As Nevada high school students walk across the stage in the next few weeks to receive their diplomas, 110 of them will have already earned an associate degree or certificate from one of the state’s four community colleges.
These successful graduates participated in one of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s dual enrollment programs that enables high school juniors and seniors to simultaneously earn high school and college credits.
Through the College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, or Western Nevada College, students have a variety of options to earn college credits while in high school. They can enroll in college courses taught in their high schools, attend classes on-campus in a community college high school, or participate through distance education.
“The dual enrollment programs have been a significant and successful partnership between our community colleges and the local school districts,” said Frank Woodbeck, executive director of the Nevada College Collaborative. “These young women and men not only increase their chances of graduating high school, but they also have a running start at fulfilling their educational and career dreams immediately after graduation.”
The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) offers a Jumpstart Concurrent Enrollment Program in partnership with the Clark County School District. This program provides college readiness opportunities to high school juniors and seniors. In 2014-2015 academic year, 1,265 Southern Nevada high school students at 13 high schools obtained 4,287 college credits.
The CSN High School is a public school located at the college’s Henderson, Cheyenne, and Charleston campuses and allows students to take college courses in addition to their high school curriculum and have the ability to graduate with an associate degree or certificate. For the 2015-2016 academic year, 420 high school students were enrolled and earned 8,390 college credits.
CSN also created the Your Educational Success (Y.E.S.) Program to help 11th and 12th grade students with disabilities transition from high school to post-secondary education opportunities. Although this program is not a traditional dual or concurrent enrollment program, students can earn three college credits upon course completion and are better prepared for college. In 2014-2015, 79 students participated in this program and earned 237 college credits.
Great Basin College (GBC) offers dual enrollment programs for high school students at 46 high schools throughout Nevada. Courses are taught by GBC faculty in classrooms and through distance learning. There were 881 high school students enrolled during 2015-2016. GBC and the school districts have partnered in offering these courses for several years. Many students have earned a semester’s worth of credits, two semesters’ worth of credits, or have graduated with an associate degree prior to their high school graduation.
Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) offers dual credit courses that are taught in Washoe County School District high schools, TMCC campuses, and online. For the 2015-2016 academic year, 156 high school students were enrolled in these courses. In addition, the TMCC High School, which is housed at the college’s Dandini campus, also offers students the ability to graduate with an associate degree or certificate, with 234 students enrolled during the 2015-2016 academic year.
Western Nevada College (WNC) offers “Jump Start College,” a dual-credit program between the college and five school districts (Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, and Storey County) as well as Pyramid Lake High School, and three charter schools (iSchool, Nevada Virtual Academy, and the Oasis Academy). For the 2015-2016 year, 356 high school students were enrolled in WNC’s Jump Start College programs and another 95 students were in enrolled in regular dual-credit classes.
CSN, GBC, TMCC and WNC also participate in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) College Credit Program which is a partnership between the colleges and the Nevada Department of Education on behalf of 15 Nevada school districts. The program allows high school students to complete state-approved programs in career and technical education and get a head start on completing requirements for an industry certification or associate degree. There are currently 70 CTE programs offered in high schools throughout Nevada.
- In 2014-2015, CSN enrolled thousands of students in CTE programs, 2,063 of which received 10,388 college credits upon successful completion of the requirements.
- In 2014-2015, with 62 articulated courses, 153 high school students successfully completed 809 Career and Technical Education credits at GBC.
- In 2014-2015, TMCC enrolled 469 students in CTE programs with 3,196 college credits earned.
- In 2014-2015, 143 WNC “Tech Prep” students received 657 CTE college credits upon successful completion of the requirements.