Speakers share impact of Northeast's West Point campus

by amandab  6/16/2016 8:03:14 AM -- 

WEST POINT – Constituents may be most familiar with Northeast Community College’s main campus in Norfolk. However, the College also operates three extended campuses to serve those residents who live in the other areas across the 20 county service area.

Recently, members of the College’s Board of Governors heard firsthand of the influence of these extended campuses. Three area residents shared the impact Northeast’s West Point extended campus has had on the community at a meeting held here recently.

Mary Lauritzen, West Point, Cedric Biteghe Bi Ndong, originally from Libreville, Gabon, and Diana Carnahan, Snyder, spoke during the board’s monthly meeting in West Point.

Lauritzen, one of eleven commissioners of Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, recently retired as clinic manager at West Point’s Family Vision Center, P.C. and has also worked in retail sales, banking and management.

She said that as an area employer, Extended Campus Advisory Board member and member of the community, she sees Northeast’s impact from a variety of perspectives. “As an employer, I was impressed with the knowledge, preparedness and employability of the work force that emerges from Northeast.”

She also credited the West Point extended campus for providing education for Cuming County’s shifting workforce demands, identifying and responding to the cultural interests of the community and for increasing the area’s college attendance rate.

She offered special praise for Extended Campus Director Terry Ramig, whom she said transformed a room in her basement into an office area which served as “a powerful presence as an education center that has become a model for several communities in Nebraska.”

“Northeast has shown adaptability, creativity, flexibility and a keen instinct that has made it a major force in the ongoing progress and positive growth in the daily life of northeast Nebraska.”

Biteghe Bi Ndong also spoke at the Board of Governors meeting via video. A student at the West Point extended campus, he is one of four Northeast students who were recognized this spring for being named to the 2016 Phi Theta Kappa All-Nebraska Academic Team. 

In his message, Biteghe Bi Ndong emphasized how Northeast’s teachers and administrators create a sense of belonging for all students.

“There’s no way you come to this campus and go back with the same attitude because (faculty and staff) always make sure that what you experience is something that will help you move forward in your success. There’s a sense of belonging to a community.”

He also said he enjoys the blend of traditional and non-traditional students who attend classes at the extended campus and gave special thanks to Northeast’s Board of Governors. “It’s a true testament of your will to improve our community, and it’s quite remarkable because this legacy will keep on and on, and I’m just truly blessed to be part of the story.”

The Board of Governors also heard from Diana Carnahan, who is a current student at Northeast’s West Point extended campus and began classes this January.

After her three children left home, Carnahan bought a house in Snyder. It was at that point she decided to return to school. She had initially planned to commute to Northeast’s Norfolk campus but was excited to learn the College also had a campus in West Point, which is only about 15 miles from her home.

Carnahan said she wanted the interaction that comes with an in-person classroom experience as opposed to online classes. She completed three classes at the West Point extended campus this spring, and while she does have her own laptop, she can use the printer, scanner and various software on campus.

“It was so nice to be able to come to West Point and have things so accessible,” she said. “I study better, learn better when I leave my home and come here.”

Carnahan is returning for classes in the fall and plans to have her associate degree, with a focus on a human services-related field, criminal justice or both, in about six months. From there, she plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree.

“I always wanted a degree, and this time it’s going to happen.”

In addition to West Point, Northeast Community College operates extended campuses in O’Neill and South Sioux City and two regional offices in Ainsworth and Hartington.


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                                                          PHOTO CUTLINE – West Point

Mary Lauritzen, West Point, speaks to members of the Northeast Community College Board of Governors in West Point recently. Lauritzen was one of three people to speak before the board regarding the College’s influence in the West Point area through its extended campus there.

Posted In -- Board of Governors, Extended Campus Campaign, Press Releases, PTK, Students and Alumni, West Point

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