In the face of a budget crisis, Nevada community colleges are seizing the opportunity to make sweeping changes in their system, from requiring a high school diploma to changing the formula used to determine tuition and fees. Will other states follow suit?
Nevada has traditionally had one of the most liberal enrollment policies for students who want to attend community college. Until recently, students did not even need a high school diploma or equivalent
to take classes at one of these institutions. However, booming enrollment and low graduation rates
have forced these schools to take a second look at their admission requirements. In addition, Nevada community colleges are seizing the opportunity to restudy how they calculate tuition and fee rates for each academic year.
Diploma Now Required
According to a brief report in the Houston Chronicle
, about half of all the college students in Nevada attend one of the state’s community colleges. At the College of Southern Nevada, there are around 44,000 students currently enrolled. However, the president of CSN, Michael Richards, said that of that number, only about nine percent graduate from college each year. Richards asserts that in order to make community college students more successful, they need to be better prepared for the rigors of higher education.
“It’s not about limiting access,” Sheehan told the Review-Journal. “It is not about being punitive. It is not about denying access to career changers.”
The new requirement was adopted by the higher education system’s Board of Regents, at the prompting of community