Pathways Adult Education Principal Karen Hills had much to be proud of this week as she announced the early graduation of 20 students at the school this year.
The mid-year graduation took place late last month at the NyE Communities Coalition Auditorium.
As a Nye County School District alternative to a traditional high school setting, Pathways provides educational opportunities through six different programs.
Students and parents have the option to decide which “Pathway” best suits them.
“Some of the graduates were actually fifth-year seniors,” she said. “They didn’t finish from Pahrump Valley High School last year and we enrolled them in our new fifth-year program and they finished the requirements that they needed to graduate.”
Hills also noted the school, this year, will hold multiple graduations throughout the year as students complete their required courses.
“We are going to be having three graduation ceremonies a year,” she said. “We have one this midterm semester, we’ll have one at the end of the school year and another one in August for anyone who needs to finish up with one more chance for proficiencies.”
Additionally, Hills said she feels the graduation ceremonies at Pathways seem to be slightly more poignant than those at a traditional high school.
“They have chosen to enter our program for various reasons,” she said. “The traditional high school wasn’t working for them and they made that choice to come here. It’s more of an independent study program, so they have more buy-in to what they’re doing and they are very proud of what they accomplished and so are their families and that’s why we have such big turnouts at our graduations because the whole family gets involved in motivating the student. It’s the very same high school diploma they would have received at Pahrump Valley High School.”
Students are expected to maintain a good attendance record at Pathways as they must attend school at least five hours each week in addition to performing 15 hours of additional work at home.
The students also work with staff to create a plan of study for the academic year which sets out the minimum expectations for the year.
“As students finish their classes and proficiencies here, they’re done,” Hills said. “They don’t have to keep going for the whole semester. When they’re done, they’re done and then they can come back and officially graduate.”
Hills also noted many of the students have already decided on their respective careers upon completing their education.
“Some have indicated they are joining the military,” he said. “There’s a few that are already working and now they realize, with their diploma, it opens them up to other areas that they haven’t yet explored. We also had a student that has already started junior college classes this semester.”
More than 150 parents and family members attended the graduation ceremony.
Total enrollment at Pathways is roughly 180 students.