Applications are now being accepted for next year's high school juniors to TMCC High School's new Technical Pathway option. This dual-credit system allows students to add technical coursework to their curriculum and graduate with a high school diploma, and a college certificate of achievement or skills certificate at the same time.
“The Technical Pathway is a terrific option for motivated students who want to graduate career-ready,” said Melissa Olsen, TMCC High School Principal. “Graduating with the high school diploma and a college certificate gives the students an advantage in the job market. Our region is expected to see significant job growth in technical fields during the next five years.”
At the time of posting, there is still space available.
An online video about this tuition-free option for college has been produced by the Washoe County School District (WCSD).
Students interested in these career fields are good candidates for the program, Olsen said.
- HVAC/R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration) Technician
- Logistics Technician
- CNC Machine Technician
- Production Technician
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
- Construction Management
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Energy Technologies
The eligibility requirements are a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA) or higher, “on track to graduate,” positive self-discipline and good attendance record.
Upon completion of the program, the students will have the option of entering the workforce having achieved a highly-desired skill set, or continuing in college toward a degree. Non-technical credits earned in the program may transfer to a four-year college or university, but students are recommended to first check with an academic advisor at TMCC who will go over career options, majors, and transfer with the student.
The many advantages include:
- Free college credits
- Small class size
- Access to college resources, labs, learning centers and tutors
- Instruction by college teachers, professors
- Project-based learning, hands-on assignments
- A career right after high school
“TMCC High School students are both WCSD high school students and TMCC college students, and enjoy the best of both worlds,” Olsen said. “Our students enjoy the independence and flexibility of the college setting. They describe the academic focus and lack of social pressures found at high school as being huge benefits of the TMCC High School experience. Also, our students can participate in TMCC student activities, clubs and events. They can access the services provided by the college, such as financial workshops, Career Center classes, and advising services. Students and parents enjoy the full range of college resources, in addition to the high school support.”
Origins of Technical Pathway
A feasibility study for the Technical Pathway project was conducted by TMCC and WCSD staff. This committee found that there is an overwhelming need for a technical career path, that the TMCC location and costs would be operable, and that a relationship to existing WCSD programs existed for such a program. The study was presented to WCSD, and the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the project in May.
The William N. Pennington Foundation has given an historic $4.3 million donation to Truckee Meadows Community College Foundation that made it possible to offer the Technical Pathway option for Nevada’s high school students, and for new equipment and remodeling of the Applied Technology Center on Edison Way.
“The TMCC Applied Technology Center has undergone a renovation to provide students with the best instruction and resources in applied technology fields,” Olsen said.
The Technical Pathway option is a win-win for both high school students and employers in the region.
“This is a great opportunity for students; it will let them shine in an area they’re talented in while filling an expanding need in the region for skilled technical staff,” Olsen said.
The Technical Pathway program will begin with capacity for 50 eleventh grade students in Fall 2016. WCSD students will apply to Technical Pathway through the TMCC High School.
For more information about the Technical Pathway option, please contact TMCC High School at 775-674-7660 or TMCC Marketing and Communications at 775-673-7087.