CURTIS, Neb. — This summer we are hearing from hundreds of potential students, parents and high school counselors about the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. We appreciate those inquiries and we are always happy to share the story of our interesting, high quality college in Curtis.
NCTA faculty and staff are fully aware of all the great things at our college. We understand why NCTA has become the college of choice for more Nebraska residents interested in careers in agriculture and veterinary technology. We look forward to the opportunity to share the complete picture about our successful graduates and our high quality, low cost academic programs.
Prospective students can gain detailed knowledge about NCTA through first-hand accounts by current students and our alumni, publications such as our annual magazine The Aggie, online information at ncta.unl.edu, and personal conversations with professors and team coaches.
The University of Nebraska two-year college in Curtis is an open admission institution. We’ve been operating as a college since 1965. (And, before that, the campus opened in September, 1913 as a state-operated residential agriculture high school). The college is fully accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission. Our programs will be reviewed for reauthorization in 2020.
External governmental and business organizations also evaluate NCTA to help us get a measure on how well we are doing our job. The mission of our college is workforce development so we rely heavily on government data which tells us how much money our graduates earn and what percent find employment.
Federal government records at IPEDS (https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/) and College Scorecard (https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/) provide data on NCTA’s costs of education, job placement, and graduate salaries. When compared to other two-year colleges on these parameters, NCTA ranks among the top performing institutions in the United States.
This federal data is used to rank colleges by third-party entities such as Forbes, WalletHub and Zippia. In the past two years these entities have typically ranked NCTA in the top 10 percent of two-year colleges in the U.S.
Industry groups also evaluate the performance NCTA students. Aggies in veterinary technology, for example, are evaluated by the American Veterinary Medical Association. NCTA graduates need to pass the AVMA national certification exam to apply for and become licensed as veterinary technicians. During their academic career, veterinary technology students must attain proficiency in more than 130 skills outlined by the AVMA.
Students in our agricultural welding program are required to pass a performance test conducted by the American Welding Society in order to become certified welders. And, students taking classes in artificial insemination of beef cattle receive certification upon course completion if their skill level exceeds industry standards.
The technical competence of NCTA students is also evaluated in academic competitions with students from other two-year colleges across the country. Each spring NCTA students test their academic prowess at a national contest coordinated by the North American Colleges of Teachers in Agriculture (NACTA, not to be confused with our acronym of NCTA).
Students from all disciplines at NCTA are involved in this contest. In 2018, for the third consecutive year, the NCTA Crops Judging Team won the national championship among 2-year colleges. Our four Aggie team members swept the top four placings for individual results. The team was undefeated in each of its contests this year.
Our students in all categories were Reserve Champions overall among peers from 2-year colleges. The multi-discipline “knowledge bowl” team was second place, as well.
And, our Aggie teams and students were in the top three placings in 10 of the 13 contests. That is fantastic proof that students from our small college in Curtis, Nebraska graduate with a technical skill set that exceeds that found in graduates from most other two-year college agriculture programs.
NCTA students are successful because of their intelligence, work ethic and passion for agriculture. These characteristics are cultivated, nurtured and expanded during their interaction with our dedicated faculty and staff. We appreciate how well our faculty and staff help our students achieve this high level of success.
— NCTA Dean’s Column by Ron Rosati, Ph.D.
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