Elementary Education Major Got Her Start At Northeast Community College In South Sioux City

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY – Teaching in an elementary school classroom is a natural calling for many people.  Abbie Stolze found her calling to be a teacher and she hasn’t looked back.

Stolze is in her senior year with Wayne State College.  She has completed all of her classwork at the College Center in South Sioux City.  The Homer native, now living in South Sioux City, found the College Center fit her schedule and it had the classes she needed.

She began her studies by taking classes from Northeast Community College.  Stolze earned her associate of arts degree with a program of study in elementary education from Northeast Community College.  Working closely with Teresa Frank, the advisor at the College Center, Stolze followed a well-delineated schedule of classes offered at the College Center and she was able to take classes that fit her schedule.

As she was nearing completion of her associate of arts degree from Northeast, Stolze applied for admission to Wayne State College.  She continued to follow the schedule of Wayne State classes that Frank laid out for her.  This seamless educational system is the hallmark of the College Center concept.  The deans and instructors at Northeast and Wayne State have worked closely to identify the classes that students need and which institution at the College Center will be most beneficial to them.

The College Center concept was developed over the past seven years. The heart of that concept is a suggested schedule that avoids any unnecessary classes and makes sure to meet pre-requisites along the way.  The classes are offered at a variety of times to appeal to students who are working and also taking classes.

“The target student-population for the College Center is those people who are place-bound,” said Pam Miller, College Center dean. “They are not able or willing to relocate and live in a dorm for many reasons.  They also don’t want to travel any great distance due to many concerns such gasoline costs, nighttime driving, or class times interfering with work obligations.  These place-bound students find that the course offerings by Northeast Community College and Wayne State College at the College Center  allow them to continue to live at home in the Siouxland region and still get their college degree.”

Miller said without having the expense of dorm living, students can save money while getting their degree.  Due to the low cost of tuition and fees at both Northeast and Wayne State, earning a  degree by taking classes at the College Center makes sense to some students who didn’t think it was within their reach.  Students who live outside of Nebraska will find the tuition rate to be very favorable for both Northeast and Wayne State.  “In fact, Wayne State has a special tuition rate called the “Bridge Rate” which sets out-of-state tuition at only $1 over the already low in-state tuition rate,” Miller said.

Wayne State College is well known for its education program.  Many teachers in the Siouxland region have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from Wayne State.  Many are also willing to work with Wayne State students at the College Center and allow them to do their student teaching in their classrooms.

In addition to elementary education, students can earn an associate of arts degree from Northeast and a bachelor of science degree from Wayne State in the following programs of study:  criminal justice, business administration, human resource management and accounting.  Additional programs will be added in the near future that will meet the needs of both students and employers in the area.  Both Northeast and Wayne State have excellent records of placing graduates in the local market.  With the assistance of career placement staff at both colleges as well as the staff at the College Center, students are able to make connections with businesses and employers and find those jobs that they are meant for.

Wayne State also offers a master’s degree in education with specialization curriculum and instruction or education administration.  The popular community of learning model has been well-received by students who are typically teachers wanting to gain more knowledge to excel in their career.  The College Center facility works well with this model, giving students space to spread out to work in large and small groups.

Northeast Community College offers additional associate degrees, including an associate of applied science in administrative assistant (general and medical) and drafting-industrial facility.  Northeast also offers associate of arts degrees with programs of study in academic transfer, behavioral science, and social science.  Diplomas are offered in welding and medical coding.  Short term training includes certified nursing assistant (CNA) and medication aide, as well as emergency medical technician (EMT) and truck driving.  A nursing program is offered at the College Center with additional coursework and lab being offered in the new J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh College of Nursing building on the Northeast campus in Norfolk.

Miller said the College Center opened its doors in 2011 and continues to grow.  Students are provided services to help them succeed and thrive in college.  Faculty from both Northeast and Wayne State provide excellent academic training.  The small class size makes it possible for good mentoring relationships.

“Northeast Community College and Wayne State are proud to be partners at the College Center.  With over 140 years of educational experience between the two, the Siouxland region is benefitting from this unique partnership,” Miller said.   “The two colleges jointly own the College Center building, which ensures a long-term relationship and commitment to providing post-secondary education to the Siouxland region.”

Students like Abbie Stolze have found their passion and are receiving the education necessary to be successful at the College Center.  Both Northeast Community College and Wayne State College will make sure of that.


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