Strong enrollment, better retention at MCC

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

McCOOK, Neb. -- Strong enrollment numbers and student retention rates have McCook Community College officials encouraged as the spring term of classes began Monday on campus.

The latest preliminary enrollment figures show that 31 more full-time students are enrolled at MCC compared to similar numbers in January of 2015.

MCC's Fall retention rate for full-time students (about 60 percent) was the best the college had seen in the last decade and a goal campus officials targeted two years ago. Part-time retention rates were about 43 percent, both figures were about 10 percent better than three years ago.

"Everyone makes a difference on student retention," said Andy Long, Vice President of Student Affairs and McCook Community College. "From the quality of the facilities, to the treatment students receive with student services, to the engaged learning taking place in our classrooms, and the relationships the students build with us on an individual basis."

The spring semester begins with a full slate of events and activities.

The McCook Community College Office of Student Life will present hypnotist Jim Wand Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. at the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall. It is free and open to the public - courtesy of the student life departments on each campus. Wand has made more than 9,000 appearances in the U.S. and eight foreign countries. He is a regular at casinos, clubs, colleges and corporate events and has more than 30 years and has a Ph.D. in the field of psychology. He founded and owns Wand Enterprises, The Hypnosis Agency, in East Dubuque, Ill.

Seven McCook Community College students and one graduate will stage a Space Shuttle Challenger-themed play later this month, which will commemorate the 30th anniversary of Challenger's ill-fated mission in 1986. The play "Defying Gravity" is set for January 28, 29, and 30 at 7 p.m. and January 31 at 2 p.m. in the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall on campus. MCC theater students plan to use this production as a fundraiser for a thespian trip to England. The January play will be the first of two scheduled plays this semester.

The MCC men's and women's basketball teams return to the Region IX schedule Friday and Saturday for their only January games in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center.

The Lady Indians -- 15-1 on the season -- take on Trinidad State at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the 12-3 men's squad to play following the women's game. On Saturday the MCC women host Otero JC at 2 p.m. with the men's game set for about 4 p.m. The games will also serve as a backdrop for Vice President Andy Long's luncheon.

The Events Center will also host three other January events including a Jan. 12 doubleheader of high school basketball games between Chase County and Southern Valley High Schools. The McCook Optimists Mac Attack Youth Basketball tournament comes to the Events Center for games Jan 23, and the RPAC basketball finals will be played at the campus facility Jan. 30.

In February the MCC slate heats up with six contests, including: Feb. 3 against Western Nebraska CC; The Feb. 6 Dick Driml Chili Cookoff against Eastern Wyoming in games at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; McCook High School Night Feb. 10; McCook Chamber Night Feb. 13; Sophomore night Feb. 14 against Central CC; and the final home game Feb. 23 against North Platte which has been designated by Phi Theta Kappa as Disability Awareness Night.

Nearly $15,000 will be up grabs for hundreds of area high school students when MCC hosts Inter-High Scholastic Contest Wednesday, March 30, on campus from 8 a.m. to 1:15p.m. North Platte Community College's Inter-High scholastic contest and TechKnowledge Skills Day is set for March 16.

Spring Break is scheduled for March 21-25

The Wrightstone Art Gallery on campus will host a variety of exhibitions this semester according to MCC Art Instructor Rick Johnson. In addition to bringing in a show from the Museum of Nebraska Art, the gallery will feature works from two MCC students this fall including Lucas Kotschwar, who is applying for graduate school, and Teresa Reeves, who was selected to judge this year's MCC's Paint-In competition and art show. The MHS art show returns to the Wrightstone as well as an end-of the semester exhibition of students from the Graphic Design and Visual Communications classes.

The MCC Music Department has two concert planned this semester, according to instructor Tiffany Gapp, with dates to be announced. She is holding auditions for Select Choir Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Tipton Hall for anyone wanting to join. Those auditioning may sing anything with a CD or without accompaniment.

MCC's Commencement is set for May 6.

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