The education system in Southern Nevada includes several choices for parents, as well as adults who wish to gain new skills, technical training, or an advanced certification or degree.
The Clark County School District (CCSD) is the fifth largest school district in the nation, educating almost 75 percent of all students in Nevada. There are more than 320,000 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade. CCSD operates 357 schools and employs more than 40,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the state. Community organizations and businesses that want to partner with CCSD should contact the CCSD School Community Partnership Program.
- 216 Elementary schools
- 59 Middle schools
- 49 High schools
- 19 Alternate schools
- 8 Special schools
In addition, CCSD schools are organized into 16 Performance Zones, with each Zone supervised by an Associate Superintendent. In addition, CCSD has several schools that fall under the following categories:
- 9 Prime 6 schools
- 265 Title I schools
- 15 Turnaround schools
- 24 Victory schools
- 15 Year-round schools
- 32 ZOOM schools
Nevada law requires school attendance for all children who are between the ages of 7 and 18. A child must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 30 to attend kindergarten, which is part of the regular school program. A child must be 6 years old on or before Sept. 30 to enter first grade. State law also requires that a child must attend a state-approved kindergarten program or take a developmental assessment test to enter first grade. There are no exceptions to the age requirement except for students who became residents of Nevada after they completed kindergarten or first grade in another state.
Nevada’s system for assessing students is the Nevada Proficiency Examination. The exam consists of several different tests taken by students enrolled in public schools in specific grades and specific programs. To graduate from the Clark County School District, students must complete their required course work and pass the Nevada High School Proficiency Exams in reading, writing, science, and math.
In 2015, Congress implemented the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to replace No Child Left Behind. This new plan gives states the power to implement education plans based on their own needs. Nevada submitted its consolidated state plan to the U.S. Department of Education in April 2017, and the State Legislature has been working to address the implementation of ESSA in Nevada.
The Nevada State Board of Education has more than 30 correspondence programs parents can select from for the purposes of home schooling their children. For information about Nevada laws and guidelines for home schooling, call the Nevada Department of Education’s home school consultant at 775.687.9238 or view the state home schooling website at http://www.doe.nv.gov/Homeschooling/.
Parents must file a form, as well as provide the district with evidence that the child is enrolled in an approved correspondence program. To contact the Clark County School District regarding home schooling, call 702. 799.8630.
Las Vegas is home to several large private schools that are independently owned and operated. Many schools are run by religious bodies or independent boards of trustees. Private schools receive funding primarily from non-public sources, such as tuition payments, foundations, religious bodies, alumni, or other private donors. Choice is a defining characteristic of private schools – families choose private education and private schools may choose which students to accept. In contrast, public school districts generally assign students to particular schools and those schools usually accept all students.
Magnet Schools and Career & Technical Academies
The purpose of magnet schools, and career and technical academies (CTAs) is to offer learning opportunities relating to various themes for interested students, therefore improving student achievement, creating an awareness of career opportunities within these themes, and promoting diversity. Charter schools are required to abide by state and county laws but are given a great deal of latitude in the day-to-day operation of facilities. Students from across the district are permitted to apply to these specialized schools. For information about these schools in the Las Vegas Metro area, contact the Clark County School District at 702.799.8492 or visit http://magnet.ccsd.net/.
Colleges and Universities
Nevada’s college and university offerings only seem to be growing. Whether a student is just out of high school or is further into their career field and wants to gain new or additional skills, certifications, or degrees to advance their prospects and expertise, the Southern Nevada higher education environment is rife with opportunity.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) educates nearly 30,000 students today. Disciplines include allied health sciences, business, education, hotel administration, nursing, fine and liberal arts and urban affairs. The school also boasts graduate and honors programs, and a hotbed of student and local entrepreneurial activity at the Office of Economic Development.
UNLV has added more than 100 academic programs to its roster during the past 10 years. Three specialty programs at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law recently garnered national acclaim from U.S. News & World Report – The Lawyering Process Program, Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution and the T&M Legal Clinic all received honors. Recently, the William Harrah Hotel College was ranked the number one school for hospitality and leisure management from QS World University Rankings.
In October 2017, the UNLV School of Medicine welcomed its first students, as well.
Additionally, UNLV is home to Brookings Mountain West, a partnership between UNLV and the Brookings Institution, the world’s leading think tank, based in Washington, D.C.
Committed to developing a synergy between itself and the community it serves, UNLV provides traditional and professional academic programs for a diverse student body and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, learning and scholarship. The UNLV College of Business offers both full-time and part-time MBA programs: an MBA, a dual MBA/Master of Science in Hotel Administration; a dual MBA/JD in the William S. Boyd School of Law; a dual MBA/DMD in the School of Dental Medicine and an Executive MBA (EMBA). The EMBA offers a general management degree.
College of Southern Nevada
The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) is Nevada’s largest institution of higher education and the fourth-largest college of its kind in the nation. The college offers more than 3,000 courses each semester at three main campuses and multiple learning centers.
CSN offers day, evening, weekend, and online classes. Popular specialized programs include automotive technology, nursing, fire science technology, business management, computing, and engineering technology, dental hygiene, law enforcement, hospitality, teacher education and environmental science. Students can pursue two- and four-year degrees, one-year certificates of completion, or take individual courses for personal or career growth.
In addition to traditional educational offerings, CSN’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development provides business training programs in partnership with the state of Nevada’s economic development effort. Customized training is tailored to meet the needs of businesses to help them maintain a competitive workforce.
Nevada State College
Nevada State College (NSC) specializes in a four-year baccalaureate education. Founded in 2002, the college was established to meet the needs of students who are interested in bachelor’s degrees in high-demand professions such as nursing and education, which are two principal areas of emphasis for NSC. The college also offers other disciplines in the arts and sciences.
Western Governor’s University Nevada
Western Governor’s University Nevada (WGU Nevada) is an online, competency-based university designed to expand access to higher education to Nevada residents, offering more than 50 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in high-demand career fields, such as teaching, business, account, healthcare management, information technology, and nursing.
Touro University Nevada
Touro University Nevada offers degree programs for osteopathic physicians, physicians assistants, professional nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. Touro University Nevada is a branch campus of Touro University California. The university campus is home to both a full-service patient health clinic, staffed by practicing faculty members, and a multidisciplinary Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. In addition to serving the community through care, both facilities serve as on-site learning laboratories for students across the disciplines.
DeVry University offers practitioner-focused undergraduate and graduate programs including business, technology and management. Undergraduate programs in business feature 12 concentrations including accounting, finance, hospitality management, human resources management, project management and sales and marketing. A graduate program in public administration is also offered, as are various certificate programs.
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix Nevada Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in areas including accounting, business, counseling, criminal justice, education, human services, management and technology. Faculty members are professionals who work in the fields they teach. Adult financial aid is available to those who qualify. The online university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in business, education, health care and technology. Students can choose from approximately 40 degree programs and continuing teacher education courses.