Discipline, ambition, dedication and hard work made it possible for Morgan Tingle to accomplish something never done before at Western Nevada College.
Tingle recently became the first student directly out of high school to earn acceptance into WNCâ€™s nursing program. WNCâ€™s Jump Start College hastened Tingleâ€™s nursing school plans by allowing her to take the prerequisite classes during her senior year at Carson High School.
â€œAs a result of her hard work, the strong support of her family, Carson High School and the Carson City School District, Morgan has officially been accepted into the very competitive WNC nursing program,â€ said WNC Dean of Student Services John Kinkella. â€œMorgan will start as a nursing student this August, just two months after her high school graduation!â€
Even in the brief existence of the Jump Start College, the benefits of the program have become clearly transparent to families and students in the region.
â€œIt was a great opportunity for her to be able to get high school credit while getting her college credit,â€ said Morganâ€™s mother, Sheryl. â€œThe savings were phenomenal for us, and she was able to jump ahead so much faster in her college career and plans.â€
In the fall of 2014, WNC created a partnership with 11 western Nevada high schools encompassing five school districts, allowing students the opportunity to earn up to an associate degree before graduating from high school. The programâ€™s flexibility allows the high schools to determine whether their students take the college classes at one of WNCâ€™s three campuses or at their high school.
While admitting a 17-year-old into the nursing program is precedent-setting, the feat is well-deserved and inspiring, according to Judith Cordia, director and division chair of WNCâ€™s Nursing & Allied Health Department.
â€œMorgan was admitted into the nursing program because she met the qualifications, which are rigorous,â€ Cordia said. â€œShe followed her dream, stayed focused and proved that these are essentials that pave the way to success.
â€œThe faculty and I realize what a special opportunity this is for Morgan and welcome the challenge to provide her with an education that will be the cornerstone for all of her future educational endeavors.â€
Morgan eased into the program by taking nine Jump Start College credits and an Advanced Placement class during the first semester of her senior year, then stepping up and managing 20 course credits during her final semester.
Morgan credited the Jump Start Collegeâ€™s support system for easing the transition from high school to college classes. From Kinkellaâ€™s counseling and study tips, as well as support from teaching assistants, Morgan said it wasnâ€™t so difficult becoming adjusted to college academics.
â€œThey want you to succeed,â€ said Morgan, who made the Deanâ€™s List during her arduous final semester. â€œI think Iâ€™ve improved my time-management skills and balancing activities. I also developed study habits over time, and it taught me to ask for help when I needed it from the TA or friends.â€
She also appreciated being in an environment where everyone wanted to learn.
â€œIâ€™ve taken basic classes in high school and the kids in there were more immature and they distracted me from learning,â€ Morgan said. â€œSo, I like the atmosphere of college classes, where there is a higher maturity level and you can actually focus on the material.â€
Morgan has a history of jumping ahead in her education. Following Morganâ€™s seventh-grade year, the Carson City School District permitted her to skip the eighth grade and enter Carson High School.
Prior to her senior year of high school, Morgan developed a plan to become eligible to enter WNCâ€™s nursing program right of high school. With a career ambition to become a registered nurse, Morgan immersed herself into higher education.
â€œBetween Jump Start and AP classes, she spent a majority of her time in school or studying,â€ Sheryl said. â€œShe really learned discipline and dedication during that time frame.â€
As a 13-year-old, Morgan determined that she preferred a career where she could help people.
â€œIâ€™ve always been interested in health and anatomy in different classes throughout school and I also love baby-sitting, so it kind of taught me to care for other people and develop a passion for nursing,â€ Morgan said. â€œI would like to specialize in pediatric nursing one day because I love children.â€
While the Jump Start College classes that high school students are taking cover mathematics, English, history, anthropology, communications, psychology and history, there has been some flexibility, particularly in Morganâ€™s case. Because the nursing program requires several different classes as prerequisites to entering the school, Carson City School District Superintendent Richard Stokes permitted Morgan to substitute a few courses.
â€œIt was a nice thing that Richard Stokes allowed Morgan to delineate from her classes,â€ Sheryl said. â€œShe didnâ€™t need some of the classes, and he allowed her to take what she needed to meet her needs. It was the gateway for everyone to take different classes.â€
In the few hours left over from her hectic academic schedule, Morgan still found the time for employment. She works 10 hours per week at American Family Insurance in Carson City.
â€œI was still able to go to high school football and basketball games and hang out with friend while doing all that,â€ Morgan said. â€œSometimes there were conflicts in my schedule because I was taking night classes.â€
Those sacrifices and Morganâ€™s forward-thinking have given her a head start on her future.
â€œItâ€™s really exciting,â€ she said. â€œIt gets me ahead in life, so Iâ€™m more willing to get a masterâ€™s degree in nursing. It makes it look like I have more time and can go further with my degree.â€