Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College
The Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB) has recognized Western Nevada College at its annual awards banquet for providing dual enrollment opportunities for rural high school students.
NASB honored WNC’s Outreach and Access Team as the recipient of the Friend of K-12 Public Education Award on Dec. 2 at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.
NASB said that WNC was recognized because of its stellar work for supporting access to higher education for students across Nevada. Churchill County School District nominated WNC for the award.
“I was very pleased to accept the Friend of K-12 Public Education Award from the Nevada Association of School Boards on behalf of Western Nevada College, and in particular our Outreach and Access Team,” said WNC President Dr. J. Kyle Dalpe. “This group, and all of our staff and faculty, have worked hard to provide access to college programs resulting in WNC seeing its highest enrollment in more than 12 years. This jump is due in part to our work with our K-12 partners to provide dual enrollment opportunities for students.”
WNC’s Outreach and Access Team collaborates with high school administrators, counselors, and teachers to offer the best opportunities for students. WNC has created career and higher education opportunities for Nevada’s underserved students in rural communities that weren’t available 10 years ago.
Specifically, WNC’s dual enrollment program has enabled more students to access higher education. The Jump Start program at WNC provides high school juniors and seniors at many Northern Nevada school districts the opportunity to enroll in college courses and earn up to an associate degree by the time they graduate.
“Western Nevada College’s dual credit programs have made a significant impact on rural communities in Northern Nevada,” said WNC Outreach & Access Academic Coordinator Kathryn Whitaker. “It is a privilege to be part of a team that works so tirelessly to provide access to opportunities to students who either want to begin their college education early or who never considered college an option but now have the confidence to move forward with college or career after graduating from high school. Knowing we’re making a difference for so many is why I come to work every day.”
In 2023, 114 high school students from Carson, Douglas, Lyon, Story and Churchill County school districts graduated with an associate degree. Since 2014, nearly 800 high school students from these rural districts have earned their associate degrees through WNC’s Jump Start program. For high school students seeking technical skills to enter the workforce after completing their high school education, WNC provides workforce training in welding, automotive mechanics, machine tool technology and more. High school students have earned more than 150 industry skills certificates and certificates of achievement.
NASB recognizes educators, board members, and community supporters with 13 specific awards at its annual convention. The state’s 17 school boards can submit nominations for all of the award categories each year, and a nominating committee selects the winners. The Friend of K-12 Public Education Award recognizes the invaluable service provided to Nevada’s children by advocating on behalf of K-12 public education across the state, particularly during the sessions of the Nevada Legislature or working in other direct ways to improve K-12 public education in Nevada.
The NASB is a 60-year-old organization of all 17 public school boards in Nevada. NASB believes in good board governance and stands ready to support any of Nevada’s School Boards through professional development, mentoring and advocacy to improve outcomes for all students.
To learn more about WNC’s dual enrollment programs, visit https://wnc.edu/advising/high-school-programs/index.php or phone 775-445-3267.