March 27, 2017
Tony Scinta

NSC Gateways (First-Year Experience) – Collectively, we have done tremendous work to provide students with life-changing experiences in areas that range from undergraduate research, to student support, to the learning spaces in our curricula.  However, despite a number of successful initiatives designed to improve the fortunes of first-year students, Nevada State College still lacks a dedicated First-Year Experience program.  As such, one of our foremost strategic goals is to design and implement an FYE program – tentatively called “NSC Gateways” – that unifies much of what we have learned about the success of NSC students, including important findings about learning communities, engaging classroom experiences, and proactive peer support. 

This initiative will invite feedback and participation from across campus, including areas such as the Career Center and all three of our academic schools.  This will take place in the coming weeks and months – led by Gregory Robinson and Gwen Sharp – but if you have any questions or suggestions in the meantime, please let us know.  In my efforts to focus our initiatives and stay within our available resources, I see this as one area where we can start small, build effectively over time, and ultimately do something exceptional for our students.

Climate Survey – When we discussed the results and implications of the 2016 Climate Survey at our Spring Faculty & Staff Development session, I noted that it was merely the start of a conversation about these critical issues.  In the next several weeks, the Provost’s office is going to create opportunities to continue this conversation as we strive to build on our strengths and begin overcoming the challenges we face as an institution.  I will begin by dialoguing with academic leaders who report directly to this office, but will work to ensure that the process can be inclusive of all faculty and staff at the College.  If you have questions or input regarding this effort, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  

Vickie Shields

I would like to invite you to drop by an open session just to say hello and/or let me know what is on your mind.  We can discuss what you think is going great or what we might improve upon.  

The drop-in will be Tuesday, March 28th, 10:00 am – noon in the Provost Conference Room, RSC 351.

Gregory Robinson 

The Office of the Provost helps to guide many of NSC's crucial student services, including:

The Writing Center: Dr. Tucker and her team have been busy searching for an Assistant Writing Center Director. They just completed 13 phone interviews and will be bringing in candidates soon.

TRIO-SSS: Interim Director LaKiasha Hollingsworth has also been busy. TRIO-SSS hosted CSN TRIO Upward Bound students on Friday. Her team gave the students a campus tour and had them meet with Academic Advising. The TRIO-SSS staff is also planning a cultural day on Thursday, April 20th in the RSC Ballroom. 

Course Assistants/Supplemental Instruction/Peer Mentors: Danette Barber is currently interviewing students for several peer-support roles. She needs more students, so if you have any recommendations, send them her way

In addition, Dr. Christopher Garrett, Director of the CTLE has been doing terrific work with faculty development. He's currently guiding three faculty learning communities, planning several faculty development events, chairing searches for the Instructional Designer and Instructional Technologist, and presenting at the Teaching for Learning Conference in Utah. 
Laura Naumann
Thank you to the 42 full-time faculty who completed my survey on Faculty Scholarship. There was great representation from all schools/departments (8 SOE, 8 SON, 8 HUM, 10 PALS, 8 SOC/BUS) and ranks (22 tenure-track, 9 tenured, 11 lecturers).

As shown in the figure, tenure-track faculty are generally engaging in more discipline-specific vs. Scholarship of Teaching/Learning (SoTL) research compared to the other groups. Other data (not shown) found that 38% of all faculty are interested in pursuing more SoTL research and 82% of lecturers expressed desire to conduct more discipline-specific research. The methods NSC faculty use to conduct research varies: 86% conduct literature reviews, 64% write manuscripts or books, 62% collect quantitative data, 50% collect qualitative data, 48% use human subjects, 21% conduct laboratory-based research, and 14% produce creative works or performances. Stay tuned to future updates for summaries on challenges specific to tenure-track faculty and the call for applications to the Summer Scholarship Institute.
Rich Yao
On Monday, March 20th, Alexander Kunkle began as the new Director of Academic Advising. A few of the things he'd like to address immediately are "increasing access for our students, developing and communicating the primary mission of advising in the AAC, and developing training opportunities related to advising approaches and theory." ( Read Alex's letter to faculty and staff here.)
Sandip Thanki
At NSC, students who enroll in a combination of in-person and online classes outperform students who enroll only in online courses or only in in-person courses in terms of good academic standing, 1-term retention and 1-year retention.  

For example, in Fall 2016, 89% of students who took some online courses in addition to in-person courses had good academic standing compared to 84% good standing for all in-person enrollees and 80% for all online enrollees.  One of the factors affecting this improved performance could be the academic load, which is much higher for students who enroll in a combination of online and in-person courses.  About 50% of the students who enroll in a combination were full-time, compared to 36% full-time for all-in-person enrollees and 12% for all-online enrollees.
Enrollment Update

Taggart Archibald, Associate Director of Recruitment, reports that enrollment numbers for the fall continue to look promising. The Admissions & Recruitment team has collected 960 applications from first-year students, which is already 130 first-year applications more than we obtained for all of Fall 2016. 

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