Survey says WNCC is wired

An Internet survey conducted by Yahoo! Internet Life revealed Western Nevada Community College is the seventh-most wired two-year college in the nation.

College President Carol Lucey said the award reflects the college's dedication to serving the residents of seven Nevada counties in 18,000 square miles.

"With a widespread population, we decided we were going to use technology to shorten the distances between people," she said. "Early on, we embraced teaching courses by interactive video, the Internet and television."

Anne Hansen, director of marketing and information at the college, said the survey, conducted in January, named the country's top 100 colleges based on use of technology.

She said she was surprised to learn that the college fell in the top 10.

"We were really pleasantly surprised," Hansen said. "Sometimes you feel really isolated and it's hard to get a look at what you're doing from a national perspective."

She said part of the survey was the percentage of computers that were purchased within the last two years. For the college, it was 45 percent.

"A lot of it was because of the new facilities that we've been able to open," Hansen said. "They're all very heavy with technology."

Each classroom is also wired for Internet access.

"We spent the money when we built the school so we'd be able to keep up with technology," Hansen said.

Students can also register, check grades and add and drop classes on the Internet.

"Our students really can conduct a lot of their business online," Hansen said. "We really are on the cutting edge for the services we offer our students."

WNCC was the first college-level institution in Nevada to provide the online registration and has the highest percentage of students using the Internet to register for classes.

Thirty-three percent of the college's students register online compared with an average of 21 percent for the rest of the University and College System of Nevada.

Michelle Dondero, vice president for academic and student affairs, said the college will now have to work to maintain its level of technology.

"We were one of the first to invest in interactive video technology, and the system we now have is antiquated," Dondero said. "We'll continue to push for resources to maintain this level of quality."


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