by jamesc 5/10/2014 11:55:56 AM --
NORFOLK - The president of Northeast Community College and other administrators at the College have visited with the leadership of the possible merger between five Northeast Nebraska school districts, but he said it is too early to speak regarding Northeast's additional involvement with such an effort.
"Out of respect for these school districts and as an observer and participant, it is premature for us to comment on Northeast Community College's possible role with this innovative and highly visionary concept," said Dr. Michael Chipps, president of Northeast. "It takes a great deal of time and thoughtful consideration by this group for a plan of this magnitude to become a reality. I am pleased to see that a consultant has been added to help facilitate and guide the process."
Superintendents and board of education members from the five districts - Creighton, Plainview, Bloomfield, Osmond, and Wausa - began discussions late last year to look at ways to bring them together as one district to address declining enrollments and to regionally strengthen the area. It has also been mentioned at some public meetings that Northeast Community College, as well as some regional businesses and industries, could also possibly play even a stronger role with such a merger.
Dr. Chipps said the Northeast Board is always interested in how the college can be further engaged in better educating its service area’s future workforce.
"We are mindful of the situation that has led to these discussions and we wish the districts well in pursuing the right opportunities for them. Educational collaboration benefits the student, which should always be our foremost goal."
Northeast Community College has a number of successful partnerships with educational institutions at multiple levels such as with Wayne State College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Northeast's newest partner is Bellevue University, which will offer upper level undergraduate and graduate level courses and programs in Northeast's 20 county service area with a primary focus on non-traditional working adults.
In addition to its main campus in Norfolk, Northeast Community College has extended campuses in O'Neill, South Sioux City, and West Point and serves the higher educational needs of 60 schools, over 100 communities, and countless businesses and industries.