Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
This week I'd like to highlight the work of Nebraska's Community Colleges. Education and jobs are key to Nebraska's future. An important mission for our state is to ensure that our students are prepared to compete in a 21st century, technology-driven, global, free market economy. Nebraska's six community colleges provide excellent opportunities for students to learn the skills they will need today in order to be successful in the future.
These colleges are Central Community College, Metro Community College, Mid-Plains Community College, Northeast Community College, Southeast Community College and Western Community Colleges. They have campuses spread all across Nebraska with each Community College serving a designated area of Nebraska.
The community colleges are actively involved in educating the State of Nebraska's greatest resource - our students. They are helping them as they grow and develop into the community leaders of tomorrow.
Nebraska's community colleges are locally governed and have a major emphasis on occupational education. They were designed to be the most accessible postsecondary educational system in the state offering an affordable, high-quality education, and geographically situated around the state. Our community colleges serve a key role in increasing the number of college bound students in our state.
Additionally, the colleges serve as a link between businesses and higher education to create programs which result in a highly-skilled workforce. Nebraska's community colleges are a link to the future for our local communities, regions and the state. The community colleges focus on applied technology, vocational, and occupational education and training.
As part of Nebraska's P-16 Initiative, our overall objective is to strengthen our state's education system from pre-school through higher education. For the past four years, Nebraska's P-16 Initiative has focused efforts on eight goals. Goal five is to improve Nebraska's college going rate to the top 10 tier nationally.
I'm pleased to report that, according to the most current data available, Nebraska is now a top 10 college-going state. We're ranked 7th in the nation with 69.5 percent of Nebraska students continuing on to college after high school. Community colleges are a key part of this effort.
We invite you to discover for yourself the quality of educational programs offered at these institutions and the affordability of attending a community college. I encourage prospective students and their parents to make time for a personal visit to these campuses as they prepare to make the important decision of selecting a college. Nebraska's Community Colleges offer a great opportunity to further your student's education.
Education success and economic success are directly linked. We want our graduates and young professionals to be prepared for high-quality, high-skill jobs with dynamic companies doing business in Nebraska.
A high school education is no longer sufficient. Every student needs at least two years of college. Education is an investment that will pay dividends for individuals, families and communities throughout Nebraska for years to come.
- Dave Heineman
Governor of Nebraska