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Nevada Higher Ed Heads Toward More System Integration

LA Johnson/NPR

So, you are enrolled in College of Southern Nevada, and when you try to sign up for an online class and see that it’s filled. To make matters worse, it won’t be offered till next semester.

But your friend, who goes to UNLV, tells you that the exact same class is offered at his school. Problem is, you’re not enrolled at UNLV. 

Yet, both of those schools are part of the Nevada System of Higher Education – or NSHE. So why can’t you take classes across the system? And why do you have to enroll in each school separately?

This was the topic last month at the meeting of NSHE’s board of regents. 

Board chairman Rick Trachok told KNPR's State of Nevada that they're looking at a software platform that would allow students to take core classes from schools within in the system and have those credits apply to their home institution. 

"There are common classes offered at the different institutions throughout the system that students at CSN or TMCC [Truckee Meadows Community College] could take at Nevada Reno or vice versa," Trachok said. 

The board will get a report in March from the chancellor's office outlining how much the program would cost and how much manpower it would take to get it up and running. 

"This is part of a move that we as a board over the last three years have been making and that is a further integration of the entire system." he said. 

According to Trachok, one of the challenges will be to make sure that the classes offered are the same across the board, but he doesn't believe there any challenges that can't be overcome. 

"This is a great step forward," he said, "We've taken a number of steps to integrate our institutions and this is a big step and a very important step to get exactly where we need to be for Nevada and for Nevada students"

Rick Trachok, chair of Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)