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Forty years ago, the college that area residents know today as Northeast Community College began serving a 20-county region in Northeast Nebraska. Northeastern Nebraska College and Northeast Nebraska Technical College merged July 1, 1973. Although the 40th Anniversary marks the milestone of the merger, the roots of Northeast Community College actually have their beginning earlier in the 20th Century.

Norfolk Junior College was established as part of the Norfolk Public School System in September 1928. Nearly 40 years later, in July 1968, Norfolk Junior College separated from the public school system and became known as Northeastern Nebraska College the following February.

In August 1965, the Nebraska Legislature adopted legislation that would allow voters in counties surrounding Norfolk to create a 14-county technical college region and Northeast Nebraska Vocational Technical School. Four years and a name change later, the College began conducting classes in temporary facilities. Northeast Nebraska Technical College (NNTC) opened its doors at 801 East Benjamin Avenue in June 1971.

In November 1972, Northeast's region was expanded to the 20 counties of northeast Nebraska. The following July, Northeastern Nebraska College and NNTC merged as Northeast Nebraska Technical Community College. The name of the College was changed to Northeast Technical Community College (NTCC) in July 1975. The NTCC campus was annexed to the City of Norfolk in April 1977. In compliance with state legislation adopted in August 1991, the name was officially changed to Northeast Community College.