Jumpstart program helps students earn college credit

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Big discussions will happening Thursday night at the Clark County School District meeting. One item on the agenda includes approving funds for a program helping students earn college credit while still in high school.

Seniors are busy the last few weeks of school preparing for exams and that next step in life. For many, it’s college. 

At Sierra Vista High School, some students already have a head start.

“I thought it was an opportunity so that I didn’t have to take the class when I graduate,” said Kennedy Land, senior student.

Land and Liljana Wood participate in the Jumpstart Concurrent Enrollment Program.

“Well, I wanted to take it obviously because it was a college credit ,” said Wood,senior student.

A partnership between the Clark County School District and the College of Southern Nevada.

“They receive the books from CSN,” said John Anzalone, principal, Sierra Vista High School. “They receive any of the program materials they need and it’s literally like sitting in a college classroom but you are in a high school so it’s exactly what it is – dual credit.”

Sierra Vista High School only offers a math course at the moment with a college accredited high school teacher.

“We have two other teachers who are certified to do Jumpstart. One is actually an orchestra teacher  and one is an art teacher but we haven’t been able to progress yet. We’ve been holding it on the math part because math is one of our struggling areas,” Anzalone said. 

Students pay only $50 for the course. It offers an affordable alternative to the advanced placement classes.

“A lot of students aren’t interested in AP because either they feel they can’t afford to take the AP exam or they don’t want to go to a college that is not going to accept their AP course,” Anzalone said.

Concerns though remain about Jumpstart’s future.

“I would be kind of dissappointed if it did end,” Wood said.

“I’ve heard that the funding may be done. We are hearing both sides of it. I hope that CCSD and CSN are working together,” Anzalone said.

Working to continue offering students chances to excel.

Trustees may discuss approving a roughly $100,000 contract to pay tuition costs for roughly 1,400 students in the program through the end of June.

Money will come from the college and career readiness dual enrollment grant fund with no impact on the general fund. 

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