Thanks to a new state grant being piloted at Truckee Meadows Community College, Northern Nevada high school students are getting a chance to take their first college courses right at their school site.
“The opportunity to be introduced to a college class and build a student’s confidence is great, because they can become familiar with the rhythm of college assignments and know more about all the services that are available,” said Raquel DePuy Grafton, Jump Start Dual Credit Program Coordinator at TMCC.
The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) College and Career Readiness grant has been awarded to TMCC to provide seven courses in the Fall Semester and up to 10 classes in the Spring Semester at high school sites and nearby TMCC centers in the Reno-Sparks region.
High school counselors work with students at their school and with TMCC staff in order to make the program run smoothly.
”TMCC faculty and staff meet with high school counselors and teachers prior to the start of an on-site course to discuss the outline of the class and what support tasks are needed to help the high school students taking the class,” said Patty Avila-Porter, Program Director, Access, Outreach and Recruitment.
Four Washoe County School District (WCSD) high schools are participating in Fall; Procter R. Hug High School, Galena High School, Spanish Springs High School and the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT). Sparks High School will be added to the program in January.
Qualifying high school juniors and seniors can earn college credit, while the grant pays for tuition and books. TMCC faculty members travel to the various sites for class sessions. Courses are chosen by the participating high school. Classes offered for Fall include the following:
- Math 126: Pre-Calculus I (two sections)
- English 101: Composition I
- CHS 101: Introduction to Community Health Sciences
- Chemistry 121: General Chemistry I Lab (two sections)
- EPY 101: Educational, Career and Personal Development
“It’s exciting because students taking Math 126 and English 101 in the Fall will be able to take Math 127 and English 102 in the Spring, completing their first core gateway required courses,” DePuy Grafton said.
These classes will enable students to move on to more advanced courses at TMCC.
Class sessions will take place at their school site with the exception of AACT students walking across the street to take their course at the William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center, and Galena students traveling to nearby William N. Pennington Health Science Center.
WCSD has partnered with TMCC to schedule the classes. Textbooks will also be inventoried at the school sites so that books can be reused during future courses.
“We’re in a good partnership with the school district—offering this opportunity provides many students with the chance to complete the important first portion of their general education requirements for college,” DePuy Grafton said.
All class sections have met the minimum number of students, and most have hit the maximum of between 27-32 students.
Eligibility for Students
WCSD high school juniors and seniors qualify to participate in the NDE College and Career Readiness grant program if they meet the eligibility requirements for the Jump Start Dual Credit Program.
- Juniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Seniors with a minimum 2.5 GPA
Students apply to the Jump Start Dual Credit Program at TMCC. They must also meet the prerequisite requirements for the specific course they are taking, such as a specified test score on the ACT/SAT or ACCUPLACER. For instance, the prerequisites for Math 126 are the completion of Math 96 with a C or better, or a qualifying ACT/SAT test result within the past two years.
“We’ve received positive feedback from families that their students can be educated in their own school during the school day and at minimal cost to them,” DePuy Grafton said. “It allows families to take the steps needed for their students to become independent. They experience success with college-level material, all the while having the wrap-around services to support them.”
For more information about the NDE College and Career Readiness Grant, contact Raquel DePuy Grafton at 775-674-7638.