November 20, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving!
In the Provost’s Office we are thankful for all of you who make this such a special place to work, collaborate, create, and celebrate. From our families to yours: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!”
Vickie Shields
Safety First
On November 13th, an extended group of the Nevada State College leadership team participated in a two-hour training session on the inner workings of command and coordination during a major emergency or crisis for an organization like ours. This past summer, each member of the team completed a four-part, online course sponsored by FEMA on the intricacies of the Incident Command System (ICS), and the training session on the 13th was a follow-up to that course.
 
The session was led by Yuri Graves, UNLV Emergency Manager of Police Services and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, and Jeremy Hynds, Emergency Manager for the City of Henderson. At the end we discussed some concrete scenarios involving an active shooter on campus. This discussion was particularly useful for showing what areas of our emergency plan need the most immediate attention. Next steps: completion of our emergency plan; discussions of the plan with the entire campus; live drills on campus beginning in Spring 2019.
 
Expedited Faculty Requests
What a wonderful whirlwind this has been! It says so much about our commitment to our teaching mission and culture that the first time in the College’s history we experience a major budget increase in tuition dollars we invest it back into much needed full-time faculty positions: Sixteen new positions, to be exact. In a matter of about four weeks the requests were submitted by the Deans, evaluated and ranked at all levels, search committees were formed, and HR and the Provost’s Office took on the heavy lift of approving and posting ads.
 
This is a College investment of $1.6 million! Thank you to everyone who made this possible. It was truly a group effort!
 
Strategic Planning
We’ve entered into a very exciting part of strategic planning: developing ideas and imagining how they might become a reality on campus. The working groups for the five Themes have been busy holding town halls to gain broader input and insight from the college community. These insights will be turned into initiatives that feed into the plan. My goal is to have these teams complete the first stage of this process by December 14th.
 
Town halls still to come:

Growth & Capacity Building
Tuesday, November 27 9-11 am and 4-5:30 pm
RSC Ballroom, Salon C

Budget Process Deadline Reminder
November 30: Budget worksheets and strategic initiatives due to Provost
Tony Scinta
Complete College America, Completely
For several years, Nevada has been a “Complete College America” state, which means that NSHE has participated in CCA initiatives, which means that NSC has taken on several of CCA’s “Game Changers,” which include the “15-to-Finish” program and our nifty gateway math and English pathways (described in more detail below). Now, NSC and UNLV will be collaborating with CSN to implement the remaining two CCA Game Changers, which deal with Proactive Advising & Degree Pathways and the Momentum Year ( each strategy can be found at this website). Ultimately, we hope the work will help forge better pathways for students who start at CSN and hope to earn a baccalaureate degree at NSC or UNLV. The project will continue to unfold over the next three years with CCA support, but today CSN is kicking things off with a press conference on their campus (though we are one of the three partners, CSN is leading the way with this initiative). 

“Greatway” Math & English
I don’t want it to look like I’m running a PR campaign for the college, but I can’t help but report on the gateway math and English metrics we just received from the System Office. For our enormous fall 2017 cohort, an incredible 99.2% of our first-time freshmen enrolled in a gateway English course in their first year, and 95% enrolled in a math course.  

Likewise, in looking at our fall 2016 cohort, nearly 87% of our first-time freshmen completed the gateway English requirements (basically, the English core), and 68% of our freshman accomplished this feat for math, which is a substantial increase from just a few years ago. Both of these results are connected to Board of Regents policy and NSHE’s work with Complete College America (as noted above), and everyone is hopeful that these early achievements will be conducive to later success for our students. In the meantime, I want to offer my thanks to the many colleagues who made this happen, including faculty from English and math, our advising staff, the recruitment team, IR, and Kim Smith.

Odds and Ends
This has been a busy stretch for the System Office in general, and in the past few weeks I have submitted a presentation on our 10-year Program Review process (to be presented at the November meeting), a response to the transfer agreement audit conducted by NSHE this summer, and a brief report on why our enrollments in two BAS programs (Engineering Technology and Visual Media) are below our initial projections. Just to keep matters interesting, I also furnished a report for the Northwest Commission in regards to an institutional complaint that they received last week.  

Gwen Sharp
Case Manager Position Open
I posted a job ad for a permanent case manager to oversee CARE Team cases. Laura Carroll has served in this role since last spring, but is ready to move on and devote more time to her graduate education (and since Laura is an NSC graduate and one of my former students, and I'm absolutely thrilled to see her pursuing an advanced degree!).

If you know someone who might be interested in the case manager position, please direct them to our job ad.

Publications, Honors, & Awards
  • Nevada Humanities invited Heather Lang (LAS) to moderate and participate in a panel titled "The Heart of Poetry: Nevada Voices" at the Las Vegas Book Festival last month.
  • Mary Cappelli (LAS) recently published the article "Standing with Standing Rock: Affective Alignment and Artful Resistance at the Native Nations Rise March" in the journal SAGE Open. She also presented a talk, "Performing Age and Sexuality in Feud: Bette and Joan" at the annual conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association.

Grants
Dr. Kayla Bieser (LAS) received a $5,000 Scientific Core Service Award from Nevada INBRE. The award will support sequencing and bioinformatics of mutant fruit flies, which students in her Genetics course are studying this semester.

Seed Grant Recipients
We had a very competitive set of Seed Grant applications this year. While we could not fund all of them, I'm pleased to announce that the committee selected six projects for full or partial funding:
  • Christina Squires (Psychology/LAS), "Responsible Fatherhood Program Development."
  • Jennifer Edmonds (Environmental Science/LAS), Laura Rosales-Lagarde (Environmental Science/LAS), and Aaron Wong (Math/LAS), "Composting Efficiency of 3D Printer Waste Using Earthworms."
  • Sharon Jones (SOE), "An Investigation into Cognitive Training for Improving Executive Functions of College Students with ASD."
  • Kayla Bieser (Biology/LAS), "Whole Genome Analysis of Clostridium difficile in Domestic Canines."
  • Rachel Herzl-Betz (Writing Center), "Identity and the Writing Center Recruitment Process."
  • Zach Woydziak (Chemistry/LAS), "Development of 2,7-Difluorinated Xanthene-Based Fluorophores."
Gregory Robinson
Spotlights
  • Congratulations to the Nepantla Team for their work on the Día de los Muertos event. It was remarkable! The event featured a wide range of ofrendas (altars), traditional food, a performance of Ballet Folklórico, and a selection of readings.
  • The Writing Center completed another Long Night Against Procrastination on Friday, where students stayed late on campus, enjoyed some pizza, attended events, and made progress on their final assignments. 
  • In other Writing Center News, congratulations to Writing Specialist Eduardo Mabilog, who received the President's Future Leaders Award at the International Writing Center Association (IWCA) Conference in Atlanta, GA. Eduardo and three other Writing Specialists (Paula Ramirez, Breanna Tavernini, and Nathan Call) also attended the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) in South Padre, TX. 
  • The Deaf Studies faculty are hosting our 1st annual Deaf Panel Discussion on December 5th from 6:30-8:30pm in the NSE Auditorium.

Online Quality Assurance
We're making some terrific progress in our initial efforts to develop a standardized way of reviewing online classes and providing feedback to instructors. In the summer, a team of NSC faculty designed a rubric that measures the components of a strong online class. Last month, three faculty volunteers allowed groups of three reviewers to evaluate their course using the rubric. These groups completed their review and made suggestions to improve the review process. With those revisions in place, we’re ready to expand the pilot and begin planning for more courses to review in the spring. Ultimately, this will be a great way of improving our online classes, giving faculty feedback, and making all our programs stronger. Thank you to Chris Garrett for his leadership and all of the faculty that are helping to get us started: Lance Hignite, Roberta Miranda, Heather Lang, Bret Hess, Vanessa Mari, Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa Api, and Christine Draper. 
Sandip Thanki
What are the most common high schools our first-year students attended? Since Fall 2011, NSC has enrolled 3,130 first-year students (i.e., students who earned 0-11 transferrable college credits elsewhere). Of this group, 59% came from Las Vegas or North Las Vegas schools and 20% came from Henderson schools. Here are the top 10:  
 
Foothill High School
East Career and Technical Academy
Las Vegas High School
Basic High School
Chaparral High School
Southeast Career Technical Academy
Liberty High School
Green Valley High School
Rancho High School
Western High School
 
The following charts provide detailed information about these schools. In Fall 2011, Chaparral was the top feeder school; in Fall 2018, it was East Career and Technical Academy.
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