The successful dual-credit program at Truckee Meadows Community College that offers Washoe County high school students the chance to earn simultaneous high school and college credits is now taking a big statewide step: TMCC has partnered with Nevada State High School (NSHS), one of the Silver State’s public charter high schools.
Starting in Fall Semester 2018, students from a wider geographic area will now be able to earn dual credit, allowing them to complete their high school diploma while getting a head start on their college career. The program is designed for high school juniors and seniors.
“Nevada State High School is a great opportunity for students and parents to save time and money. Our process gives students a real college experience at the TMCC campus and at the same time allows them to explore their future college and career plans,” said Dr. John Hawk, Chief Operations Officer at NSHS.
NSHS grad and Las Vegas resident Jordan Nelson agrees.
“I felt confident about starting college after NSHS and was able to graduate with my degree at 20,” she said. “The lessons that NSHS taught helped me become an independent, resourceful learner, which eventually translated into my career.” Nelson is now NSHS’s Academics and Accountability Director.
An advantage to taking a number of general education college requirements early is that the classes are transferrable between degree programs if a student is exploring different majors.
“After career and college planning with NSHS, I decided to pursue a degree in psychology,” Nelson said. “I took general education classes that would be able to transfer to different colleges, making sure that they were general enough in case I changed my major.”
The Curriculum Is Comprehensive
In addition to taking TMCC college classes that fulfill high school diploma requirements, students take four NSHS courses: Introduction to College, Transitions, COMPASS and Study Skills.
“I loved Transitions,” Nelson said. “Each Transitions session had a theme that taught students about different topics like college and career planning, financial planning, resume building, and interviewing.”
During her time with NSHS, Nelson took a few in-person classes and many online courses. Northern Nevada students take their NSHS courses at NSHS’s new campus in Reno, opening this fall; they have the option to take their college courses at one of TMCC's sites or online. Approved coursework may be for transfer credit, or it may focus on occupational and technical subjects.
Community service or non-credit classes are not available through the program.
NSHS students are considered college students, and TMCC policies and processes—such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)—apply to them. They are eligible for TMCC services, such as college success workshops, access to tutoring, and assistance with registration and enrollment. They may also receive accommodations if they register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC).
About Nevada State High School (NSHS)
NSHS was founded in 2004 and is one of Nevada’s K–12 state-funded public charter schools. “We are the first-ever homegrown charter school network in the state of Nevada,” said Larissa Hageman, NSHS Marketing and Engagement Director. NSHS now has locations in Henderson, Las Vegas, and Carson City, with a brand-new Reno campus, opening up this fall at 7530 Longley Lane, Suite 103.
Course tuition and fees are paid for by NSHS, and students in Reno are provided with stipends to help pay for textbooks and transportation. If they take extra college classes in addition to the ones that are paid for by NSHS, they are responsible for the costs of those additional courses. If any of their courses are online, they must have regular access to an internet connection. The school has graduated more than 1,500 students so far and has achieved several recognitions and awards, including awards for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The graduation rate at NSHS is 98 percent.
As an alumna, Nelson highly recommends the program.
“NSHS is great for students who are motivated and want to go to college, whether that includes working toward a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or tech certification,” Nelson said.
For more information about Nevada State High School and other dual-credit opportunities available for high school juniors and seniors in Washoe County, please contact TMCC's Jump Start Dual Credit Program at 775-673-8236, or Nevada State High School’s Meadowood campus at 775-399-2669.