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Students Benefit from College Center’s Convenient, Affordable Education

Published Monday, July 13th, 2015

Jose Chavez
Jose Chavez receives his diploma during the 2015 spring graduation ceremony. Chavez took all of his classes at the College Center.

The College Center, a partnership between WSC and Northeast Community College, is located in South Sioux City, Neb.

Affordable education. Convenient classes. Close to home. 

These are just a few reasons why students choose to attend the College Center in South Sioux City, Neb., a joint partnership between Northeast Community College and Wayne State College that offers a seamless post-secondary education that is affordable and accessible. 

After opening its doors in March 2011, the College Center is in its fifth year of operation at the satellite campus. Students are able to complete an associate degree and a bachelor's degree in business administration, criminal justice, elementary education and human services-counseling while remaining close to home and enjoying the lowest tuition in the Siouxland area.

Jose Chavez of South Sioux City graduated this spring with a B.S. in Business Administration/Professional Studies. He began classes at the Northeast branch in Sioux City before transferring to the College Center after it opened to pursue his four-year degree in business. 

Chavez worked for Kent Feeds in the Sioux City area while in school. He was originally planning to go to Wayne State’s main campus, he said, but by going to the College Center, he could stay close to his home and family, and didn’t have to move or change jobs.

Besides the convenience, Chavez said the small classes and instructors who drove from Wayne were two unique perks to his College Center education.

“The teachers were friendly and knowledgeable in their field,” he said. “It was great because the instructors really believe in you. They’re really small classes with lots of face-to-face time. You really get to know the professors, and their experience and knowledge. They actually know your name. It’s easier to do that in small classes. At a large campus, they don’t know your name – you’re just a number. If you’re struggling, they will help you and answer your questions.”

Chavez plans to find a job in human resources in the Sioux City area and begin working toward an MBA.

Lucia Tellez-Castillo, also of South Sioux City, is another spring graduate who was able to complete her degree while working as a paraprofessional at South Sioux City Community Schools. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and has already interviewed for a teaching position.

Tellez-Castillo began classes in 2007, but then came another part of life – she got married and had a son. She continued working but wanted more.

“I loved my job as a paraprofessional so much, my coworkers and the principal encouraged me to go back and get my four-year degree,” she said.

With her work during the day, Tellez-Castillo’s education consisted of night, online and summer classes.

“It opened doors to get an education while keeping my other part of life,” she said. “The College Center is able to offer classes to people that are working full time and make it accessible to nontraditional students so we can get our four-year degree.”

This spring, Northeast graduated 51 students who took all of their classes at the College Center. Wayne State graduated 16. 

Pam Miller, Dean of the College Center, said this is the highest number of graduates since the center opened.

“These students are to be commended for their dedication to their dream of achieving a bachelor's degree from Wayne State,” said Miller. “They had many things on their plate at home and at work and above all else, studied hard to achieve success. They took all of their classes at the College Center including their first 60 credit hours from Northeast Community College, earning an associate degree as they continued on with their Wayne State classes to earn their bachelor's degree. I am very proud of them and excited to see them thrive in their new careers that are awaiting them.”