October 17, 2019
Vickie Shields and Tony Scinta
They came. They saw. They commended (and recommended, and complimented). After approximately 6,749 announcements, reminders, meetings, and reminders about meetings, the evaluation team from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) finally visited campus last week to conduct their evaluation of our mission fulfillment and core theme achievement. In talking with our college constituents and poring over mountains of documentation, the NWCCU team was very thorough, professional, and, ultimately, complimentary of the College.  

The overall tenor of the visit and the initial findings was very positive, and by our count included six compliments, four commendations, and 2 recommendations. For those who are unfamiliar, commendations and recommendations are the formal areas of praise and improvement, respectively, that will go into the report, and compliments are more informal areas of praise that recognize achievements on campus (we did not receive any “concerns,” which are the constructive counterpart to compliments).  

A formal version of the report – and official delineation of the findings – will be forthcoming in several weeks, and we would prefer to hold off on more specific details until that document has been made available. However, we can note that the compliments and commendations highlighted our commitment to our mission and the intentional development of programs and initiatives that promote the success of our student population, and recognized a campus culture that is distinguished by positive collaboration. The recommendations, in turn, identified areas that we recognize as opportunities for improvement, and we hope that our newly-minted strategic plan will go a long way in addressing them.

Once again, I want to thank the entire campus for their contributions. More than anything else, the positive review is a testament to your combined efforts. And I would be remiss if I didn’t specifically thank Gwen Sharp and Sita Sales, who made monumental and indispensable contributions to the accreditation report and the visit itself.  
Gwen Sharp
Out of Town
I will be out of the office October 24-November 8. If you need to meet with me about anything urgent, catch me before the 24th.

Faculty Recruiting
In an effort to attract diverse pools of applicants for faculty positions, HR has changed some of the job posting locations. Based on an analysis of where applicants learned of our job, we'll no longer automatically post to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Instead, HR will continue to post positions at Higher Ed Jobs and add a number of targeted job databases, including iHispano, JobElephant, Women in Higher Education, and LGBTQ in Higher Education.

CTLE News
On Friday, October 18 th , from 11:30-1:30, the CTLE is sponsoring the 3 rd Annual Excellence in Online Teaching luncheon and webinar. Dr. Diane Reddy (Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) will present best practices used in the U-Pace Method, which has earned national recognition.

Congratulations to Dr. Kayla Bieser, Assistant Professor of Biology, on being selected to serve as the 2019-20 CTLE Faculty Fellow. Dr. Bieser’s fellowship projects include analyzing data related to her work on a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in her genetics course, expanding CURE to more institutions, and writing a manuscript on her bioinformatics curriculum. In Spring 2020, Dr. Bieser will facilitate a Faculty Learning Community on “Incorporating Research into the Classroom” and will lead a workshop for NSC faculty.
Gregory Robinson
Checking Boxes on Wunderlist

Most of my time in October has been spent making slow but steady progress on this semester’s to-do list, including:  

Incentivizing community building. Last semester, a subset of the Gateways Steering Committee considered ways to encourage first-year students to attend events and participate in programs that will ultimately help them feel more connected to NSC. A second group met again last week to look into a passport program, much like the one you see here, where first-year students who attend different events on campus get a stamp on their passport. Ideally, once students receive a certain number of stamps, they are eligible for a reward – we’re still working on determining exactly what that reward might be. I'd like to thank Alena Principato, Stefanie Coleman, Cristina Caputo, Alex Kunkle, and Alicia Lamotte for their work on this project. 

Working with Dr. Davis to develop our newest TMCC partnership. AnnaSheila Paul, NSC’s first embedded faculty member at TMCC, began this fall. She’s working hard at building the program components that will allow students to complete their BA in Visual Media without leaving the TMCC campus. Several students are taking classes in the third year of the program, so we should have the first NSC students enrolling next fall. 

Working with Dr. Batiste on our Leadership Minor. We're excited to get this minor started. To help students plan, Dr. Batiste and I developed a perpetual schedule of classes that will help students predict when classes will be offered. If you happen to speak with students that might be interested, please have them reach out to Dr. Heidi Batiste. Also, I'd like to thank Dr. Carter for stepping up to offer our first section of LDE 201 (Introduction to Leadership) this fall.

WICHE Passport. Faculty in several areas are developing a list of courses for each category in the WICHE Passport programs. As you can see from the courses selected by other member institutions, each college satisfies the WICHE requirements in different ways. Done properly, the classes we select will meet the outcomes linked to each category. Also, I’m hoping a similar system of outcomes might be helpful in our upcoming revision of the Core Curriculum. 

Online Quality Assurance. We’ve still got a few spots left in this program. Submit your online class, get some high-quality feedback from colleagues, and make your amazing class even more amazing. Write to Dr. Chris Garrett if you are interested. 

Dual Credit. I hope you get the chance to meet Jennifer Lamoreaux, our new Dual Credit and Recruitment Specialist. She is doing a great job making connections with our partnering high schools and untangling all the complexities of our dual credit program.
Sandip Thanki
How is the NSC wave spreading through the valley? This clip shows how our enrollment has grown by zip code from Fall 2002 to Fall 2019. The enrollment numbers are shown in the middle of each corresponding zip code. Although the majority of our students are from areas closer to us, increasing numbers of students are enrolling from more distant zip codes. 
Key Dates
  • Oct 22: Provost Lecture, Dr. Pete La Chapelle. 4 pm, NSE auditorium.
  • Oct 25: Campus closed for Nevada Day
  • Nov 5: Marylin Rae. 11 am, NSE Auditorium
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
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