Cloud County Community College sits in a unique part of the country.

Its agriculture roots are visible throughout the area, with bountiful fields that patch together a rich landscape across the prairie. The people who live here make the area their home because of the values of hard work and family ties that bind them here. These are the types of characteristics reflected in proud tradition.

But in this region of rural Kansas, leaders don’t just look back, treasuring the past.

They look forward, seeking innovation.

It’s that spirit for new paths, bold futures that led Cloud Community College to join with Rural & Remote to foster an opportunity for students to earn coding certification. Rural & Remote – which trains professionals to pursue remote work in rural communities – will offer a coding curriculum through the college to give students the opportunity to pursue certification. Coding and web design is an area of study that the college previously did not offer, and it’s a curriculum that offers a diverse and promising career for those wanting to live in rural areas and work remotely.

“It’s a community partnership that is exciting to be a part of,” said Maria Dahlquist, Rural & Remote Tech Lead for Northwest Kansas. “We look forward to working together and cooperating to give as many students as possible the information they need to know about the coding academy opportunity.”

Amber Knoettgen, CCCC president and vice president for Administrative Services, said it is important to offer students the opportunity to obtain education and skills that will lead to jobs.

“This opportunity aligns with the college’s mission to prepare students to lead successful lives and enhance the vitality of our communities,” Knoettgen said.

The program is currently being launched through the campus, but Dahlquist mentors a few students in the area who are currently in Rural & Remote’s Coding Academy.

“It’s so great to get the word out and let them know what we are doing,” she said, noting having a partnership with the college will help Rural & Remote reach a demographic of prospective students who are looking for the best of both worlds: a world class career track that will allow them to live anywhere – even in rural Kansas.

“The course is designed for anyone … even if you’ve never written code in your life, you could start this course and do it from scratch,” she said. “It’s a good testing ground to if coding is for you. A lot of people are intimidated by it, but once you get in it, you see it’s doable and so cool. It can open up so many opportunities.”

Knoettgen said she is excited to see what develops from the initiative.

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