Juniors and Seniors Jump Start College

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Enrique Llamas Image

TMCC student Enrique Llamas recommends Jump Start to high school Juniors and Seniors.

The outlook for finding a well-paying career job in Reno-Sparks is becoming increasingly attractive from 2015-2019 according to the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN)—and with the pace picking up for new companies moving to the region, it’s not surprising that many Washoe County high school students are eager to get a head start at college.

“I was thinking about getting college credit as a first generation student and my high school was offering two classes for free, so it was a great opportunity to earn my first credits,” said Enrique Llamas, student at Truckee Meadows Community College. “I want to be a nurse.”

In July, TMCC launched a new process that will simplify the registration in college courses for individual high school students. This streamlining for individual applicants is in addition to the group cohort-based Jump Start Dual Credit Program already in place.

In the past, high school students might need to complete an enrollment step in more than one College department. The newly-adopted registration for early-admitted students is now overseen by one department; Access, Outreach and Recruitment (AOR).

“You do not have to be a part of a special program, you do not have to be part of Dual Credit to take a class at TMCC,” said Yuli Chavez, Student Outreach Program Director. “Students are welcomed to get an early start at college at TMCC.”

Llamas recommends the early admission experience.

“The best part about taking a college course while you’re in high school was getting to feel what college is really like, the college setting is different from the traditional high school classroom,” he said.

Two Programs Under One Roof

Two early admission paths will now fall under the umbrella of Jump Start.

Jump Start Dual Credit are classes—such as English, information systems (IS), or community health sciences—provided in partnership with the Washoe County School District and taught at the high schools by college instructors. Students earn both high school completion requirements and college credit, often in classes that are offered at a discount. Llamas took Educational, Career and Personal Development (EPY) 101 and Criminal Justice 104 at Hug High School.

“It was learning what every citizen should know about your rights, about the prison system and common misconceptions,” he said. “It really opened my eyes about the criminal justice field, but I’m more into the medical field.”

Jump Start to TMCC (J2TMCC) is another path for individual students to enroll in college classes at a TMCC site, and courses chosen are not limited to the subjects that are part of the Dual Credit program.

“As long as you meet the needed GPA and meet the class prerequisites, high school students are more than welcome to take a class at TMCC,” Chavez added.

The program is for juniors with a GPA or 3.0 or above and seniors with a GPA of more than 2.5. For those not yet a junior, they will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Home-schooled students may also apply by first emailing the AOR department. Younger or home-schooled students may be asked to come in for an in-person interview.

Jump Start participants are responsible to check with their high school counselors about applying the class toward their high school diploma requirements. Students also need to contact AOR for schedule changes, such as adding, dropping and withdrawing from courses.

“At TMCC, Jump Start students will also have access to tutoring and the library—all TMCC support services,” Chavez said.

Steps to Enroll for Early Admissions

Enrollment steps are outlined on the AOR website, and are summarized here as follows:

  1. Complete a TMCC Application for Admission and check “Early Admit Option”
  2. Submit a Permission to Enroll: High School Students form
  3. Contact Access, Outreach and Recruitment with documentation of prerequisites for the desired course/s, including any needed placement tests for English or math
  4. Pay for classes

More Information

Llamas found that studies in Jump Start were immersive.

“I liked the one-to-one with the professor and the cool projects we got to work on,” he added. “Also, the class discussions make you think more in-depth, and sometimes outside of the box. We had a debate about whether people with a disability should or should not have the possibility to be put on death row for a crime.”

Chavez has witnessed a steady increase of individual students seeking to take TMCC classes while still in high school.

“We’re really trying to streamline the process, and have developed the ‘Steps to Enroll’ to support the success of all of our students,” Chavez said.

For more information about early admission and Jump Start, please contact AOR at 775-673-8236.