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Western Nevada College News: Students adapt to online learning

Western Nevada College
Matthew Knight works in the library at Western Nevada College in Fallon, Nev., on Monday, April 22, 2019. Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Momentum
WNC – Fallon

This fall semester, the Western Nevada College Fallon campus has been extremely quiet with very few students roaming the halls, but that does not mean there are no Churchill County residents attending WNC. WNC has experienced a 12 percent increase in enrollment from Churchill County for fall semester 2020.

A significant change is how students are receiving instruction. More students are opting for online only classes. In 2019, just 16 percent of Churchill County students registered for only online classes, but this fall 44 percent of the students used the online option — an increase of almost 30 percent.

How students are attending their classes likely has more to do with the changes in instruction because of the pandemic than with student choice. For safety precautions, fewer in-person classes were offered this semester, while the number of online class offerings increased.



WNC student Davanna Anderson said, even though she prefers in-person classes, she chose more online courses in case the college required in-person classes to transition to online during the semester. The online courses also offer more flexibility. The classes can be done on a student’s own time. 

Anderson said another advantage to online courses is that she doesn’t have to worry about missing information from a lecture because all the information from the class can be accessed online all semester for review.



“There’s more accountability from a teacher to engage in an in-person class, but online and hybrid classes are a new way where people have to hold themselves more accountable,” Anderson said.

WNC student Andre Easley likes the flexibility of online classes because the classes can be completed from his own home where he’s more comfortable, but he admits that he learns more from in-person classes. He would take more in-person classes if they were available, unless they conflicted with his schedule. He is now more willing to consider online classes as an option because of his experience this semester.

Whether students are taking classes on campus or from home, instructors at WNC are committed to providing the best education to their students. WNC Fallon Campus Director Holly O’Toole appreciates the commitment and support from the college’s educational partners and would like to thank faculty and staff for their efforts with assisting and educating students during these challenging times.

All Students Encouraged to Apply for Scholarships

The past year has been hard on many, especially students, and the Western Nevada College Foundation is here to help.

More than $600,000 in scholarship funding is available for the 2021-22 academic year because of the generosity of donors and the Foundation’s various fundraising efforts. Students will be considered for several hundred scholarships with one, easy application.

The WNC Foundation 2021-22 scholarship application is available online at http://wnc.edu/scholarships. The deadline to apply is April 1.

“The application usually takes about 30 minutes to fill out and includes questions that help the scholarship committee determine which students qualify for each scholarship,” said WNC Foundation Executive Director Niki Gladys.

WNC Foundation provides academic scholarships in partnership with WNC employees, community members, corporations and private foundations. All students are encouraged to apply.

To qualify for a foundation scholarship, students need to enroll in a minimum of six units and have earned a minimum grade point average of 2.0. Some scholarships require financial need, which means that students should make sure to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, there are many scholarships that do not require a financial need and are awarded based on other factors including community service, military service, academic achievement and career plans. For this reason, all students are encouraged to apply regardless of financial need or past academic performance.

Scholarships are also available for the spring semester for students pursuing an education in Healthcare, Professional and Applied Technology (PAT) or career and technical education fields, thanks to the William N. Pennington Foundation. This scholarship has been created to improve the well-being of the community by supporting students who are pursuing careers in fields that are in high demand with local employers, including welding, automotive mechanics, machine tool technology, manufacturing, construction, building/home inspection, truck driving, phlebotomy, nursing assistant and emergency medical services.

To apply, go to wnc.edu/scholarships. For information on applying for a scholarship or to start your own scholarship, contact the WNC Foundation at 775-445-3240.

Not Too Late to Register for Winter Session Classes

If you’ve missed the 5-week winter session online classes that began earlier this week at Western Nevada College, then there is another opportunity to take accelerated classes at the outset of 2021.

WNC is offering 3-week online courses that begin on Jan. 4 and end on Jan. 22.

Registration for these courses ends on Jan. 4.

Classes available for Jan. 4-22 are:

• Visual Foundations (ART 100)

• Art Appreciation (ART 160)

• Ancient & Medieval Cultures (CH 201)

• Composition I (ENG 101)

• Composition II (ENG 102)

• Novels into Film (ENG 200)

• European Civilization to 1648 (HIST 105)

• The Roaring ’20s (HIST 290)

• Introduction to Information Systems (IS 101)

• Introduction to Ethics (PHIL 135)

For a complete list of winter session and spring semester classes, go to wnc.edu/class-schedule/. Students new to WNC should get started immediately to prepare for registration at http://www.wnc.edu/starthere/.