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CSN Receives Governor’s STEM Grant to Train the Future of Southern Nevada’s Cyber Security Defense

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For Immediate Release:

Contact:          Richard Lake, CSN Public Relations Specialist, 702-651-7715, Richard.Lake@csn.edu

CSN Receives Governor’s STEM Grant to Train the Future of Southern Nevada’s Cyber Security Defense 

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 5, 2016 – The Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) announced it has awarded Round 2 STEM Workforce Challenge Grants to Nevada training providers throughout the state, including the College of Southern Nevada.

CSN will receive $149,882 to partner with Switch SUPERNAP and the member companies of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) to create a new Cyber Security Associate of Applied Science Degree and an advanced Certificate of Achievement.

“This grant is critical to get us the kind of modern security tools needed to train the future front line of Southern Nevada’s cyber security defense,” said CSN School of Advanced & Applied Technologies Dean Michael Spangler.

The STEM Workforce Challenge Grant will fund the development of five new CSN courses that better meet the industry’s needs, including Ethical Hacking, Physical Security, Incident Handling, Advanced Network Security, and Penetration Testing. As a result of the training, students will be prepared for the following six industry certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Cisco CCENT, EC-Council CEH, and ECIH. The grant will also fund the creation of a state-of-the-art classroom, which will allow CSN to expand the program from about 200 students to 250 students.

More information about CSN’s grant and others awarded in this round can be found at http://osit.nv.gov/grants/grants.

About CSN:

Founded in 1971 and educating thousands of students a semester, the College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN students can choose from over 150 degree and certificate options in more than 90 areas of study, including 25 degree and certificate programs available entirely online. Students create flexible, personalized schedules, including day, evening, and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. For more information, visit http://www.csn.edu/nondiscrimination

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CSN January Chronicle

The January 15 2016 town hall included information on enrollment, CSN’s budget, management models and strategic planning.

Greetings faculty and staff,

Hope your spring semester is off to a great start! This January Chronicle includes information on recent events including positive recent work force developments impacting CSN and topics discussed at the recent town hall.

Untitled1Faraday Special Session

In December, state legislators passed a large tax package for Faraday Futures to attract the electric vehicle company to Southern Nevada. The legislation included a workforce development fund. CSN intends to apply and compete for these dollars to be the major workforce training provider for Faraday. I would like to thank Dan Gouker, senior associate vice president of CSN’s Division of Workforce & Economic Development, and his team for heading up conversations with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development early on to ensure Faraday’s training needs are met by the largest and most diverse higher education institution in Nevada – CSN!

Town Hall

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.11.41 AM

The January 15 2016 town hall included information on enrollment, CSN’s budget, management models and strategic planning.

Approximately 200 faculty and staff attended the town hall at the Horn Theatre on Jan. 15 and received updates on budget, manageability models and the strategic planning process. The presentation slides are available here on my web site. I covered four key topics, including various community college management models to explore, budget and enrollment and strategic planning. 2

CSN Connections events took place on all three campuses this week to connect our students to the many student support services offered at CSN, including free tutoring, child care, advising and counseling and more. Thanks to all who participated to make these events a success!

CSN’s Budget

CSN’s spring enrollment will be down, compared to spring 2015, according to preliminary data, and will likely result in further budget cuts this fiscal year. You will receive more information about this as the semester progresses. This academic year, unfortunately, sets the bar for our state funding for the next two-year cycle, which likely means fewer dollars for the college in the coming years.

I think this represents an opportunity to assess some of the biggest challenges our students face in applying, enrolling and persisting at CSN. First, we know our students are price sensitive. We are advocating for several legislative priorities, including increased funding for career and technical education and developmental courses, which are more costly than other courses. We have also advocated that the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) advance a Promise program or free community college for responsible recent high school graduates, which will bring in more federal financial aid dollars for the state and likely increase enrollments. We are also seeking funds for workforce development and increased efforts to assist K-12 with college readiness. We believe these initiatives play a critical role in the state’s economic development agenda and will increase funding and support for our broad mission.

Enrollment

CSN Connections events took place on all three campuses this week to connect our students to the many student support services offered at CSN, including free tutoring, child care, advising and counseling and more. Thanks to all who participated to make these events a success!

CSN Connections events took place on all three campuses this week to connect our students to the many student support services offered at CSN, including free tutoring, child care, advising and counseling and more. Thanks to all who participated to make these events a success!

Further, our Strategic Enrollment Planning efforts continue to help us better manage our recruitment, retention and completion efforts. This spring, we will implement a new customer relations management tool or CRM, including software that will allow for further inter-departmental collaborations and data collection. CSN recently contracted with Hobsons to provide strategic solutions to improve the student experience. Two modules, Radius and Starfish will begin kick-off and implementation in early February. Radius offers admissions and enrollment management CRM capabilities with communications 3

tools that allow CSN to build dynamic, multi-step outreach campaigns to reach prospective students with the right message at the right time.

The CRM will help us better manage each stage of the admissions process, from the student’s initial inquiry through application completion and then continue to connect with students through their academic career at CSN. It can also help us identify at-risk students in real time and connect them with valuable student services, such as tutoring. Once fully implemented, CSN will extend the reach of services to students and retention efforts through an integrated suite of student success and degree planning solutions including predictive and reporting analytics.

Management Models

In terms of CSN’s management model, the Board of Regents has asked me to consider different approaches to our current centralized structure to better oversee this institution and ensure local connectivity. Although enrollment is down, CSN continues to be among a handful of massive community colleges in the nation and we still retain the title of the largest higher education institution in the state. We are exploring other models, such as that of Portland Community College or the Lone Star College System in Texas that may decentralize our management structure and incite more autonomy for campuses to respond to local community economic and workforce development needs. The costs associated with such a change are part of this discussion.

Strategic Planning

Finally, our strategic planning process to create the direction for the college’s next seven years has begun with Patty Charlton, CSN Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Administrative Services and Professor Dr. Joshua Levin co-chairing this effort. This will be an inclusive project involving a number of stakeholder groups. We look forward to informing you on opportunities to contribute in the near future.

Website Redesign

We are looking forward to unveiling a new website at the end of March. Our current site is difficult to navigate, contains archaic information, and students and prospective students must often meander through a lot of internal sites to find information pertinent to their needs. The new website will be geared toward prospective students and their families. You will find that many of our current policies, forms, and information will not be available on this site. We plan to launch an internal portal for employees that will include these items as well as 4

The CSN African American Heritage Committee, Black Student Association and Office of Community Relations, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and other CSN students, staff and alumni, participated in the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Parade held in downtown Las Vegas on January 18, 2016. Thanks to all who came out to represent the college in this important community event!

opportunities for more virtual engagement at the end of May. In the interim, you will be able to access the old web site and all of its forms, etc. from the new website. We will begin training for web page owners next month so that they can learn how to use the new content management system.

Southwest Airlines Discount

We are encouraging all employee airfare to be booked through SWABIZ.com to take advantage of a 3 percent NSHE discount. Simply book the travel through SWABIZ.com rather than Southwest.com and enter the following information:

• Corporate ID: 99881810

• Account No.: Your individual Rapid Rewards #

• Password: Your individual Rapid Rewards password

Prestige Travel cannot book through SWABIZ and therefore will be able to access this discount.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The CSN African American Heritage Committee, Black Student Association and Office of Community Relations, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and other CSN students, staff and alumni, participated in the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Parade held in downtown Las Vegas on January 18, 2016. Thanks to all who came out to represent the college in this important community event!

The CSN African American Heritage Committee, Black Student Association and Office of Community Relations, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and other CSN students, staff and alumni, participated in the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Parade held in downtown Las Vegas on January 18, 2016. Thanks to all who came out to represent the college in this important community event!

CSN had great representation in the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Parade held in downtown Las Vegas on Jan. 18. The parade included a mix of organizations, businesses, marching bands, schools, drill teams and community leaders in this celebration of the largest parade in the state of Nevada. Thank you to all who organized the CSN contingency, including the CSN African American Heritage Committee, Black Student Association and Office of Community Relations, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. 5

The new leased space for CSN’s HVAC program is located off of Cheyenne Avenue not far from the Cheyenne campus.

Exciting New Partnership with Switch

CSN has formed an exciting partnership with Switch to build an HVAC program that will train the next generation of Switch technicians to manage the temperature-control needs of the company’s hundreds of servers and expanding local operations.

The company will hire eight CSN students as intern technicians every year. Once those students graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in HVAC, the company will hire them. Switch will also send existing HVAC technicians through the degree-program to build their next level of supervisors. The program will include general education courses at the company’s Innovation Center in Las Vegas that will be open to Switch and CSN students.

Untitled5HVAC

In addition to the exciting partnership with Switch, our HVAC program has expanded to a new leased site in addition to its presence at the Cheyenne and Henderson campuses.

The new leased space for CSN's HVAC program is located off of Cheyenne Avenue not far from the Cheyenne campus.

The new leased space for CSN’s HVAC program is located off of Cheyenne Avenue not far from the Cheyenne campus.

The new facilities, located not far from the Cheyenne campus, feature working

hot water and steam boiler systems, a 160-ton York Chiller, a BAC Cooling Tower, a complete sheet metal fabrication area, and more. It’s all designed to make sure CSN’s students are working with the latest technology so they enter the workforce highly skilled and ready to hit the ground running.

Poster Fair

Our Third Annual Poster Fair, held earlier this month, was a great success. Dozens of presenters from faculty and staff displayed their student success efforts and focused on what was working well. The effort, led by Associate Vice President for Academic 6

The third annual poster fair at this year's spring convocation allowed faculty and staff to share ideas and research on student success.

The third annual poster fair at this year’s spring convocation allowed faculty and staff to share ideas and research on student success.

The third annual poster fair at this year’s spring convocation allowed faculty and staff to share ideas and research on student success.

Success James McCoy, is designed to help our faculty and staff discover some of the great ideas that others are already using in their classrooms and beyond. Thank you to all who participated and I hope these interactions proved fruitful to all involved.

CSN Institutional Advisory Council Meetings

The CSN IAC has created two subcommittees, including one on performance metrics by which to gauge their own performance in meeting the charges of the Council. A second subcommittee is on Career & Curricula Alignment, and is looking at economic data and information to ensure CSN has the programs in place to meet employment needs. The Council next meeting is Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. at Cheyenne. These are open meetings and all are welcome. Please email K.C. Brekken if you would like to be on the email list to receive agendas or you can refer to their webpage for any materials or dates.

Faculty & Staff Questions & Answers

“I do not understand the discussion on Models for Management of CSN at the town hall. What is this about and what direction is CSN going with compared to peer colleges?”

CSN has a very centralized structure of management compared to most community colleges our size. In fact, we are one of the largest higher education institutions in the nation with this structure. The Board of Regents has asked CSN to consider different structures that might help us better manage our large foot print and encourage more local interactions with our many diverse stakeholders as this community grows. This is a long-term planning exercise about what we want to look like in the future. 7

“Is the 15% budget cut that was experienced by all departments in November going to be the starting budget amount for 2016-2017? Will it go back to the original amount given in July 2015, or will there be another cut come July 2016?”

At this point it is too early to tell with a number of enrollment factors still in play, including short-term course registration. We want to see what spring semester enrollment is on the census date around mid-March. We also want to see what the mix of resident and non-resident students is at that time.

“Will CSN hire more student affairs employees? For example, in Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, Recruitment, & Advising? Some of the departments do not have enough employees to meet students’ needs.”

You may recall that students agreed to a 4 percent increase in registration fees in each year, starting in FY 2015 to FY 2019. Revenues from these fees will support incremental increases to Student Affairs and Academic Affairs staff in coordination with students and as approved by the Board of Regents. At the March 2016 meeting, CSN and other institutions will submit plans for use of fee revenues to the Regents. Over time these staffing additions will add more employees in the areas you mention and in faculty ranks.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Best,

Mike

CSN to Honor Civil Rights Veterans

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For Immediate Release:

Contact:          Richard Lake, CSN Public Relations Specialist, 702-651-7715, Richard.Lake@csn.edu

CSN to Honor Civil Rights Veterans

The 5th annual CSN Frederick Douglass Lecture Series will feature the importance of equality in America 

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 1, 2015 – The College of Southern Nevada will honor local civil rights pioneers at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, as part of the annual CSN Frederick Douglass Lecture Series.

The event, titled “Eracism: An Event to Eliminate Racism and Inequality in America,” will feature keynote speaker and civil rights activist Hannah Brown, who will address the importance of equality in America.

College President Michael Richards will present Brown with the CSN Frederick Douglass Humanitarian Award at the event. In addition, former Nevada System of Higher Education Regent June Whitley will receive the Frederick Douglass Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Each award is designed to symbolize Frederick Douglass’ three components of success, including a belief in oneself, taking advantage of every opportunity, and using the power of spoken and written language to affect positive change,” said CSN Communication Professor Arnold Bell, who has organized the lecture series each year. “With the events that have happened at the University of Missouri, Yale and UNLV, there is no better time to address this issue and let people come together to honor those who have helped pave the way as we continue to strive for equality.”

The media are invited to attend.

What: Eracism: An Event to Eliminate Racism and Inequality in America

When: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015

Who: Activist Hannah Brown and former NSHE Regent June Whitley

Where: CSN Cheyenne campus, June Whitley Student Lounge

About CSN:

Founded in 1971 and educating thousands of students a semester, the College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN students can choose from over 150 degree and certificate options in more than 90 areas of study, including 25 degree and certificate programs available entirely online. Students create flexible, personalized schedules, including day, evening, and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. For more information, visit http://www.csn.edu/nondiscrimination

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November & December Chronicle

November/December 2015 Chronicle

Greetings and welcome to the November/December Chronicle. I know how busy you are this time of year and so I present to you a combined Chronicle to provide you with a lot of good information about our budget, future events and more. Please review this information and share it with others.

Jan. 15, 2016 CSN Town Hall

CSN Nicholas J. Horn Theatre at the Cheyenne campus

CSN Nicholas J. Horn Theatre at the Cheyenne campus

As part of spring convocation, I will hold a town hall at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 at the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre where I look forward to having a meaningful discussion with you about CSN’s strategic direction, our budget, and our size and manageability. Please put this on your calendar and plan to attend. This will be an important conversation on three issues that will dominate 2016.

Strategic Direction

We are starting a seven-year cycle of planning and accountability. The mission, vision, values, goals and objectives of CSN will be under review and development. I would like all faculty and staff to engage in this process—either actively participating or just knowing what lies ahead for CSN and Nevada.

Budget Cuts                                                      

Earlier this month, I announced that CSN must cut 15 percent or $1.8 million from operating budgets due to lower-than-expected tuition and fee dollars this academic year. Although our budget is funded largely by completions, CSN’s revenues from student tuition and fees are down as a result of lower-than-anticipated fall enrollment (-3.6 percent FTE from fall 2014). This is not easy and I want to thank all of you for the time and effort to cut more from already lean operations.

The 15 percent reductions are harder to make because of cuts we have already experienced. You may recall that the unearned “F” grade and other issues were reflected in CSN’s appropriation at the start of fiscal year 2016. The appropriation included a $1.1 million reduction from our base budget for each fiscal year to account for fewer completed credit hours and a loss of $1.7 million for each fiscal year due to the elimination of funding for the unearned “F” grade.

You should know that in anticipation of budget challenges at the beginning of this fiscal year, CSN cut 26 unfilled FTE positions. However, to keep our commitment to students, CSN continues the hiring process for key positions.

I also want to highlight the faculty who are volunteering to tutor students during Thanksgiving and Finals Week to supplement our Centers for Academic Success. This is an extraordinary time of need and we are all grateful to those who take personal time to help our students.

You also need to know what CSN is requesting for the 2017 legislative session, both for operating and capital budget enhancements. (See Budget Cuts section of my October Chronicle.)

Manageability and Consolidated Services

Even with enrollment down, CSN is still the biggest higher education institution in Nevada and one of the biggest community colleges in the nation. Periodically, Regents have asked about CSN’s size, projected enrollment, response to growth in the Las Vegas valley and its manageability. At the same time, there is a continuing goal of wringing efficiencies from NSHE and its institutions through shared services. We may need to consider different structures to improve manageability. I plan to describe these issues at the town hall on Jan. 15, including the feasibility of a consolidation of police services.

Potential Police Consolidation

2In December, the Board of Regents will consider the consolidation of police for UNR, TMCC and DRI and there have been discussions to implement a similar partnership here among the southern institutions. Safety and security are a top concern at CSN, as it is at UNLV and NSC. This spring, we will conduct a review of costs and ability to assess potential savings in the south.

 

Please take time on January 15 to attend the Town Hall and to learn more about CSN’s direction, budget, and management.

Native American Heritage Month

CSN Native Days (left) Nika Tso, Dr. Sondra Cosgrove, Dr. Chad Waucaush, Christian Gerlach and Fawn Douglas

CSN Native Days (left) Nika Tso, Dr. Sondra Cosgrove, Dr. Chad Waucaush, Christian Gerlach and Fawn Douglas

November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The CSN Native American Alliance, chaired by Dr. Sondra Cosgrove, presented multiple events during the month of November with two movie screenings “Reel Injun” and “We are people, not mascots” followed by a discussion lead by Dr. Chad Waucaush. Other events included Native Days activities included delicious fry bread, followed by presentations on science, pollution and solar power on Native American reservations and making Gold Butte a national monument. Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people to our community.

International Education Week

CSN President Michael Richards at Ambassador Day with students

CSN President Michael Richards at Ambassador Day with students

Every third week in November is International Education Week which is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This year, the Comprehensive Internationalization Committee of CSN chaired by Dr. Lester Tanaka presented a full lineup of events to help promote programming that prepares our students for a global environment. Events included a panel discussion pertaining to international students’ CSN experience, the new black market of human trafficking and a poster presentation highlighting water usage, plastic waste and drought effects around the world. The highlight of the week was Ambassador Day, in which students and staff put together booths, representing various cultures and cuisines.

Institutional Advisory Council Update

Our Institutional Advisory Council continues to meet quarterly now. You can find the next meeting dates here. At the November meeting, the Council voted to create two ad hoc subcommittees: A curriculum and career alignment subcommittee will look at Burning Glass data to examine how CSN program and course offerings match local and regional employment demands and a metric subcommittee will create recommendations on how to measure the Council’s performance and success. Those subcommittees will also be subject to the Nevada Open Meeting Law and all agendas and materials will be housed permanently on the CSN website at www.csn.edu/IAC.

On Nov. 30, the Board of Regents Committee on Community Colleges will meet and vote on the IAC’s campus naming policy recommendation. I am extremely grateful to the Council for its time and effort in deliberating the policy. I intend to recommend a compromise as described in this briefing.

Late Registration

CSN leadership is exploring an add/drop modification during the first week of the spring semester. That decision has not yet been made and there are many steps and areas of the college that must first review this concept before any change can occur. The goal is to balance the need for access with processes that incite student success and course completion.  We are considering providing flexibility to allow students who, for instance, sit through one class, know they will not succeed, and want to enroll in a different one in which they feel more confident. We also want to ensure students and faculty have the ability to fully engage in learning from day one.

You will be informed at once if we make any changes to this policy.

We are planning exciting enhancements to the student registration experience in the future, including the activation of a wait list function in MyCSN.  This will allow students who want a specific course at a specific time on a specific campus to be put on a wait list for that section. Certain departments are experimenting with wait listing this spring.

New Switch Partnership

Switch facilities

Switch facilities

CSN is partnering with Switch to build an HVAC program that will train the next generation of Switch technicians to manage the temperature-control needs of the company’s hundreds of servers and expanding Nevada operations.

The company has agreed to hire eight CSN students as intern technicians each year. Upon completion of the Associate of Applied Science in HVAC, Switch will then hire these students. Switch will also send existing HVAC technicians through the degree-program to build their next level of supervisors. This program will include general education courses at the company’s Innovation Center in Las Vegas that will be open to Switch and CSN students. Communication and customer service classes will be the first offerings at this location in fall 2016, followed by English and math in the spring. In addition, Switch will provide eight internships to CSN HVAC students.

Congratulations!

CSN President Richards, CIO Mugunth Vaithylingam and Senior Vice President Patty Charlton

CSN President Richards, CIO Mugunth Vaithylingam and Senior Vice President Patty Charlton

Congratulations to CSN Chief Information Officer Mugunth Vaithylingam, who was named among the top 10 best Las Vegas tech executives at the Top Tech Exec Awards ceremony on Nov. 19. Mugunth was nominated among more than 50 of the best corporate, public and nonprofit CIOs in the Las Vegas valley. We are fortunate to have him leading our Office of Technology Services. Thank you Mugunth and you terrific team for all you do to help students, faculty and staff succeed.

Holiday Party

7Do not forget to purchase your ticket for the CSN Holiday Party at any campus cashier’s office. The party will take place on Dec. 10 at the Rio this year and promises to be an excellent occasion.

 

 

Faculty & Staff Questions

“Outside of a holiday party, what is CSN going to do to ensure that employees feel appreciated?”

The holiday party, which is sponsored in part by the CSN Foundation, is a tradition at CSN that we strive to continue every year to bring people together to socialize. We will also continue the classified luncheon, the CSN Reflections Magazine at the end of the year to highlight employee successes, the Distinguished and Excellence employee awards at Convocation, the retirees’ luncheon and all of the wonderful work conducted through our Internal Recognition Committee.

“With budget cuts looming, what is CSN’s primary focus to increase our student enrollment that has steadily declined for the last 5 years? What can employees do to assist with this increase and how can you ensure everyone’s suggestions are given due consideration?”

As our economy continues to improve and unemployment decreases, CSN’s enrollment has declined, like many other community colleges around the nation. Student enrollment and completion is everyone’s responsibility. You play a role in the growing number of students we graduate, in our recent status and recognition as a Hispanic and minority serving institution, our high licensure exam passage rates and the pristine graduation rate of our CSN high schools. You are CSN ambassadors.

8In terms of ensuring everyone’s suggestions are given due consideration, CSN is a shared governance institution and we have twice now received accolades from our accrediting body for our thriving model of shared governance. This means that classified, administrative and faculty employee groups help create and improve our policies and processes. You can participate in influencing the future of CSN through the committee process and by providing feedback through the Work Climate Committee’s PACE and Snap Shot surveys. I am proud of the fact that CSN employees have a reputation among Nevada policymakers as outspoken advocates, who never shy away from challenging the status quo. Apart from that, I’m exploring technological solutions to ensure that this isn’t a top-down management environment so that frontline employees, serving our community, can articulate the problems they see to executive administration. We hope to unveil some of these solutions in the near future.

“It feels that classified employees’ job duties continue to increase without additional compensation, including the new P-card process, HR functions and so forth. How can we improve the balance between what some perceive as ever-increasing work requirements and little to no growth in compensation?”

I would like to preface these comments by noting that Board of Regents Chair Rick Trachok recently stated in a letter to the Review-Journal, his intention that Nevada higher education, “become more efficient and more responsive to our overall mission of student success.” He is leading this effort by calling for institutions to reduce administrative costs and direct more funding into instruction. As I discussed above, CSN is also cutting its current fiscal year budget due to lower-than-anticipated revenues and we are doing everything we can to protect the student experience. This is a time, when we must focus our efforts positively on how to eliminate redundant processes, costly paper and printing, travel and so forth. If you have a suggestion, please bring it forward to your supervisor and participate in Work Climate surveys that address these issues. This is an innovative institution filled with employees dedicated to our mission. I am confident we can keep our momentum on student success going with your energy and passion for our students.

As we wrap up this semester, stay healthy and enjoy your students, colleagues, family and friends. I look forward to seeing you at the holiday party, convocation week and at the Jan. 15 town hall at the Horn!

Best,

Mike

 

 

CSN to hold annual STEM Conference for Gear Up

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For Immediate Release:

Contact:          Richard Lake, CSN Public Relations Specialist, 702-651-7715, Richard.Lake@csn.edu

CSN to hold annual STEM Conference for Gear Up

High school students will visit the CSN Cheyenne campus to learn about careers in science, tech fields

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 10, 2015 – The College of Southern Nevada will host dozens of high school students at its third annual STEM Conference for Gear Up, with keynote speaker Missy Young, executive vice president of sales at Switch Supernap data centers and a longtime supporter of STEM education.

The event, set Nov. 20 at 8 a.m. on CSN’s Cheyenne campus, will see approximately 100 students from Del Sol High and Chaparral high schools visit the campus to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM fields – that are important to Nevada’s economic diversification efforts. These two schools were chosen because they participate in Gear Up, a federal program that supports traditionally underserved students.

“Today and in the future, many successful careers will require knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math, so we want to make sure our future leaders will be exposed to those careers,” CSN President Dr. Michael Richards said. “We want students coming away from this conference excited about these subjects and interested in exploring them further.”

Students will have a chance to participate in hands-on workshops and meet people who work in science and technology. The goal is to spark an interest in the students so they may pursue careers in high-paying, in-demand fields.

The event is not open to the public, but media are encouraged to attend.

What: CSN third annual STEM Conference for Gear Up

Where: The College of Southern Nevada Cheyenne campus, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave, North Las Vegas, telecommunications building, room 1772

When: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 20, 2016

About CSN:

Founded in 1971 and educating thousands of students a semester, the College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN students can choose from over 150 degree and certificate options in more than 90 areas of study, including 25 degree and certificate programs available entirely online. Students create flexible, personalized schedules, including day, evening, and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. For more information, visit http://www.csn.edu/nondiscrimination

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It’s Time to Enroll for Spring 2016 at CSN

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For Immediate Release:

Contact:          Richard Lake, CSN Public Relations Specialist, 702-651-7715, Richard.Lake@csn.edu

It’s Time to Enroll for Spring 2016 at CSN

Nevada’s largest higher education institution invites students to begin signing up for classes

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 3, 2015 – Open enrollment for the spring 2016 semester begins Nov. 20 at the College of Southern Nevada, meaning anyone admitted can begin signing up for classes.

In addition to required classes like biology, math and communications, CSN is also offering courses on night photography, Pilates for fitness, and a tax preparation class that will see students offering their skills to the community later in the spring.

Classes for the Spring 2016 semester begin Tuesday, Jan. 19. Students are reminded that CSN no longer allows late registration except in unusual circumstances. All registration must be complete before midnight Jan. 18, 2016.

In addition, all new incoming Clark County School District graduates must participate in an orientation session, complete placement testing and meet with an advisor before registering for classes.

“Sometimes our more popular classes can fill up quickly, so students are encouraged to enroll as early as possible,” said Hyla Winters, interim vice president for academic affairs.

For more information on how to enroll, visit www.csn.edu/futurestudents.

About CSN:

Founded in 1971 and educating thousands of students a semester, the College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN students can choose from over 150 degree and certificate options in more than 90 areas of study, including 25 degree and certificate programs available entirely online. Students create flexible, personalized schedules, including day, evening, and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. For more information, visit http://www.csn.edu/nondiscrimination

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CSN’s New Guided Pathways, Helping Students Find Their Way Faster

How can universities and colleges help students graduate faster without compromising the quality of their education?

College of Southern Nevada faculty and staff heard from one of the leading innovators in higher education today about the latest key strategies that progressive states are employing. Dr. Bruce Vandal, senior vice president of results at Complete College America, a nonprofit working with more than 30 states to increase college completion, was on campus to talk about some game changing strategies for the Mission Achieves: Guided Pathways for Success Workshop.

Dr. Bruce Vandal, senior vice president of results at Complete College America, and CSN interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Hyla Winters at the October 29  Guided Pathways for Success Workshop hosted by CSN, Complete College America and United Way of Southern Nevada.

Dr. Bruce Vandal, senior vice president of results at Complete College America, and CSN interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Hyla Winters at the October 29 Guided Pathways for Success Workshop hosted by CSN, Complete College America and United Way of Southern Nevada.

The good news is that CSN is on track and already working on a number of these.

On Thursday, Vandal led a conversation with CSN faculty, staff and community leaders, as part of Mission Achieves – the United Way of Southern Nevada-led and Lumina Foundation-sponsored initiative to increase the number of Nevada college graduates from 30 percent to 60 percent by 2025. CSN, through United Way of Southern Nevada’s Mission Achieves, recently received a “Game Changer” award by Complete College America to assist CSN faculty and staff in their work with guided pathways. This work will ultimately help college students complete their degree programs in a more timely manner. According to Complete College America, the average student seeking an associate degree completes 81 credits, while 60 is the standard for graduation. CSN, in partnership with Complete College America and United Way of Southern Nevada, then put together the Oct. 29 Guided Pathways for Success Workshop to hold a broader discussion on Guided Pathways and other student success measures.

United Way of Southern Nevada CEO Bob Morgan and Senior Director Nelson Araujo discuss the importance of college completion at the October 29  Guided Pathways for Success Workshop hosted by CSN, Complete College America and United Way of Southern Nevada.

United Way of Southern Nevada CEO Bob Morgan and Senior Director Nelson Araujo discuss the importance of college completion at the October 29 Guided Pathways for Success Workshop hosted by CSN, Complete College America and United Way of Southern Nevada.

Easy to understand maps that tell students semester, by semester, what they should take and when, were the central topic. CSN has created what’s called a Guided Pathway for each degree program, including a map for full-time students and one for part time students taking at least nine credits, that provides the most effective route to commencement.

“These maps help students avoid courses that do not count toward their degrees, which can cost them time and money and may lead some to drop out all together,” said Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Hyla Winters. “They put students on the right path and allow them to have an expectation of what courses are offered and when.”

Vandal highlighted a recent survey that found at least 53 percent of undergraduates regret at least one academic decision during their college career. Pathways can help.

“We should be thinking about helping students make initial choices of what they want to do, helping them make informed choices about what they will do and then ultimately getting them to see it through,” Vandal said.

The maps are currently located on the CSN website and CSN faculty and staff are working to use them to ensure the right courses and the right number of sections are offered each semester. They will also appear in the 2016-17 course catalog.

CSN interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Hyla Winters at the October 29 Guided Pathways for Success Workshop hosted by CSN, Complete College America and United Way of Southern Nevada.

CSN interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Hyla Winters at the October 29 Guided Pathways for Success Workshop hosted by CSN, Complete College America and United Way of Southern Nevada.

“You have absolutely captured in my mind what is the back bone of an effective systematic strategy that is the academic map,” Vandal told CSN faculty and staff. “It is not as simple as here is the map that is just a tool for students. It is a tool for everyone and increases understanding.”

Other effective game-changing strategies being employed in other states that Vandal highlighted included meta majors, general degree plans specific to a field such as the arts or health sciences, that give undecided students a taste of an overall field, and proactive advising that utilizes advanced technology to help the college connect with students showing signs of academic distress during the semester.

CSN English Professor and Novelist Laura McBride Honored

News logo

For Immediate Release:

Contact:          Richard Lake, CSN Public Relations Specialist, 702-651-7715, Richard.Lake@csn.edu 

CSN English Professor and Novelist Laura McBride Honored

Nevada Writers Hall of Fame to award author of “We Are Called to Rise” the 2015 Silver Pen

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 23, 2015 – College of Southern Nevada English Professor Laura McBride, whose debut novel “We Are Called to Rise” was placed on numerous best books of 2014 lists, has been selected to receive a Silver Pen award at this year’s Nevada Writers Hall of Fame ceremony.

“I couldn’t feel more honored, or more pleased to be placed in the company of so many excellent Nevada writers,” McBride said. “It’s a challenge too – to keep producing work that merits the award already given – which I appreciate. I like a little fire in the belly.”

McBride has been teaching English at CSN for 15 years. “We are Called to Rise” is her first novel.

The ceremony will take place Nov. 19 in the Milt Glick Ballroom on the fourth floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to McBride’s honor, poet and novelist Ellen Hopkins will be inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, and writer and Truckee Meadows Community College Professor Mark Maynard will also receive a Silver Pen Award.

For more information on the awards, contact Nicole Shearer at the University of Nevada, Reno: nshearer@unr.edu or 775-784-1169.

About CSN:

Founded in 1971 and educating thousands of students a semester, the College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN students can choose from over 150 degree and certificate options in more than 90 areas of study, including 25 degree and certificate programs available entirely online. Students create flexible, personalized schedules, including day, evening, and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. For more information, visit http://www.csn.edu/nondiscrimination

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CSN Offers Dog-Tired Students a Break

News logo

For Immediate Release:

Contact:          Richard Lake, CSN Public Relations Specialist, 702-651-7715, Richard.Lake@csn.edu

CSN Offers Dog-Tired Students a Break

Love Dog Adventures’ therapy dogs make a return to campus as final exams approach

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 21, 2015 – No one understands better than the College of Southern Nevada’s library staff how students can get dog-tired as the semester winds down and final exams loom, so they’re inviting students to take a stress break.

A group of therapy dogs from Love Dog Adventures will visit all three CSN campuses in November to help the students relax.

“A short break where students don’t have to think about research papers or final exams can make a big difference,” said Beth Schuck, CSN’s Library Services director.

Love Dog Adventures, a non-profit, all-volunteer animal assisted therapy program, has visited CSN’s libraries in recent years, and the feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive. Schuck said CSN’s libraries try to focus on creating a welcoming environment for students, and the therapy dogs program is part of that.

Students are able to hold and pet the dogs in lounge areas of the libraries. The media are invited to attend.

Who:               CSN Libraries and Love Dog Adventures

What:              Therapy dogs at CSN’s libraries

When:             Noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Charleston library, I Building

Noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Cheyenne library, E-201 in the main building

Noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Henderson Library, A-120

Why:               Time to relax before final exams and research papers are due

About CSN:

Founded in 1971 and educating thousands of students a semester, the College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN students can choose from over 150 degree and certificate options in more than 90 areas of study, including 25 degree and certificate programs available entirely online. Students create flexible, personalized schedules, including day, evening, and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. For more information, visit http://www.csn.edu/nondiscrimination

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CSN October Chronicle

October Chronicle

Greetings! This October Chronicle includes important information on our recent accreditation visit, our Title V grant proposal, our 2017 legislative budget proposal and more.

Accreditation           

The accreditation process of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is a seven-year process of planning and reporting. This month, CSN had its seventh-year site visit, during which a team of evaluators examined CSN’s direction, goals, objectives and public 1accountability.  This process requires considerable attention to details, lots of data, precise answers, and correlation of all of CSN’s operations.  Our accreditation lead has been Dr. Hyla Winters who with Michelle Word and Debbie Beyer prepared the reports and exhibits and provided logistics support. Our strategic planning guru—writer, compiler, editor, aggregator, and motivator—has been Dr. Joan McGee.  Sherri Payne led the campus appearance and maintenance team.  Orbiting these key folks, a number faculty and staff tirelessly and selflessly moved accreditation forward. They have done an awesome job, as the outcome of the recent accreditation team visit attests.

2CSN was commended for its 1.) Model of shared governance—a sustaining system of collaboration; 2.) Extensive diversity program and the value placed on diversity; 3.) Data-driven commitment to student success and the national completion agenda; 4.) Investment in academic advising and student support at all three campuses; 5.) Library staff and operations at all three campuses; 6.) Extensive support for information technology services and high level of customer service; and 7.) Commitment to emergency preparedness—all of its planning and training.  These commendations are the core of CSN!  I’m so very proud of you all for these significant successes!

CSN also received four recommendations, including the following: 1.) That CSN consistently document and use assessments to improve achievement of student learning outcomes; 2.) That CSN implement an effective, regular system to evaluate all programs and services and use those to inform planning, decision-making and allocating resources and capacity; 3.)That CSN integrate its Strategic Plan, Academic Master Plan, Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, Campus Master Plan, Technology Plan and financial planning process to ensure that the mission, core themes and objectives are driving institutional decision-making; and 4.) That the Nevada System of Higher Education establish a process to regularly evaluate its performance to ensure its duties and responsibilities are fulfilled in an effective and efficient manner.

Strategic Planning

Our current Strategic Plan 2010-17 is almost at the end of its intended lifespan and we are preparing to launch a new strategic planning process this fall and engage more faculty and staff in the preparatory work for the next accreditation cycle.  We’ll pay particular attention to the accreditation team’s recommendations, such as 1) documenting and using assessments, 2) integrating planning at all levels with resource allocation, and 3) implementing a system to evaluate programs and services for goal achievement.   As opportunities arise, I hope you will join us in the planning process and in our continuing efforts to improve CSN.

Title V Hispanic Serving Institutions Proposal

The U.S. Department of Education notified CSN at the end of September that we did not receive a Title V, Hispanic Serving Institutions grant. We competed with more than 400 HSIs around the country and we knew that it would be extremely competitive. That said, we believe our Avancé project to create an accelerated programming office and enhanced professional development opportunities was a good fit for CSN. This is a concept that developed out of the CSN HSI Task Force and faculty and staff input. While we are disappointed, we learned a lot during this process and are in the planning stages to redouble our efforts for the FY 2016 award process next summer.

Hispanic Heritage Month

CSN Latin American Studies and Spanish Instructor Dr. Valerie Hecht, who is also co-director of the Latin American Studies Program, helps clean up Sunrise Trailhead as part of a Hispanic Heritage Month service day event.

CSN Latin American Studies and Spanish Instructor Dr. Valerie Hecht, who is also co-director of the Latin American Studies Program, helps clean up Sunrise Trailhead as part of a Hispanic Heritage Month service day event.

I want to thank all of the faculty, staff and students, particularly the CSN Latino Alliance, led by chairwoman Leticia Wells, who planned events and participated in helping CSN’s community celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15). One of this year’s activities included a service day clean-up of Sunrise Trailhead in partnership with Get Outdoors Nevada and CSN Serves. The clean-up event included 47 volunteers that collected over 140 bags of broken glass, trash, and more glass.

The month included a number of cultural celebrations, including CSN departments and clubs providing information from the International Center, Re-entry program, Recruitment and Phi Theta Kappa. Hispanic Heritage Month goes back to 1968, beginning each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El

The Clark County Commission recognizes CSN Director of Government Affairs and Communications Michael Flores as a Hispanic leader.

The Clark County Commission recognizes CSN Director of Government Affairs and Communications Michael Flores as a Hispanic leader.

Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico (September 16), Chile (September 18) and Belize (September 21) also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Clark County Commission also recognized several leaders in the local Hispanic community, including CSN’s Director of Government Affairs and Communications Michael Flores.

CSN Budget Request

Later this month, I will lead a team to present CSN’s budget priorities to the Nevada System of Higher Education for consideration. It is my hope that the Board of Regents and system office will work with the Legislature to support a concerted approach to salary increases, allowing the institutions to provide a share of increases in a compact that treats all state employees equally. For instance, CSN might provide 10 percent of a salary increase for professional and classified staff and the state would provide the remaining 90 percent.5

Other operational needs we are highlighting for the Board of Regents to consider:

  • A last-dollar scholarship program to create universal access to community college for Nevada’s responsible high school students, similar to the various “Promise” proposals that are popping up around the nation;
  • A workforce development fund;
  • Formula adjustments to provide increased funding for developmental education and career and technical education-related credits completed;
  • Funding for a community college-based prison education program;
  • A budget enhancement to offset tuition and fee reductions from enrollment loss (similar to the UNLV Law School funding received this past session); and
  • Funding for a college-readiness bridge program.

The funding backfill for enrollment loss and changes to the funding formula would help CSN fund needed positions for counselors, advisors and financial aid staff, as well as selected faculty positions in high-demand areas and technology fixes for Integrate.

As for capital projects, I plan to highlight the following needs at CSN:

  • A Northwest campus building to begin a STEM campus for CSN and CCSD to operate an expansion of the successful community college high school program. Right now our three campus programs are at capacity with approximately 400 high school juniors and seniors;
  • Construction of a science/health-related facility at the Henderson campus to help provide the workforce for a growing healthcare industry in Henderson in partnership with our colleagues at Nevada State;
  • Authorization to use non-appropriated funds to construct three student unions on each main campus; and
  • Deferred maintenance of about $135 million in documented needs.

Take the PACE:6

Every three years, CSN conducts a work climate survey of our employees, including student workers and part-time faculty/staff. Starting this week, researchers from North Carolina State University will email you the Personal Assessment of the College Environment or PACE survey. It is very important that you fill this confidential survey out. The email will come from the address no-reply_qualtrics@ncsu.edu. Please plan to spend 15-20 minutes completing the PACE survey – you cannot save an incomplete survey and return to it. NCSU researchers will compile the results. Your answers will allow members of the CSN Work Climate Committee to identify key issues and collect feedback to inform recommendations that they bring to the administration. 

Supplier Inclusion Networking Event and Workshop
CSN, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State College hosted a Supplier Inclusion Networking Event and Workshop at the West Charleston campus on Oct. 9.  Approximately 200 business owners and representatives attended and received information on how to become vendors and do business with us. The event was held in partnership with several Las Vegas area chambers of commerce including the Urban Chamber, the Latin Chamber, the Gay and Lesbian Chamber, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber, the Women’s Chamber, the Asian Chamber, and the Henderson Chamber.  Additional community partners attended and participated in the event including the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council, MGM Resorts International Supplier Diversity, the Small Business Administration, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and Clark County’s Business Opportunity and Workforce Development Program. Kudos to all involved in this very successful and growing event!

Chefs for Kids and CSN’s Culinary Program

CSN Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Administrative Services helps serve breakfast at Lois Craig Elementary School, an at-risk school with Chef for Kids.

CSN Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Administrative Services helps serve breakfast at Lois Craig Elementary School, an at-risk school with Chef for Kids.

I want to express my appreciation for CSN’s culinary program, which partnered with local nonprofit Chefs for Kids in late September to deliver freshly cooked breakfast to hundreds of children at Lois Craig Elementary, an at-risk school. The students and staff were at work before dawn to prepare fresh eggs, potatoes, sausage and fruit for the children.  

Faculty & Staff Questions:

“Can you talk about upcoming ‘efficiencies’ and why that might occur?”

For many years, CSN has been engaged in efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness, even during the recession. We remain committed to collaborative initiatives with sister institutions and with efficiencies that, strategically, optimize effectiveness at lower cost. Discussions with southern institutions on police services are the latest example of possible efficiencies. But, in this sensitive and essential aspect of the College, the test of an efficiency is aligned with keeping CSN’s employees and students safe and secure. Nonetheless, the Regents are directing that this area of our operations needs to be more widely shared. Because of the many jurisdictions CSN works with, and the capability of our people, CSN might be able, with appropriate resources, to provide police services to all NSHE institutions in Clark County. We’ll keep you informed on how the discussions proceed. A similar initiative is under development in Washoe county with UNR, TMCC and DRI.

“How are the Achieving the Dream projects progressing?”

We are very excited about the progress of CSN’s two pilot projects, including the mandatory matriculation policy for incoming high school graduates and the online Student Success Workshops. The number of graduating CCSD seniors enrolled at CSN has been steadily increasing and overall, they are taking more classes, doing better in those classes, and persisting from semester-to-semester, as well as taking their math and English courses earlier. We continue to evaluate the mandatory matriculation pilot program and aspire to be ready to implement it for all first-time-in-college degree-seeking students in the next year or so. As for the online student success workshops, CSN now offers 41 of these excellent modules that provide students with information on a variety of topics from time management, reading comprehension skills and more. By the end of the spring 2015 semester, 2,100 students had completed 5,300 different workshops and there appears to be a relationship between workshop completion and course success (as measured by completing a course with a C grade or better.)

“Will campuses be closed during “winter break”? What about sites?”

No, campuses will not be closed during winter break. College services will remain open during regular business hours. Supervisors and employees should work together to ensure there is appropriate supervision of employees and that CSN service delivery is not interrupted during these times. Supervisors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible in scheduling time off, but the needs of our students, customers and clients must come first.

Best,

 

Michael D. Richards, Ph.D.
President, College of Southern Nevada