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Full-time Enrollment Surges At Nevada Colleges

Nevada System of Higher Education

College students who take 15 credits or more a semester – which is considered full-time – have a better chance at graduating. That’s according to Nevada higher education officials. And their philosophy seems to be paying off. 

In 2013, the Nevada System of Higher Education adopted the “15 to Finish” initiative, a campaign that encourages first-time degree-seekers to attend college full-time by taking 15 credits a semester. Since its adoption, all seven of Nevada’s colleges and universities have seen dramatic increases in this number. A snapshot released this week shows Truckee Meadows Community College saw a 116 percent surge over the last two years, while full-time students at Nevada State College in the south jumped 400 percent. NSHE representative, Dr. Constance Brooks says this journey has required changing Nevada’s culture of higher education. They started by asking students…

“How can the Nevada System of Higher Education best support you in making fulltime student status a priority over working fulltime? Because we know that when students take full-time credit loads, 15 credits or more, they graduate.”

Roughly 58 percent of Nevada students who attend college full-time make it to graduation. That’s compared to only 21 percent of part-time students.

However, Nevada still ranks last for adults with college degrees. Only 30 percent of the state’s population has an associate degree or higher. That’s ten percent lower than the national average. 

Increase in the number of first-time degree-seeking students at all seven Nevada higher education institutions: 

College of Southern Nevada: 31%

Great Basin College: 100%

Truckee Meadows Community College: 116%

Western Nevada College: 97%

Nevada State College: 400%

University of Nevada, Las Vegas: 112%

University of Nevada, Reno: 51%

*Data from Nevada System of Higher Education

Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.
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