More than 200 area high school seniors will wear a special accessory when they walk at their commencements this spring.Every high school graduate who has successfully completed 12 or more credit hours through Mid-Plains Community College will receive a blue and gold honor cord as well as a personalized certificate.
This year, that amounts to a total of 227 students.
“It’s the first time MPCC has ever done anything like this,” said Becky Barner, the college’s area career coach. “The goal is to recognize the students for taking the initiative to earn college credit while still in high school.”
North Platte High School presented the cords during senior awards night last week.
Other schools throughout MPCC’s 18-county service area are also making an effort to acknowledge qualifying students ahead of commencement exercises.
Kaci Johnson, MPCC Broken Bow Campus coordinator, handed cords out at the Academic Wall of Fame ceremony at Broken Bow High School on Monday. On Wednesday, she will travel to Dunning to present them in front of the Sandhills High School student body.
Johnson will also attend the Callaway High School Honors Night and is making plans with Sargent High School.
“The cords have gotten a lot of attention so far,” Johnson said. “They are proving to be a great recruitment tool. At Broken Bow High School’s recent FBLA job fair, I used them to decorate MPCC’s table and had about 25 high school students come up to me to ask how they could get one. Students as young as sophomores are already making plans to earn 12 or more credit hours.”
Mary Pierce, the coordinator for the MPCC Ogallala campus, is also delivering cords in person.
Last week, she presented seven at Paxton High. She awarded several cords in Hyannis on Monday morning, and that evening, gave out another 28 to Ogallala students during the school’s Academic Awards Night.
“It is a great achievement these students have made, and they deserve recognition,” Pierce said.
She said many of the students earned more than the 12 credit hours required to receive a cord.
“In Ogallala alone, we have 10 students who have completed 24 or more credits, which is the equivalent of a full year of college,” said Pierce. “Those students worked hard, and the payoff will be great.”
The seniors and high schools:
• Arthur County High - 7
• Brady High - 4
• Broken Bow High - 7
• Callaway High - 1
• Chase County High - 11
• Cody-Kilgore Unified Schools - 3
• Dundy County-Stratton High - 2
• Hayes Center High - 1
• Hershey High - 6
• Homeschool - 2
• Hyannis High - 3
• McCook Senior High - 18
• Medicine Valley High - 1
• Mullen High School - 2
• North Platte High – 68
• Ogallala High - 28
• Paxton High - 7
• Perkins County High - 1
• Sandhills High - 3
• Sargent High - 3
• Southwest High - 3
• St. Patrick High (North Platte) - 17
• Stapleton Public School - 3
• Sutherland High - 10
• Thedford High - 6
• Valentine High - 8
• Wallace High – 2
More information about MPCC’s dual credit program, which allows high school students to get a jumpstart on their college education, is available at http://www.mpcc.edu/student-resources/credit-systems.