Teaming Up For A Degree

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Truckee Meadows Community College along with the University of Nevada are starting something new: a degree program in environmental science that will start at TMCC, then students will be fully integrated as a junior at Nevada with the same field of study.

Robert Tedder is a sophomore at TMCC and already takes classes at the University of Nevada.
He says when it was time to go to college he was ready for the classes, but not necessarily the committment or the money.
"When I graduated high school, again, I looked to TMCC because of the smaller class size, more one on one with your professor. The credits are 3 times as much at UNR."

This joint program between TMCC and UNR allows students to begin a field of study for environmental science at the community college and immediatly transfer as a junior into UNR's program.

Four-years at the University of Nevada, which is one of the most cost-effective schools in the country, could cost an environmental science student an estimated 13,984.
Two years at TMCC and the next two at UNR could cost the same student an estimated 9,764: a savings of about 42-hundred dollars.

Virginia Rivers, the coordinator for the Environmental Science program, says this is the perfect opportunity for students who want a bachelor's degree, but aren't ready to start paying for a four-year university.
"It gives them a chance to come to TMCC and be in a very supportive environment, be in small classes, have more attention from their instructors and it builds more confidence for going into science, which is perceived as a very difficult, or unattainable, area."

Employers also say this could be the future of higher education, especially when students are able to graduate with the hands-on experience beginning the first years in college.
Chris Healy, with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, says they need employees, but they need to be qualified.
"The key thing they're going to need to know how to do: is number one know biology and how to be sufficient in the discovery, but also be able to sit at a table and solved problems. So, we're hoping this kind of program will produce that kind of employee who's well-rounded who knows how to communicate and has a sound biological background."

New students can register for classes at TMCC beginning next Thursday.