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Northeast maintains 99% rate for graduates working or continuing their education

Northeast maintains 99% rate for graduates working or continuing their education

NORFOLK, Neb. – Northeast Community College graduates continue to find success by either obtaining employment in the workforce or continuing their education.
The college’s latest Graduate Report confirms that 99% of 2023 graduates either found jobs or continued their education. It is the second consecutive year that Northeast has achieved the 99% success rate, with rates often 97% or higher.

Of the Career and Technical graduates who have found employment, 89% gained occupations in their field of study. Eighty percent of Northeast graduates who are continuing their education are doing so at Nebraska colleges and universities. 

The report also indicates that 90% of the graduates remained in Nebraska to work; 54% stayed in Northeast’s 20-county service region. Ninety-six percent of employers surveyed rated Northeast graduates as either excellent or good in their career program. 

“Again, our graduates are sharing incredible stories with us,” said Terri Heggemeyer, director of career services. “The 99% success rate of this graduating class is close to perfect. Our students are dedicated and work hard to achieve their professional goals. The caring and supportive faculty and staff encourage students to learn, explore and grow. This collaboration allows graduates to embark with a solid foundation in order to make an impact in their lives of their communities.”

Heggemeyer and career services staff achieved a 97% collection rate from the 893 graduates from last year to compile statistics for the report. She presented the report to the Northeast Community College Board of Governors during its January meeting.

Jeff Scherer of Beemer, chairman of the Northeast board, said he appreciates the annual gradation report because it traditionally has a high rate of graduates working or continuing their education.

“There’s usually a copy of it rolling around in the backseat of my pickup,” Scherer said. “It usually looks pretty rough after a year.”

Scherer said he finds the report useful if any constituents have questions about the college. The report shows the college “is doing what we should be doing,” he said.

The report indicates Northeast not only contributes to the workforce through its skilled graduates and training programs, but the regional economic impact is also substantial to the northeast and north central regions of Nebraska. 

A study for the college by the data analytics firm EMSI Burning Glass in 2022 confirmed that Northeast’s total impact was $226.8 million in added income or 3,200 jobs supported to its 20-county service area’s economy during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The figure represents the higher earnings that students earned during the year, the increased output of the businesses that employed the students, and the multiplier effects that occurred as students and the business’ employees spent money at other businesses. One out of every 34 jobs in the Northeast service area are supported by activities of the College and its students. The total effect for 2020-21 amounted to approximately 2.3% of the Northeast service area’s total gross regional product. 

In addition to the graduate report, the Northeast Community College Career Services Office offers a variety of services to prepare students for the workforce. This includes providing one-on-one advisement and personal attention to students as they look for employment; posts jobs daily to the Northeast on-line job board; assists with writing and completing resumes´, cover letters, and applications, and offers lifetime employment assistance to alumni, among others.

Leah Barrett, president, said the report confirms Northeast’s contribution to workforce development. 

“The 2023 Graduate Report is yet another chapter in the successful story of our graduates who are finding employment and/or continuing their education,” Barrett said. “Year-after-year, our graduates put their degrees to use not only for the betterment of themselves and their families, but for our communities, state and nation.”

The 2023 Northeast Community College Graduate Report may be accessed online on the Northeast Community College website at 

Since 1973, Northeast has had 30,877 graduates based on information from the registrar, which means more than 30,000 students are making an impact on the workforce.

“This truly is a highlight of the work we do at the Career Services Office,” Heggemeyer said, noting that her office now also sponsors career fairs to help students explore various job opportunities in fields such as wind, building construction, nursing and more.

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Terri Heggemeyer, Northeast director of career services, presents the 2023 Graduate Report on Thursday, Jan. 11, to the Northeast Community College Board of Governors. (Northeast Community College)