Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College
Many students entering Boise State University right out of high school are freshmen. Not Brandon Miller, a 2016 graduate of Virginia City High School.
Miller took advantage of Virginia City’s participation in the Western Nevada Jump Start College program and earned an associate degree before graduating from high school.
As a result, Miller started Boise State as a junior. Miller recently reflected on his two-year participation in Jump Start and how it has made him more prepared and confident at a major university.
Besides saving him a significant amount of money, Jump Start provided Miller with the tools to be successful at a university.
Here are Miller’s responses to a recent Q&A:
WNC: Are you still studying political science and business management?
Brandon: I am no longer studying political science, but am on course to finish with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management.
WNC: How much did your early immersion into college help you become ready for the college workload at a large university?
Brandon: Early immersion into college gave me the chance to experience a college class firsthand and gain an understanding of what a professor requires from their students. The workload during my time was, for sure, an adjustment from my high school classes, but after a semester at Boise State, I can honestly say the workload has not changed from my time at WNC.
WNC: What did Jump Start help you with most so far at Boise State?
Brandon: Being able to experience a college environment while being held to the same standards of any other student is ultimately what has helped me the most at Boise State. Actually having classes on campus and learning how to interact with professors and other students was valuable information to have going into a larger university.
WNC: You said as a Jump Start student that the amount of studying and research work was one of your biggest adjustments at WNC. Has that helped you at Boise State? Do you have a similar amount of work at Boise State?
Brandon: The amount of studying and coursework that WNC requires of students is right up there with the studying and coursework that Boise State requires. As I enter my second semester and start to take more upper-division classes, I find that the amount of coursework has lowered.
WNC: Looking back at Jump Start, how has it really impacted your life?
Brandon: Looking back at Jump Start, I can fully appreciate the program because it truly did set me up to succeed here at Boise State. Going into the first day, at Boise, was stressful for most of the students around me, but already having taken two years of college credit on a college campus gave me confidence that I could take on anything Boise State threw my way. Again, the lessons and tools that the program provided help me every day.
WNC: Is it hard to believe that you can be out of college in another year and a half? What are you planning to do after graduation?
Brandon: The more I think about the fact that I will be done in another year and a half is hard to believe, but I am making the most of my time here. I’ve become involved on campus and have gone to most campus events such as movie nights and sporting events. After I graduate, I plan to take a break and participate in the Disney College Program before coming back to earn an MBA.
WNC: What advice would you give to current high school students considering Jump Start?
Brandon: Do it! The Jump Start program is not something that everyone has the luxury of considering. I have talked to numerous students who would have much rather participated in such a program rather than AP courses. Being able to learn on WNC’s campus and use their resources such as the library and tutoring labs are exactly like any other big university. So, if you have any plans to continue your education after high school, this program will set you up to succeed in future education and give you a head start.
WNC: In your conversations with your parents about Jump Start, what are their overall impressions of the program?
Brandon: My parents love the program. In fact, my mom serves on the Storey County School District Board and is constantly backing the program.
Note: Current high school sophomores and juniors who want to become part of WNC’s 2017-18 Jump Start College can learn more about the dual-credit program at www.wnc.edu/jump-start/. They may also contact Jump Start Counselor/Coordinator of Outreach Tricia Wentz at firstname.lastname@example.org.