Nevada is one of the most expansive states in the U.S., but, given that much of the land is largely uninhabited desert, it is also one of the least populous and least densely populated. The state’s higher education options are also limited compared to other states, with exactly 10 private, public and community colleges and universities found mostly in Las Vegas, Reno, and Henderson. The Nevada System of Higher Education (NHSE) oversees these institutions, with an elected Board of Regents setting educational policies and approving budgets for the state’s public system of higher education. Some of the board’s initiatives include promoting cultural and ethnic diversity throughout the system; helping nontraditional students complete their degrees; ensuring cost savings and efficiency across college and university facilities; examining how the state’s four community colleges can continue to meet increasing student demand; and providing materials for students, parents, and school administrators on the college admissions process.
Nevada is also one of 15 states in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which works to boost access to higher education for students in the West and ensure their success. Through this participation, Nevada students have saved $72 million since 1988 through the commission’s Student Exchange Program. The state has also focused its efforts on increasing completion rates for adults with prior college credit, worked to accelerate the adoption of technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education, and participated in WICHE policy initiatives related to distance education, workforce development, and behavioral health.