When Western Nevada College students register for the spring 2015 semester, which begins Tuesday, Jan. 20, they are preparing 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, â€œ15 to Finish,â€ to support student success.
“Our goal is to increase the rate at which students finish their certificates and degrees,â€ said Dean of Student Services John Kinkella.
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.
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.