WNC-NSC education partnership eases road to becoming teacher

Maria Royce teaches kindergarten at Mark Twain Elementary School in Carson City, on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.
Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Momentum

Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

Motherhood inspired Maria Royce to become a teacher.

Western Nevada College’s partnership with Nevada State College made those dreams come true without having to place any hardship on her family to realize that goal.

“Once I got to experience motherhood, I realized that providing guidance, support and care brought me personal satisfaction; consequently, I decided to pursue a career as an educator,” said Royce, who now works as a kindergarten teacher at Mark Twain Elementary School in Carson City. “I grew passionate about witnessing the learning process, especially in young learners. I get to experience a rewarding feeling constantly, knowing that I get to shape young minds and plant the seed for present and future success.”


As summer approaches, Royce said she looks forward to the scheduled break that allows her to spend more time with her family.

“Personally, I enjoy having the opportunity to enjoy my family during our scheduled breaks and during summer,” Royce said. “As a mother to an 8-year-old, I look forward to spending time just being a wife and mom.”

Through the WNC-NSC partnership, Royce was able to complete her education degree through online lecture capture and simulcast classes at WNC.

“The WNC-NSC partnership was instrumental in my teacher preparation program. In this sense, having all the required resources in my own community made the process more attainable,” Royce said.

The partnership accommodates students living in rural Nevada, helping them finish their bachelor’s degree in education. WNC’s partnership with Nevada State College School of Education provides distance education technology to eliminate the need for relocating. Students who complete their Associate of Arts degree at WNC can transfer to Nevada State and won’t need to move to Henderson, Nev., to complete their bachelor’s degree.

Dennis Potthoff, Nevada State College School of Education dean, noted, “We are very proud of Maria Royce and also proud of each of the 100-plus elementary education and special education majors, the vast majority of whom chose to teach somewhere in Northern Nevada, who completed the WNC-NSC program. We are committed to continuing this program for current WNC students and future high school graduates of Northern Nevada high schools who wish to pursue elementary or special education teaching as a career. We are also excited to expand this program to also include individuals interested in secondary level (middle and high school) teaching.”

They are able to take their courses via live simulcast at WNC locations and recorded lectures online, preparing them for certification and licensing to teach in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“The lecture capture feature provided by NSC enabled students from different cities to come together and benefit from outstanding lectures and engaging hands-on projects as we acquired the preparation to become teachers,” Royce said. “Being able to go to WNC to fulfill my teacher preparation classes was highly beneficial and convenient.”

Royce said that through technology her higher-level education courses made her feel part of the live Nevada State classes taking place in the southern part of the state.

“Toward the last part of my education degree, the lecture capture feature provided by Nevada State College allowed me to benefit from participating in classes that took place in Henderson, but that were livestreamed to us in Northern Nevada,” she said. “The livestream feature allows for students to be active participants in the learning process.”

Looking back, when Royce began her educational program at WNC, she was captivated by her excellent instructors and the resources they provided.

“Professors, both at WNC and NSC, always provided me with effective and prompt feedback and facilitated further steps as I finalized my degree,” she said.

Becoming an educator has provided Royce with a great deal of professional and personal benefits. Professionally, the Carson City School District afforded her with opportunities to better herself in her craft as an educator. Professional development is an ongoing and rewarding process for her. Additionally, the school district compensates teachers based on the amount of education they have pursued, which is a great incentive to stay current professionally while receiving an ongoing pay increase.

For Royce, education has provided her with a fulfilling professional career complete with excitement and rewarding experiences. Her career choice has required devotion and a commitment to ongoing professional development. And it all became possible through the partnership between WNC and Nevada State.

“In this sense, NSC and WNC provide exceptional support in the form of highly effective qualitied professors who provide guidance, support and research-based strategies to implement along the way,” she said. “WNC and NSC provide extensive classroom experience, along with multiple opportunities to shadow and eventually generalize the practices that are required to exert command of the curriculum and management within the classroom.

“My pre-service teacher preparation experiences, both at WNC and NSC, paved the way for me to transition into pursuing a master’s degree as a reading interventionist with confidence and success.”

Note: After earning an associate degree, individuals can transfer to Nevada State College and take classes at WNC locations and online to earn a bachelor’s degree and certification in elementary education. They may also transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue a bachelor’s degree and certification in elementary education, special education/dual or secondary education. Upper division Education courses are available at WNC through simulcast from the Nevada State campus. For more information, contact Counseling Services at 775-445-3267 or

Kindergarten teacher Maria Royce works the playground at recess at Mark Twain Elementary School in Carson City on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.
Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Momentum

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