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Jump Start Perspectives: Parents Share Their Experiences

Posted: March 28, 2017

Parents Share Their Experiences with Jump Start

Jenni Workman 

Now that her son Oakley is nearly finished with Western Nevada College’s Jump Start program, Jenni Workman can feel more confident about sending him 565 miles away to college.

Jenni’s son, Oakley, is nearing the completion of his second year in WNC’s Jump Start College as a Dayton High School senior in Lyon County School District.

Oakley has been accepted at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Jenni said the transition from Dayton/WNC to BYU should be smoother because Oakley has strengthened his time management and study skills, as well as gained confidence from having already attended classes on a college campus.

Jump Start, a dual-credit academic program, allows Northern Nevada high school juniors and seniors to take college-level classes through WNC that also count toward their high school diploma. They can earn up to 60 college credits before entering college.

Besides the skills that Oakley has strengthened and added by earning an associate degree at WNC, Jenni says that the low cost of the program will help many parents provide life-changing opportunities for their children.

For parents with children considering joining the Jump Start program, there is no better resource than parents who have had children go through the program. Here are Jenni’s responses to a Q&A about her experiences with WNC’s Jump Start program:

 

WNC: What are your impressions of the Jump Start College Program?

 

JENNI: For my son, it has been a positive experience that not only allowed him to earn an associate degree but also offered him experiences that have helped him develop independence and confidence. One of my favorite parts of the Jump Start College

is that the program is set up to transition smoothly from a cohort that met right on the high school campus the first year and then moved on to classes on the WNC campus the second year. I loved that my son had the opportunity to select classes of interest to him during his second year in the program.

 

WNC: Has the program changed your son? If so, in what ways? Is there more accountability, more maturity?

 

JENNI: I feel that the overall Jump Start College program has helped Oakley develop independence and responsibility. He had to take ownership for his study habits and communication with his professors, as well as learn how to work with many differing

demands on his time. I also think all of these experiences gave him confidence that will help him succeed in his future schooling.

 

WNC: What is the biggest adjustment your son had to make with Jump Start classes?

 

JENNI: From a parent’s perspective, the first semester or two were quite intense in learning time management and study skills. Many of the Jump Start students continue their high school extracurricular activities in addition to outside commitments such as church service, jobs and family time while doing the program. Learning to balance all of these important parts of a teenager’s life was challenging but very rewarding.

 

WNC: How important is it to see your son challenged at a college level earlier than most students?

 

JENNI: There were a few reasons I thought the Jump Start program would be a good fit for my son. He loves to learn and we saw this as an opportunity to earn college credits while still having the benefit of a high school and family support system. The exposure to a wide range of college courses has also been beneficial to him.

 

WNC: Do you feel more comfortable sending your son to BYU knowing he has already excelled in college classes?

 

JENNI: Yes, the Jump Start experience has prepared him well for furthering his education. In addition to strengthening his study habits and time management skills, I feel that the opportunity for him to attend classes right on the WNC campus has given him confidence to step right into a university setting.

 

WNC: What can you say to other parents unfamiliar with or considering the Jump Start program?

 

JENNI: Ask a lot of questions well ahead of time. Our second oldest son, Kobey, is now getting ready to apply for the Jump Start program and we didn’t take this decision lightly. We’ve been talking about it as a family, with the high school counselors and other Jump Start students to make sure it’s a good fit for him. There are many factors that make Jump Start a positive program, including earning college credit at a discounted cost, experiencing college coursework while still living at home and the opportunity the experience an on-campus college experience.

 

WNC: Financially, Jump Start students can often put off college debt or avoid it entirely because of their school district’s financial participation in the program. How beneficial is this to families in your area?

 

JENNI: Education beyond high school is extremely important for gaining experience and knowledge that will help students build lifelong skills to be productive in the workforce. As the cost of furthering education continues to increase, programs like Jump Start are essential for families to have low-cost options that produce substantial lifelong results such as achieving an associate degree.

 

Julie Logan

 

Many parents with children in a Northern Nevada high school or home school will eventually talk to them about the possibility of joining Western Nevada’s Jump Start program.

The dual-credit academic program allows juniors and seniors to take college-level classes through WNC that also count toward their high school diploma. They can earn up to 60 college credits before entering college.

For these parents, there is no better resource than parents who have had children go through the program.

Julie Logan’s son, Jared, is nearing the completion of his second year in Jump Start as a Dayton High School senior in Lyon County School District.

Julie said there were adjustments to an increased workload, schedules and time management, but Jared still had time to perform with his high school band.

But Julie said that the pace of the classes, as well as the advanced subject material such as engineering and physics, challenged and intrigued her son. It also disclosed an area that Jared wants to pursue in the future.

Jared has been accepted at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Because of her son’s experiences with Jump Start, Julie strongly feels that her son will be more successful at BYU.

Here are Julie’s responses to a Q&A about her experiences with WNC’s Jump Start program:

 

WNC: What are your impressions of the Jump Start College?

 

JULIE: Jump Start is a great option for students who are ready for the challenge.

 

WNC: Has the program changed your son? If so, in what ways? Is there more accountability, more maturity?

 

JULIE: The Jump Start Program didn’t change my son but did provide a more accelerated learning which he was excited to embrace. He learned the need to manage his time and had the opportunity to take classes that he was excited and passionate about.

 

WNC: What is the biggest adjustment your son had to make with Jump Start classes?

 

JULIE: The biggest adjustment the first year was learning how to keep up with the workload. The second year, the biggest adjustment was the schedule. His classes were almost all night classes. That made for a big adjustment in managing his time, especially since he attends seminary (essentially a 0 period class) and participated in band at the High School.

 

WNC: How important is it to see your son challenged at a college level earlier than most students?

 

JULIE: For me personally I think he would have succeeded either way. For him, he enjoyed the challenge and the pace of the more advanced college courses. He thrived in learning about the things that interested him such as engineering and physics.  (Interestingly enough, he discovered that he enjoyed physics much more and that experience led him to know what he wants to focus on in his next years of college.)

 

WNC: Do you feel more comfortable sending your son to BYU knowing he has already excelled in college classes?

 

JULIE: I think Jump Start is a great way for these students to be introduced to the rigors of college and since he has done the workload and learned about where to go to get help, I definitely think he will be more successful entering BYU. It does help that I know he has the knowledge of how to be successful at BYU.

 

WNC: What can you say to other parents unfamiliar with or considering the Jump Start program?

 

JULIE: First, it’s not for every student and a parent does not need to feel bad if they don’t think their child is ready for this kind of rigor. For those students who have the motivation and the dedication, Jump Start is a great introduction to college life because they get to slowly gain their independence while they still have support along the way.

 

WNC: Financially, Jump Start students can often put off college debt or avoid it entirely because off their school district’s financial participation in the program. How beneficial is this to families in your area?

 

JULIE: For many families, this provides an avenue of providing their child a chance to attend college when they may not have had the means otherwise. I believe it also teaches those students that college is an option for them, even if finances previously got in the way of thinking it was possible.