February 6, 2019
Vickie Shields
“Some people are born with access to the life they want. I got it in grad school.”

--Briallen Hopper

This quote is from an article I recently read in The Chronicle Review. The author was saying that while most of her friends and colleagues complained about how difficult and disaffecting graduate school was, she loved it and knew all along it was her transport to the life she desired. When I read it, I agreed with her. As a first-generation college student from a working-class Idaho family who become first a professor and, many years later, a Provost, of course I knew the value and privilege of graduate school for making all this possible. It also made me think that for me, as for most NSC students, the undergraduate degree is where the journey from the life you had always known to the life you desire really transpires.

Recently I attended the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) annual meeting in Atlanta, where I saw a panel of memorable TED-like talks where another intriguing quote was delivered by Dr. Jan Searcy, Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences at CSU Northridge: “Nature equally distributes talent. Wealth disproportionately distributes access.” His point was that cuts to higher education remove opportunity for the poor and disenfranchised. If the nation thought about higher education the same way the 1% think about wealth, access to a college education would be equally distributed to all who desire it.

I attended many other sessions at the conference, from college budgeting, to the best high-impact practices (HIPs) to advance student success, to more efficient ways to interface with the local workforce, to examining the role of journalism in today’s culture of “fake news” and “alternative facts.” All were incredibly informative. A major take-away for me was this: Nevada State is fiscally sound and thriving at a time when other institutions around the country are cutting programs, suffering from enrollment shortages, and faltering from a lack of diversity of students, faculty, thought, and attitude. The state of Nevada supports higher education at a level well above the national average. At a time when colleges in the Ivy league and the upper-Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions, in particular, are seeing enrollments plummet, NSC is the second-fastest-growing institution of its kind in the country. And finally, I listened to my colleagues and friends from other institutions around the country lament the poisonous culture among faculty and staff at their universities and how they felt these cultures and negative practices were holding them back from ever being great.

I am grateful to work in a culture that is diverse, respectful, and innovative. NSC is a place where people care about one another and care about their own part in making us bold, great, and State. For this opportunity, I thank you all.
Tony Scinta
The Big Goals are Back
Exactly one year ago, as I entered a new role with a great new team, we established several “big goals” for the first half of the year. They were “extra” objectives that layered on top of our normal duties, things that the college needed and we hoped we could deliver. We were partly successful, yielding positive outcomes such as the Career Ladder for the advancement of professional staff, new transfer partnerships with CSN (and an increase in transfer enrollment), the identification of a peer mentorship program as an aspirational student success initiative, and improvements to communication to students from offices in the Provost’s purview. We didn’t achieve everything – and I take responsibility for that – but it was good enough for us to do it again.  

Like last time, these goals were selected based on their importance and their connection to campus data and input. The overarching goal that unites these “big goals” is to achieve them by June 30, 2019. Our current goals are:

  1. Develop and begin to implement a new peer mentorship program as part of a larger leadership pipeline for students
  2. Develop the One Dashboard, an enrollment management dashboard connecting data on enrollment, retention, and formula funding
  3. Codify our communication and outreach efforts into a formal document that reflects our efforts to improve enrollment and retention
  4. Hold office hours around campus to facilitate communication with different stakeholders

It’s a modest list, but with approaching deadlines for our strategic plan and our final accreditation report, moderation seems to be warranted. However, I hope it helps the campus, and if you have questions about any of this, please drop me a line.
Gwen Sharp
Data on Campus Mental Health Services
We partner with All About You (AAU) to provide on-campus counseling services to our students (housed in Dawson). In Fall 2018, AAU saw 52 NSC students.

The chart presents the race/ethnicity of those students (I collapsed some groups to protect students' privacy). The majority (54%) of students who visited AAU were Latinx. In addition, 77% of all students who sought services were women - which reflects overall enrollment at NSC. And 92% said they had never before sought any type of mental health assistance.

The most common reason for seeking treatment was sadness or possible depression; the second most common was academic concerns. Most students reported more than one issue.

Overall, 90% of these students said they felt the treatment was successful - they were able to remain in school, their symptoms decreased, and/or they completed treatment and didn't need further services. Everyone who was still in treatment continued to attend appointments during winter break.

If you have students who might benefit from AAU, they can make an appointment by calling 702-754-0807 and indicating they're an NSC student. Or they can contact our CARE Team Case Manager, Laura Carroll, at 702-992-2514 for help making an appointment or to discuss other resources.

Grants
Dr. Kayla Bieser (Biology), Dr. Amber Howerton (Chemistry), and Dr. Zach Woydziak (Chemistry) all prepared proposals for NV INBRE funding to support student research this summer. Thanks to Christine González (Grants Specialist) for reviewing budgets and tracking down answers to questions!

Accreditation Update
We're making excellent progress on our Year 7 report to the NWCCU. I am so appreciative of everyone who has given me data, drafted language, and otherwise responded to my often seemingly odd and out-of-nowhere questions. I'd especially like to thank Kevin Butler, Nathaniel King, Phil LaMotte, LaNelda Rolley, Adam Davis, Eric Gilliland, Betty Kim, Anthony Morrone, Alex Kunkle, Brian Chongtai, Andrea Martin, Adelfa Sullivan, Erin Keller, and Gregory Robinson for their help writing sections related to their areas.

Reminders
  • GradFIT applications are due March 1st! Open to students from any major.
  • Students can submit abstracts for the Undergrad Research and Creative Works Conference; the deadline is March 8th. If you'd like to volunteer to judge students' work, email urcw@nsc.edu
Gregory Robinson
We're making progress in a lot of areas!

MEd in Speech-Language Pathology
The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology is making their first site visit on February 11th and 12th. This is an important milestone in our accreditation process.

Summer Institutes
We’ll send out a call for proposals for the Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI) and Summer Scholarship Institute (SSI) soon. Both are great opportunities to receive guided support and compensation for innovative projects. Some projects from previous TFIs include our Writing Intensive Course Program, information literacy modules that can be inserted into any class, and a linked COM 101/SOC 101 course. 

Statewide Mission
I’m excited to announce that a search committee is reviewing applicants for a Lecturer in Visual Media who will work for NSC but will be housed at TMCC in Reno to support a 3+1 partnership. This hire will be a bold step toward expanding our programs to students in Northern Nevada.

Common Read
In Common Read news, the LAS Humanities Department is planning an interdisciplinary panel on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on February 19th.  Contact Leila Pazargadi for more information. Also, Darlene Haff and the Sociology Club are sponsoring a blood drive on Wednesday, February 27th, from 9am-2pm. (Click on the images below for more information.)
Sandip Thanki
Long-term persistence refers to a student's continued enrollment or graduation at any institution. What is the long-term persistence of NSC students?

The following chart shows persistence rates for all students (transfer, first-time, part-time, etc.) who start at NSC in a fall semester. Persistence is consistently improving, especially in recent years.
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
Be Bold | Be Great | Be State