October 14, 2020
Vickie Shields
Vote!
I encourage everyone to vote early this year. If you prefer to do so in-person, we will have voting booths available in the Rogers Student Center on October 26-27, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For other locations and options, check the NV Secretary of State's webpage.
 
Please encourage your students to attend our Be Bold, Go Vote! panel on Monday, October 19th, 3:00- 4:30 p.m. This panel, led by NSSA President Suman Randhawa, will include NSHE Chancellor Dr. Melody Rose, Dr. Chris Harris, NSSA Executive council member Andrew Valdez, Ignite NSC Chapter President Alondra Escobedo, community organizer Amanda Khan, and myself. This is a great opportunity to have students engage in an important dialogue with experts and activists about voting. For more information and a link to RSVP, please visit the Be Engaged page.
As November 3rd gets closer, it is imperative to reflect on the resilience and commitment of the heroes who fought against the idea that voting is a privilege granted to a select few. It is relatively easy now to cast a vote by mail or in-person - so easy that it might not seem terribly important. However, voting suppression tactics are alive and well. This simple act of voting is the result of centuries of struggle and sacrifice, so I am always grateful for all those who marched, protested, and went to jail for the right to have their voice count on Election Day.

Around the time he transmitted the Emancipation Proclamation to Congress, Abraham Lincoln said of American democracy that we could “nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope on earth.” Let’s all do our part to nobly save our democracy before or on November 3, 2020.
Tony Scinta
A few thoughts collected while marveling at how our CCSD teachers manage to keep my children focused for 6+ hours per day in a virtual environment . . .

Exciting Pathways for Former Pre-Nursing Students
One of our foremost challenges as an institution is to guide former pre-nursing students to graduation at NSC. Partner programs ranging from psychology to education have provided viable and attractive pathways for these students, but our new Human Health Sciences (HHS) degree may be the most promising avenue yet. One of my ongoing efforts is to talk to campus stakeholders, such as Dean June Eastridge (SON) and Professor Lance Hellman (LAS/HHS), about additional pathways that could be embedded within HHS, such as a health educator curriculum.

Transfer Partnerships & Recruitment
Recently, I’ve entertained some great conversations about the evolution of our transfer recruitment efforts. The discussion has emphasized entirely new initiatives, such as a dual admissions program that admits students to NSC and CSN simultaneously and guides them from day 1 at the community college to the eventual attainment of a bachelor’s degree.

NSC Students Rock the Vote
We can add a new item to the long list of ways in which NSC students are awesome: voting behavior. According to data compiled for the National Study of Learning, Voting, & Engagement, 45.3% of NSC students voted in 2018, which is over 6% higher than the voting rate for all institutions of higher education. Moreover, the voting rate for registered NSC students was 62.2%, which eclipsed the national rate by roughly 8%. We hope and expect that our students’ awesomeness will continue in the coming weeks.

Director of Workforce Development
I recently worked on the job advertisement for a Director of Workforce Development, approved for hire in 2021, that would help the college create continuing education and workforce development programs that do not necessarily fit our traditional model of academic programs. It’s novel territory for Nevada State, but the hope is that this position can develop programs that meet critical needs in the region while ultimately generating revenue for the campus.
Gwen Sharp
Accreditation Update
We are required to inform the NWCCU of any programs where a student could potentially take at least 50% of credits online. For summer and fall 2020, the Department of Education issued a waiver that only required a short email identifying programs where 50% or more of the courses could be taken online. However, for Spring 2021 they are returning to the normal process that requires us to submit formal notification of such programs. Because so many of our classes are fully online or hybrid during the 2020-21 academic year, the safest option was to list every major and minor at NSC as potentially falling into the "50% or more online" category. For some programs, this is temporary; once the COVID-19 crisis passes, we will send an updated notification to the NWCCU for programs that won't meet the 50% online threshold based on long-term class offering patterns.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Student Comments
NSSE includes a section where students are asked to answer questions in their own words. This year, students were asked to comment on three topics:
  • Senior Transitions: Was there anything NSC could have done to better prepare them for their career or further education?
  • Online Learning: Comments on their mostly or fully online learning experience.
  • Name one change that would most improve the educational experience and one thing that should not be changed (answers separated into first-year and senior students).

You can review the 2020 responses (there are four tabs on the spreadsheet). Overall, students praise NSC in many areas. I redacted a small number of negative or critical comments that identified specific faculty or staff by name (or made them easily identifiable).

Here are some themes from the comments:
  • Students love the sense of community on campus, small classes, diversity of campus community
  • Lots of praise for the quality of faculty/classes
  • Would like more help preparing for the next step: learning about grad school, internships, importance of high grades/GPA, finding relevant volunteer opportunities, prep for entrance exams
  • Better class scheduling: more sections, better times for classes, offer courses more often
  • Improve parking
  • Need more opportunities for students to socialize
  • Want less turnover among advising staff

Employee Assistance Program
As of November, we're moving to a new EAP provider, ComPsych. Our EAP provides free counseling services over the phone, available 24/7, every day. If needed, up to three free in-person counseling sessions are provided as well. They also have a range of online resources. HR will provide contact information when the service launches.

Until November 1st, you can still use the LifeWorks EAP (user ID = nshe, password = eap).

EAP services and resources are available for free to full-time and part-time employees and anyone living with them.

Native Culture of the Las Vegas Area
Monday was Indigenous Peoples Day. Southern Nevada and Utah and northern Arizona are the ancestral home of the Southern Paiute; the Shoshone, Washoe, and Northern Paiute tribes are located throughout the rest of Nevada.

If you're interested in learning more about the Southern Paiute culture, I highly recommend attending a powwow at some point. While COVID has caused the cancellation of events this year, there are normally annual powwows in Las Vegas and Moapa, both open to the public. Here's some footage from Moapa. Powwows are family-friendly, and a great way to show kids that native tribes are still active, vibrant cultures. Also, there's fry bread.

If you'd like to support the regional native economy, look for tribally-owned businesses. For instance, Twisted Cedar Wines is owned and run by the Cedar band of the Southern Paiute, located in Cedar City, Utah, while the Havasupai tribe of northern Arizona oversees tourism on their reservation, including the town of Supai inside the Grand Canyon. Other tribes across the U.S. sell food, crafts, jewelry, clothing, and other items connected to their unique cultures and local ecosystems.

Meeting Tip
Leave time for people to transition to their next activity - even for virtual meetings. It's a research-based best practice!

The web version of Outlook makes this easy and automatic; in Settings, you can set your calendar up to build in an earlier end time when you're sending calendar invites. Based on the research I've read, I recommend 5 minutes for half-hour meetings (so they're actually scheduled for 25 minutes) and 5-10 minutes for hour+ meetings.
Gregory Robinson
Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAP) Coming Soon! 
The Writing Center, Marydean Martin Library, ASC, Care Team, and Blue Sage Writer's Guild will be hosting the Fall 2020 Long Night Against Procrastination on November 20th from 5pm to midnight. Save the date for all-remote academic support, community, and fun.

We're still in the planning process, so this is a great time to let us know if you would like to get involved. Here are a few options for you and your classes:
  • Share fliers and other LNAP info
  • Invite a specialist to visit your class and talk about the event
  • Assign extra credit for participation
  • Schedule extra office hours during LNAP
  • Plan department writing or collaboration time 
  • Drop into the livestream to cheer everyone on!

If you would like to join the party, you are welcome to contact Dr. Herzl-Betz directly or email the Writing Center.

Two Coordinator Searches
We are looking for a new Coordinator for the Nepantla Program and a Coordinator for our Course Assistant/Supplemental Instruction Program. If you know anyone interested, please have them apply here for the Nepantla position or here for the CA/SI position.

WICHE Passport
I spoke with Faculty Senate last week about our WICHE Passport program, and I’ll be meeting with the planning committee later this month. Here are a few of the questions I’ve received so far:

1. We’re working on revising the Core Curriculum now. Is it possible to hold off on WICHE Passport until those revisions are completed? It would have been nice to do both the Core Curriculum revision and the WICHE Passport at the same time. However, even once the new Core is approved, it will take some time to implement, so it was hard to justify the wait. Also, we wanted to join UNR and TMCC when they joined in Fall 2021, when there was no cost to do so. Fortunately, WICHE allows for revisions to the Passport, so I don’t believe it will be difficult to adjust it when our new Core Curriculum is in place.

2. Can students use a partially completed Passport? No. For the program to work, students need to complete their Passport and have this noted on their transcript. We will accept students with partially completed Passports, but their transcripts will be evaluated in the traditional way.

Business Town Hall
The Business faculty hosted their first town hall on Friday, October 2nd. If you missed it, you can catch the full recording here.

Winners!
Vincent Nava and Mick Haney won the first “create the menu” contest at the café. Keep an eye out for the menu items they create. The contest continues, so make sure you are adding your name to the bowl every time you eat at the café. If I ever win, we're eating lemon pancakes.

Meet Our Tutors!
Take a look at these terrific video introductions from our tutors at the ASC.
Stefanie Coleman
A New Residential Campus, Nevada State College!
It's true! On Saturday, October 10th, Nevada State College welcomed 40 students into our inaugural residential complex. I had an opportunity to briefly speak with a few students and parents in between trips to the car, unloading everything from suitcases to stuffed animals.

Students were happy to be closer to campus to stay longer in the library, join a few clubs, and get away from a few younger siblings. Parents were happy for their students to have the college experience they remembered, as well as not having to endure long bus rides or having to figure out how to get to campus. Everyone was understanding about the construction setbacks and appreciated everything that had been done to make Saturday rememberable. With COVID precautions in place, I only saw the first group moving in, but I'm sure the other groups had just as much fun, excitement, and (happy) tears. One dad mentioned that the only thing NSC is missing is a basketball team; I told him I'm working on it.

Mental Health Check-In
As we work together through 2020, we are glad to see that our NSC community is using our free, online mental health screening tool (open to faculty, staff, and students). In the last month, 52 screenings were taken. With any completed mental health screening, you receive an extensive list of local and national resources for support. The tool is also now available on the CARE Team's newly updated webpage, which includes links to all current CARE Services in one location.

CARE-CEDI Partnership
Keep an eye out for an upcoming event hosted by the CARE Team and CEDI. The November Food Giveaway will allow students to sign up to attend a drive-through food pantry on campus. Details coming soon!

Staying in Touch with Our Scorpions
The Office of Student Life (OSL) and NSSA are doing a fabulous job keeping our students engaged. Engaging students in a virtual format is not easy. It's not all fun and games; it's learning, in a fun format. Many OSL departments at other colleges and universities across the country have practically given up on engaging students this semester. Not cool and NOT OUR DEPARTMENT! Look at this list for October. Encourage your students to check the BeEngaged page for the full list. There is really something for everyone.

  • 10/08/2020- Scorpion Talk featuring our very own Nayelli Rico-Lopez (Zoom)
  • 10/16/2020- Scorpion Cookin' (NSSA Instagram Live)
  • 10/19/2020 - Movement Mondays with Minelli McDougall (Zoom)
  • 10/19/2020- Trivia Mondays (Zoom)
  • 10/22/2020- Scorpion Talk (Zoom)
  • 10/24/2020- Game of the Month: Fall Guys (Twitch & Discord)
  • 10/23/2020- Movie Drive-in featuring The Addams Family (in-person, RSC Parking Lot)
  • 10/26/2020- Movement Mondays with Minelli McDougall (Zoom)
  • 10/26/2020- Trivia Mondays (Zoom)
  • 10/26/20-10/31/2020- Clubs and Orgs Week ( check the BeEngaged page)
  • 10/27/2020- Craft Series: Slime (Zoom)
  • 10/28/2020- Man Enough Project: Part 1 (Zoom)
  • 10/28/2020- Spooky Scavenger Hunt (Zoom)
  • 10/29/2020- It's Real: College Students and Mental Health Documentary Screening and Discussion (Zoom)

Stay safe, stay strong!
Sandip Thanki
IPEDS Reporting
This week IR is completing reporting for the fall data collection cycle of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). IPEDS is the most complete higher education dataset; the U.S. Department of Education has made participation mandatory for institutions that provide federal financial aid.

IPEDS consists of 12 survey components touching on major aspects of higher education. All reported data are publicly available in many formats. Most of the high education statistics that we read about come directly from IPEDS. Users can generate their own reports with variables of interest.

Using the Compare Institutions link on the IPEDS site, I generated an example report for Nevada State College in comparison with every U.S. public institution that offers degrees up to the master’s level and has enrollment between 5,000 and 9,999. These are just a few of the variables that we report on. You can create your own reports with custom selections of variables and institutions.
Key Dates
  • 10/16: Assessment Day - Focus on Revised Core Curriculum
  • 10/17: Early voting begins in Nevada
  • 10/19: Be Bold, Go Vote! panel, 3:00- 4:30 p.m.
  • 10/26-27: Early voting available on campus 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., RSC
  • 10/30: Nevada Day - Campus closed, no classes
  • 11/3: Election Day
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