• CCC: 50 Years of Connecting People

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    November 09, 2016
    By Elena Olson King

    Maybe your son or daughter is taking early college classes. You might have heard your neighbor brag about the barn quilt she made. Perhaps your dad finally got around to buying a smartphone and took a class on how to use it or maybe you know of someone who wants to earn their GED. Tucked in the Phelps County Ag Center in southeast Holdrege, Central Community College provides all kinds of learning opportunities for youth and adults.

    In fact, even if you haven’t taken a class or received job training from CCC, someone you probably know has.  Serving 25 counties in Central Nebraska and offering classes in more than 90 communities, they have programs for everyone.

    The story of CCC, however, began with specific training programs in a few cities. The Hastings Campus opened in 1966 as Central Nebraska Technical College, as the first multi-county vocational-technical college in Nebraska. In Columbus, CCC began in 1969 as Platte Junior College, the first county-supported community college in Nebraska. The Kearney Center originated even earlier in 1958 as a practical nursing program sponsored by Kearney Public Schools.

    The Nebraska Community College System was created in 1971 when the Legislature unified all junior colleges, state vocational/technical colleges, and area technical schools. Later, in 1974, six community college areas divided the state into Central, Metropolitan, Mid-Plains, Northeast, Southeast, and Western Community College Service Areas, each governed by a locally-elected eleven-member board. The Central Administration was located in Grand Island in 1974 and Grand Island Campus was established in 1976.

    The Holdrege Center opened in 1995 to extend CCC’s resources to the South Central Nebraska. “The college established the Holdrege Center because of its commitment to providing services and opportunities to constituents in our rural areas,” said Regional Coordinator Diana Watson. With six classrooms, including a medication aide/nursing assistant classroom and a computer lab, students can learn from livestreamed classes and interact with teachers through real-time audio and video.

    The convenience of online and distance learning classes CCC offers more than 30 career and technical education programs that can lead to a great career after just two years of full-time study, or you can complete two years of study and then transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor's degree. “Students can get complete service here in Holdrege. If we can’t do something, then we’re their liaison with the CCC campuses,” Diana adds.

    The community education program provides short-term, affordable classes in technology, arts and crafts, health and wellness, culinary arts, and other special interest topics. Medication Aide and Nursing Assistant classes are held every month. G.E.D. study sessions meet on Monday and Thursday evenings and distance learning courses stream from Grand Island, Hastings, and Columbus almost every day. CPR and First Aid Classes are also available. 

    Central Community College will host a 50th Anniversary Celebration in the spring. Their office is located at 1308 2nd St. in the Phelps County Ag Center and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information call 308-995-8133 or email Diana at dwatson@cccneb.edu. You can also visit the college website at www. cccneb.edu.