News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017047
ContactVicki Schurman402-437-5563
North Platte, Nebraska, Jul 06, 2012 --

@@Nebraska State Director for USDA Rural Development Maxine Moul and staff presented a plaque to Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska today in celebration of the distance learning funding of $123,042 awarded from USDA Rural Development.

The funds will be used to purchase video teleconferencing equipment for a distance learning system between Mid-Plains Community College and their affiliated end user campuses in an 18 county area of Western Nebraska. Equipment will be installed in campus locations at Broken Bow, Ogallala and Valentine and video communications bridge equipment will be installed at Broken Bow. The equipment will allow the College to expand dual high school college credits and other course work leading to a number of degrees, certification and licensing. Collaboration with various industries bonds the project to job and career training, with an immediate focus on increasing the number of qualified nursing professionals. This will address the nursing shortage in rural and frontier areas and save students the 100 to 200 mile daily round trip they currently travel to attend certification classes.

“Distance learning is especially important to the rural areas of Nebraska,” said Moul. “It helps afford rural residents the opportunities that urban areas can offer.”

“Accessibility is important to Mid-Plains Community College and this equipment will help us become more accessible to prospective and current students residing in our 18-county service area which spans from Kansas to South Dakota and Gothenburg to Ogallala,” said President Ryan Purdy, Mid-Plains Community College.

As part of the presentation, the network was demonstrated by Todd Hatcher, Area IT/DL Customer Services Manager.

Additionally, distance learning grants were awarded to Educational Service Unit 17 of Ainsworth, NE, Educational Service Unit 16 of Ogallala, NE, and Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation of Kearney, NE.

For more information on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program in Nebraska contact Andre Boening at 402-652-3446 or