Nevada governor OKs $2 million for high school students taking college courses | SierraSun.com

Nevada governor OKs $2 million for high school students taking college courses

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Gov. Brian Sandoval on Wednesday signed legislation pumping $2 million into the program that allows high school students to take college courses for credit.

SB19 also mandates all Nevada high schools offer the dual enrollment program.

“We are bringing some incredible companies here,” said Sandoval, pointing to Tesla and Panasonic.

He said those companies need workers who can fill those high-tech jobs.

“We need to be able to train people for those positions, some of them that haven’t been invented yet,” he told an audience of about 100 students, professors and others at Western Nevada College.

He said SB19 is “the final piece” of the puzzle: “Now it’s up to us to develop the workforce training so that Nevadans get the jobs.”

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Dual enrollment was the idea of Churchill County schools Superintendent Sandra Sheldon. Carson, Churchill, Storey and a number of other districts in the state have been operating the program for three years.

Sandoval said SB19 mandates the program and provides grant funding that school districts can apply for to help expand the program, including to students who can’t afford the college classes they’re eligible to take.

“We just have to convince these students that, instead of going straight into the workforce, to take a little detour,” he said.

“Dual enrollment wasn’t something that is available to everybody,” said Sandoval. “We have to make sure these resources are available to everybody.”

WNC Dean of Student Services John Kinkella said last week, WNC graduated 551 students, 89 of them high school students from around the area who received their associate’s degree from the college at the same time they received their high school diplomas.

Kinkella said there are now some 450 high school students in the program. With the signing of SB19, he said he expects that $2 million in funding to be spent pretty quickly.

The governor also signed SB241 into law at the ceremony. That bill creates a new diploma for high school students who take and master science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes. That accomplishment will now be on their diplomas.