As I write this, I’m fresh off a seven-state road trip to the Gulf Coast. My family often tracks license plates on long trips like this spring break ritual, but this year, I tracked community college signs.

We ate breakfast near Lake Michigan College in South Haven. Before lunch, we passed Ivy Tech in Indianapolis. Crossing into Louisville, Jefferson Community and Technical College greeted us, one of multiple campuses in Kentucky and in Tennessee. Coastal Alabama in, of course, coastal Alabama. On the return north we passed Sinclair (where NMC President Nick Nissley formerly worked) in Dayton, Ohio.

The only four-year school sign I spotted was for the University of Michigan. Our route could explain that. Maybe I just missed those signs while reading or napping. But after working at NMC as long as I have, I also see it as reflecting the welcome factor in community colleges.

Unlike many four-year schools, we’re gate openers, not gatekeepers.
We want you as a student. From submitting your application to finding your way to campus, we want you to get here. Once you do, we’re ready to help you chart your own path.

Just read the student stories in this issue. Anastasiia Hrukach is a Ukrainian high school exchange student who found herself stranded in the U.S. due to the war in her home country.

She’s spent her unexpected year here dual enrolled at NMC. And then there’s Logan Putman, who thought high school was hard enough and never planned on college. Now he’s pursuing his welding certificate and a long-held dream of becoming a welder.

NMC welcomed both and now both are looking at brighter futures. We’ll do the same for you. N
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