home Future Students Current Students Faculty and Staff Business and Community Online Courses
Inside Story - Past Issues

Inside Story for Monday, May 07, 2012

The College's new MCC Express site will be open soon!

The MCC Express located at 24th and Vinton streets is funded through private donations and includes four classrooms, a community room, a computer center, assessment rooms and a welcome center. The focus of the MCC Express is to offer work readiness training that includes:

  • adult basic education and basic skills training
  • career exploration and planning
  • help in entering college-level occupational training and/or the workforce

Several staff members are tasked with overseeing efforts at this new facility, including:

  • Patrick Boyle, workforce skills director, who oversees all services and operations at the MCC Express.
  • Teresa Ramirez-Cherko, MCC Express associate, who focuses on enhancing retention and transition of ESL students into credit programming and/or the workforce.
  •  Kevin Hansen, transition coordinator, who focuses on strengthening retention, completion and transition of GED students into credit programming and/or the workplace.

These three individuals will be housed at the MCC Express site. Additional staff members working at the site include GED and noncredit ESL instructors, Read Right Reading coaches, computer center staff and welcome center staff.

The facility opens officially on June 6, the first day of Summer quarter; however, staff should be on site by the last week of May. There will be several opportunities to visit the site during open house events. 

Contact Susan Raftery, dean of literacy and workplace skills, at 402-738-4585 with questions.

Mary Leidy is retiring

After 32 years teaching Early Childhood Education at MCC, Mary Leidy is retiring. Join us for an open house celebration of Leidy's commitment to the College and her many students this Friday, May 11, 2-4 p.m. in the Board Room of the Mule Barn at FOC.

Military Employment and Resource Fair

MCC is teaming up with OmahaJobs.com to host the Military Employment and Resource Fair on Thursday, May 17 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at MCC's South Omaha Campus! This free event is open to the public. Bring your résumé and dress for success. Expect dozens of employers hiring for a wide array of jobs.

If you don't have time to stop by the South Omaha Campus, no problem! A drive-thru job fair is available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at MCC's Sarpy Center, Elkhorn Valley Campus and the Fort Omaha Campus.  Drive up and receive a bag from all participating employers. OR check out the online Virtual Job Fair at OmahaJobs.com. Click on the rectangle ad to view the job fair collateral.

Find out more >>

MCC Golf Outing just around the corner

MCC invites students, staff and community members to have fun in a relaxed atmosphere at the annual MCC Golf Outing on Friday, June 1 at the Pacific Springs Golf Club, 16810 Harney St. The shotgun start is at 1 p.m.

You can register as a single and we will place you on a team, or you may select your own team or part of a team. Cost is $75 per player or $300 per team. This fee includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart and a flat iron steak buffet following the tournament. Prizes and mulligans will be available the day of the tournament.

Register by Friday, May 18 >>

Proceeds benefit MCC's SkillsUSA students through the MCC Foundation.

Check out the 12th Annual Student Art Exhibition

Judge's selections and award-winning work from MCC's Visual Arts program are featured in the 12th Annual Student Art Exhibition until May 20 at the Gallery of Art and Design at EVC. The exhibit will be on display Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, Noon-5 p.m. The show includes paintings, watercolors, photography, sculpture, digital video and more.

Eighty-one students submitted more than 160 pieces of work for consideration for the show. Joel Damon, curator at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts UNDERGROUND, and Matthew Sontheimer, assistant professor of painting and drawing in the department of art and art history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, selected 43 pieces from 37 student artists to be included.

Scholarships of up to $750 were awarded for the best student work at an April 27 opening reception and awards ceremony.

Best of Show, $750
John Farrell Ryan, Electronic Imaging and Media Arts

Second place, $500
Amy Miller, Graphic Communication Arts and Design

Third place, $250
Justine Olson, Professional Health Studies-General Health

The Metropolitan Visual Arts scholarship, $150

Kari Sagal Allgire, Photography-General Commercial

Jake Fyfe, Graphic Communication Arts and Design

Honorable mentions, $100
Kari Sagal Allgire, Photography-General Commercial

Andrew Carl Atkinson, Associate in Arts

Alicia Goodrich, Interior Design

Dana Hanten, Graphic Communication Arts and Design

Alaina Hickman, Liberal Arts/Academic Transfer

Greg Hollins, Liberal Arts/Academic Transfer

Jessica Kinsell, Photography Student-General Commercial

Janel McCan, Associate in Arts

Dale Pinkelman, Video/Audio Communication Arts

Lisa Ranney-Arellano, Associate in Arts

Brian Roma, Video/Audio Communication Arts

Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayFest, May 27-June 1

The 7th annual Great Plains Theatre Conference, hosted by MCC, announces GPTC PlayFest-an evening theatre festival to be held in culturally unique locations across Omaha. The festival features plays by five of the country's great theatre artists using a vibrant combination of local and national theatre talent, including sets designed by local visual artists and live music performed by local musicians.

The evenings are free and open to the public. For mature audiences only.

Seating is limited; for guaranteed seating, reservations are encouraged. Reservations begin May 1 at noon.

Visit www.mccneb.edu/gptc for more information about PlayFest and the Great Plains Theatre Conference.

315 days until the HLC visitors arrive!

The countdown continues! The team of evaluators from the Higher Learning Commission will arrive on March 18, 2013. The team will be here to review our request for continued accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Here is some information that we hope you will find useful as you try to make sense of this thing we call accreditation.

About accreditation, in general

Accreditation is a process of external quality review created and used by higher education to examine colleges, universities and programs for the purposes of quality assurance and quality improvements. Accreditation in the United States is more than 100 years old. It emerged from concerns about the integrity of higher education and from the desire to serve the public interest. Accreditation is carried out by private nonprofit organizations created specifically for this purpose. Accrediting organizations review colleges and universities, as well as programs, in all 50 states and in 95 other countries. There are currently 81 recognized accrediting organizations in the United States. (2008, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, U.S. Accreditation and the Future of Quality Assurance)

About the Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions in the North Central region. (www.ncahlc.org/About-HLC/about-hlc.html)

The North Central region includes 19 states. It extends from Arizona to the west, West Virginia to the east, Oklahoma to the south and the Canadian border to the north.

MCC's accreditation history with NCA and HLC

MCC was created by legislative action in 1974. In 1975, we entered candidacy status with the North Central Association. We received initial accreditation in 1975, and we have been continuously accredited by NCA and now HLC since then. Our last HLC comprehensive evaluation occurred in the 2002-2003 academic year.

As a regional accreditor, HLC accredits institutions and not specific programs. At MCC, we are accredited institutionally by HLC; however, many of our programs have separate program accreditation. (See page eight of the 2012-13 College catalog for a list of MCC programs that are accredited.)

The criteria for accreditation: guiding values

In the April 30 Inside Story, the five accreditation criteria were briefly summarized. Overarching them are the following guiding values:

  • Focus on student learning
  • Education as a public purpose
  • Education for a diverse, technological, globally connected world
  • A culture of continuous improvement
  • Evidence-based institutional learning and self-presentation
  • Integrity, transparency and ethical behavior or practice
  • Governance for the well-being of the institution
  • Planning and management of resources to ensure institutional sustainability
  • Mission-centered evaluation
  • Accreditation through peer review
    • All members of the visiting HLC evaluation team serve as staffers, faculty and administrators at institutions of higher education in HLC's 19-state area.
    • At MCC, Pat Smith (English faculty) and Tom McDonnell (dean of languages and visual arts) serve as peer reviewers for HLC. Dave Ho has served as a peer reviewer in the past.

In the next two issues of the Inside Story, we will provide additional, more in-depth information about some of the specific requirements (core components) for the criteria for accreditation.

There is still time to let us know if you would like to be more involved with the accreditation process. Let Dave Ho (dho@mccneb.edu) know as soon as possible if you would be interested in helping us to locate data that exists and supports each of the five criteria and in writing the narrative that must be sent to the Higher Learning Commission by Feb. 1, 2013. He will want to know which criterion interests you. They are listed below. (See the April 30 Inside Story for more information.)

Criterion one: mission

Criterion two: integrity: ethical and responsible conduct

Criterion three: teaching and learning: quality, resources and support

Criterion four: teaching and learning: evaluation and improvement

Criterion five: resources, planning and institutional effectiveness

Student entrepreneurs win big at Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference

Contests, prizes and a visit from the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour highlighted the inaugural HeartlandHeartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference Student Entrepreneurship Conference on Friday, April 20, hosted by Metropolitan Community College and sponsored by the Lincoln Financial Foundation.

More than 100 students from MCC, Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, plus students from area middle and high schools attended the Conference. The morning was filled with inspirational testimonials from EJ Carrion, co-founder of Student Success Academy and co-author of Ignite Your Dreams: How to Build and Accelerate Your Life as a Top-Notch Student, and Chris Koerner, Alabama's Young Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of Phone Restore. The afternoon offered students entrepreneurship and business planning workshops, a big idea essay contest, a quick pitch contest and a question-and-answer panel with successful local entrepreneurs. Panelists included Jefferson Meyer, co-partner of Contemporary Analysis, Lorrie Williams, president and interior designer at Fluff Your Stuff, and Melissa Stephens, owner of The Cordial Cherry.

The Big Idea Essay contest invited students to craft a 300-word essay showing their passion for entrepreneurship by summarizing their big idea to be their own boss, an entrepreneurial-minded employee or the next great innovator. 

Big idea essay winners
First place: Linda Williams, Metropolitan Community College, $100 Best Buy gift card
Second place: Alex Duperval, Metropolitan Community College, $50 Best Buy gift card
Third place: Josephine Neddo, Metropolitan Community College, $20 Best Buy gift card

During the quick pitch contest students gave a 2-minute pitch to the panel detailing their innovative idea. They then answered questions from the panel.

Quick pitch winners (by panel)
College division: Keith Fix, University of Nebraska at Omaha, $1,500 Best Buy gift card
High school: Paul Fox, Omaha Home School Learning Center, $500 Best Buy gift card, plus an MCC scholarship
Middle school: Aaron Fox, Omaha Home School Learning Center, $250 Best Buy gift card, plus an MCC scholarship

Quick pitch winners (audience vote)
Most innovative idea: Keith Fix, University of Nebraska at Omaha, $100 Best Buy gift card
Most marketable idea: Ryan Underwood, Metropolitan Community College, $100 Best Buy gift card
Fan-favorite presentation:  Shanda Fugan, Omaha Home School Learning Center, $100 Best Buy gift card

Photo: Panel of judges with EJ Carrion. View more photos >>

MCC's Blue Sky Fund Mini-Grant program fuels success of six student entrepreneurs

Blue Sky FundSix Metropolitan Community College students are one step closer to fulfilling their entrepreneurship dreams! Each student received a $100-$500 Blue Sky Fund mini-grant to pre-test, research, start, sustain or grow an entrepreneurial or innovative endeavors during their course of study at MCC. In total, $2,900 was awarded to students by a panel of judges during the recent and first-ever, Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference, hosted by MCC at their Fort Omaha Campus.

 "The Fund supports MCC's mission to promote and support entrepreneurial aspirations by its students across the entire curriculum of study and move students from "thinking" or "learning" stages to actual implementation," said Heather Nelson, MCC entrepreneurship program manager and instructor. 

There were a total of 36 applicants for the Fund. Out of those applicants, 12 were invited to the Conference to pitch their idea, in-person, to a panel of judges. In shark-tank-style, the invited finalists presented their ideas in less than three minutes and spent an additional two minutes answering questions from a panel of judges.  The six winning students were chosen on the spot.

Winners were Ariann Anderson, interior design, $500; CharDale Barnes, entrepreneurship, $500, David Bryan, culinary, $500; Laela Williams, entrepreneurship, $475, Daniel Hayes, business, $496.83; and Ryan Underwood, entrepreneurship, $500.

The Fund was open to any MCC student from any program of study actively enrolled in at least 1 for-credit course during the Spring 2012 Quarter OR for prior MCC Entrepreneur Program students having previously completed at least three of the six courses in the ENTR prefix.

The Fund was made possible by grant funding support awarded to MCC's Entrepreneurship Program through the MCC Foundation.

Photo: Winning MCC students with the panel of judges.

From left: Heather Nelson, MCC entrepreneurship program manager and instructor, Ryan Underwood, CharDale Barnes, Daniel Hayes, Daryl Hansen, MCC dean of business, Carol Russell, MCC Foundation Board member, Barbara Foster, Lead Business Development Specialist, Small Business Administration, Winsley Durand, senior director of recruitment, Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, Laela Williams, Ariann Anderson, David Bryan.

View more photos >>

Training & Development Workshops

All employees are invited and encouraged to attend the many learning activities offered through Training & Development. Do not miss out on these May offerings.

Thrive! Stress strategies that work

Do not face another stressful day without this workshop. Thrive in the flow of life's ups and
downs with these simple but powerful techniques based on brain science. Thriving in the world today takes specific skills and strategies not generally taught in schools. Come get the scoop and improve the quality of your health, work and life.

Workshop delivery includes demonstration, activity in chairs, lecture and discussion.

Participants will:

  • Understand the basic psycho-physiology of stress and of resiliency strategies based in
    recent brain research.
  • Discuss how to implement four key techniques that empower participants to move beyond surviving stress to thriving.
  • Receive a list of 20 strategies designed to allow each participant to find ideas that work well for them.

Intended audience: all employees

Facilitator: Natalie Dowty, president and founder of Integrative Wellness, Inc., Physical Therapy and Consulting

TRDV 159N 01 (synonym 194025) Tuesday, May 8 l 9:30 a.m.-noon l FOC 21 101

Heartsaver first aid

The heartsaver first aid course teaches rescuers to effectively identify and treat adult emergencies in the critical first minutes of injury or illness until emergency medical service personnel arrive. The course provides basic training solutions for first aid, adult CPR and AED actions. Receive an American Heart Association workbook in class and a certification card when the class is finished. The half-hour lunch built into the program is on your own.

Intended audience: all employees

Facilitator: Justin Cooley, MCC EMS instructor

TRDV 030N 02 (synonym 194417) Thursday, May 24 l 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. l SOC MHY 514

Learn mind mapping!

Creating a mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps in structuring and organizing information, helping us to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.

A mind map is visual representation that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works. Since it is an activity that is both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a much richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. And, best of all, it is fun!

Learn to create and use mind maps for note-taking, planning, creating and many other uses too numerous to list. Special software in not needed...just brains, hands, paper and pens/pencils/crayons!

Intended audience: all employees

Facilitator: Lynn Bradman, MCC Social Science instructor/CLEAR coordinator

TRDV 155N 01 (synonym 194430) Thursday, May 24 l 1-3 p.m. l FOC 10 124

Note: Attending an activity during your scheduled work hours requires supervisor approval. It is your responsibility to obtain approval to attend a Training and Development event. Enroll through WebAdvisor, by calling ext. 8518 or by calling 402-457-5231. All workshops are noncredit. Contact Marilyn Cotten, coordinator of training and development, at 402-457-2507 with questions.

HR updates

New Employees
Patrick Boyle
Patrick Boyle                                     
workforce skills director                             

Michael Combs
Michael Combs                                
executive chef                                                 
FOC, Building 22                               

Paula Else
Paula Else                                           
library assistant                                              
SOC CON                            

Kirsten Graff
Kirsten Graff                                     
call center clerk                                              
FOC, Building 2                              

Kim Mountain
Kim Mountain                                  
call center clerk                                              
FOC, Building 2                              

Kory Troutman
Kory Troutman                                 
testing technician                                          
FOC, Building 10                              

Jeffrey Brown                 
facilities management operations coordinator                 
FOC, Building 20          

Boykins, Ayanna                              

Byrd, Johnny                                     

Wang, Chih-Yuan                            

Woodfork, Pamela                         

Green tip

Bike in the morning and stay on marked paths. You can minimize your intake of fumes by staying on the edge of traffic zones, such as in bike lanes or on bike paths, and you can reduce your exposure to air pollutants by doing the majority of your outdoor exercise in the morning, when pollution levels are lowest.-The Green Book

MCC reads! Food Rules

"Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box if you don't." p.135

MCC is making news

What's the latest and greatest? Check out the latest news releases issued by Public Affairs to find out.

Contact the Inside Story

To contact the Inside Story or suggest a story idea, email istory@mccneb.edu. Don't forget that the deadline to submit a story to the following Monday's Inside Story is Thursday at noon.


View past issues of The Inside Story.

Contact Us