home Future Students Current Students Faculty and Staff Business and Community Online Courses
Inside Story - Past Issues

Inside Story for Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Hiatus

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, the Inside Story will not be published the week of Nov. 22. The next Inside Story will be published on Friday, Dec. 3. As a reminder, the submission deadline is noon on Thursday.

MCC's Learning-Centered Advising Model

How do new students find out what they need to know to be successful at MCC? Who do students talk to when they need guidance in identifying their program of study? When a student is experiencing academic difficulty, to whom can the student turn for advice? How do students learn how to help themselves?

The answer to these and many, many other questions is: through advising. Everyone employed at MCC plays a role in educating students. The formal advising process rests primarily with Academic Advisors, followed by Counselors and faculty members. Any staff member that intentionally shares information with a student for the purpose of bringing new awareness and/or empowerment towards greater self-sufficiency is also engaged in the process of advising.

Considering MCC's continued enrollment growth, it is evident that the methods with which we provide academic advising must support improved processes and technology that would allow students to take an active role in reaching their educational goals. To that end, Arthur Rich, Vice President for Student Affairs, created the Advising Model Research Committee (AMRC) in Spring 2009 to research and develop recommendations for how we might improve processes in advising. The AMRC spent about 15 months studying advising models, retention research, practices at other institutions and student needs and goals.

The AMRC has proposed a learning-centered advising model. The implementation plan includes 15 initiatives for development over the next two years. The initial focus will be to transform the culture of advising at MCC through increased student awareness of educational opportunities and improved accessibility to College resources.

The AMRC is now the Advising Model Committee (AMC). We are actively seeking input from all MCC constituencies. The AMC will share information in a variety of formats over the next academic year. You can contact the AMC members at amc@mccneb.edu.

Faculty Ex-Officio Election Results Announced

The faculty ex-officio board member election was held on Nov. 15. Steve Lovett, English Instructor, was elected to a two-year term as the Faculty Ex-Officio Board Member. He will begin his appointment by attending the December Board of Governors meeting.

Student Advisory Council

The newly elected 2010-11 Student Advisory Council (SAC) will meet on Dec. 3 to elect the Board of Governors Student Ex-Officio representative. Learn more about the 2010-11 SAC members and their role here.

United Way Needs Your Support

United Way of the MidlandsAs we near Thanksgiving, it is a time to unite and make our community stronger, safer and healthier for our families and neighbors. Your gift to this year's United Way Campaign will make our community a better place to live.

Please take time to pledge your support:

  • This year United Way is introducing a new and convenient way to pledge online. Use this link: www.mccneb.edu/UnitedWay. It's easy to use - use your MCC login and password.
  • If you prefer to make your pledge using a campaign pledge card rather than pledging online, contact Janice Rutledge at (402) 457-2416 for a pledge card.

Make your pledge by Nov. 26. For questions, contact Rutledge.

Pass to Class Details for Winter Quarter

With the transition from fall to winter, students will once again be excited to pick up their Pass to Class bus passes for the upcoming quarter.

The following are a few key notes about the Pass to Class program. More information is available here.

Distribution Date for Winter Quarter:

  • Monday, Nov. 29: Students enrolled in Winter quarter may begin to pick up their new passes.

Fall Quarter Deactivation:

  • Passes will not work between the Fall and Winter quarters.
  • Monday, Nov. 22: Passes belonging to students enrolled in courses for the fall quarter will be deactivated at midnight on the final day of Fall classes.

Winter Quarter Deactivation:

  • Monday, Feb. 28: Passes belonging to students enrolled in Winter quarter courses will be deactivated at midnight on the final day of Winter classes.

Contact Daniel Lawse (djlawse@mccneb.edu) or Laura Roush in the Office of Sustainable Practices with any questions regarding the Pass to Class bus passes.

In Thanks

From Sally Swanger, Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs:

I would like to express my deep thanks and appreciation to everyone at MCC for their thoughts and prayers during my mother's declining health and passing. Your expressions of sympathy and understanding have been a great source of comfort and strength to me during this difficult time.

Police Chief was Former MCC Instructor

Former Bellevue Police Chief Hines Smith, also a former MCC instructor, died on Nov. 12 at the age of 66. Hines taught Criminal Justice courses at MCC and offered students the chance to tour Bellevue Police Department headquarters and do ride-alongs with his patrol officers. "He was very pro-Metro," said Criminal Justice Instructor Bobby Polk. The Omaha World-Herald published an obituary detailing his service to the community.

Poinsettia Fundraiser Supports Service-Learning Efforts

Your purchase of a holiday poinsettia supports meaningful service experiences at MCC. Orders will be accepted until Dec. 1.

Pick up is at MCC locations only; there are no deliveries. Cost is $16 for an 8-inch poinsettia and $8 for a 6-inch poinsettia. Tax is included. Visit the website for more information.

All sales are online only at www.mccneb.edu/poinsettiasales. For more information, call Jennie Tullos at (402) 457-2637.


Training & Development: November Opportunities

For the complete listing of November Training & Development opportunities, visit www.mccneb.edu/trdv/workshops.asp.

To enroll in a workshop, go to WebAdvisor or call ext. 8518. All listed workshops are non-credit, term 10/SE.

Please note: Attending an activity during your scheduled work hours requires supervisor approval. It is your responsibility to obtain approval to attend a Training and Development event.

For further information, contact Marilyn Cotton at (402) 457-2507 or mcotten@mccneb.edu.

MCC Program Named 'Best of the Best'

The Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity named MCC's Health Information Management Systems program one of the "best of the best" in the country in medical transcription.

Heffernan Represents MCC in San Diego

Cathy Heffernan attended the 2010 Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) International Conference, entitled Create the Wave: Workforce, Education, and Change, in San Diego Nov. 10-12. With former colleagues from Azusa Pacific University, she presented an interactive workshop titled An Experience-Based Model for Accelerating Coursework.

Students Receive Storm Spotter Training

Weather balloon
Storm spotter training

A hands-on field trip gave students the chance to experience meteorology in action while receiving storm spotter training. Twelve students in Instructor Victoria Alapo's Weather and Climate class visited the National Weather Service in Valley with Warning Coordination Meteorologist Brian Smith.

Students saw how their classroom studies are put into practice with a live weather balloon release and behind-the-scenes tour of the weather station. Students also received storm spotter training to become part of the Weather Service's storm spotter network.

Attention FOC, EVC: Single-Stream Recycling Coming to a Desk Near You

recycling binConcerned about the impact your at-work habits have on the environment? Let FOC and EVC's new recycling initiative ease your angst.

Over the next few weeks, faculty and staff desk-side trash receptacles will be replaced with blue, single-stream recycling bins. Recycle your copies, plastic water bottles, aluminum cans and much more in one single bin.

Help MCC to reduce its contribution to local landfills and take advantage of our new blue bins!

2010 Sustainability Report

Since its establishment, the Office of Sustainable Practices has worked with nearly every department at MCC and more than 40 community partners to facilitate 17 grants in excess of $1.5 million, engage more than 100 faculty and staff, and reach thousands of students in new and existing classes and programs.

This report is a brief overview of just some of the projects, accomplishments and programs of MCC's collegewide sustainability initiative. Read the full report here.

Workshop Explores Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Through free Training and Development workshops, MCC's Sustainability Office is offering MCC staff the opportunity to learn about how sustainability fits into our lives.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles: TRDV-404N-01 (synonym 164715)
Learn about alternative fuels on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 6-9:30 p.m. at the South Omaha Campus ITC, Room 120. This presentation will cover alternative fuels recognized by the EPA, including ethanol, bio-diesel, electric, hybrid electric, propane and natural gas. Learn how these fuels are produced, refined and transported as well as economic implications for today's economy. Adjunct faculty will be reimbursed at the standard rate of $11/hour.

View the flier for more information.

To enroll, go to WebAdvisor or call (402) 457-5231. This workshop is noncredit, term 10/SE. Non-MCC employees can register by calling the Sustainability Office at (402) 738-4775.

Weekly Green Tip

Eliminate plastic bags, plastic utensils, disposable containers, paper napkins and those brown paper bags. Instead use a reusable lunchbox, reusable drink containers, cloth napkins and silverware. You could save $250 a year and as much weight in waste as the average 9-year-old! - The Green Book

Auto Zone

Now is the time to check your antifreeze before the really cold weather arrives. When checking your antifreeze, you are checking for two conditions:

  1. The concentration of antifreeze for the temperature of the coolant's freezing point. Since it rarely gets below 0 degrees in the Omaha area, a 50/50 ratio is very adequate. A tool called a hydrometer is used to test the freezing point.
  2. The color.  Depending on what kind of antifreeze is in cooling system, it must not be brown. When you draw up a sample of coolant in the hydrometer, you will be able to see the difference in the color. Also, looking inside of the overflow jug or in the radiator is another method used to look for rust contamination.

There are lots of different antifreezes on the market and they all have their own colors-red, pink, yellow, green and so on. No matter what color of antifreeze your engine has, it must not be brown or a tint of brown. Coolant with a tint or darker color of brown mixed in with the original color of the coolant is a bad sign. It means the system has a buildup of rust in the coolant. Rust coats the entire surface of the cooling system, and it impedes heat transfer.

The amount of rust in the system determines how much work it will take to flush it out. If the system has a lot of rust, it may be next to impossible to get rid of it.

Recent Grants

  • A $788 grant from the Nebraska Arts Council for the International Education Week Celebration on Nov. 15. The International Education Week Celebration highlighted international education initiatives at Metropolitan Community College and in the community.

Internal Only Job Posting

********INTERNAL ONLY********

Consideration given only to those individuals currently receiving a paycheck from Metropolitan Community College.


Assists the Director of Student Financial Services and the Financial Management Accountants with student and general accounting activities. Invoice agencies and companies for student and miscellaneous charges and handles processing and monitoring of accounts sent to third party collection agency. Answers incoming telephone calls and assists walk in students with questions regarding their student accounts. Assists other coworkers on projects as needed. QUALIFICATIONS: Associate degree in accounting or related field plus two years full-time job-related experience in accounting required.

Equivalent combination of education and/or work experience considered. Must be currently receiving a paycheck from Metropolitan Community College. Excellent verbal and written communications skills. Excellent organizational skills. Experience with Microsoft Office software. Hiring process includes a background check.

A completed application is required; cover letter, résumé, and academic transcripts preferred. For guaranteed consideration, application materials must be received by Sunday, Nov. 28.

2011 PayFlex Open Enrollment Reminder

Attention Current 2010 PayFlex Participants:

You must re-enroll by Dec. 3, 2010, to continue participation for 2011. Your current PayFlex election will not carryover next year. If you are not planning to re-enroll in PayFlex for the 2011 Plan Year, inform Human Resources at jwhitmyre@mccneb.edu.  

All 2010 expenses must be incurred by Dec. 31, 2010 (and no later than March 15, 2011, under the Grace Period).  All 2010 claims must be filed by March 31, 2011. Any unclaimed balance remaining in your account after the March 31 claim filing deadline will be forfeited. Click here for end-of-the-year claim filing information.

To enroll for the 2011 Plan Year:

  1. Print out the PayFlex Enrollment Form.
  2. Write in MCC's Employer ID: #10073. Your member number is your Social Security Number.
  3. Calculate your annual 2011 election, then divide by 24 pay periods to determine your per pay period amount.
  4. Return your completed enrollment form to Human Resources, Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 32, fax (402) 457-2237, by Friday, Dec. 3, 2010.

Important Changes Effective Beginning Jan. 1, 2011:
Most over-the-counter medicines and drugs will no longer be eligible expenses unless you have a written prescription from your doctor. Keep this in mind when you decide how much to contribute to your healthcare account for 2011. (This new rule does not apply to insulin.) Click here for more details, including a list of eligible and ineligible over-the-counter expenses as of January 2011.

If you have any questions regarding PayFlex flexible spending accounts, contact a Human Resources representative or PayFlex:

HR Updates

New Employees

Stephen Jenks
Stephen Jenks
Library Assistant                                                    SOC CON     (402) 738-4506

Zsa-Nate Kirke
Zsa-Nate' Kirke
Student Services Assistant                                      FOC 10         (402) 457-2682

Laura Wilson
Laura Wilson
Grants Development & Management Facilitator          FOC 1          TBA

MCC Job Openings

For information about the College's open positions and how to apply, visit www.mccneb.edu/hr or call the jobline at (402) 738-4050. Applications are also online at www.mccnebjobs.com.

MCC Is Making News

What's the latest and greatest? Check out the latest news releases issued by Public Affairs to find out.


View past issues of The Inside Story.

Contact The Inside Story

To contact The Inside Story or suggest a story idea, email istory@mccneb.edu.

Contact Us