CCC Divisions Join Forces

January 24, 2023

Two divisions at Central Community College, Extended Learning Services and Training and Development, have combined to become Community and Workforce Education (CWE).

CWE provides access to both credit and noncredit classes and workshops throughout CCC’s 25-county service area at the Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings campuses; and Holdrege, Kearney and Lexington centers; and Ord Learning Center. Programming includes early college in partnership with area high schools through concurrent enrollment which provides students access to CCC courses.

Working with area partners and employers, CWE will continue to develop and deliver workshops and conferences, online learning, customized training and continuing education in leadership, health, CNA and CPR, environmental health and safety, plastics production, machining technology, quality, and industrial maintenance. CWE is also the source for avocational classes for personal enrichment and recreation.

“Community colleges must react quickly and economically to ever changing needs of the many communities we serve,” said CCC President Dr. Matt Gotschall. “Having a division focused on those community-based programs, including early college for high school students, is one way we can continue to meet those growing opportunities.”

Dr. Kelly Christensen (pictured) has been tabbed as vice president of community and workforce education. He previously served as dean of training and Kearney Center administrator.

Christensen began his tenure with CCC in 1998 when he was appointed director of educational support services. He then served for 14 years as associate dean for skilled and technical sciences, followed by four years as associate dean of extended learning services.

Christensen earned a doctorate in educational leadership and higher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He previously earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Christensen is also a graduate of Leadership Nebraska, Leadership Hastings and Leadership Kearney.

“I’m excited to work with our team and community partners to implement this change while being responsive to the needs of our learners,” said Christensen. “In addition to having a successful history, we continue to experience new and emerging opportunities for training and classes to support workforce and community education, health occupation classes and collaborating with area high schools.”

Active in the community, Christensen is a board member of the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, an advisory council member for both the UNK Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development and the Nebraska Safety Center Advisory Board. He is a past board member and chairperson of Kearney Works.

Christensen is a Kearney resident and he and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of two grown children and grandparents of two.