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2015 April 30 - 10:43 pm

Around Campus

A Look at Campus Life at Various Community and Junior Colleges

Don’t let their size fool you. The cars parked in the automotive technology shop at North Platte Community College (Neb.) may be little, but the role they play in training students is huge. “We call them clip cars,” said Mike Janecek, automotive instructor. “I had the idea for them in my head for about 15 years, but didn’t act on it until about three years ago.” There’s a total of six clip cars in the shop. All were wrecked. NPCC buys them from a salvage pool in Denver, Colorado. “Almost every technical school that offers an automotive program uses them, but ours is the only one that uses clip cars with all systems intact—brake, emissions, fuel,” said Janecek.

“Even the heat and air conditioning works.” The cars are essentially cut in half for training purposes. The front end, including wheels and a driver’s seat, is left untouched. Directly behind the driver’s seat, the rear wheels and taillights are connected to a custom-built axle. The suspension is mounted onto the body, the roof and doors are removed and the fuel tank is placed where the passenger seat would otherwise be.

The rearview mirror is secured to the dash, and all systems are reassembled. The clip cars are used in almost every class in NPCC’s automotive technology program. The benefits to them are nearly endless.


Trevor Blake doesn’t believe nursing is only for girls, and he’s out to prove the stereotype wrong. Blake started thinking about a career in medicine his junior year of high school. That’s when he injured his knee playing football and found himself recovering at Sandhills Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab. The friendships he made there led to his employment at the center the past couple of years. The experience he gained pointed him toward a career in nursing. “I decided to take classes at Mid-Plains Community College (Neb.) for two reasons: convenience, because I was close to home, and reputation,” said Blake. “MPCC has an awesome nursing program. The decision saved me so much money.”

According to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 3.5 million employed nurses in the U.S. in 2011. Of those, about 3.2 million were women and 330,000 were men. That’s up considerably from what it used to be.

Approximately 2.7 percent of registered nurses were men in 1970 compared with 9.6 percent in 2011. Blake has been named a “Nursing Student of the Month” at MPCC for December. He will graduate in May 2016 as a registered nurse. His goal is to become a traveling nurse, working in cities as well as rural areas.


The U.S. National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security have recognized Mt. Hood Community College (Ore.) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education Two- Year beginning June of 2015 through 2019, making MHCC the only institution of higher education in the state to be so designated. In a letter to the college, the NSA congratulated MHCC and its Cyber Defense Program for meeting the increasing demands of program criteria—an effort that will result in “contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure.” In recent years, the federal government has put a high priority on developing a rigorous cyber defense program, including creating a U.S. Cyber Command in 2010 as part of the military structure to defend against cyber attacks. In an April 1, 2015 post to its website, the NSC called strengthening cyber security the “defining challenge of the 21st century.” MHCC’s twoyear program is designed to provide students with a thorough background in cyber defense, including in hardware and software repair, network development and implementation, cryptography, disaster recovery, ethical hacking and much more. The program can prepare students for further certification or education, or to immediately find a job in a rapidly expanding job market. The college will take part in a formal recognition ceremony and be presented with the official CAE2Y certificate in June, 2015.

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