September 30, 2020
Vickie Shields
Welcoming the LAS Dean Finalists
The LAS Dean Search Committee identified three exceptional candidates. I was grateful for the chance to speak with them all last week and again on Monday, September 28th. They all have the potential to bring a unique set of skills and experiences to the college. I would like to thank the search committee for their diligent and thorough work through two rounds of LAS Dean searches, with special mentions to the committee Chair, Dr. Shartriya Collier, and our hiring firm, Academic Search. I'll continue my deliberations on the search committee recommendations, the college-wide evaluations, and the advice provided by Academic Search this week. The next step will be to extend an offer and invite the finalist to visit the campus.

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Awards
It was an honor to recognize so many outstanding members of the Nevada State community at this year’s Faculty and Staff Appreciation Awards. If you missed the event, the video is available here:
Also, I was so proud to accept the Scorpion Trophy this year on behalf of the Office of the Provost. We’ll display it proudly in our lounge area until next year when we’ll pass it to the next recipients. If you missed our video, take a look! Passing items between Zoom windows is more difficult than it seems.
Tony Scinta
Watching last night’s debate was like getting punched repeatedly by the heavyweight champion of the world, but some positive things at NSC helped me pick myself up from the canvas. Here are just a few that I haven’t mentioned yet (or mentioned recently):

  • Degree program approvals – Both our Data Science (BA and BS) and our Early Childhood Education (BA) programs were approved by the Northwest Commission, so they are fully approved for a Fall 2021 launch. 
  • Virtual tour – Our Admissions & Recruitment team is working with Marketing and an external vendor to develop a virtual tour of Nevada State College. It may turn out to be the best multimedia showcase of the college that we’ve ever done. The suite of videos provides a comprehensive overview of NSC.
  • Gateway math and English projects – Faculty and staff continue to progress toward the monumental goal of implementing a full co-requisite model of gateway math and English (meaning, no traditional remediation). Much of our focus has been on gateway math and the significant overhaul required to eliminate our remedial curriculum, but recently we submitted a budget to use grant funds from NSHE to support curriculum development and improvement in gateway English composition. 
  • Supporting African American students at NSC – I was very pleased to participate recently in an excellent – and engaging – Black faculty, staff, and student mixer that was put together by our Sankofa team (led by Shartriya Collier, SOE Associate Dean). Similarly, we’re still in the formative stages, but the college is looking to establish a chapter of Collegiate 100 that would provide another level of engagement, mentorship, and support for our African American students.  
Gwen Sharp
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) High-Impact Practices Findings
NSSE provides a detailed report of our first-year and senior students' participation in six high-impact practices (HIPs): service learning, a learning community, research, internship/field experience, study abroad, and culminating senior experience.

Our first-year students are very similar to students at other institutions in our Carnegie class in their participation. Our seniors fall behind somewhat; while they're comparable in their participation in at least one HIP, they're quite a bit less likely to report taking part in two or more HIPs. (In the chart, the online learning group is a subset of institutions that isn't too relevant here; NSSE 2019 & 2020 is all institutions' results for the past two years.)
Which HIPs do our students participate in? Service learning is by far most common (62% of both groups). Among seniors, 38% completed an internship or field experience while 34% took part in a culminating senior experience. Both are significantly below participation rates for our Carnegie class, though this could be somewhat complicated by the fact that in many programs an internship or field experience *is* the culminating experience, which could affect how students respond.

For detailed information and more comparisons, check out the full NSSE HIP report.

  • The School of Education collaborated with the Nevada Department of Education on a School-Based Mental Health Grant and learned today that it has been funded. SOE will provide coursework to build a pipeline of school counselors and other mental health workers for school settings.
  • Molly Appel (English) submitted a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant proposal. If funded, it will provide $34,000 to support creation of an Intercultural Competency concentration.
Gregory Robinson
Thinking Remotely, Even When It’s No Longer a Necessity
At some point, students will come back to campus and in-person classes will be the norm again. But between now and then, everyone is learning a lot about teaching remotely, and I imagine that many of our classes will change based on this new understanding, even if our ratio of online vs. in-person returns to pre-COVID levels. I also hope that what we learn will open additional dialogue about online programs.

Currently, there are a few initiatives in progress:
  • We’ve worked with LAS to develop a “perpetual” schedule of Core Curriculum classes that students can take online, which would allow a student to complete all the Core classes remotely. The pilot of AST 104/105 this spring will be the last piece of this puzzle.
  • We’ve got a new Leadership minor (and a great group of Leadership students!), which can be a concentration in an online Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Our rotating schedule provides an online pathway through this degree, although I’m hoping to see it grow enough to offer in-person and mixed pathways as well.
  • The MGM Opportunity Program is still going strong. MGM will pay for its employees to complete a degree as long as it is entirely online. Any online degree pathways we offer fit well into this program. 

What’s next? Ideally, I’d like the college as a whole to support a shared vision for online programs – one that guides our aspirations but also affirms our commitment to the characteristics/practices that make NSC unique. The vision statement shouldn’t list out specific programs (those are in the Strategic Plan), but it should describe why we would pursue these options and the values that guide those decisions. Here’s a document I drafted when I first began looking into online programs. If you are interested and want to provide feedback, I’d love to have it.

Support the NSC Cafe!
Do you member what NSC was like before we had a cafe? I do. Lunch for us back then meant whatever we could get from a vending machine. As you might imagine, traffic is lower at the cafe because of the small number of students on campus, so I urge you to get lunch at the cafe when you can. It will help us keep this service in place until things get back to normal. I do my best to support them with regular purchases of Red Bull and the occasional wrap.
Stefanie Coleman
Encouraging ALL Scorpions to Vote!
The history of voting in this country includes the sweat, sacrifice, and tears of many recognizable and historical names, including Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. As an institution of higher learning, we are strongly encouraging all Scorpions (faculty, staff, and students) to vote.

As with every election cycle, this will mark the first time many of our students are able to vote. For those students who have voted before, the pandemic still presents unique challenges and some potential confusion. Please encourage your students to act now, register to vote, check their registration status, and have a plan in place to cast their vote. For more information, visit the Clark County registration and voting page.

Registration Deadlines
In-person registration: October 6
By mail registration: Postmarked by October 6
Online registration: October 29
Early Voting: October 17-October 30 (Dates and hours may vary based on where you live)


New Academic Advisor
The Academic Advising Center is excited to welcome Rileigh Merritt-Dietz. Rileigh brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to NSC. She is a former Academic Advisor and adjunct instructor at the University of North Florida. Rileigh earned her Master’s Degree in Normative and Applied Ethics at the University of Florida. Welcome, Rileigh!
Accessibility and Captioning
Sandip Thanki
We often hear that NSC has one of the largest and fastest-growing nursing programs in Nevada. But how large is it in comparison to other NSHE schools? The chart gives us a clear answer: the blue bar towering over the other schools in the last three years is us! These are nursing students who have already been accepted into our program. It doesn't include over a thousand NSC pre-nursing students who are still completing their admissions requirements.
Key Dates
10/1: Presidential Search Forums at 11am and 1:30pm
10/16: Assessment Day - Focus on Revised Core Curriculum
10/17: Early voting begins in Nevada
10/30: Nevada Day - Campus closed, no classes
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