NC3 Staff Spotlight: Ashley Adams
June 29, 2021
NC3’s School on the Rise: July 2021
July 28, 2021

Northeast Community College, Nebraska

Congratulations to Northeast Community College, NC3’s June School on the Rise! Northeast Community College, located in Norfolk, Nebraska has been an NC3 Leadership School since 2014. Throughout their many years in education, Northeast Community College has established a leading role within their community and has empowered their students with the knowledge and skills they need to enter thriving careers in the trades. 

With industry certifications from Lincoln Electric, Trane, Snap-on, Greenlee, and more in the works, it’s no wonder that Northeast Community College is considered one of NC3’s premier institutions! Shanelle Grudzinski, Dean of Applied Technology, shared why Northeast Community College chose to partner with NC3. She stated, 

Since the start of it, industry credentialing, for us, was really a discussion about opportunities for our students. We were looking to find fits with companies that met our mission and goal as a school as well as fit our programming. What we didn’t want were non-value-added or credentials that would take away from our current programs, which were very good. Through NC3 and their industry partnerships, we were able to find a good alignment that would enhance our curriculum and really add value for our students.

While NC3 Certifications add incredible value to school programs, the main benefit is devoted to the students themselves. Shanelle continued her previous statement by adding, 

When we look at industry credentials and the NC3 partnership, we really looked at it as a two-fold benefit. The most pertinent benefit is that which impacts the students but there’s also a second benefit that affects the colleges such as Northeast. In our eyes, when we first started this process of learning, the industry credentials really allowed the students to experience real-world demands and real-world skill sets in a practical way that suited our hands-on learners. The credentials were able to cater to that learning style and it helped many of these programs really establish their foundations. Not only does this increase the student’s ability to use critical thinking and problem-solving but it also helps build that professional credibility and competitiveness.

When students enroll at Northeast Community College, they’re offered the opportunity to grow an impressive portfolio of industry-recognized credentials that support them when entering the workforce. John Liewer, Wind Energy Instructor, also remarked on the benefits industry credentials bring to his students. He said, 

One thing we try to push to add more value for our students is stackable credentials. With such a wide variety to offer through NC3, there’s plenty of opportunities for students to add quite a few certifications on their resumes to help set them apart from other candidates. When industry-recognized certifications show up on their resumes, it’s proof that they’ve been successful in mastering certain skills. It’s a way for employers to find the candidate that is best suited for their needs.

Through the implementation of NC3 certifications, Northeast Community College has also gained the opportunity to develop lasting partnerships with industry, both locally and nationally. Shanelle explained,

NC3 credentials have enabled us to expand our collaboration on a national front. We’ve been able to gain industry partners who participate in our advisory committees and at campus events, which has really helped us promote the value of community colleges and trades programs not only at the national level but also at the community level.

With these industry partnerships, Northeast Community College has been able to broaden their reach to students in their community and raise awareness about the opportunities that careers in technical education bring. When asked if industry certifications have had a positive impact on enrollment, Brad Ranslem, Associate Dean of Applied Technology, commented, “number one we have, hands down, great faculty. They do an amazing job and they get to know their students extremely well. I know the students would say they feel very close to their faculty. Our facilities are also amazing and I think that our investment into different technology is a huge thing that sets us apart. It’s also amazing how involved our industry partners and advisory committee are to our program. They come in once a year, at least, and tell us what’s current in industry and what we can improve upon.”

So, what’s next for Northeast Community college? Shanelle unveiled some of their recently obtained and upcoming goals. She said, “we just added the LEEPS Program and have added more Greenlee Certifications. We’re also continuing conversations regarding the mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Certification. Our goal is to take what we have developed in our Applied Technologies Program and expand that across campus. That’s where we anticipate to see the largest growth. We are routinely evaluating our programs, evaluating our curriculum, and finding the best model for our students that also works for our industry partners.”

Congratulations, once again, to Northeast Community College! We could not be more proud to honor you as NC3’s June School on the Rise and we are looking forward to supporting your continued success in Career and Technical Education!

Stay tuned for our next School on the Rise recipient in July 2021!

Questions about NC3’s School on the Rise? Please contact Erika Staackmann, Customer Success Coordinator, 847.533.6985,

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