September 19, 2019
Vickie Shields
Board of Regents Approvals
The September Board of Regents meeting at Western Nevada College is a wrap, and I was pleased to obtain Board approval on two major proposals.
 
The first is our BS in Human Health Sciences degree, which now awaits approval from the NWCCU. After that, we’ll be ready to add this new program to the catalog. It will be a terrific option for students interested in our nursing program, a health-related career, or a graduate program in a health/medical field. Thank you to Dr. Amber Howerton, Dr. Vu Duong, and all the other faculty who worked hard to bring this degree to fruition.
 
The Board also approved our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, titled Delivering on the Promise. As I noted in my talk during yesterday’s State of the Campus address, I’m especially proud of the portion of the plan devoted to organizational culture, which states: “We will deliver on our promise to nurture our unique organizational culture by cultivating a workplace that is inclusive, inspirational, characterized by meaningful work, and supportive of diverse perspectives.” I love NSC’s commitment to our unique, and sometimes quirky, culture and I truly believe that the best way to maintain this culture as we grow is to be as intentional as possible, making a firm commitment to the communities and values that have allowed us to thrive.
 
Henderson Chamber Board
In July, I was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. I relish the opportunity to get more involved in the Henderson business community and to bring a higher education perspective to the table when community decisions are being made. As a member of the Board, I can help solidify the message that Nevada State is Henderson’s College and Henderson's business is our business too.
Tony Scinta
Thanks to the work of many smart and passionate people, the College has made encouraging progress with key “vital signs.” We continue to observe healthy enrollment growth, and this year we achieved an all-time high for 1-year retention (78%) and our highest 6-year graduation rate since before the recession (21%). To help ensure that the College continues on a path of sustainable growth and increasing student success, this year we will be building a comprehensive Strategic Enrollment Management Plan in accordance with our newly minted strategic plan.

My office will be working with key stakeholders on campus to develop a plan that unifies elements of marketing and recruitment, student persistence, and communication and outreach. The plan will describe how different campus divisions and initiatives – from financial aid to academic support – are aligned to achieve the enrollment growth and graduation rates outlined in our strategic plan (as seen in the “Access” and “Student Success” tabs in our strategic plan dashboard). The work is beginning now, but will ramp up after the accreditation visit from Oct. 9-11. If you have any questions in the meantime, let me know.

Also, here’s yet another reminder that Gwen and I will be hosting an open forum to answer questions about accreditation next Tuesday, Sept. 24 (4-5:30 p.m., NSE 105).
Gwen Sharp
Changes to Seed Grant Cycle
In the past couple of years, it's become clear that faculty struggle with the current funding cycle for Seed Grants. They often do much of their research in the summer, so having a grant that must be spent by June 1st and reconciled by June 30th leaves them little time to use the funds.

To address this, I am changing the application and funding timelines. Starting this year, applications for Seed Grants will be due in late spring (most likely sometime in April). Applicants who are approved for a grant will have funds available starting July 1st, and will have until the following May 1st to spend the funds. This gives faculty more time in the summer when they can actually use their funds and will prevent the stressful rush to use funding in late May and early June.

I believe this will eliminate some of the problems we've encountered in the past, as Seed Grant funding cycles will align better with the periods when faculty often do much of their research. I will release a call for applications in Spring 2020.

Accreditation Report
The full accreditation report that you've been hearing so much about is available here.

Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience
This is a great conference to get ideas about how to improve students' first-year experience--everything from the classroom environment to best practices in advising to building better partnerships with parents. They're also accepting proposals for presentations until October 3rd.
Gregory Robinson
Start a Scholarship!
Many of us in the Provost’s Office attended the NSC Foundation Brunch, where scholarship donors got to meet the students they supported. From the student testimonials, it was clear that scholarships can change lives in a meaningful way. In case you are curious, it is very easy to set up your own scholarship at NSC, which you can use to help any number of students. For example, when Gwen and I received tenure, we set up a small scholarship for students in the Deaf Studies program. The staff in Institutional Advancement helped us set up payroll deductions to provide monthly donations to the fund. The amount the recipients receive isn’t exorbitant, but it helps, and it feels good knowing that we’re helping students progress through their programs. If you are interested in doing something similar, contact Diana Morgan

Taking Dual Credit Up a Notch
I am so excited to welcome Jennifer Lamoreaux to NSC. She is our new Dual Credit and Recruitment Specialist. Jennifer will help us manage the 1,100+ dual credit students that have played an important role in our overall enrollment gains. 

Improving Online Learning
If you teach online or have developed an online course you plan to offer, I invite you to participate in the formal launch of our Online Quality Assurance Program. In this program, you can submit your online course for peer review and receive helpful feedback. The review is based on this rubric.

The process is as follows:
  1. You submit a course for review by contacting Dr. Chris Garrett. For preferred consideration, please reach out by Friday, October 11th.
  2. Upon approval, a Peer Review Team consisting of three NSC faculty evaluates the class using the rubric.
  3. If the Peer Review Team agrees that the class satisfies all the criteria in the rubric, then the class passes the evaluation. If the Peer Review Team determines that your class needs changes/additions to meet the criteria, a representative shares the team’s feedback with you and helps you to make those changes.

This review process is a great way to get high-quality feedback on your teaching. It is also a way we can recognize exemplary course design. If you teach online but are not interested in participating, please take a look at the rubric we’re using for this program. It is a great tool for doing a self-evaluation of your class. 

If you are interested in submitting your class or participating in a review team, please email Chris Garrett for more information. Our goal is to review ten classes this fall. Have more questions? Take a look at these FAQs.
Stefanie Coleman
CARE Team
Slime for a Cause! Donate non-perishable food items at the front desk of the RSC and save ME (and my team) from getting slimed at Scorpions Calling.

The CARE Team, CEDI, and AAU are collaborating to bring group counseling to NSC starting October 7th! Be on the lookout for the promotion of Scorpion CHATS (Conversation Helps All Through Stress). This clever acronym was the brainchild of NSC Alum Serena Butler.

DRC Assistant Director
The DRC has a few new faces joining their team. DRC Assistant Director Joan Rachmel brings a wealth of experience to the DRC and NSC. Her background includes advocacy, teaching, and training and she is a certified rehabilitation counselor. Joan’s first day at NSC will be September 30th. Suzanne Nunley, NIC and Hayley Jeeter, NIC round off the team as new hourly staff interpreters. They will both start on September 17th.

Student Life
Monday we hosted the Tunnel of Awareness, a collaboration between Student Life and CEDI to bring awareness, compassion, and understanding to headline-worthy world events that are touching the lives of our students. This is a MUST SEE item for all faculty and staff.

Scorpions Calling is Thursday (tonight!)! It has an 80’s theme. That’s my decade! That is the decade of Hip-Hop, breakdancing, Prince and Purple Rain, Michael Jackson moonwalking at the Motown 25 celebration, and Madonna rolling around a floor in a wedding dress. Oxford shirts over a popped collar Izod polo with boat shoes, big hair, heavy make-up, and totally “Valley Girl” speech. Too bad I can’t fit any of the clothing I just described.

Student Life is welcoming a new face to their team: Yesica Placencia-Flores is the new NSSA Business Manager and Advisor. Yesica started on September 9th. Welcome to NSC, Yesica!

Sports at NSC
It’s here! Our first intramural sports team, SOCCER! Faculty and staff who are interested in playing with NSC students on our intramural league are welcome to participate. Friday nights at Heritage Park.

Advising
The Academic Advising Center is piloting late-night hours this fall. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, advising will offer extended hours until 7:00 pm. 

The next Scorpion Success Network training is scheduled for September 23rd. If you would like individual one-on-one training, please email Jesse Poole.

The Academic Advising team and the NSC community lost someone very special on September 9th. Michael McVoy was the administrative assistant in the department but he was so much more; he was a beautiful person with a beautiful spirit. He will be missed.
Sandip Thanki
Once again, we are setting new records. Our 1-year retention rate of First-time, Full-time students who started in fall 2018 is 78%. This is our all-time highest 1-year retention rate. More importantly, these rates have increased across various groups on campus. The following chart shows the retention rates of our largest ethnic groups. The raw numbers are the cohort sizes and the numbers in parentheses are the retention rates. As you can see, the spaces between the lines narrow over time, indicating that we are gradually decreasing equity gaps in retention rates across the college.
Key Dates
  • Sept 24: Accreditation open forum (4-5:30 p.m.; NSE 105)
  • Sept 27: Academic program assessment day on campus (9-4; Auditorium & NSE rooms)
  • Oct 9-11: NWCCU accreditation site visit
  • Oct 11: Preferred consideration deadline for Online Quality Assurance Program participants
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
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