Carson High School has come up with a plan to offer its auto body collision repair classes through Western Nevada College, but concerns over night classes and what kind of certification would be offered were raised at the Carson City School District Board meeting Tuesday night.
The proposal to offer auto body collision repair courses at WNC and no longer offer the courses on the CHS campus still must be approved by the board. District and WNC staff presented its proposal to the board while community members and students expressed their concerns about the proposal.
Carson High Career and Technical Education director Michelle Lewis gave a presentation on why CHS is proposing to no longer offer auto body collision repair on its campus. CHS has already transferred its automotive technology program which was offered on campus, to WNC.
Lewis presented data with career priorities listed for the state by the Brookings Institute and Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office. In order from top to bottom, the careers aerospace-defense, agriculture-natural resources-clean energy, information technology, manufacturing, mining and tourism-gaming-entertainment were listed. Not listed were any automotive technical careers.
But many of those in attendance Tuesday disagreed with those findings. CHS auto body collision repair teacher Lance Godec said there are 22 auto body shops in Carson City.
Based on the findings, CHS decided to expand in the area of manufacturing education while cutting the on-campus auto body collision repair course. Community member Jeff Basa suggested CHS could look into offering manufacturing through WNC while maintaining the on-campus auto body collision repair course.
Lewis said the auto body collision repair course offered through WNC would be a modified Jump Start program in which some students could receive college credit. A concern just seniors would be in the Jump Start program also was raised.
WNC CTE director Georgia White said the school looks at all students progressing and interested in one subject area to be enrolled in the Jump Start program.
A concern the WNC auto body collision course would offer certification also was raised as those noted the course WNC has been offering has been nothing more than a “hobby” class in which those enrolled work on their own cars.
While that’s been true in the past, White said the school is transitioning to make sure it does offer certification. It was reported at the meeting the course would offer ASE certification in four areas from painting and refinishing to auto body repair and mechanics and electronics. WNC’s auto tech courses also offer certification.
Carson City Schools Assistant Superintendent Susan Keema said WNC’s programs would offer CHS students more as far as certification is concerned and CHS students could receive up to 24 credits in WNC programs.
In addition, a concern was raised over the courses being held in the evenings, forcing students to choose between extra-curricular activities or athletics and the auto body collision courses. It was also asked if students in the auto body collision courses still would have to carry a full load of classes during the day at CHS.
Keema said it would depend on how many credits students would need to graduate, noting seniors have to take at least four classes and the auto body collision course would count as one of those classes.
Keema also said the district provides a bus for its students currently studying at WNC and also purchases tokens for its students to take the city’s JAC transportation to WNC.
While making no promises, White said it’s possible there could be an instructor available to teach a daytime course.
About the proposed collision auto body collision course at WNC, Keema said, “Is it perfect today. No.” But Keema added the district would continue to “massage” such programs to make them as effective as possible.
Finally a concern was raised if the auto body collision repair course would last for the long-term at WNC.
“I’m very optimistic about maintaining the WNC partnership for a very long time,” Lewis said.