ERC Education Hero

Education in Nevada County

Nevada County offers school choice through open enrollment in elementary schools and high schools. The area has well regarded and innovative K-12 school systems, focused on continuous improvement, including numerous public charter schools.

In fact Nevada Joint Union’s High School District’s affordable home prices and strong academic performance makes it one of the best bargains among California’s school districts, according to a study by the number crunchers at

Truckee High in Eastern Nevada County offers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses including Introduction to Engineering Principles that is part of the Project Lead The Way program.

Charter Schools

Nevada County boasts the greatest number of charter schools per capita in California. A variety of educational offerings are available in each of the 12 charters.

National Blue Ribbon Schools

Nevada Union High School, Alta Sierra Elementary, Pleasant Ridge Elementary and Cottage Hill Elementary were named Blue Ribbon Schools by the President for academic excellence. Nevada City School of the Arts is the first charter school in the nation to earn the Blue Ribbon award.

California Distinguished Schools

Many schools throughout the county, in the past decade, have been recognized as Distinguished Schools by the Governor for academic excellence. Nevada Union High School, Bear River High School, Ghiodotti Early College High School, Magnolia Intermediate School, and Seven Hills Middle School were all awarded this honor.
The Nevada Joint Union High School District is a group of Innovative Educational Communities providing parents and families with a variety of choices to meet the diverse needs and interests of high school students.

Nevada Union Learning Communities

Nevada Union has a number of small learning communities, which amongst others include:
Nevada Union Partnership Academy of Telecommunications, which has a multimedia focus to many of the assignments with video production at its core.
Engineering Design Pathway
Green Academy which focuses on renewable energy.
The humanities academy which focuses on the classical education with extra focus on world languages.

Sierra College copy

Sierra Community College

The local Community College, Sierra College – Nevada County has two campuses, one in Grass Valley and one in Truckee. Sierra College is among the top 1% of United States community colleges in awarding Associate Degrees.

Founded in 1936, it has a rich history of innovation and excellence in education.

  • It was the first community college to offer educational opportunities for wounded veterans.
  • It was the first to discover dinosaur fossils in Northern California.
  • It is the number one community college in California awarding associate degrees.
  • It is ranked first in Northern California for transfers to 4 year Universities.
  • It offers 83 degrees and 78 certificate programs.
  • It offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region.

The Nevada County Campus (NCC) is a comprehensive college and high school campus. It offers courses in all patterns of IGETC, CSU Breadth, and GE requirements for Associate degrees. Students may complete 38 degrees at NCC,  by taking a combination of on-ground and online classes. Students may also take Career Technical Courses (CTE) in 10 disciplines that meet the needs of private and public sector organizations in Nevada County and the surrounding areas.

Technical/Engineering Programs

The college prepares students bound for engineering majors through lower division required courses such as Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. Sierra College is proud to offer the Mechatronics program which is the study of electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, hydraulics through computer control in one cohesive hands-on, project-based program. The field of mechatronics includes robotics, industrial automation, industrial process control, and electro-mechanical systems. Sierra College offers a three course series in photovoltaic (i.e. solar energy) technician training. Numerous programs in the digital arts are offered such as graphic design, 3-D modeling, web design, video production and editing and interactive multi media production.