December 2, 2020
Vickie Shields
A New Common Read for a New Year!
I’m looking forward to a time when we are back on campus, walking from building to building and talking about big ideas. With this in mind, I am very happy to announce the Common Read for Fall 2021: Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World. This is a versatile collection of nonfiction, fiction, essays, and poems by international writers exploring climate change through the lens of inequality. As you are planning for Fall 2021, I ask you to consider how you might integrate this book and its broader themes into your classes and the events you plan.

The Office of the Provost will be sharing more details soon on accessing selected passages from the book as well as how faculty can request a copy.

My thanks go out to Alena Principato, who has worked tirelessly in support of the Common Read, and the members of the Common Read Committee: Molly Appel, Angela Brommel, Leilani Carreño, Susan Growe, Kelly Morrow, and Lori Navarrete.
Tony Scinta
Transfer Operations
There has been some good conversation recently about our transfer relationships with NSHE community college partners. One of the defining – and encouraging – characteristics of these conversations is that they involve a variety of the most critical stakeholders in this relationship, from the advisors and transfer specialists who provide direct support to students, to the institutional leaders who oversee the academic operations of the entire campus. Another defining characteristic is that we are building more clearly defined degree pathways from the community college to Nevada State, and ensuring that there is close collaboration at each step in the student journey. Our recent discussions have been with Western Nevada College and CSN, but the topics of discussion (e.g., co-admissions, co-advising, CSN-to-NSC degree maps) can extend to any of our partnerships within the System.
 
NWCCU Annual Meeting
I recently participated in the NWCCU annual meeting, this time virtually as opposed to under the slate skies of Seattle (I have only been to that city once when it was NOT gray and rainy). There is no groundbreaking news to report, but I once again want to reiterate that the NWCCU is integrating equity concerns into its standards and expectations like never before. It is a welcome addition, of course, and a challenge that I think we can rise to as an institution.
 
A Holiday Potpourri
With the holiday break landing squarely in this newsletter period, most of my other work involved project “nudges” in areas that include: 1) spring scheduling and enrollment considerations; 2) team budgeting for FY22; 3) gateway math initiatives; and 4) getting the wheels turning on the search for a Director of Workforce Development. In all of these areas there is positive movement, but no closure (yet).
Gwen Sharp
Integrate the URCW Conference into Spring Courses
The 2021 Undergraduate Research & Creative Works Conference will be virtual, which provides the opportunity for more students to participate. As you plan your winter and spring courses, consider whether the conference could be a relevant learning opportunity for your students -- whether it's formally integrated into the syllabus or you simply encourage students to submit their work independently. The conference will be held April 23, 2021.

Here are the planned categories for the conference:
  • Creative works (poetry, photography)
  • Oral presentations (with or without slides)
  • Research posters
  • Visual media

We will also consider panels for specific courses; reach out to me if you'd like to organize a panel for one of your courses.

Publications
  • Wendi Benson (Psychology), Jonathan Dunning (LAS Associate Dean), and Danette Barber (Institutional Research) co-authored "Using Distributed Practice to Improve Students' Attitudes and Performance in Statistics," which has been accepted for publication in Teaching in Psychology.
  • Angel Ball (Speech Pathology) published an article, "Program Addresses Shortage of Speech-Language Pathologists," in Vegas Health Care Quarterly.
  • Zach Woydziak (Chemistry) wrote "Tautomycetin Synthetic Analogs: Selective Inhibitors of Protein Phosphatase I," which has been accepted by the journal ChemMedChem.

NSSE Data
I have one last 2020 NSSE report to share with you; this snapshot provides a quick overview of a few elements of students' engagement, including participation in key high-impact practices, how many hours they study per week, and how many pages of assigned writing they completed in 2020.

Overall, NSC does very well; both first-year students and seniors were significantly more likely than students at the comparison institutions to engage in a variety of engagement categories, and our students weren't significantly below their peers in any area (though they scored lower on some specific questions).
Gregory Robinson
Quality Assurance Presentation
Chris Garrett recently presented on our Quality Assurance process at the 45th Annual Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network Conference, held virtually. The session on “Engaging Faculty in Formative Peer Review of Online Course Design” was one of the very few to be featured as a synchronous session and nearly 100 people attended, including representatives from across globe.

In 2018, the CTLE collaborated with a team of faculty to build a unique rubric that helps instructors evaluate their online classes. This rubric was used in the last Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI) with great success, and we’re continuing to offer faculty the opportunity to have a team of reviewers use the rubric to provide formative feedback on their online courses. Congratulations to the CTLE Team and some of the early adopters who worked long hours to develop and test the rubric: Lance Hignite, Vanessa Mari, Bret Hess, Heather Lang, and Roberta Miranda.

LNAP Success
Our Long Night against Procrastination has become a tradition here at NSC, and the necessity of holding a remote event didn’t damper the enthusiasm or the attendance. According to Interim Director Rachel Herzl-Betz, the event hosted over 100 participants. When I jumped in, the student in the virtual open-mic was presenting some of the best memes I’ve ever seen on how students are dealing with remote learning.

Productivity Tools for People Obsessed with Productivity
You know who you are! I love Microsoft To-Do; I start every morning by moving to-do items from the big list into the list marked “My Day.” Then, the entire day is a race to get that list checked off. Here is the geeky part: you probably know that you can access Microsoft To-Do from Outlook – it is that tiny checkmark on the bottom left of your screen when you are reading your email. But did you know that you can access it through Microsoft Teams as well? Oh yes you can. In MS Teams, if you hit the three dots on the left menu and add “Planner” to the sidebar, the lists from your To-Do account appear. It’s pretty great.

WICHE Passport
Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee is done reviewing the WICHE Passport working document and recommended moving it to Faculty Senate. If you’d like to take a look and weigh in, here’s a link. Feel free to add comments. If you know about WICHE Passport, this document will probably make sense. If not, it might just look like a lot of classes and charts. Take a look at the WICHE Passport page for a quick overview of the program or just contact me – I am happy to explain it in more detail.

Cute Overload
The Library is hosting Animal Therapy via Zoom on Monday, December 7th from 3-4pm.
Stefanie Coleman
Congratulations Office of Student Life! 
The Office of Student Life was awarded a $3,500 NASPA Innovation Grant. The funds are intended to provide the scaffolding to implement innovative ideas that lead to student learning and success. Our grant-funded program, the “Nevada State Podcast Series,” launched at the beginning of the fall semester as a way to keep students connected to the campus community in this time of remote engagement. On Educational Mondays, Carlos Navarro, Student Life Coordinator, interviews a different campus department and educates students on how that department can support their experience. Sting Studios, a student-led organization, puts out a Wednesday entertainment podcast. The idea is to continually scale up the podcast program to promote student leadership opportunities and humanize the faculty and staff who are here to support students.

Want to be a guest on the podcast? Email StudentLife@nsc.edu to discuss a potential spring episode.

A Message from the DRC
We hope that your Fall 2020 semester has gone well thus far, and you’re ready to finish the semester strong! You’ve all been working so hard, and we know you’ve got this! Here are a few things that you can expect from the DRC for the remainder of the semester and through winter break:

Contacting the DRC:
The DRC is operating primarily virtually. The DRC will remain available for all of your general or specific questions or concerns. If you would like to see someone, we are happy to set up a virtual appointment. Just give us a call or send us an email, and we are happy to get your appointment scheduled. You can find us by phone, chat, email or social media.

The DRC is online:
  • via Cranium Café,
  • Zoom appointments,
  • Facebook(@NSC_myDRC)
  • Instagram (@NSC_myDRC)

Testing at the DRC
If you have an exam scheduled in the DRC, don’t panic! We will proctor your exams on the scheduled day. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are new procedures are in place for testing. Rooms will only be available to DRC students who have no other adequate testing options available or on a case-by-case basis after speaking with the DRC.

The DRC is able to proctor remotely! If you have an exam that needs to be proctored remotely, please contact the DRC and we will walk you through your next steps.

Tests that are conducted remotely through Canvas do not need to be requested through the DRC. It is the instructor’s responsibility to extend the test time in Canvas based on the approved testing accommodation. Be sure that you have provided your instructor a copy of your accommodation letter; otherwise, no extension can be given.

Please remember, the DRC is here for you! Please reach out and let us know if you need any help or have any questions or concerns.

As always, remember to wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your social distance.
Sandip Thanki
Nevada State's Dual Credit program is an academic partnership between Nevada State and local high schools that allows high school students to enroll in college courses while concurrently satisfying their requirements for high school graduation. The first partnerships were built in Fall 2017 with two schools, Mojave High School and Southwest Career and Technical Academy, with a total enrollment of 223 students. In four years, the program has grown by over 1000%, with a total Fall 2020 enrollment of 2,670 from twelve partnerships.

Each year, after Dual Credit enrollment, a larger percentage of students seem to be choosing NSC for their college education. The Dual Credit program requires students to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better. With this requirement, the program is creating a pipeline of committed students who smoothly transition into college and have already completed first-year requirements, including gateway math and English. This shortens their timeline to graduation.

The chart below shows Dual Credit enrollment from Fall 2017 to Fall 2020 and the percent of students transitioning to NSC in 1 and 2 years’ time. If the most recent transition rate of 12% for Fall 2018 holds, we can expect over 300 new, well-prepared first-year students entering NSC from the Fall 2020 Dual Credit cohort alone. With an added focus on preparing more students for our teacher prep programs through the Teacher Academy Pipeline Project, the Dual Credit program is also expected to help us put more teachers in our community.
Key Dates
  • 12/7: Animal Therapy at the Library. 3-4pm.
  • 12/16: Fall 2020 grades due by noon
  • 12/17: Last day to change an "I" grade from Spring or Summer 2020 terms
  • 12/18: Deadline to email Gwen feedback on revised P&T Policy draft
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
Be Bold | Be Great | Be State