In January, Sandra Borden of Gibbon was elected by the college Board of Governors to serve as board chairwoman for 2016.
Also elected as board officers for 2016 were Linda Walline of Columbus, vice chairwoman; Linda Aerni of Columbus, secretary; and Austin Miller of Grand Island, treasurer.
Borden and Diane Keller of Harvard were appointed to represent the college on the board of the Nebraska Community College Association.
Non-credit enrollment included:
The majority of students – 18,859 -- were from CCC’s 25-county
service area. Students from Nebraska but outside the CCC service area totaled
2,288. There were 265 students from other states.
For more information, see the 2015-16 Enrollment Report
The 2013-14 graduate employment report (issued in 2015) shows that
CCC graduates continue to do well in the job market and provide a good return
on investment for taxpayers, with the majority of graduates remaining in the
CCC service area. Highlights of the report include:
For more information, please go to the online Graduate Outcomes Report
Five occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students from
CCC-Grand Island helped provide special bikes to three kids with disabilities. They
raised funds for the nonprofit organization, Bikes and Trykes of Central
Nebraska, which depends on fundraising and donations to buy the bikes, which
cost an average of $800. It usually takes a year to raise the needed funds for
a bike, which is then adjusted to meet the unique needs of each kid. OTA
students involved in the project were Sonia Bustamante of Burwell, Sara
Kosmicki of St. Paul, Lisa Lynch of York, Alyssa Morrow of Grand Island and
Lauren Schuster of Aurora.
Four dental hygiene students from Central Community
College-Hastings took what they’re learning in the clinic and put it into
action in Haiti. The May 23-June 1 trip began with Kim Danehey-Nibbe, clinic
assistant for the dental hygiene program, who was familiar with ongoing efforts
to rebuild Haiti after an earthquake devastated it in 2010. The dental hygiene
students – Chelsi Anderson of Brush, Colo.; Michaella Beck of Gregory, S.D.;
Hannah Fleecs of Sutherland and Kayla Keep of Hastings – did work on five
wells, but their main focus was on providing basic dental services. During
their two weeks in CapHaitien, Haiti, the students worked at two orphanages, a
church and a home. They saw 135 patients and applied 1,372 sealants. The
students also distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste as well as donated
clothing. “The Haitians are very friendly, but going to their country isn’t for
the faint of heart,” Danehey-Nibbe said. “Our students were fearless. I think
this trip will be very life-changing for them.”
While the CCC-Columbus theater department’s production of
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was quite an undertaking, the creation of a
mechanical horse was quite a production all its own. The horse was the result
of much teamwork. Welding instructor Ryan Woehl and student Casey Gasper welded
the harness for the horse. Former drafting and design student, Phil Miller
created the horse’s head from sketches and a template while advanced manufacturing
design technology and drafting and design students helped many days during
class time on the horse construction. These students were Cole Church, Cody
Anderson, Parker Ridgeway, Ryan Stegman, Jim Swartz, Nathan Eckhart and Hoss
Hammond. Helping with the finish work were the puppeteers, assistant stage
manager and the stage makeup class.
CCC-Columbus students Cayla Cuba and Megan Fiala were
invited to be members of the Nebraska Intercollegiate Band, and performed on March
4 at the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association Annual Convention in Lincoln.
Cuba plays clarinet and Fiala plays trumpet in the CCC
Concert Band and the Hilltop Winds ensemble.
“Cayla and Megan are hard-working students who are
incredibly valuable to CCC’s instrumental music program,” said music instructor
Micah Crochet. “They set a high standard.”
The other performing schools are Chadron State College,
Doane College, Grace University, Hastings College, Midland University, Nebraska
Wesleyan University, Peru State College, University of Nebraska-Kearney, University
of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha and Wayne State College.
The race is on for kids participating in a Big Brothers/Big
Sisters egg hunt March 20 at Stolley Park in Grand Island. The event was
sponsored by the Alpha Tau Tau chapter of Phi Theta Kappa international honor
society at Central Community College-Grand Island.
Five Central Community College students were named to the
2016 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Nebraska All-State Academic Team.
The all-state academic team is an effort sponsored by PTK,
an international honor society for two-year colleges, and the Nebraska
Community College Association to honor students for academic achievement,
leadership and community service.
The team included the following CCC students:
Ashley Newman of Omaha received an associate of science
degree from the Columbus Campus in December 2015 and is now a biology student
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After earning a bachelor’s degree,
Newman plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska Medical Center and then
pursue a career as a radiologist physician.
Jacob Nienaber of Columbus is a business marketing and
management major at the Columbus Campus where he is president of the Phi Theta
Kappa Chi Sigma chapter. He also has worked as an Academic Success Center
tutor; announced volleyball, basketball and soccer games; served as Raider Rex,
CCC’s mascot; and been named to the CCC President’s Honor List three times for
having a perfect 4.0 GPA. Nienaber plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in
business administration at Wayne State College.
Haylee Richardson of Holdrege is an education major at the
Hastings Campus. She is vice president of scholarship for the Phi Theta Kappa
Beta Alpha Delta chapter, a member of the National Society of Leadership and
Success and a resident assistant. She also has been named to the President’s Honor
List for having a perfect 4.0 GPA. After CCC, Richardson plans to transfer to
the University of Nebraska at Kearney to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Walter Suarez-Crespo of Hastings is a business
administration and marketing major at the Hastings Campus. He is a member of
the Phi Theta Kappa Beta Alpha Delta chapter and has been named to the
President’s Honor List. After completing his education at CCC, Suarez-Crespo
plans to transfer to Hastings College where he wants to earn his bachelor’s
degree and play on the soccer team. His career plans include working for an
Heidi Tillotson of Kearney is an occupational therapy
assistant (OTA) major at the Grand Island Campus where she is a member of the
Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Tau Tau chapter and vice president of the Student
Occupational Therapy Association. After Tillotson receives her degree from CCC,
she plans to work a few years to gain experience as an OTA and then work toward
a full occupational therapy degree.
Four Central Community College students received TRIO
scholarships during 2015-16. Three CCC students were recipients of the $500
TRIO Leadership Award scholarship. They were Courtney Zwiebel, a student at
CCC-Grand Island; Nichole Johnson, a student at CCC-Hastings; and Hoss Hammond,
a student at CCC-Columbus. The TRIO/Student Support Services (TRIO/SSS) program
awards the scholarship annual to TRIO/SSS students who have demonstrated
outstanding leadership potential and submitted an essay about rising above
obstacles to reach their educational goals.
CCC-Columbus student Jamie Drozd was awarded a $1,000 TRIO
Board of Directors Scholarship through the MKN (Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska)
Chapter of the Educational Opportunity Association. The scholarship is awarded
to one college student per state in the MKN chapter and recognizes the
recipients’ achievement, excellence and perseverance.
The TRIO/SSS program helps first-generation and low-income
students with a demonstrated academic need overcome barriers to their dreams.
Central Community College played
a major role in retraining 71 former Cargill employees in Columbus. In late
2015, more than 100 Cargill employees found themselves out of job or laid off
while the company began a $111 million conversion from a ground beef patty
plant to a cooked meats plant. Rather than abandon them to an uncertain future,
however, Cargill decided to help them prepare for it instead. CCC was part of a
collaborative initiative to provide training for the former Cargill workers.
The workers signed up for training in computer technology, industrial
technology/mechatronics, leadership development, process improvement, quality
control, safety and welding technology; English speaking, reading and writing;
and traditional college courses in a variety of programs.
Central Community College students and faculty members
continue to benefit from the Nebraska Microsoft IT Initiative, which was rolled
out during the 2014-15 academic year at 40 high schools and on one campus of
each of the state’s six community colleges. Through the initiative, the
Nebraska Department of Education works in partnership with the Microsoft IT
Academy to provide teachers and students with access to software training,
online resources and Microsoft Office Specialist Industry certification. For
CCC, the initiative began at its Columbus Campus. During the 2014-15 academic
year, CCC students and faculty earned the following number of certifications:
Word, 58; Excel, 33; Access, 25; PowerPoint, 24; and Other (IC3, Outlook): 23.
The program was expanded to CCC’s Grand Island and Hastings campuses in 2015-16,
along with 80 high schools and additional community college campuses. In
addition, CCC’s business technology (BTEC) program has developed a business
software certificate that aligns with the Microsoft certification and ladders
into the BTEC diploma and degree, allowing students to advance through the
CCC students continue to gain ground on their educational
and career paths through a program called “reverse transfer.” Reverse transfer
is a degree completion initiative that allows a student who transferred to a
four-year institution without completing an associate’s degree at CCC to
fulfill the degree requirements with coursework from the four-year institution.
The courses also still apply toward the bachelor’s degree. The need for such a
program became evident when the National Student Clearinghouse found that 78
percent of students nationwide transfer from a community college to a four-year
institution without first completing their associate’s degree. Additionally, an
associate’s degree is the nation’s fastest growing work credential, providing
students with a marketable and competitive credential on their resume, better
job opportunities and a higher earning potential. Since 2014, CCC has awarded
over 100 associate of arts and associate of science degrees through the reverse
An innovative partnership paved the way for expansion of the
medical assisting program at Central Community College-Hastings to Columbus.
Previously, CCC-Columbus students took the medical assisting courses online,
but they had to travel nearly two hours to Hastings for the on-campus lab
component. In order to meet the growing need for medical assistants in the
Columbus area, the East Central District Health Department (ECDHD) stepped
forward to volunteer clinical space in its facility for the on-site labs. The
blended format of the Columbus medical assisting program allows students to
take general education courses at the Columbus Campus, the medical assisting
courses online and the clinical labs at East Central. Students who successfully
complete the two-year program will receive an associate of applied science
degree. Because CCC’s medical assisting program is accredited by the Commission
on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, graduates may sit for the
national certification exam administered by the Certifying Board of the
American Associates of Medical Assistants. The CMA (certified medical
assistant) credential is recognized and often preferred or required by
employers across the country.
The award is presented annually to a Hastings Campus
employee who demonstrates exemplary service to the college.
Bohrer is executive assistant to Campus President Bill
“I have had the privilege of working with Beth for the past
14 years, and I could not imagine operating our office without her,” Hitesman
said. “She is one of the most outstanding assistants I’ve worked with. She has
a way of making us all look good, and she is most deserving of this year’s
Bohrer first worked at the
Hastings Campus from 1973-81, serving as a secretary to the veteran affairs
officer, director of housing and financial aid, associate dean of students and
assistant dean of students. After working for four years at other businesses,
she returned to the college in 1985.
The award is presented annually to a Columbus Campus
employee who demonstrates dedication, enthusiasm and innovation as well as
rapport with students and other staff members and a willingness to go the extra
Keber has served as executive assistant to Campus President
Dr. Matt Gotschall since 2002.
Nominators cited her work ethic; attention to detail; and
eagerness to help students, visitors and alumni with any questions or needs.
“She works behind the scenes of many campus events and can
be found before and after each occasion quietly setting up and cleaning up,”
said one nominator, noting that Keber seeks to make any event – a retirement
reception, graduation dinner, ribbon cutting, community meeting or memorial
service – look professional and well planned.
Keber joined the CCC-Columbus staff in 1992 as a part-time
secretary in the facilities management department. In 1993, she was promoted to
a full-time position as secretary for the campus president and associate dean
The award is given annually to a Columbus Campus faculty
member who displays excellence and innovation in teaching; rapport with
students; and institutional, professional and community involvement.
Ramaekers, who has been a nursing instructor at the Columbus
Campus for four years, was recognized for her calmness, approachability and
ability to draw students into problem-solving and decision-making exercises.
Also noted was her use of humor to influence and motivate students as well as
her positive manner, whether she’s offering praise for accomplishments or
suggestions for improvement.
“She has a way of relating with students that makes them truly
believe they can be successful on their educational journeys,” said a
colleague. “They are important to her, not only as students but also as
individuals and as future professionals.”
Outside of CCC, Ramaekers is a volunteer EMT on the EMS
squad and serves as president of the East Central District Health Department
Board of Directors.
Speech instructor Brent Adrian made multiple presentations
in October 2015 at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in
Higher Education conference. Adrian was also joined in some of the
presentations by CCC executive vice president Deb Brennan and environmental
sustainability director Minetta Khan.
One of the presentations centered around the exorbitant cost
of textbooks, which runs at an average yearly rate of $1,200. Adrian explained
to instructors that they can incorporate environmental sustainability content
into a course using free content that is available or that can be created by
students. The idea is that when students are able to save money on textbooks,
they can use that money to pay for more courses for credit.
Another presentation focused on the dilemma of exchanging
intellectual property and giving sufficient credit to those that developed it.
Those that use intellectual property can also face questions when it comes to
how much modification can be made on handouts and how recorded information can
be used and what copyright applies. Adrian’s solution is a creative commons
license that clarifies the rights a recipient does or does not have to remix,
revise, reuse, redistribute and retain creative works developed by others.
summing up his feelings about the opportunity to make multiple presentations at
AASHE conferences, Adrian said, "Instructors that use and create open
educational resources believe that sharing is caring."
From May through June 2016, Central Community College
personal development instructor Craig Ratzlaff went on a sabbatical in New
Zealand. Ratzlaff visited five Postsecondary International Network (PIN)
institutions during his time in New Zealand. Most of the visits focused on the
development of continuing education training for career development
professionals. Ratzlaff also discussed the feasibility of some PIN institutions
working with CCC in certain areas of teacher education and career development,
as well as exchange possibilities.
“Professionally, my biggest
takeaway, after talking with people in several education institutions and
Careers New Zealand, is that the U.S. is woefully
behind New Zealand in the area of formal training for career development
practitioners,” said Ratzlaff. “For the most part, the training in the U.S. is
limited in scope and doesn’t seem to provide the depth of instruction based on
what I saw at these institutions in New Zealand.”
Being in a different country also afforded Ratzlaff several
learning, cultural, culinary and sightseeing opportunities, both on the north
and south islands of New Zealand.
“I would have to say that I was
taken by the stunning beauty of the country, the genuineness of people, and the
respect for the Maori culture,” said Ratzlaff. “I had some of the best seafood
I have ever had during this trip.”
Cheri Beda, alumni director at Central
Community College, continues to build a foundation with CCC’s alumni, both within
its 25-county service area and beyond.
Because connecting with alumni is an
essential piece of alumni relations, Beda has been active in forging
partnerships to reach alumni in their communities and workplaces. She also has
been instrumental in introducing new students to the word “alumni” at campus
visit days, new student orientations and campus events. That’s because people
become alumni of CCC when they take their first class.
“We’re proud to have lifelong learners here
at CCC,” Beda said. “When our students graduate, we often see them return to
take classes that will continue to enhance both their lives and our own.”
Another way the college connects with its
alumni is through “Share Your Story,” a card that is made widely available to
alumni so they can share their experiences at CCC and beyond. A growing number
of CCC alumni also are connecting through Facebook and LinkedIn.
Central Community College alumni continue to
have access to a growing list of benefits such as:
A tradition for many years, the
Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor that Central Community College
bestows upon an outstanding graduate. The award salutes the achievements of
outstanding alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements and
community service exemplify the mission statement, “Central Community College Maximizes Student and Community Success.”
The three 2016 recipients were:
Dr. Rony Ortega
of Bennington began his college career at CCC-Columbus after graduating from
Schuyler Central High School in 1997. He transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
where he received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He also earned
master’s degrees in school counseling and educational administration and
supervision and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of
Nebraska at Omaha. Although Ortega did not receive his diploma from CCC when he
left in 1999, he has since transferred his credits back and been awarded an
associate of arts degree.
serves as principal of Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School in Omaha, began his
professional career as a Spanish teacher at Elkhorn High School. He went on to
work as a high school counselor for Papillion-LaVista South High School before
joining the Omaha Public School system as an athletic director and assistant
principal at Norris Middle School. He later was promoted to high school
assistant principal for data at Omaha South High Magnet School.
Ortega is passionate about dual language education and has been
published twice for his work in the field. He credits his passion for learning and
success to his experiences as a first-generation college student at Central Community
College. “I firmly believe community colleges are a first-rate option and a
gateway to opportunity for all,” he said. “I consider myself a lifelong learner
and believe I work in the greatest profession that allows for continuous
learning as well as the opportunity to transform lives through education.”
Ortega and his wife, Cara, have three daughters: Gabriela, Ariana and
Grand Island Campus
Adriana Arroyo-Herrera of Grand Island was born in Mexico City and is the
second youngest of 10 children. She immigrated to the United States when she
was 20 years old where she learned English and then continued her education.
Arroyo-Herrera received an associate of applied science degree in human services
from CCC-Grand Island in 2011 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in behavioral
science from Bellevue University in 2012. She graduated in May 2016 from Doane
University with a master’s degree in counseling.
She has worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for The Friendship House
for almost five years. In her position, she serves as a clinical supervisor for
two provisional drug and alcohol counselors and also does group and individual
counseling. Arroyo-Herrera and her husband, Keith, have three children: Bryton,
Adrienne and Daniel.
Connie Helzer of Hastings is a Sandy Creek High School graduate who
received an associate of applied science degree in health and human services
from CCC-Hastings in 1998. She is now working toward a drug and alcohol
counselor’s license through Bellevue University.
She has been case manager at The Bridge in Hastings since 2009. The
Bridge is a long-term treatment center for women who have children and are
recovering from addictions. Helzer, who has 22 years of personal experience in
sobriety, is responsible for facilitating trauma group meetings; providing
referrals; helping clients with daily needs, employment and social services;
and redirecting unbeneficial behaviors and encouraging positive change.
Her prior experience includes working as a psych technician at Hastings Regional
Center from 1986 to 1990, as a secretary for Willmes Flying Service from 1990
to 1994, and providing community support for drug and alcohol clients at South
Central Behavioral Services from 1998 to 1999. She also was self-employed
providing residential cleaning services from 1994 to 1996 and from 2000 to
Helzer’s husband of 15 years, Wade, also is a graduate of CCC and is
self-employed as an electrician. She has two daughters, Chellsie and Josie, and
“My life changed after receiving my associate’s degree,” she said. “My
self-esteem improved and I started being a more productive and responsible
member of society. I truly believe that my children’s lives were changed by
watching me attend college at CCC. They say they never thought of not going on
Olivia Whittaker was hired in August 2015 as the first part-time
environmental sustainability intern supervisor. In May 2016, the position
evolved to full-time and the title was changed to environmental sustainability
manager. She supervises the college’s environmental sustainability interns, oversees
the delivery of the SLPS, the 3C Conversation and recycling education and
Community College continued its partnership with the Sustainability Leadership
Presentation Series during 2015-16. In addition to CCC, the partnership has
grown to include Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities, Metropolitan
Community College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Environmental Studies and
WasteCap Nebraska. The SLPS is a monthly live broadcast featuring experts in the field of environmental
sustainability and climate change. Employees receive EMPD credit and live-viewership
ranges from approximately 60 to over 125 for each event, with countless more
individual hits on YouTube. Speakers during 2015-16 included:
the introduction of the Living Building Challenge as part of the SLPS, Kathleen
Smith and Brad Liljequist joined CCC students, faculty and staff in Hastings on
October 12 and 13. The two-day event consisted of real-life design charrettes. The
first day consisted of initial brainstorming and learning, while the second day
was reserved for tackling and discussing specific design strategies.
the success of the bike share initiative at CCC-Grand Island, the program
expanded to CCC-Columbus. Ten bikes are owned by the college with five located
on each campus. The bikes are available for checkout by any CCC student, staff
or faculty member each day except during the winter months.
part of the 2016 Earth Day celebration, the offices of Student Activities,
Environmental Sustainability, and International Studies hosted Marty Essen’s
Around the World in 90 Minutes. Essen has traveled all seven continents
searching out rare and interesting wildlife. He shared stories and photos of
his experiences at all three campuses, and was live-streamed to the centers.
CCC’s Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts program has
embraced sustainability. In the spring, students brainstormed and decided to
use reusable spoons to taste food instead of plastic spoons. The program also
began using biodegradable to-go containers.
In May, the program expanded its herb garden to nearly
double its previous size to include tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and more vegetables
than ever before. The vegetables are used in the cooking process and the blooms
can even be used as garnish.
In June, the program added two compost bins to break down
its pre-consumer kitchen waste.
Five individuals, a family and a team were inducted into the
Central Community College Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 14, 2015, at its fifth
annual banquet and induction at the Elks Country Club in Columbus.
The inductees were:
Amanda Cielocha – The first CCC athlete to earn 1st Team
NJCAA Volleyball All-American honors. She led her team to the national
tournament in 2005.
Roger and Judy Wurdeman and Family – Avid CCC athletic department supporters
and sports enthusiasts since 1991. Their selfless support has greatly
contributed to the success of CCC athletics.
Howard Dondlinger – Played basketball at CCC-Hastings from 1978
through 1980, during which time he led the Nebraska Community College Athletic
Conference and Region IX in rebounding.
Deb Tyson – Coached the Raiders volleyball team from 1979 through
1983 and led her team to the NJCAA National Tournament in 1979.
Kreig Alm – A member of the inaugural 1990-91 soccer team. He
served as team captain and earned All-Region IX honors in the 1991 season.
Robert “Bob” Sundvold – An exceptional basketball athlete from
1973-1975. He was a two-time All-Region IX and All Nebraska Community College
Athlete Conference 1st Team selection.
1972 Golf Team – Won the Region IX Championship and competed in the
NJCAA National Meet in Ft. Meyers, Fla. The late Gene Torczon coached the team,
which included these members:
student-athletes were recognized by the National Junior College Athletic
Association (NJCAA) with the presentation of the 2015-16 NJCAA Academic
Student-Athlete Awards. In total, the NJCAA recognized a record-number 4,587
student-athletes for their success in the classroom.
student-athletes earned the highest honor – the Pinnacle Award for Academic
Excellence – after earning a 4.0 GPA. CCC-Columbus posted the highest number of
Pinnacle Award winners of all Nebraska junior colleges that participate in
intercollegiate athletics. The Pinnacle Award winners from CCC-Columbus are
Alyssa Thege (volleyball), Amber Mazankowski (volleyball), Carsen Nelson
(softball), Megan Fiala (basketball), and Riley Dorn (volleyball).
Superior Academic Achievement
Awards (3.8 – 3.99 GPA) were bestowed upon eight Raiders athletes. They are
Cassidy Edwards (softball and basketball), Jayd Roberts (softball), Logan
Fleming (golf), Luke Cadzow (basketball), Madison Kucera (softball), Maggie
Adney (basketball), Marco Fabietti (basketball) and Monica Gotschall
Rounding out the NJCAA Academic
Student-Athlete Award winners from CCC-Columbus are six student-athletes who
garnered the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award (3.6 – 3.79 GPA). The list
included Hillary Thege (volleyball), Isaac Purcell (basketball), Jorge Lopez
(soccer), Louise Sjuts (basketball), Paige Higginbotham (basketball), and
Payton Chohon (volleyball).
“We are so very proud of our
athletes on and off the field or court. They are not just performing well on
the playing field, but they are also performing where it really counts, in the
classroom,” said Raiders athletic director Jack Gutierrez. “In addition, we are
equally proud of our 34 graduates who earned their degrees this past spring.”
The Central Community College
volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team
Academic Award for the 2015-16 season. CCC-Columbus was one of only 16 two-year
colleges nationwide and the only two-year institution in Nebraska to earn the
AVCA Team Academic Award. Overall, 764 collegiate and high school volleyball
teams earned the AVCA Team Academic Award, which sets an all-time high.
The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors
collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the
classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team
grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0
“We are really proud of both the academic and athletic standards we have set in
the volleyball program,” said CCC Volleyball head coach Mary Young. “We believe
that it is our duty and obligation to build a tremendous academic foundation
for our athletes that will prepare them for the challenges of life. At some point, the competitive volleyball skills our athletes possess
will diminish, but the formal education will sustain them for life.”
The Raiders were 31-15 in 2015
and finished eighth at the NJCAA National Tournament. Along the way, CCC won
the District G, Region IX and NCCAC championships. Head coach Mary Young was
named as the District G and Region IX Coach of the Year. Post season honors:
AVCA All American
Payton Chohon – Second Team
The Raiders finished at the
Region IX runner-up in the championship game. CCC lost to national power Otero
Junior College, 1-0.
The Raiders finished the 2015-16
season with a mark of 14-15. Post-season honors:
The Raiders posted an 11-17 mark
for 2015-16, finishing as the runner-up at the Region IX tournament.
In head coach Britt Blackwell’s
first season, the Raiders took second place at the Region IX tournament, with
Matt Hansen as the 6th medalist. Overall, CCC ranked 20th
in the nation academically.
The Raiders finished the 2016
campaign with a mark of 15-31, while losing 4-1 to Southeast Community College
in the Region IX title game. Post-season honors:
All-Region IX Team
In 2015-16, for the third year in a row, Central
Community College was ranked first in the nation as “Best for Vets” for
two-year colleges by Military Times, the main news source for the military
Military Times – comprising the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force
Times and Marine Corps Times – used a detailed survey to evaluate a wide array
of factors that make an organization a good fit for service members, military
veterans and their families.
The survey required schools to meticulously document the services,
special rules, accommodations and financial incentives they offer to military
and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture at their
This year the Veterans Military and
Resource Center (VMRC) made a presentation on G.R.A.D.E.S. (Guiding and
Reintegration And Directing Educational Success) to the FUTURES Assembly for
Community Colleges hosted by the University of South Florida. The coveted
Bellwether Award in the Planning, Governance and Finance Category was awarded
to Dr. Thomas Walker, CCC-Grand Island president; Travis Karr, CCC veterans and
military services director; and Anthony Chualk, a CCC student veteran.
The second annual Biker Ball was held on Oct. 17,
2015, in Grand Island to raise money for emergency scholarships to help
veterans attending Central Community College.
Eligible veterans receive G.I. Bill educational benefits but often
don’t have the up-front money they need and have to postpone their education,
according to Travis Karr, CCC veterans and military services director.
Filling that gap with a scholarships for veterans was the goal
when the Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club organized the Biker Ball, to
help veterans stay enrolled in college.
The VMRC hosted the second annual
“Salute to Women Warriors” banquet. More than 100 women veterans and service members
came together for a writing workshop, warrior paper project, and dinner with
keynote speaker Mary Ann Douglas, a U.S. Marine veteran. For the first time
this year, the college awarded the Women Veterans Scholarship in Honor of Wilma
Kellogg. Funds raised contributed to this scholarship.
Wilma Kellogg served in the U.S. Army
during World War II as a Nurse III from September 1944 to March 1946, achieving
the rank of first lieutenant. She traveled to England as part of the General
Hospital Unit, which followed soldiers to France, Belgium and Germany. She
is decorated with the EAME Theater Ribbon, a Bronze Battle Star, two Overseas
Bars, and the Victory Medal. She retired as a VA Hospital nurse after 20 years
and is a true example of a Woman Warrior.
At the banquet Wilma Kellogg presented
the first scholarship to Janice Maynard, a U.S. Army veteran pursuing an associate
of arts degree at CCC.
A new and innovative
event debuted at the 2015 Nebraska State Fair’s Veterans Day.
The Central Community College Veterans and Military Services
Department and the Veterans Community Task Force created the “LZ” (Landing
Zone) as a family-friendly event providing learning opportunities for veterans and
VMRC hosted the 2015 “LZ” and worked with many organizations to collect items
from across Nebraska for care packages for recently deployed troops. Operation
Nebraska Cares allowed visitors to fill boxes and send letters and photos at
the “LZ” event tent. They sent about 300 care packages to Nebraska units.
Student Veterans Association (SVA) links veterans, service members and supporters
and provides them with opportunities to develop or enhance their professional
and leadership skills.
SVA members serve as hosts for Veteran’s Day activities on each CCC campus and
dedicate time to help with community activities.
Fifth Annual Memorial Day Salute, hosted by the SVA, invited community members
to enjoy food and a Memorial Day presentation to remember those who have
sacrificed their lives for our country. A display of military flags, POW/MIA
tables and Nebraska’s Fallen Heroes was constructed by SVA in honor of Memorial
Members attended the Eighth Annual SVA National Conference in Orlando, Fla.,
along with more than 2,000 other student veterans from across the nation. They
were able to learn new ways of enhancing their personal leadership skills as
well as ways to improve the SVA on their campus.
Since CCC established its Veterans and Military Resource Center
program in 2011, the graduation rate for veteran students has increased from 21
percent to 62 percent — part of the reason the program has garnered top honors
nationally. CCC’s four-star rankings for staff support and extracurricular
activities and three-and-a-half stars for academic support reflect its
commitment to veteran and military students.
In addition, Military Advanced Education named Central Community
College a Top School in its 2015 guide to colleges and universities. The guide
measures the best practices in military and veteran education through a
questionnaire on military-supportive policies at more than 600 colleges.
To learn more, visit
the veterans page.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were
held in April 2016 on the new $23.3 million Kearney Center. The
63,000-square-foot facility will replace the existing center in Kearney that
can no longer meet the educational needs of the community. The new facility
will allow the college to grow and better serve CCC students seeking nursing,
skilled and technical sciences, information technology and general education
courses; business and industry training; adult education opportunities; and
community education classes. The new Kearney Center is expected to be complete
in time for the 2017 fall semester.
Two major projects got underway in two buildings at
CCC-Hastings – the Hamilton Building and the Platte Building.
You might say that the Hamilton Building project was a
large-scale lab project. That’s because significant work was done in the
drafting lab and the computer lab, some work in the construction lab and one
room in the advanced manufacturing lab. Work was also done in the hallway along
with the removal of some walls, improvement of the technology and installation
of new windows on the south side, which affords the building some much-needed
“[The Hamilton Building] was old, it was dingy, the
technology lagged way behind and it was dark,” said Craig Boroff, college
facilities and construction manager. “At the same time, we replaced the boiler
and brought the air conditioning system up to code. As this project was going
on, we continually asked what we could to make it better for the student
At the Platte Building, work began on improving the information
technology and systems (ITS) area. Like the Hamilton Building project, the
Platte Building has more windows and natural light, but the ITS area is being
described as a “real showpiece.” In addition to a server room, there will be a
workstation/helpdesk which will be manned by students, giving them valuable
work experience. Plus, there will be faculty suites, a conference room, a new
network lab and two other classrooms for collaboration between campuses.
“This really has gone to the next step of what kids are
seeing when they go out to get a job,” said Boroff.
If you have ever heard the term, “bursting at the seams,”
that’s probably a good way to describe the Raider Fieldhouse before the latest
major expansion project. Just ask the coaches, who had offices wherever space
was available. Thanks to creating additional space, the coach’s offices will be
located in one central area with a reception desk, a conference room and logos
throughout the building which will help with recruits coming in for signings
and other reasons. The student-athlete experience has also been enhanced with a
weight room that will double in size with all new equipment to go along with
the locker room remodeling, which occurred three years ago.
The Central Community College
Foundation embarked on its first major gifts campaign during 2015-16, and for a
first-time try, the payoff was quite significant. The funds raised by the
campaign were earmarked for the new 63,000-square-foot Kearney Center being
built on the corner of 30th Avenue and West 11th Street.
The total project cost is $23.3 million, of which $13.3 million will come from
college reserves and short-term facility bonds with the intention of no
long-term debt after the project’s completion. The remaining $10 million is
being raised by the CCC Foundation and by June of 2016, more than $8.5 million
had been donated. Given the success of the campaign, CCC administrators broke
ground on the new Kearney center in April 2016, a year ahead of schedule, and the
facility is expected to be complete in time for the start of the 2017 fall
semester. The CCC Foundation is quite confident the remaining amount will be
raised by the end of calendar year 2016. The new Kearney Center will allow the
college to grow and better serve students seeking nursing, skilled and
technical sciences, information technology and general education courses;
business and industry training; adult education opportunities; and community
The Central Community College
Foundation announced the establishment of a new $70,000 scholarship fund in
honor of long-time Hastings resident Bernice K. Smith. The Bernice Blomenkamp
Smith Scholarship was awarded for the first time this spring 2016 to students
attending Central Community College during the 2016-17 academic year. The
scholarship is open to traditional and nontraditional and full-time and
part-time students taking classes at any CCC location or online. Students must
be working toward a degree in accounting, bookkeeping, education or early
childhood education. The scholarship may be used for tuition and/or books.
Bernice K. Smith died Aug. 24, 2012,
in Kenesaw, at the age of 94. She was born in Hastings, attended Hastings
Public Schools and was a graduate of Hastings High School and the Nebraska
College of Commerce. For many years, she worked as an individual and business
accountant and bookkeeper for Brand-Wilson Funeral Home, Dr. John Coover, Hastings
Plumbing and Heating, and Warehouse Carpeting, all in Hastings. She was a
member of First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings and a former member of
the Nebraska State Board of Public Accountancy and the National Society of
The college operating budget for 2015-16 was $55,256,385. Funding sources were:
The majority of the operating budget – 63.34 percent – went toward instruction and academic support, while 19.95 percent went to institutional support, 8.93 percent went to physical plant support, 6.48 percent went to student services and 1.30 percent went to student aid.
The capital improvement fund for 2015-16 was $9,740,186 and the budget for the hazardous materials/handicapped access fund was $2,712,085.
Central Community College Enrollment Report 2015-2016
ELS Annual Report