Education Spotlight: North Platte Community College

north platte community college logoAugust was a special month for North Platte Community College, a two-campus sub-college of Mid-Plains Community College: It marked 50 years of existence for the college located in North Platte, Nebraska.

Along with the McCook, Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala, and Valentine campuses, North Platte houses a wide variety of programs and opportunities besides just academic transfer programs. Some may remember the North Campus of NPCC as the Voc-Tech Campus, so named for its prevalence of vocational-technical programs. In the last decades, changes in focus have resulted in NPCC’s business, medical, and information technology programs being taught alongside vocational-technical programs as well.

At the North Platte Telegraph, the “History of Mid-Plains Community College, Volume I” chronicles some of the history of NPCC. Back in 1965, college officials had hoped to register 100 students for the first day, at the going rate of $7 per semester hour or $80 per semester for full-time students. In those days, the school went by North Platte Junior College and modeled their class offerings after the University of Nebraska system! The campus was successful from the beginning, doubling their enrollment goals and registering over 200 students on the first day.

Apartment-style housing on campus, top-notch athletic teams, and nationally recognized student clubs are all part of NPCC’s goal to make the school feel like a true college experience. The education and vocational-technical programs are also top-notch: Along with McCook, North Platte is one of the two MPCC campuses that offers courses in welding or machine shop technology. The college is a state leading in welding technology, and offers both diplomas or Associate of Applied Science Degrees to prepare students for entry-level job production welding or job shop employment upon graduation.

NPCC began celebrating their birthday this month with a few events on both the North and South campuses: Administrators provided cake and a tailgate barbecue celebration prior to the start of the women’s volleyball game: “We are here because of the students,” said Josh York, director of housing. “We wanted to appreciate them, so we provided barbecue-style food for them to enjoy.”

These are just the beginning of the celebrations that will commemorate the 50th anniversary throughout the year. Chuck Salestrom, area associate vice president of public information and marketing, told the North Platte Telegraph that “We’re planning several alumni, former athletic team reunions, and homecoming events as well as other activities. We’re also designing a special website with photos, memorable stories, and a blog section that will allow our past students an opportunity to share their stories about the school.”

We’re happy to celebrate such an important educational institution in our state this year! Questions? Comments? Think MPCC could be a good fit for you? Leave a comment in the section below!