MCC enrollment up 7 percent

Monday, January 15, 2018
It’s back to class today for students a McCook Community College. As part of the “welcome back” activities, MCC staff offered free cookies and hot cocoa today and Tuesday in von Riesen Library from 8-10 a.m. each day as well as the chance to answer any question students had with regard to schedule, class location, or other issues. Here, students Breanna Daly and Sam Hinkle, stopped to warm up between classes and snagged a cookie. Enrollment at MCC is up about 7 percent this spring.
MCC photo

McCOOK, Neb. — The spring semester has begun at McCook Community College and enrollment up almost 7 percent over the spring term of last year – which was one of the best in recent memory.

“Being up 6.98 percent at MCC is a great way to start a new semester,” said Kelly Rippen, Area Dean of Enrollment Management for McCook and North Platte Community College.

While the number of full-time students will be about the same as last year, MCC’s 530 full and part-time students are taking 295 more credit hours. Also, there are 24 more students taking part-time classes this year making MCC’s full-time equivalent numbers up 9.8 percent over last year.

Overall enrollment at Mid-Plains Community College is up 0.31 percent.

For the past several years MCC officials have attributed strong enrollment numbers to several factors including an increased focus on student retention from one semester to the next; increased efforts to get students more actively engaged in campus activities, expanding tutoring and other academic help through the Student Success Center, and major improvements to Brooks Hall and the Student Union.

This year another factor contributing to strong enrollment is the number of high school students taking early-entry classes.

“There is definitely a buzz right now about early entry courses and we have seen growth from McCook High School students specifically,” Rippen said.

“Area students are saving time and money by enrolling in college classes while still in high school,” Rippen said. “These courses prepare students for easy transfer, but better yet, give them a jump start to enrolling at MCC for a year or two.”

Rippen said this approach makes sense not only applies to current high school students but for all students considering college next fall because transferability of courses has never been easier.

“And college debt does not have to be a given, and we think the quality of our teaching along with strong student support makes MCC a wise choice all around.”

While 58 McCook High school students took advantage of these opportunities in the spring semester last year, there are about 80 this year.

“We have made a few adjustments to our course times and worked with these high school students early to advise them on course choices, which is a new strategy this year,” Rippen said, “and I applaud our faculty efforts to work with high school students and their schedules to make it easier to take advantage of early-entry classes.”

“This is just another example of how this college comes together,” said Campus Vice President Andy Long.

While many other rural community colleges are seeing decreases, McCook Community College continues to find ways to grow.

“There are a lot of factors that go into this, but I think students realize they get a great value here, with small classes and outstanding faculty,” Long said. “Our alumni of the year, Andy Heck, continues to show us that students can start here and be a teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor, or CEO of a major U.S. corporation.

MCC’s occupancy also continues to show increases and college officials believe that is based on the great experience students have had living on campus.

Also this semester:

The 18th annual Dick Driml Chili Cook-off is set for Feb. 24 and this year it is back in the hands of the MCC Music Department. The cutoff date for chef’s signup is Feb. 21. Driml was a long-time MCC music instructor who died in 1999. He used chili-feeds as fund-raisers to help fund music trips. After Driml’s death, some of his former students continued the chili-cookoff as a tribute to their former music teacher. When MCC was without a full-time music instructor MCC Indians Boosters continued the annual tradition. To enter you or your businesses’ chili, please contact Whitney Loos at 308-345-8117 Mondays through Thursdays from 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., or email

MCC will host the Mac Attack Youth Basketball Tourney Jan. 20 and the Republican Plains Activities Conference basketball finals Jan. 27. Both of these are all-day events.

Here are a few key dates and activities for the spring semester:

Jan. 15- March 16: “Amphibians” from National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore makes its world debut in the Wrightstone Fine Arts Gallery on campus.

Feb. 22-25: The MCC Theater Department presents “And The Rain Came to Mayfield” at the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall.

Feb. 20, 5:30 p.m: Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center: MCC and Phi Theta Kappa’s “Blue Out Night” to raise money and awareness for those with disabilities. (MCC women and men play North Platte).

March 19-23: Spring Break

April 19-21: Weeth Theater, Tipton Hall. The MCC Theater Department presents two one-act plays “Trifles” “Actor’s Nightmare.”

May 6-10: Finals Week

May 11: Commencement

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  • Enrollment up is great news. MCC offers a wonderful education where instructors actually know your name rather than being in a classroom with 50-200 other students. A huge benefit is the cost is much less than attending a four year college. Knock out your first two years here while saving money, then move on to a four year institution if you desire.

    -- Posted by dennis on Mon, Jan 15, 2018, at 1:11 PM
  • MCC is truly a diamond in the Community. We are blessed to have such a wonderful instatution in our neck of the woods. Apparently the word is out and the enrollment continues to rise.

    As a father of college students, an affordable and quality advanced education is a fiscal anomaly, and one worth taking advantage of.

    Believe me when I say, MCC is the best value around when it comes to your future, many have discovered this and travel great distances to capitalize on the advantages that this instatution provides.

    -- Posted by Nick Mercy on Tue, Jan 16, 2018, at 6:20 PM
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