More than tuition-free

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

The Nevada Promise Scholarship offers students support beyond free tuition.

High school seniors in Nevada had until Oct. 31 to apply for the new Nevada Promise Scholarship.  More than 12,000 turned in applications for the program, which allows students to attend one of the state’s four community colleges tuition-free.

But free tuition isn’t the only benefit students receive. Promise students also are assigned mentors, a touchpoint on campus.

College of Southern Nevada (CSN) received more than 9,100 applications for the scholarship from 105 high schools across Nevada.

“The Nevada Promise scholarship program is a game-changer for Nevada’s students,” CSN President Michael Richards said in a release.  “Not only is a college education now more affordable than ever for the state’s underrepresented students, we know that the mentoring component, in particular, will help successfully guide them through their academic and professional careers. What we need now are members of our community to step up and help mentor these students.”

College officials estimate more than 1,500 mentors will be needed by Dec. 31. The college has kicked off a mentor recruiting campaign and is holding several events throughout November and December.

Nearly 1,800 program applicants applied to attend Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) beginning next fall. Like CSN, the college has put out a call for volunteer mentors to add to the 120 mentors already signed up.

The time commitment for these volunteers is small – about three to five hours a semester. Mentors are only required to meet in-person with their mentee once each semester for about an hour, and follow up by phone or email once a month. They remind students of deadlines, ensure that students register for classes and help them get hold of the resources they need to succeed.

It may not seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference to students, according to Angela South, student outreach coordinator at TMCC.

“Mentoring works — I experienced firsthand the positive impact a mentoring relationship has on a young adult,” South said in a release from the college. “Being the first one in my family to attend college brought some disadvantages, but being part of the Dean’s Future Scholars Program and being assigned a college mentor by them helped me break down those barriers, making an inestimable difference in my life.”

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.