WNC News and Notes: BYU political science major looks back on her Jump Start experience

By participating in Western Nevada College’s Jump Start program, Maria Whitaker graduated from WNC in spring 2020 at the same time she was graduating from Churchill County High School.

By participating in Western Nevada College’s Jump Start program, Maria Whitaker graduated from WNC in spring 2020 at the same time she was graduating from Churchill County High School.

That Maria Whitaker is able to take upper-division courses as a first-year university student shows that education has been a high priority in her life.
But the fact that she is doing this at Brigham Young University, one of the most valued and respected colleges in the country, not only reveals what kind of student she is but also what the highly touted Western Nevada College Jump Start program can do for a student interested in a higher education.
Whitaker graduated from Churchill County High School in 2020, but because she participated in WNC’s Jump Start program, she also earned an associate degree while receiving her high school diploma.
Essentially, this put Whitaker two years ahead of other college-bound high school seniors and saved her two years of college tuition and other costs.
“Jump Start isn't just for the ‘smart kids’!” she said. “If you're willing to work hard, discipline yourself, and ask questions when you need help, Jump Start is a great experience.”
First off, what Whitaker learned in the Jump Start program as a high school junior was to assume accountability for her education and learning.
“My professors were always willing to work with me and allowed me to take my learning in a direction that was meaningful and personal to me,” Whitaker said. “For example, they often let students select their own topics for projects and provided support by connecting them to the right sources. I loved the academic challenges that Jump Start presented — I always felt like I was pushed the right amount and in the right directions.”
By personalizing her education and making it a main priority, Whitaker performed exceptionally well in her classes — earning a 4.0 grade point average. In earning this coveted level of academic excellence, Whitaker didn’t feel she was making more sacrifices than other students because of what education means to her.
“What you're successful at depends on what you prioritize, and for me, that was often my education,” she said. “I leaned on others who also wanted me to be successful, including professors and students who shared similar goals. One of my favorite parts of Jump Start was that the professors put themselves on the same level as their students and are so willing to work with them to help them succeed. Understanding what professors expect is key to being successful. I took advantage of the mutual respect between professors and students and tried to remember that I can't do everything on my own.”
By combining her junior and senior years of high school with her first two years of college, Whitaker is now able to be more flexible with her junior and senior years as a political science major at BYU.
“I'll admit that after Jump Start graduation I initially felt pressure (mostly from myself) to stick to a ‘set in stone’ education plan and finish my undergrad in two years,” Whitaker said. “I quickly learned that it's okay to change your plans and decided to use the ‘buffer’ that Jump Start gave me and spread my classes out over three years. Overall, I'm grateful that Jump Start gave me the tools I need to make decisions about my education and future that feel right for me.”
To learn more about WNC’s Jump Start program, go to wnc.edu/jump-start/, email jumpstart@wnc.edu or phone 775-445-3250.

Individuals can enroll in Western Nevada College’s HVAC program this spring on the Fallon campus. Three classes are offered to help students earn the skills certificate needed to troubleshoot, repair and install air conditioning systems.

Launch your HVAC career through classes offered in spring
Prepare for a new career in repairing, troubleshooting and installing air conditioning systems by training in Western Nevada College’s new HVAC Lab in 2022 on the Fallon campus.
WNC is offering three Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning classes for spring semester to help students prepare for the skills certificate needed to enter the industry.
Classes offered this spring are Refrigeration Theory (AC 102), Schematic Reading for HVAC/R (AC 113) and Basic Refrigeration Servicing (AC 150). The first two classes can be taken online, while Basic Refrigeration Servicing is available in person on Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. on the Fallon campus.
The new HVAC Lab in Sage Hall Room 101 was completed earlier this year and classes became available to utilize this facility during fall semester. William N. Pennington Foundation provided funding to complete the project.
"The WNC Foundation is extremely grateful to the William N. Pennington Foundation for their investment in WNC. It's exciting to be able to offer state-of-the-art learning to WNC students across all of our campuses,” WNC Foundation Executive Director Niki Gladys said.
This program will provide the skills, knowledge, and experience for students preparing for in-demand jobs installing, troubleshooting, and repairing HVAC systems.
To learn more about the program or to become a student at WNC, phone 775-445-3267 or go to www.wnc.edu/starthere/..

Accelerated winter session classes underway, more to begin Jan. 3
If you missed the start of WNC’s winter session, there still is time to take advantage of these accelerated classes.
The five-week session of online classes began Dec. 20, but students can file a late registration form with instructor approval to Admissions and Records by Dec. 27 to enroll in these classes: General Biology for non-Majors (BIOL 100), Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 190), The Modern World (CH 202), Introduction to Special Education (EDU 203), Composition I (ENG 101), Composition II (ENG 102), Introduction to Environmental Science (ENV 101), Survey of U.S. Constitutional History (HIST 111), Fundamentals of College Mathematics (MATH 120), Precalculus I (MATH 126) and Principles of Sociology (SOC 101).
Students also have an option to take 3-week online classes that start on Jan. 3. Among these accelerated classes are Visual Foundations (ART 100), Art Appreciation (ART 160), Ancient and Medieval Cultures (CH 201), European Civilization to 1648 (HIST 105) and Introduction to Information Systems (IS 101).
To enroll in these classes after Jan. 3, students must submit a late registration form with instructor approval to Admissions and Records by Jan. 7. These classes will wrap up by Jan. 21.
To view all winter session classes, go to wnc.edu/class-schedule/. For information, phone 775-445-3267.

Register now for Spring Semester
Spring semester classes are about a month away so students are advised to register now so they can enroll in the classes they want.
Students planning to take in-person classes during the spring will be required to be vaccinated as mandated by the Nevada State Board of Heath. Students taking all of their classes online won’t be required to be vaccinated, but all students will need to fill out a vaccine status form at wnc.edu/student-vaccine-form/. For assistance with filling out this form, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qAYqHS_BiQ.
Short-term, late-start and self-paced courses will also be available in the spring. View classes at wnc.edu/class-schedule/.
If you need help preparing for spring semester, arrange an appointment with Counseling Services at 775-445-3267 or counseling@wnc.edu. If you are interested in becoming a student at WNC, phone Admissions & Records at 775-445-3277 and go to wnc.edu/starthere/.

Nursing program entrance exam dates announced
Applicants to Western Nevada College’s Nursing program can choose from six dates after the new year to take the required entrance exam.
The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam dates include 2022 testing dates in January, February and March:
• Jan. 28
• Feb. 4 and 18
• March 4, 11 and 18
Testing is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in WNC’s Cedar Building Room 320D. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.
Students must have completed the entrance exam in fall 2021 or finish it during spring 2022 to be considered for admissions into the Fall 2022 Nursing program. The deadline to submit 2022 nursing program applications to Admissions and Records is April 1, 2022.
For more information, go to http://wnc.edu/nalh/teas/.

College to Close for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve
Western Nevada College's three campuses will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 31 to celebrate the Christmas holiday weekend and New Year's holiday weekends.
The college will reopen with regular business hours on Monday, Dec. 27 and Monday, Jan. 3.
Many college services can be conducted online. For more information, go to wnc.edu.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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