LTCC Commencement 2018: LTCC President Jeff DeFranco, SNCatLTCC graduate Lindsay Lipp, SNC President Alan Walker
Meet the first students to graduate from the SNC@LTCC bachelor's degree program.

First Graduates from SNC@LTCC!

There’s no question that Lake Tahoe is an awesome place to live and play. Unfortunately for many, that awesome lifestyle afforded limited opportunities for a 4-year college education. Sierra Nevada College is changing that.

In the fall of 2016, SNC joined forces with Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe. Students in the south lake area can now complete their bachelor’s degree right on the LTCC campus. No need to commute in mountain snowstorms, or move from paradise. On May 12 2018, the first graduating SNC@LTCC students took their places on the commencement stage. All four earned their Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Global Business Management.

The Graduates

Jesse Kilow, born and raised on the South Shore, was caught between the love of his home and the advantages of a four-year college education. “I had actually gone down to Rohnert Park near Santa Rosa,” said Kilow, “[but] I just wasn’t really enjoying living in that area, and I was really missing Tahoe.” Kilow already held several associate degrees, but knew that the lifetime earnings bonus for a four-year degree over a high-school diploma is nearly $1 million. “I wanted to have something that would expand my opportunities in life going forward.”

Lindsay Lipp moved to Tahoe from Hawaii 12 years ago. She had her first child a year later. “I just sort of went into raising him and going to work,” says Lindsay. “I think I knew I just didn’t want to keep doing minimum wage jobs, and education was the way to fix that.” Lipp graduated from SNC with honors; she was a valedictorian candidate in the top 1% of all SNC 2018 graduates. She caught the higher-education bug at SNC, and starts the University of Nevada – Reno MBA program in the fall.

Amber Nachreiner worked in South Lake Tahoe restaurants for years. “I started at the bottom, hosting, and over six years I’ve worked my way up to management.” Now she wants to move into real estate marketing, or managing her fiance’s videography business. Amber also has a 2-year-old daughter who “keeps her very busy,” so she needs a manageable schedule and commute. When the SNC@LTCC program removed those barriers, there was no excuse for delaying her education any longer.

Haily Mitchell had already been accepted to UNR for fall 2016. When she heard about SNC@LTCC, she decided to avoid the commute and stay in South Lake Tahoe. “My mom owns a business here in town, so I can help her.”

New Options in Higher Ed

LTCC’s vision of wider access to four-year education inspired construction of the Lisa Maloff University Center, opening in August 2018. The Center will initially house bachelor’s degree programs from SNC and Brandman University, with more to follow. “Lake Tahoe is a premier California destination, and it deserves a college to match,” noted LTCC President Jeff DeFranco. “Thanks to Mrs. Maloff’s generous support, we are laying the foundation for a 21st-century learning environment for our students.”

“Expanding opportunities for students to pursue higher education is not just good for SNC, and for our economy, it’s good public policy,” added SNC President Alan Walker. Walker initiated Project Eagle, SNC’s donor-supported drive to develop 4-year extension centers on 2-year college campuses, in 2015. To date, Project Eagle has opened centers at LTCC and Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno. Negotiations for more centers are ongoing.

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Image: (L-R) LTCC President Jeff DeFranco, graduate Lindsay Lipp, SNC President Alan Walker

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