Campaign Promotes Full-Time Enrollment
As Western Nevada College students prepare for fall classes that begin August 25, they are laying the groundwork for a more successful future. However, those who enroll full-time for 15 credits each term have the edge when it comes to finishing their degrees.
Studies show that students who attend college full time are more likely to return to school each semester and earn higher grades. The college has joined a statewide initiative of the Nevada System of Higher Education, “15 to Finish,” to support student success.
"Our goal is to increase the rate at which students finish their certificates and degrees,” said Dean of Student Services John Kinkella.
WNC’s counseling department will deliver the initial message to incoming students about the importance of taking a “full” class load.
Statistics compiled by NSHE show that students who consistently enroll in fewer than 12 credits per semester are not as likely to complete a college education. Those numbers increase substantially for students carrying a course load of 15 or more credits.
There also is statistical proof that students who take at least 15 credits earn better grades than those taking fewer classes.
The highest GPA student group also corresponds to those who were full-time students.
Academic cohorts, coupled with a full course load, also play a significant role in students excelling. Cohort-aided students taking at least 15 credits averaged a 2.94 GPA compared to a 2.56 GPA for those taking 12-14 credits, and a 2.63 GPA for students with less than 12 credits.
Taking longer to complete a degree, Kinkella said, also prevents many students from realizing a paying job sooner.
WNC will implement a ‘Guided Pathways to Success’ program to help students stay on track toward completion of their academic goals. Academic ‘cohort’ groups will be formed for all new, degree-seeking students based on their individual educational focus. Each group will include a faculty/staff adviser and a student peer coach.
Cohorts will be developed for students intending to transfer to a university in many subject areas.
Students studying toward Associate of Applied Science degrees will join cohorts that include automotive mechanics, computer technology, criminal justice, deaf studies, graphic communications, and technology.
There will also be location-based cohorts at WNC’s Fallon and Douglas campuses, as well as cohorts for Latino students, military veterans, and pre-nursing students.
As an incentive, each student who participates in a cohort will receive a 3-credit scholarship for a college success class.
KEY STEPS FOR STAYING ON TRACK 1. Meet with a WNC academic adviser to create a plan to finish on time. 2. Enroll in required math and English courses as a freshman, and enroll in summer classes, if necessary, to stay on track.
Press Release: May 29, 2013
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