In the age of the internet, it’s easy to learn just about anything just by opening an app on your phone. That’s probably why YouTube is the second highest used search engine today. That can be cold and boring though. There’s something special about gathering in a room with individuals craving the same knowledge, toting your notebook and favorite pen, and focusing solely on the content provided by an expert. Luckily, Ord has the perfect location for this learning to take place.
Having a Community College in a rural community can create huge opportunities for its residents. These institutions provide a space for residents to continue learning and have higher education opportunities that elevate local workforce. They also provide learning opportunities at an affordable rate to allow residents to earn degrees and certificates that can increase their income earnings. While you may think of this community college as a boost to just the educational opportunities available in our region, the Central Community College Ord Center is so much more than that.
Yes, this building has a lot of learning going on inside. On any given day you can find an IP class happening, a GED student completing their next step, or math test being proctored, but it’s not just for post high school degrees and certificates. The CCC Ord Center, located at 1514 K Street in Ord, offers a variety of educational opportunities for the whole community.
The first example of this are the CCC Ord Center Kids Camps. Every summer, Regional Director Dr. Crystal Ramm and Community Education Coordinator Janet Eppenbach pack the center with kids eager to learn. At any given time, you can see a group of babysitters learning CPR, a battle of robots, an illustrative masterpiece being created, or a race of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. This Summer 2023 Kids Camps include:
Safe Kids 101: May 15-18
Babysitting 101 & CPR Certification: May 23-24
Returning Entomology: June 12-16
Beginning Entomology: July 5, 6, 7, 10, 11
Graphic Design & Illustration: TBD
These camps don’t just provide learning opportunities for their attendees though. During the summer months, CCC Ord Center hires a local high school student for their Summer Internship Program. This internship provides the opportunity for students to offer their creative insight to summer camps while gaining valuable work experience, confidence, and teaching skills. In 2021 and 2022, former summer camp attendee Grey Smith served as the first summer intern and brought robotics and coding camps to the center. Under the direction of Dr. Ramm, Grey developed and taught these two STEM classes over the summer. “I love the opportunity to be able to give kids fun experiences that robotics and coding bring and be able to share that experience with them,” stated Smith.
The Ord Center is in the process of hiring its summer intern and can’t wait to announce the intern and what they will be teaching, yet this month!
The CCC Ord Center also offers educational opportunities to local businesses and individuals. Whether you want to get your EMT Certification, learn to better manage your QuickBooks and Excel programs, or want to become CPR certified, the Ord Center offers it and more. The Ord Center regularly partners with the Ord Area Chamber to offer classes for Chamber members. Some previous classes include Business 101, Energy Efficiency, Digital Marketing and more.
The CCC Ord Center doesn’t just host classes for a single education opportunity, they also host educational events. For the past 9 years, the Ord Center has hosted area high school juniors for Career Discovery Day. This student education event was established to assist area high school juniors in making academic and career decisions to meet their career goals as they explore their interests, abilities and values with a career advisor and/or mentor. A number of CCC faculty and staff, , as well as local business leaders assist with this annual event. One of the Ord Center’s newest educational events is Gardening in the Valley, which features a garden market from local greenhouses, gardening education courses, light meal, vendor market and Master Gardener offering onsite advice. This year, participants can join education presentations on Vegetable Gardening & Companion Planting, Benefits of Native Perennials, and Turfgrass to Fit Your Style. Registration is OPEN for the second annual Gardening in the Valley event, happening on April 21, 2023 from 4:30-8:00 PM.
The CCC Ord Center also provides opportunities to the community. Various nonprofits utilize the facility on a regular business. From October to March, you’ll find a room full of nonprofits planning for the annual Big Give to Valley County. Once a month from September to March, the main classroom becomes a hub for adult learners during Synovation Valley Leadership Academy courses. Residents can also learn about pollinators at the CCC Ord Center Pollinator Garden. Located along the Aubles Pond Trail, right before you cross Dane Creek Road to go toward the cemetery, the Pollinator Garden is home to over 35 native perennial plants that not only add aesthetic value to the area, but also attract many different types of pollinating insects. This pollinator garden consists of “Bloom Boxes” from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Native plants were hand-selected by horticulturists for the unique space and desired style and were then planted by the OLC staff and the CCC Sustainability Team. Spring planting and further expansion of the Pollinator Garden will begin in May.
The community it resides in is important to the CCC Ord Center. Thanks to the support from the local community, this small but mighty campus continues to increase its community offerings. Funds designated to the CCC Foundation- Ord Center during the annual Big Give to Valley County support: The Ord Center Scholarship, a $500 scholarship awarded to four Valley County students; materials and supplies for kids camps, including the previous purchase of $3,000 in STEM equipment; student programs; and the Summer Internship Program. Because of the generosity from the community it serves, the Ord Center makes it a priority to give back. If they’ve learned anything in the last two and a half hears, it’s the importance of supporting the local businesses and families who generate local tax dollars, strengthen the economy at home, and ultimately live, work, play and give back to the area. Central Community College’s mission is to “Maximize Student and Community Success.” The CCC Ord Center feel strongly about partnering with area businesses and individuals to utilize locally sourced services and products to accomplish this mission.
So next time you want to break free from the computer screen to learn how to build a robot, which plants pair well with your favorite vegetable, how to provide lifesaving CPR, or just how to run that computer program that’s supposed to make your life more efficient, stop by the Central Community College Ord Center!
Contact Central Community College Ord Learning Center by calling (308) 728-3299.