his first choice. 

"It just made sense," Kevin said. "Mid-Plains was close to home. It was affordable, and I had taken some classes at the MPCC campus in Imperial when I was in high school, so I was familiar with the system. I knew MPCC had some amazing instructors." 

The fact that Mid-Plains had a rodeo team didn't hurt anything either. 

"I had opportunities to play soccer in Kansas, but I knew that if I went to MPCC, I could team rope, which was what I really wanted to do," Kevin said. "Also, because I was from a small town, I wanted that same atmosphere in a college. Going to a university would have been a huge change for me, and I doubt I would have enjoyed my college experience as much as I did." 

Kevin ended up taking classes through MPCC in North Platte where his efforts were rewarded with a Business Student of the Month recognition. 

Kevin graduated in May of 2017 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business with an Agribusiness emphasis. He is now back in Imperial working as a personal banker and training to be a loan officer at Pinnacle Bank. 

"I definitely recommend MPCC," Kevin said. "A large part of the reason I was as prepared as I was for the job I have now is because Mid-Plains instructors were always there for me. They wanted me to be the best I could be. Two of my biggest role models, Angie Chittick and Cathy Nutt, really took the time to get to know me. They knew what my potential was, and if I wasn't living up to that, they would push me. They more or less taught me as a friend." 

Edgar's story 

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Edgar Chavira tutors another student while attending college in North Platte. Edgar graduated from Mid-Plains Community College in 2017.

Edgar has only been in Imperial for five years. 

He graduated from Murray County High School in Chatsworth, Ga. in 2011 then attended Dalton State College in Dalton, Ga. on a soccer scholarship. 

"I initially studied criminal justice, but was unable to finish because my family moved to Nebraska," Edgar said. "When we arrived in Imperial, I really got into agriculture. I hadn't been exposed to it much before, but working with animals and everything that goes along with that has been a life-changing experience." 

The amount and variety of work in agriculture in Nebraska and surrounding states continues to impress him. 

"There's so much productivity around here, that there's a lot of job security," Edgar said. "It's a very progressive industry." 

When he found out Kevin was going to study agriculture at MPCC. Edgar decided to join him. 

"It was close to home, but more than anything, I liked the flexibility of Mid-Plains," Edgar said. "I was able to take classes while continuing to work at Imperial Beef." 

Like Kevin, Edgar graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business with an Agribusiness emphasis in 2017. 

"The classes at MPCC were very advanced compared to those I had taken before," Edgar said. "They were hands-on and focused, and the instructors were just amazing. They provided one-on-one instruction that I can apply to my current job. I'm still at Imperial Beef, but I'm in a better position now than before I went to Mid-Plains. I used to be just a laborer. Now I'm the shipping and receiving coordinator as well as the safety coordinator." 

Edgar's goal is to one day manage his own ranch or feed yard - preferably in the Imperial area. 

Eric's perspective 

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Eric Chavira studies for finals week at Mid-Plains Community College. 

Eric also works at Imperial Beef as a pen rider. His job is to check, doctor and ship cattle. 

"I've been working in feedlots since I was about 15," Eric said. "I just fell in love with it. I would eventually like to try to get into higher management at a feedlot, and hopefully, stay in the Imperial area." 

He's using MPCC to help him do that. Eric graduated from Chase County High School in the spring of 2016 and began taking college classes in North Platte the following fall. 

"I chose MPCC because it was affordable, and because it was close enough to home that I could come back and work," Eric said. "It helped that Edgar and Kevin were already there. I visited them a couple of times when I was a senior and became familiar with some of the instructors." 

He appreciated the size of the campus – especially compared to others he had visited. 

"I liked how Mid-Plains has a small-town feel to it," Eric said. "That's what I was used to. When I was visiting UNL and some of the other universities, it was kind of overwhelming because everything was so big. At MPCC, I knew everyone and my classes were easy to find." 

Eric took a semester's worth of MPCC dual credit classes online and through the college's campus in Imperial while he was still in high school. 

"That put me way ahead and will save me a bunch of money in the long run," Eric said. "I needed nine of those credits for my associate degree and the others for my bachelor's degree." 

His plans are to transfer to Fort Hays State University, earn a Business Administration degree through MPCC's reverse transfer program and obtain a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business from Fort Hays. 

"The advisors at MPCC made transferring really easy," Eric said. "When I started, I didn't know what I wanted a bachelor's degree in, but that was important so that I didn't waste money. My advisors helped me figure out what classes I needed to take and made the process really smooth. At MPCC, everyone cares about you and wants you to succeed." 

Thoughts from Brandon 

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Brandon Chavira takes a call from a customer at the ALLO store in North Platte. Chavira is studying information technology through Mid-Plains Community College.

Brandon is currently attending Mid-Plains with Eric. By the time he graduated from Chase County High School in 2016, he had also taken advantage of MPCC's Imperial campus and knocked out a college speech class. 

"That definitely helped," Brandon said. "It's one less class I have to take now, so I'm one step closer to being done." 

The fact that Kevin and Edgar enjoyed MPCC so much, and the fact that Eric was planning to go there, played a large part in Brandon's decision to enroll at Mid-Plains, too. Brandon also appreciated the college's proximity to home and affordability. 

He is studying to be an information technology specialist – a program he's already seeing the benefits from. 

"I work as a business customer representative at ALLO in North Platte, so I have to know all the basics," Brandon said. "When a customer calls with questions about Wi-Fi or hardware, I'm the first line of defense. The skills I gained through the IT and business classes at MPCC help me every day." 

Brandon plans to go directly into the workforce after he graduates from Mid-Plains. He would eventually like to open an IT shop. 

Jony's experience 

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Jony Chavira swings a loop from his horse. Chavira is taking dual credit classes through Mid-Plains Community College. 

While Jony hasn't had the on-campus experience that his brother and cousins have, he has followed in their footsteps by taking MPCC classes in his high school classroom. 

"I'm going to be a senior this year in Imperial," Jony said. "I've already taken Personal Finance and this fall will take Info Tech, Art Appreciation, Speech and Accounting. I'm going to have to take them at some point, so I might as well take them now and save some money." 

The chances of him attending Mid-Plains after he graduates are high. 

"I know I want to study Agribusiness, and I've heard a lot of good things about MPCC," Jony said. "I've been impressed by the school so far just by how far ahead of schedule it put me with the dual credit classes. That was a great opportunity, and I'm excited to see what other opportunities the college has in store." 

More information about MPCC, its programs and dual credit offerings 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​