July Good News

High school equivalency graduates wait excitedly for the ceremony to begin.
Jared Libby

High School Equivalency Graduation Shows It’s Never Too Late

Friday, June 9, was a special day for the lives of people in our community. For students who passed all five parts of their High School Equivalency (HSE) examination, they cheered as they earned their nationally-recognized HSE certificate, which opens doors to a world of career opportunities! Sponsored by Adult Basic Education, many family and friends gathered under the lush shade of the Meadowood Center courtyard's trees to celebrate their loved ones' achievements.

One of the best aspects of education is its uncanny ability to weave its gift into our lives subtly. Recognizing the value of education and acting upon that takes great courage, and the individuals who completed their HSE have reached this milestone proudly. How wonderful it is that we live in a time where someone can tell themselves that they are returning to settle the score with their unconventional high school experience and conquer their doubts.

Valedictorian Mary Jane Squire felt this profound truth, channeling its authenticity to the audience. She expressed gratitude to the educators, family members (especially her mom), best friends, and peers who remained steadfast by her side throughout her journey.

“Thank you to the community here at TMCC, the teachers, and all of the staff, that has allowed us to make this accomplishment possible. You have deeply impacted the lives of all the graduates here today through your unfailing encouragement and continuous support,” said Squire.

“This journey has shown me how to celebrate the small things, and that the little moments make up life. We all have a unique path filled with obstacles to overcome, people that have shaped our lives, and moments we will never forget. These experiences, both wonderful and difficult, have formed who we are now. Like wildflowers through the pavement, we always find a way to break through,” continued Squire.

Salutatorian Garrisen Alexander Heck also shared some inspiring words with the crowd, reflecting on the trials he and his peers have overcome as they sought to conceive of a better life while gaining personal, mental, and emotional fortitude through the power of education.

“Years of uncertainty and worry end today. Today, I have obtained my high school diploma equivalency, which is no small endeavor, might I add, as all of us here know, I am sure. This achievement is something I never knew I could set forth and accomplish, and yet here we are,” said Heck.

“We are taking our first steps towards prosperity and the perfect opportunity to make a significant change for what is right. With a mentality and strength that I did not know still existed within me. We fought, and this time? We won. As we will continue to set forth to do,” continued Heck.

The sun was high in the sky, its golden beams peeking through the branches upon Squire as her words drifted into the hearts of all who joined in honor of the graduates that day. It was more than just a symbol of their bright future ahead of them. The warmth was hugging them, promising to remind them of the sensation of this moment for the rest of their lives. A beautiful occasion that only comes once, its gravity all the more influential when reliving cherished memories or pursuing tomorrow’s endeavors.

“I urge you all to choose your adventure and enjoy every moment. To appreciate the small wins every day as much as this momentous one together now. It is our time to celebrate the culmination of our efforts with this extraordinary achievement! We’re on the verge of the rest of our lives tonight, and I can’t wait to see where we are going next,” said Squire.

Advisement Team Receives ASN Holistic Advising Student Choice Award

Congratulations to our phenomenal Academic Advising Department for recently receiving two awards recognizing TMCC’s dedication to serving students. The first recognition, an Advising Success Network (ASN) Holistic Advising Student Choice Award, was selected by a panel of students, and this honor commends postsecondary institutions whose comprehensive advising efforts reflect a commitment to including student voices and perspectives. TMCC attained a $1,000 prize for exhibiting outstanding advisory conduct from students!

Our advisors are remarkable individuals who work tirelessly to establish an academic experience for our students that is rewarding, enlightening, and engaging. Academic Advising has been a resource to lean on by offering a helping hand, lending a listening ear, and providing wisdom to students on how best they can achieve their educational ambitions.

An advisor helps a student find a career pathway that works for them.

An advisor helps a student find a career pathway that works for them.

Staci Miller, Interim Director of Academic Advising, was thrilled with the recognition she and her department earned for their endeavors in creating advisory environments for students that remain safe and genuine while accepting that there’s plenty more they can accomplish.

“The grant was to showcase how our Advising office was holistic in its service to the students we advise. They felt we embodied a dedication to involve student expression and viewpoints in our Advising division and processes. This was an honor to be selected and acknowledged by students since that is who we are here for!” said Miller.

Whether they are new, continuing, transfer, or international students, having someone to guide them while fulfilling degree requirements is a priceless asset. Advisors can define the ideal student path, sustaining campus collaboration while remaining invested in their personal, academic, and career goals. By promoting continuous improvement, advisors act as stewards who help make students' visions of themselves and their future positions bloom into a comfortable reality.

But there is more good news to share, as Academic Advising also received an $18,000 Advisor Wellness Grant courtesy of the Stupski Foundation, which will provide academic advisor training and certification through an initiative entitled “Appreciative Advising.” Intent on becoming an Appreciative Advising branch, those learning its fundamentals will become even more loyal advocates of inclusive and equitable advisement.

“Appreciative Advising is an intentional and collaborative process where advisors work with students through the Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, and Don’t Settle phases. Appreciative Advising pulls from Appreciative Inquiry and positive psychology to provide a framework advisors can use with students, improving retention and success. Our team is excited to continue training and obtain certification,” said Miller.

With students being the essence of TMCC’s heart and soul, our community can sleep easy knowing their loved ones are planted safely in fully-capable and caring hands. It’s paramount to have someone to rely on during college life, and Academic Advising has been that beacon for so many who finally realized that they didn’t have to walk this higher education road alone.

Dental Assisting and Dental Hygienists Gain Functions Expansion

TMCC constantly updates its academic offerings to ensure our students remain prepared for the most relevant industry standards through dynamic training and education initiatives. Our commitment to improving our programs guarantees that alumni, particularly those in workforce development programs, are ready to hit the ground running when hired into their jobs. The latest expansion of the dental discipline in Nevada will carry over to our classrooms, being advantageous, instructive, and modernized for those pursuing careers in this crucial field of personal hygiene.

That's why Dental Assisting and Dental Hygienist professionals will be excited to hear that the scope of their practice is expanding significantly! Thanks to Senate Bill 310, signed into law by Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo on June 15, 2023, expanded function dental assistants (EFDAs) will be able to perform educational, preventive, therapeutic, and restorative treatment of intra or extraoral procedures while under the supervision of a dentist.

A dentistry student practices on a mouth model inside one of TMCC's labs.

A dentistry student practices on a mouth model inside one of TMCC's labs.

Julie Muhle, Academic Program Director of Dental Assisting, explained the significance this program’s extension has on students seeking to earn their EFDA license within a more expeditious and equally effective academic avenue.

“Students studying the TMCC Dental Assisting Program will benefit because their training will reduce the time and costs necessary to acquire the EFDA license. Attending a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) school is a pathway for this because CODA Dental Assisting Programs are required to maintain high standards of academic excellence to meet the needs of the dental industry,” said Muhle.

Public health dental hygienists can also allow an EFDA to perform particular tasks related to approved procedures within the same vocation. Licensed dental hygienists who have completed a course on restorative dental hygiene can now apply for a special endorsement that allows them to participate in this practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

Specially qualified dental hygienists who are issued a certificate by the state board of pharmacy may now prescribe:

  • Topical or systemic drugs that are other than controlled substances for preventative care
  • Fluoride preparations
  • Antimicrobial oral rinses
  • Medicament trays or mouthguards
  • Placing and finishing fillings

If dentistry is your passion, an updated set of skills and duties surrounding your trade is an excellent way to hone your expertise. Knowledge is power, and you can never have enough of it. By learning the redesigned tasks of a dental assistant or hygienist, you communicate a willingness to evolve alongside your craft. As more practical work models start to emerge, so do our responsibilities. With the goodwill of like-minded individuals, our careers can be abundant with partnerships, triumphs, and pride.

TMCC Awarded $1.5 Million for Workforce Development Programs

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Board approved roughly $6 million from the Workforce Innovations for the New Nevada (WINN) fund to four colleges in the state to meet industry demands. TMCC is honored to receive funding for five programs to help create professionals with exceptional training:

  • $715,000 for Advanced Manufacturing mobilization that will expand mobile training capability. Funding will reach 125 trainees in two years, provide $300,000 in equipment, and add instructional capacity. There are 5,560 jobs in this area available at Tesla, Panasonic, and Haws.
  • $205,000 for Data Science expansion that will bolster the curriculum to develop and deliver a transferable associate degree. Funding will reach 30 trainees in two years and add instructional capacity. There are 50 jobs available in this area at Tesla and Panasonic.
  • $155,000 for Diesel Tech and Mining expansion that will outfit the program with additional equipment to deliver extensive targeted skills training. Funding will reach 110 trainees in two years and add instructional capacity. There are 1,600 jobs in this area available at Pape and Empire CAT.
  • $205,000 for Logistics that will enlarge the instructional capacity and awareness of an in-demand program. Funding will reach 35 trainees in two years. There are 120 jobs at ITS, Haws, and LeisureQuip.
  • $285,000 for Welding will increase the instructional capacity and supply labs with additional training equipment. The funding will assist 150 trainees in two years and provide $100,000 in machinery. There are 35 jobs at MSM and Johnson.
A welding student lights their torch in one of TMCC's workshops.

A welding student lights their torch in one of TMCC's classrooms.

Amber Burroughs, Associate Director of Workforce Development, discussed the potential these programs will have in establishing fundamentally-sound experts, utilizing the latest technology and devices in their academic programs to branch out and secure positions across their respective fields.

“This funding will assist in providing students with new equipment and qualified instructors for the five areas covered in this grant. For example, the funding for Advanced Manufacturing will allow us to mobilize our efforts through vehicles that will provide training and upskilling at local businesses. It will also help provide much-needed program promotion for logistics and data science that offer in-demand careers in northern Nevada,” said Burroughs.

With new training opportunities and instructional expertise, TMCC is preparing its students with rich and innovative curriculums that certify their knowledge and skills across organizations throughout Nevada. With the support of GOED and the WINN funding, TMCC will directly benefit our communities and workforces.

For more information, please visit the Adult Basic Education, Academic Advising, Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene, and Foundation and Grants Office websites.