For 17 years, the Western Nevada College Douglas Campus has been a place where Carson Valley residents can take college classes. Students earn associate degrees, prepare for transfer to other schools and earn certifications that lead to jobs. Now, the college is expanding its services in two new partnerships with the Douglas County School District.
The college has rolled out the welcome mat for a new program, Jump Start College, an initiative that allows high-achieving high school students to attend college classes on campus during their junior and senior years of high school.
In addition, students who attend ASPIRE Academy High School, the school district’s alternative high school, will soon head to the WNC Douglas campus for their high school studies.
The partnership enables ASPIRE Academy High School students to attend classes at the WNC Douglas campus in the morning and early afternoon, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jumpstart College students will attend Monday-Thursday, 9:55-11:10 a.m.
Then, from 2-10 p.m., WNC Douglas college students will have full use of the campus, including classrooms, laboratories and student services areas, as well as a gathering area and outdoor patio for studying and eating.
“WNC has enjoyed a strong, long-standing partnership with Douglas High School,” said WNC Dean of Student Services John Kinkella. “Every year, many DHS students take advanced college classes at the WNC Douglas location. The new Aspire and Jump Start partnerships are exciting next steps in our efforts to increase the success of our students.”
Across the United States, high school students are taking college classes, Kinkella said. “This increases their chances of attaining a college degree.” The expanded partnerships follow this national best practice. “We know that, through working closely together with our teammates in secondary education, positive results will follow for our students.”
“When we learned that ASPIRE would need to find a new home for the 2014-15 school year, we searched high and low for an available location that could meet all the needs of a small high school,” said Dr. Lisa Noonan, Douglas County School District Superintendent.
“The students and staff of ASPIRE Academy High School are thrilled at the opportunity to make the WNC Douglas campus our new home,” said Principal Miki Trujillo. “When our students toured the facility, they beamed walking through the halls. Our students have worked diligently to find success in school and such a beautiful campus truly rewards their efforts”.
“It is an arrangement that we hope works for both the school district and the college,” said Mark Ghan, WNC Vice President for Administrative Services and Human Resources. “The partnership truly benefits all the partners, allowing high school students experience a college learning environment,” he said. “Students will have access to more academic opportunities. And, sharing resources allows both the college and school district to stretch scarce financial resources and be more financially efficient.”
“President (Chet) Burton and his staff have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome and to ensure that our students are able to continue with their mission,” said Noonan. “Together with the amazing generosity of community supporter Mike Pegram, the students of ASPIRE Academy High School can look forward to a terrific year ahead.”
“The School District is tremendously grateful to the leadership and staff of Western Nevada College,” Noonan said. “Their willingness to share this beautiful campus was a life-saver for our program.”