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Annual Reports

2015-2016 Annual Reports
  • President's Annual Report

  • 2016 Board of Governors Officers

    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.


    • S Borden


       Sandra Borden

      Linda Walline

      Linda Walline


      Linda Aerni


    • Austin Miller


      Austin Miller


    • DKeller-web


      Diane Keller

    2015-16 Completion Rates and Goals

    2015-16 Completion Rates-Goals_Page_1

    2015-16 Completion Rates-Goals_Page_2

    Enrollment Report

    Enrollment for CCC in 2015-16 totaled 19,757. Included were 9,247 students in college credit classes:

    • 3,081 students on CCC’s campuses.
    • 3,658 students taking credit classes at a distance (off-campus or online).
    • 2,508 students taking classes both on campus and at a distance.

    Non-credit enrollment included:

    • 6,190 in non-credit reimbursable classes.
    • 4,320 in avocational-recreational classes.
    • 1,760 in Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language and General Educational Development classes.

    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

    Graduate Outcomes 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:

    • 2,342 vocational awards (degrees, diplomas, certificates) were granted.
    • 211 academic transfer degrees were granted.
    • 87 percent of the graduates were employed full-time or continuing their education.
    • 99 percent of the graduates who were employed full-time remained in the Central Community College service area.
    • 100 percent of the graduates who were employed remained in Nebraska.
    • $31,345 was the three-year average annual salary for CCC graduates from academic years 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 who received a degree from the college and were employed full-time.

    For more information, please go to the online Graduate Outcomes Report

    Bikes and Trykes

    OTA students help Bikes and Trykes


    Bikes and TrykesFive 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.

    Dental Hygiene Students

    Hygiene students venture to Haiti

    Dental Hygiene Haiti TripFour 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.”

    Program Collaboration

    (No) horsing around

    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.

    Mechanical Horse 1 Mechanical Horse 3

    Nebraska Intercollegiate Band

    CCC students perform with Nebraska Intercollegiate Band

    Nebraska Intercollegiate Band MembersCCC-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.

    Phi Theta Kappa

    1 - 2 - 3 ... GO!

    Phi Theta Kappa Egg HuntThe 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.



    PTK All-State Team

    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:

    PTK All-State-Ashley NewmanAshley 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.




    PTK All-State-Jacob NienaberJacob 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.



    PTK All-State-Haylee RichardsonHaylee 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.



    PTK All-State-Walter Suarez-CrespoWalter 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 international company.



    PTK All-State-Heidi TillotsonHeidi 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.





    TRiO scholarships earned by multiple CCC students

    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.

      Teaching and Learning


      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.


      Nebraska Microsoft IT Initiative

      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 program.

      Reverse Transfer is a Success

      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 transfer program.

      Medical assisting program expands to Columbus

      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.



      Outstanding Service Award

      Beth Bohrer of Hastings received Hastings Campus' 32nd Annual Outstanding Service Award.

      BBohrer-lowThe award is presented annually to a Hastings Campus employee who demonstrates exemplary service to the college.

      Bohrer is executive assistant to Campus President Bill Hitesman.

      “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 award.”

      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.

      Columbus Employee of the Year

      Bernie Keber of Columbus was named the Employee of the Year for 2015-16 at the Columbus Campus.

      BKeber-lowThe 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 mile.

      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 of students.

      Columbus Faculty Member of the year

      Nursing instructor Wendy Ramaekers of Columbus was named the Columbus Campus Faculty Member of the Year for 2015-16

      WRamaekers-lowThe 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.


      AASHE Presentation

      Adrian presents at AASHE

      BAdrian-lowSpeech 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.

      In 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."


      Kia Ora, Mr. Ratzlaff

      CRatzlaff-lowFrom 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.”

      Alumni Relations July 2015-July 2016

      Alumni director continues to build foundation with CCC's alumni 

      CBeda-lowCheri 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:

      • Travel discounts throughout the US and Europe.
      • Free access to any campus library.
      • Career and employment services.
      • Discounted tickets to Nebraska Danger home games.  
      • Invitations to area-wide events.  
      • Access to the Community Connection newsletter.

      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:

      Rony Ortega

      Columbus Campus

      Rony OrtegaDr. 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.

      Ortega, who 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 Natalia.

      Adriana Arroyo-Herrera

      Grand Island Campus

      Adriana Arroyo-HerreraAdriana 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

      Hastings Campus

      Connie HelzerConnie 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 2009.

      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 two grandsons.

      “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 to college.”


      Sustainability Annual Report 2015-2016

      Environmental Sustainability Manager

      OWhittakerOlivia 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 improvements.





      Fourth year of the Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series

      SLPS-epsCentral 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:  

      • Living Buildings: Socially Just, Culturally Rich & Ecologically Restorative – live from Seattle, featuring Kathleen Smith and Brad Liljequist of the International Living Future Institute.
      • Sustainability – A Business Imperative – presented by William Blackburn, president of William Blackburn Consulting, Ltd.
      • Results of Nebraska's Recycling Study – presented by Mark DeKraai, Senior Research Director at University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, and Carrie Hakenkamp, Director of WasteCap Nebraska.
      • Growing Food, Minds & Community through Aquaponics ­– presented by Greg Fripp, founder and Director of Whispering Roots in Omaha.
      • Personal & Community Health: Nebraska Communities Taking Action for Increased Walking & Biking – featuring a panel including Amy Houser of the Central District Health Department, Andy Wessel of the Douglas County Health Department, Becky Sullivan of Mary Lanning Healthcare, and Jessica Davies of Panhandle Public Health District. The panel was moderated by Jeremy Grandstaff, process architect for the Nebraska Walkable Communities Project and a co-founder of S & G Endeavors.
      • Water: Connecting Everything to Everything Else – presented by Dr. David Gosselin, director of environmental studies and a professor of earth science in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

      Living Building Challenge Design Charrettes

      Following 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.

      Bike Share Expands to CCC-Columbus

      Following 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.

      Earth Day Presentation

      As 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.

      HMRM Incorporates Sustainability  

      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. 


      CCC Athletics Annual Report Recap

      CCC Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees

      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:

      • Dan Harris, deceased
      • Keith Engelman
      • James Bartak
      • Ron Filipowiscz
      • Dave Maurstad  

      Raiders Athletes Recognized for Stellar Academic Performance

      Nineteen CCC-Columbus 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.

      Five CCC-Columbus 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 (softball).

      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.”

      CCC Volleyball Earns Academic Honor

      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 scale.

      “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

      NJCAA All-Tournament Team

      Payton Chohon

      Region IX Honors:

      • Payton Chohon
      • Morgan Nikkila
      • Riley Dorn
      • Keely Woods

      Region IX All-Tournament Team:

      • Payton Chohon
      • Hillary Thege
      • Alyssa Thege
      • Riley Dorn


      Soccer1The Raiders finished at the Region IX runner-up in the championship game. CCC lost to national power Otero Junior College, 1-0.








      Men’s Basketball

      The Raiders finished the 2015-16 season with a mark of 14-15. Post-season honors:


      • Austin Anderson
      • Lavius Rosemond
      • Ruben Fuamba – Honorable Mention

      All-Nebraska Team

      • Lavius Rosemond – 2nd Team
      • Austin Anderson – Honorable Mention
      • Ruben Fuamba
      • OJ Thok  

      Women’s Basketball

      The Raiders posted an 11-17 mark for 2015-16, finishing as the runner-up at the Region IX tournament. Post-season honors:

      All-Region IX

      • Teisha Snyder


      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.


      Homerun CelebrationThe 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

      • Jacy Bretschneider
      • Jayd Roberts
      • Maddie Kucera

      Freshman of the Year:

      Jacy Bretschneider

      Player of the Year:

      Maddie Kucera

      Region IX All-Tournament Team

      • Jacy Bretschneider
      • Janey Pasold

      Awards and Accolades

      CCC ranked first in nation as ‘Best for Vets’ for three consecutive years

      2016_BFV_COLLEGES-1In 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 community.

      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 institution.

      National Bellwether Award

      Belleweather awardThis 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.

      VMRC Events

      Biker Ball

      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.

      Salute to Women Warriors Night

      salute2women_2015The 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, 1st Lt., U.S. Army Veteran

      salute2women2Wilma 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. 



      The 'LZ' (Landing Zone)

      LZstatefairA 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 community members.

      The 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.  


      SVA2015The Student Veterans Association (SVA) links veterans, service members and supporters and provides them with opportunities to develop or enhance their professional and leadership skills.

      Annually, SVA members serve as hosts for Veteran’s Day activities on each CCC campus and dedicate time to help with community activities.

      The 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 Day.

      SVA2_2015SVA 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.



      Vets Centers

      Centers help veterans graduation rate.

      VetsCenter_GISince 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.

      Kearney Center

      Kearney Groundbreaking 52Groundbreaking 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.


      Hastings Campus

      Two major projects got underway in two buildings at CCC-Hastings – the Hamilton Building and the Platte Building.

      Hamilton-Drafting-Room-webYou 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 natural light.

      “[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 experience.”


      Platte-Classroom-webAt 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.

      Columbus Campus

      Coaches-Office-webIf 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.


        Major Campaign, Major Results

        Kearney Groundbreaking 52The 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 education classes.

        Bernice Blomenkamp Smith Scholarship

        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 Public Accountants.

        Budget Report

        The college operating budget for 2015-16 was $55,256,385. Funding sources were:

        • State aid in support of the operating budget was $9,131,121 in 2015-16, a $418,223 increase from 2014-15, accounting for 16.53 percent of the total in 2015-16 compared with 15.83 percent the previous year.
        • Property tax provided $36,042,153 or 65.23 percent of the total, compared with $38,236,785 and 69.49 percent of the total for 2014-15.
        • Tuition contributed $9,683,11 or 17.52 percent.
        • Other sources provided $400,000, 0.72 percent of the 2015-16 total.

        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.