May 11, 2020
Vickie Shields
Continuity Planning for Fall Semester Courses
On May 10th, I sent out a letter to the Deans and Associate Deans, and copied faculty leadership, requesting that each School work closely with academic faculty to plan for a modified version of in-person instruction in fall semester 2020. Plans are due by May 22nd. The continuity plan should address two possible situations:
 
1. All currently scheduled in-person courses are converted to a blended (or “hybrid”) mode. Planning should focus on ways to reduce risk by decreasing the amount of physical contact required of students and faculty/staff while still maintaining some in-person instruction. Of critical importance is the development of approaches that do not reduce the total number of students served relative to full in-person instruction.  
 
2. An all-online option. While we don’t anticipate an all-online fall semester, we will need to identify the major concerns if an all-online semester becomes our only option.
 
The Provost’s office, in partnership with CTLE, is working on enhanced support for full-time and part-time faculty to deliver the highest quality hybrid and online instruction. More information will be provided on this in the next week or two.
 
The NSC Library is working on a complementary contingency plan for re-opening before Fall 2020.
 
Local TV Highlights Garden Donations
The local FOX affiliate, Fox 5, ran a segment during their morning program about our donations from the campus garden. While campus is shut down, all ripe produce from the garden is being donated to a food pantry in Boulder City; the need for food donations has grown rapidly as so many local residents are unemployed. Jennifer Edmonds (Environmental Science) did a great job representing NSC.
 
A Fun Project from Arts and Culture
In celebration of the ongoing construction of the residence halls and the Glenn and Ande Christenson Education building, the Office of Arts & Culture invites you to do some building of your own. We hope you enjoy these paper building templates created by architecture studio Foster + Partners. The studio invites you to share your work on social media by using the hashtag #architectureathome. Be sure to tag @NevadaStateArts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Enjoy!  
 

Getting Back to Normal
Now that hair salons are reopening due to Governor Sisolak’s Phase I reopening of Nevada, as tempting as it might be, you might want to hold on a bit longer before cutting your own hair.
Tony Scinta
Getting Schooled at Home School
As I struggled to get my son to be invested in something that is not a Tik-Tok video, this past week was yet another reminder of why K-12 teachers should be paid more for what they do. Now, on to the easy stuff . . .

Gates Foundation Project
As I noted in a previous update, our accrediting body, the NWCCU, invited us to participate as one of five schools on a Gates Foundation project. The project is oriented around institutional transformation, and places a specific focus on student success and the narrowing of equity gaps. As a participating school, a team of senior leaders at Nevada State will complete a 100-item self-assessment (which, importantly, is NOT a formal accreditation evaluation) on several facets of the college, and then will convene with representatives from the NWCCU and the Gardner Institute for a “sense-making conversation” on May 28. Several other campus constituents have been invited to complete a 30-item survey that will provide additional information, but we’ve been wary of pushing people too hard given the formidable timetable set by the Gates Foundation.

Following the sense-making conversation, our contribution may be over. However, our accreditation liaison at the NWCCU has noted that there may be Gates funding available if we were to pursue a project as the result of our self-assessment. I approach every new project with a fair amount of circumspection – after all, we have plenty of good work to do already – but this may be a fair opportunity for us to implement an initiative in accordance with our strategic plan that otherwise might be difficult to pursue in the absence of funding. If you have questions about any aspect of the endeavor, please email me.

Other Stuff
Though we occasionally face bouts of boredom outside of work, there hasn’t been a dull moment at Nevada State since the lockdown began. Much of the most pressing work recently has dealt with contingency planning and strategic efforts to promote student persistence and manage our enrollment for the fall. There’s too much for this newsletter, now that I’ve already eaten up so much of the space, but I will provide proper updates next time.
Gwen Sharp
Visit the Undergraduate Research and Creative Works Virtual Conference
The virtual URCW Conference is now open! We're pleased to offer the conference online and provide the opportunity to exhibit our students' amazing work from the past year. The conference includes 13 research posters, two sets of poetry, and more than a dozen visual media projects.

Visit the conference Canvas site to view students' posters, visual media projects, and poetry. The website is open to the public and will be available until Wednesday, May 20th.

As always, I appreciate all the work of faculty mentors, who invest a tremendous amount of time guiding students through projects that allow them to apply their knowledge and skills. And a huge thank you to the URCW Conference planning committee: Adam Davis, Aster Sigel, Brooke Allen-Burnstein, Caprice Schneider, Carol Lee, Christine Beaudry, Emily Hoover, Esmeralda Carretero Rodriguez, Laura Naumann, and Susan Growe.

Virtual Meeting Safety
NSHE recently released tips for securely running virtual meetings. It provides specific advice for platforms many of us are using, including Teams, Zoom, and Bluejeans. These practices are aimed at preventing "Zoom-bombing," when unauthorized people join a meeting intending to show offensive content or otherwise disrupt the meeting or class. We have experienced at least one case of this at NSC, as have other institutions in the state. Easy-to-use security features, such as requiring a password to join a meeting, can prevent these incidents.
Gregory Robinson
Nepantla Graduates Win Big
You’ve probably heard it from Dean Potthoff and Nepantla Director Carreño already, but we can’t stop singing the praises of Alejandra Linares Sierra, a Nepantla graduate and teacher at Walter V. Long Elementary School. She has been named CCSD's New Educator of the Year for 2019-2020.

In a similar success story, Nepantla graduate Adelaida “Addy” Rama Luna, was accepted into the Ph.D. program at UCLA's Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

In other Nepantla news, NSC was able to secure 20 laptop computers and several hotspots to help Nepantla complete its first fully-remote summer bridge program. Thank you to Brian Chongtai and the Nepantla team for helping our students access these resources.

Finally, if you'd like a little inspiration, check out these messages to our students from Dr. Leila Pazargadi and Director Leilani Carreño.

300 Days of Sun
NSC's very own literary journal now has an online version, and it looks stunning thanks to Heather Lang-Cassera, our former LAS Adjunct Faculty Coordinator and current FYE Lecturer. Heather was featured in the most recent Desert Companion in an article titled " Cancel, Postpone, Adapt" and has continued to be incredibly active in her role as Poet Laureate.

Updates from the Academic Success Center
The Academic Success Center (ASC) is still here to support you and your students! A few quick updates:
  • In March, the Course Assistant Program formally moved under the Academic Success Center, which will allow for greater coordination and continuity of our campus academic support services.
  • Unfortunately, the current hiring freeze prohibits us from adding any new Course Assistants, Tutors, or SI Leaders until further notice. However, we will continue to do our best with our available resources to help you and your students.  
  • If you are changing the modality of your course this fall, remember that course modality and structure (asynchronous vs. synchronous online or hybrid formats) may impact our current academic peer-support models. Over the summer we will reach out to current CA and SI Faculty partners to identify your remote course structures and determine which academic services or adjustments will best support your courses.
  • We are pleased to announce that summer tutoring will be available for high-demand courses (ASL, Math, Science, etc.). Please encourage your students to use these services. Contact the ASC Staff if you are interested in incentivizing tutoring through weekly or monthly sessions (special practice exams, scaffolded assignments, etc.). They will be happy to coordinate with you to align review sessions with your course learning outcomes.

Thank you again for supporting your students and the ASC. If you have any questions or feedback, please write:

  • Pamela Ball, Interim CA Coordinator (Pamela.Ball@nsc.edu)
  • Rikki Gaddy, SI/Tutoring Coordinator (Rikki.Gaddy@nsc.edu)
  • Cristina Caputo, Director (Cristina.Caputo@nsc.edu)
Stefanie Coleman
Way to Go Sharneé!
What happened to the frog's car when the meter expired? It got toad.

Don't shoot the messenger....Sharneé Walker, our DRC Director, was last week's winner of Corny Joke Tuesday. Speaking of Sharneé, she deserves a huge CONGRATULATIONS, as she was nominated to serve as President-Elect for NV AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability).

Congratulations Stefany and Dawn!
Two members of our NSC community have been recognized by NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising, for their outstanding work in the field of academic advising.

Stefany Sigler (Academic Advisor II – Academic Advising Center) has been awarded an Outstanding New Advisor Award (Primary Advising Role). The Outstanding New Advisor Awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students and who have served as a professional advisor or a faculty member with advising duties for three (3) or fewer years.

Dawn Taylor (Koonkongsatian) (School of Nursing) was awarded a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Advising (Faculty Academic Advising). This award is presented to individuals whose primary responsibility is teaching and who spend a portion of their time providing academic advising services to students.

The Votes Are In!
NSSA completed its election season with students voting for a new president and executive vice president. Congratulations to Suman Randhawa, President, Dara Colon, Executive Vice President, and Andrew Valdez, Executive Secretary. We are all confident you will lead NSC students through post-COVID-19 supported, stronger, and safer.
The election of this new board signals the end for the previous leadership board. Nicola Opfer and Alexander Lum are graduating this month. While it is hard to say goodbye to this dynamic duo, we are equally excited about their future and sincerely grateful for their contributions to Nevada State College.

Mental Health and COVID-19
The pandemic is stressful for many people. Fear and anxiety about any disease can be stressful but COVID-19 is proving to be a different beast. AAU (All About You Counseling) has provided a Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook to help us all work through our vast emotions during this time. Remember, everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and many of us may not have a reaction until we are post-COVID-19. Please take care of yourselves.
Sandip Thanki
A Student Touch-Point Universe Revisited
Last week, Mick Haney (Data Warehouse Architect) presented virtually at the Higher Education Data Warehousing annual conference. Mick’s unique framework for a data warehouse has been adopted at multiple institutions. His talk, titled "A Student Touch-Point Universe Revisited," expanded upon his previous presentation about a framework for integrating student data from a range of sources, including admissions and graduation.

Defining a Year
In higher education, a year is defined in multiple ways. Should summer be part of this year or next year? The answer depends on who you ask. Financial Aid uses "trailer" years where summer comes at the end. Most academic reporting, including credit hours for funding, use "header" years where summer comes first. Although this may seem like a minor detail, storing year-level data (e.g. financial aid, retention and graduation rates) creates huge challenges going across trailer and header years. This year, Mick presented his recent work, which included redesigning the data warehouse to support both types of years. For example, if we are reporting on student success for a student starting in fall 2019, and later decide to include impacts of a prior summer bridge (e.g. a program such as Nepantla), we can easily add those earlier interventions to our reports.

On a side note, did you know that Mick, the aforementioned Data Warehouse Architect, has his image engraved in metal at the Peru State Football Hall of Fame? According to their site, "In a time when passing the ball was not a major portion of the game plan, Haney set several single-season and career record marks. Three of his marks still stand. Haney maintains the single-season record for highest completion percentage, career passing most yards gained per attempt, and career highest percentage for touchdowns."
Key Dates
5/15: Unit plans in support of the strategic plan are due to Sita Sales
5/15: NSHE Virtual Town Hall. Facing the Challenges of COVID-19. 2-3pm.
5/22: Deans submit contingency plans to Provost
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
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