Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) is a public college located in Reno, Nevada. In recent years, TMCC’s funding and performance expectations—like those across higher education—have increasingly focused on hallmarks of student success, including programs with coherent articulation of learning outcomes, applied and experiential learning components, reduction of costs and time to completion, just-in-time supportive services which build student self-efficacy, and clear linkages to jobs and livable wages within the region, all which are borne out equitably across the student body.
Apprenticeship is one of the approaches the college has adopted to meet these expectations in fulfilling its mission. At TMCC, apprentice tuition and fees are supported by employers and other external sources (VA benefits, WIOA, community programs, etc.). In exchange, the apprentice agrees to complete the program—generally within one to two years—while working. The apprenticeship design and implementation processes result in sequences of study geared toward the working adult which translate into clear job advancement and pay increases as part of the program. The on-the-job training and mentoring components support a level of integration between student- and work-life that increases participant retention and success at work and at college.
Over the years, apprenticeship has provided TMCC with increased student numbers, leading to increased faculty load and new teaching opportunities. Deepened relationships with employers have resulted in greater appreciation for the values and purposes of higher education, and in influential support for competitive funding opportunities. The connections and pathways from high school and various transition programs to TMCC have become more transparent and learner focused. And importantly, the linkages across partner organizations are helping to change the community and cement the social contract.