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Building a new Nevada – destroying dreams, deferring futures Part VIII


By Chancellor Dan Klaich
Nevada System of Higher Education

For the past week, I have been sharing how higher education changes lives, one student at a time. My goal has been to put a face to the impersonal reduction numbers that have been on everyone’s minds.

We are now in the thick of the special legislative session that will determine higher education’s fate in this state. The heart of the matter, as I see it, is whether or not you are content in keeping the status quo of Nevada’s lack of commitment to investing in our state’s future. Or, will you join me in trying to make a positive impact?

All I ask is 10 minutes of your day.

  1. Go to www.educatenevada.org and share your story with us on how education has changed your life and what more cuts will mean to you, your family, and your community.
  2. Send the same story to your legislators.

Curtiss Elliott, WNC student:

In 2004, I had a serious back injury and was told I could never go back to construction work, and if I did that I would eventually be crippled from degenerative disc disease.  Looking back at it now, that was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I started school in fall 2006 and earned my Associate of Applied Science degree in spring 2009.  I am currently earning my Bachelor of Technology degree at Western Nevada College, and I hope to graduate in spring 2011.

I am getting married in May. My fiancé also works full-time while attending WNC full-time, and we have six children, so tuition increases will really hurt us.  It would be a shame if other students could not fulfill their collegiate goals because of budget cuts or an increased hike in tuition.  I am also afraid that the cutbacks will affect the integrity of our school academics.  We need to keep our full-time instructors and be able to hire qualified part-time instructors to fill in the voids being created by instructors who are leaving.

I really love it here at Western; the instructors are approachable and the administrators have more than been helpful in helping me achieve my academic goals.  The Construction Management program has an unbelievable opportunity to become one of the best programs in the country.  We need to continue to grow stronger as a school, not go backward.  I believe that higher education is the key for many displaced workers.  The “economic” difficulties we are facing today can be fixed, by continuing to educate ourselves!

Robin Vernon, WNC student:

I’m an Early Childhood Education major at Western Nevada College, with plans to graduate in 2013. This school has opened so many doors for me.  As a single mom, who is working very hard to better my son’s life on my own, this year has been hard for me.  Thanks to the support of WNC, I am able to work through the work study program and I am able to put my life back together.  Having an education is so important to me.  I want to become a teacher, and WNC allows me the opportunity to pursue my dream.  If the cost of tuition goes up, I will not be able to afford to attend.  I would be unable to get an education.  Western Nevada College is a wonderful school, so I hope we can find another way to better the state’s economy.

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