New 4-year degree program could be offered next year at WNCC | NevadaAppeal.com

New 4-year degree program could be offered next year at WNCC

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Western Nevada Community College’s first-ever bachelor’s degree program could be approved Friday by the state board of regents.

To meet the growing demand for skilled labor in the area, the Carson City community college hopes to begin offering the bachelor of technology degree in construction management next year. WNCC’s spokeswoman said this degree program will spur local economic development.

“The construction industry has told us there are so many in the industry near retirement. There is a shortage of people to be the next wave of management,” said Anne Hansen, college director of information and marketing services.

Securing this bachelor’s degree program in Carson City is a major step recommended by a recent economic study released last month by rural regional economic development organizations.

The college isn’t starting this program from scratch. It has the facility, equipment and business partners used for its two-year degree in construction management, which has 46 students this semester.

“There’s a lot of interest in the program because they have the opportunity to get a bachelor’s degree in Carson City,” said Gene Martin, a full-time construction technology instructor.

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Students, who mostly work full-time jobs, will not have to commute or pay for the higher tuition at the University of Nevada, Reno.

He’s projecting the degree program will attract 15 more students a year and will graduate 10 to 15 students after the first four years. Another full-time teacher could be added.

A student would have to earn 128 credits for the bachelor’s degree, which is about 40 classes. Students should expect to spend $7,000 on tuition, plus books. But economic benefits will follow.

“Lets say you’re a laborer and you make $12 an hour, an associate’s degree would probably put you somewhere from $25 to $30 an hour – that’s $60,000 a year or more,” he said. “With a bachelor’s degree that would be from there up.

“We have people who have graduated from the UNR program who are six figures and up.”

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.