You won't notice by watching students walk across the stage in caps and gowns this month, but the road to college or a job has changed. There’s a new diploma that has Nevada students leaving high school better prepared for their future.

18-year old Kimberly Aquilar is on the fast track to her future, with her heart set She’s always known that was the career she wanted:  "As an engineer I can help the world be a much better place. One of the things I do is I always try to help people, and I feel like with my skill set, engineering is one of the best ways we could do that." She's about to graduate with honors and next going to UNR to major in electrical engineering, and minor in mechanical engineering.

Kimberly is one of 7,000 Nevada students who are going after a new diploma, the College & Career Ready diploma. It was enacted by the Nevada Legislature last year. It's not a gift…it has to be earned. As Kimberly told us, "I had to do a lot of practicing and tests just to make sure I get the requirements, stuff like that."

Her school, Reno's Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT) has been an advanced career technical education academy for years. For the new diploma, career-based learning had to be increased. Principal Josh Reddig told us there are "Definitely extra classes. You're going to be doing a lot more than just that comprehensive standard academic schedule that you would have at a school."

It's more of a skill certificate. Students complete courses or earn experience that prepares them for high-demand occupations. Kimberly's class put their skill on the road…building and updating the school’s yearly lunar rover. She told us, "We do have teacher advisors, but its student run, so a bunch of the stuff you see on there is actually made from us and by us so we design it. And a lot of things, most of the time they don't work out. So we spend a lot of time fixing it and making sure everything goes according to plan."

The state passed the bill for the diploma as a way to match the demand for skilled workers, part of a national movement. And the diploma is recognized by industry. It offers a bit more ammunition for Kimberly's job search. Besides joining the UNR College of Engineering, "I have a job internship at Hughes Electric, which is an electrical engineering construction company."

Wish her luck. Today (Monday) was Kimberly's last day of final exams. To find out more about how your high school student can earn the new diploma, click the link below: