LINCOLN — We appreciated the opportunity this past week to welcome Dr. Wendy Hind of the University of Nebraska to the campus of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.
Dr. Hind, vice president of university affairs, joined the University’s central administration and cabinet of President Hank Bounds in January.
She was making a three-day tour of Nebraska, learning about the educational, research and cooperative extension initiatives provided by University of Nebraska faculty, scientists and educators in Kearney, Curtis, North Platte, and Scottsbluff.
NCTA receives tremendous support from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska system. We are able to offer our nationally ranked academic programs in such a cost-effective manner because of the behind-the-scenes support we receive from the University. We feel very fortunate to be able to call on the offices of high quality experts at Lincoln when we need assistance to develop new procedures, address campus issues, build quality, or improve services for our students.
System administrators regularly visit Curtis to learn more about the campus or to provide us with support. Dr. Hind’s visit was a great opportunity for us to share about NCTA’s role in the University system, our statewide mission, and the Aggie emphasis on workforce development in agriculture and veterinary technology.
As the sole two-year institution in the NU system, we educate students for careers in production agriculture on the farm or ranch, or for skilled employment in one of Nebraska’s many agricultural industries. NCTA also graduates the largest group of professionals in Nebraska for careers in veterinary technology.
And, we develop future teachers in agricultural education through a 2+2 curriculum with our counterparts at UNL.
I shared with Wendy how more NCTA students are going on to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UNL after receiving their associate of science degree in agronomy, animal science, agricultural mechanics, agribusiness management and other majors.
We are proud to share that NCTA has been ranked #1 in the United States by a national entity (WalletHub) for successful career outcomes when measuring the ratio of starting salary for our graduates compared to the cost of education.
Out of all two-year colleges in the U.S., NCTA is rated #7 for graduate employment 10 years after graduation. Employment numbers are tracked by federal government records through the IRS, showing 92 percent of our graduates are employed in the workforce 10 years after receiving their associate of science degree. NCTA is also ranked #11 nationally for graduate salaries. Government tax records reveal that the average salary for an NCTA graduate 10 years after graduation is $49,800.
For her first visit to NCTA as vice president, Wendy saw not only our beautiful rural campus and the teaching facilities, but she observed the importance of technology and resources. We know that students will best learn technical skills and workforce preparedness through hands-on learning.
During the summer session, our campus population is primarily students enrolled in Veterinary Technology. So, late in the day, when touring the VT teaching complex, Wendy met students feeding animals and doing their evening chores, which is a very interesting and engaging hands-on activity.
Not every person who meets Monty, the very large resident python at the Veterinary Technology teaching unit, is keen on actually touching the large snake. But, Dr. Hind sure did!
Monty is just one example of career readiness resources our veterinary technicians use in learning more than 130 skills required for licensure. The VT students are tested on these skills before they head into a career at a zoo, veterinary clinic or other animal care facility.
Perhaps for her next visit to NCTA, Wendy can see students in the welding laboratory working on skills useful for the farm or ranch, or as irrigation technicians in Nebraska’s large center pivot irrigation industry.
Or, we would demonstrate how equine management students train horses or the rodeo team practices calf roping so they can manage animal health in large pastures at a Sandhills ranch, for example.
And, let’s not forget the Aggie crops judging program through our agronomy curriculum which has yielded the national championship team for a third consecutive year.
Students put pencil to tablet, and fingers to keyboards, in developing spreadsheets and enterprise analysis in agribusiness management.
We have an abundance of information to share at NCTA for all visitors to campus. Thank you, Dr. Hind, for coming to meet with our faculty and staff, engaging summer session students, and bringing your insights. We enjoyed your visit!
— NCTA Dean Ron Rosati, Ph.D.
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