October 16, 2017
Report to the Nevada State College Foundation
Provost Shields delivered this Academic & Student Affairs Report to the NSC Foundation Board of Trustees on September 21st.
Fall 2017 – Enrollment
This fall, enrollment at Nevada State College reached historic levels. Almost exactly 15 years after we opened our doors to 177 students, this semester we welcomed an unprecedented 4213 students to the College. The growth was punctuated by our largest ever incoming class, which climbed from 321 first-year students in 2016 to 551 students this fall, an increase of 72%. This growth is a testament to the tireless and strategic work of many campus divisions, from Admissions & Recruitment to Advising and the Registrar, and it also reflects the growing strength and reputation of our academic offerings. Put simply, we are witnessing unparalleled interest in what Nevada State College has to offer.
Deaf Studies Program
Fall 2017 marked the launch of our highly anticipated Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Studies. After rapidly building a tremendous following as an academic minor, our full-fledged degree in Deaf Studies came out of the gates this semester with 24 declared majors. Searches are well underway for two lecturer positions to provide guidance and high-quality instruction to the program. We expect great things in the months and years to come, both for our students and the community they ultimately will serve.
An NSC First – the Master’s in Speech Pathology
We are now taking critical steps down the pathway towards our inaugural master’s degree at Nevada State College. Dennis Potthoff, our Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. Beth Meyerowitz, a professor in Speech Language Pathology, have submitted the degree and course proposals for approval through our curricular review process. ASHA, the governing body for speech-language pathology programs, requires a lengthy approval process; if all goes as planned, NSC will have its first graduate-level degree by 2019.
RN-to-BSN Program
Our pioneering RN-to-BSN program continues to exhibit robust growth after launching early in summer 2017. Our only fully online degree, the innovative RN-to-BSN program has already enrolled 209 students, and the program shows incredible promise for continued growth. The program is bolstered by marketing support from external partner Academic Partnerships, and is designed for cost effective growth while maintaining a high level of quality. We expect the graduates of this program – along with those who complete our well-regarded BSN degree – to continue addressing critical nursing shortages in Nevada and beyond. Currently, Nevada State College produces an incredible 33% of the Bachelor’s prepared nurses in the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Dual Credit/Enrollment Update
The provision of NSC courses to high school students – otherwise known as “dual credit” programming – has made a triumphant return to Nevada State College. After residing dormant for several years as we sought the right leadership, resources, and partners for the initiative, we paired up with the Southeast Technical Career Academy (SECTA) to enroll 222 high school students in NSC courses this fall. The program is open to students with at least a 3.25 GPA, and provides experiences in a range of subjects, including composition, history and psychology in hopes that these same students will attend NSC to become teachers. Importantly, the initiative coincides with Senate Bill 19, which was recently signed by Governor Sandoval and requires schools across the state to offer dual credit coursework to their students, and connects us with one of the most diverse and highly-rated high schools in Nevada.
Spotlight on Student Success
We already know that first-year students are exhibiting better retention rates, but they also appear to be performing better in the classroom. One way of measuring this academic performance is the “good standing” rate of our students, which is the percentage of students who have earned an average grade of “C” or better across all of their courses.

As shown in the figure to the right, the percentage of freshmen in good standing has increased 10% in the last four years, from 63% in 2012 to 73% in 2016, and has jumped 7% in the last two years alone. Importantly, this success appears to be tied to the utilization of academic support services such as advising, tutoring, and the Writing Center. If the impact of those services is removed from the data, good standing rates actually decrease.
The Provost Lecture Series Begins
Provost Shields recently announced “The Provost Lecture Series for Social Analysis and Critical Thought,” a campus-wide event designed to encourage important conversations and inspire meaningful change. The first speaker will be Dr. Matthew C. Moen, President of the Gettysburg Foundation. Moen holds the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of South Dakota, where he was Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Lohre Distinguished Professor, and Professor of Political Science for over 15 years. He is the author/co-author of six books and dozens of articles in the field of American politics. His talk is titled “Saving Democracy from Political Incivility: Lessons from Lincoln.”
Grant Updates
Assistant Professor Sam Oliphant (Biology) received a $650,000 NSF “Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics” (S-STEM) grant. Her program, titled Mentoring to Accelerate Retention & Change Outcomes in Science (MARCOS), will provide guidance and support for low-income biology majors, including financial aid, additional mentoring, blocked scheduling, grad school prep, and other resources for a total of five years. This is NSC’s first National Science Foundation award and we are the only institution in NV to receive this category of grant.

NSC is excited to report that we've received two Department of Education grants. The first application is the Title V “Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions” grant which will target attracting and retaining more Hispanic students into the teaching profession. This is a five-year award totaling over $2.7 million dollars. The second grant is the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant. NSC’s request is for $200,000 across four years to provide subsidies for student-parents who are Pell Grant recipients. This grant application coincided with a new partnership between NSC and the City of Henderson to offer affordable child care at the Valley View Recreation Center in downtown Henderson. We still have spaces available for Fall and will begin information sessions for Spring enrollment in November. Students interested in enrolling this semester should email Elaina.Bhattacharyya@nsc.edu immediately. The grant award and Foundation donation are supporting subsidies to reduce or eliminate total student’s out-of-pocket costs.
I Hate to Drone on... 
In September, the Rio Hotel and Casino hosted InterDrone, a 3-day conference on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The event hosted nearly 4,000 attendees and over 150 exhibitors. In collaboration with the conference creators, Nevada State College hosted several UAV demonstration flights on our campus in an area designated as the Henderson Unmanned Vehicle Range. These flights featured some of the latest UAVs and related technology, including specialized cameras and rescue devices. NSC is excited to collaborate with InterDrone and the City of Henderson to host events like these, and we see tremendous potential for integrating UAV technology into our classes. 
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