The CSN May Chronicle

Greetings!  As this academic year winds down, there is much to report to you in many areas of the college.      

Achieving the Dream

We have announced that CSN has become an Achieving the Dream institution with CSN Professor Janice Glasper leading our team.  Learn more about ATD by visiting its website here

ATD focuses on improving student success, including completions of certificates and degrees, among all students and especially underrepresented minorities.        

As an Achieving the Dream institution, CSN is already receiving invitations to apply for foundation and corporate grants.  This is an encouraging dimension of our participation in ATD. 

Transfer Task Force

CSN and UNLV have agreed to form a Transfer Task Force to carry out a specific charge that may also be replicated among other institutions in the state.  Here’s the charge: 

A major resource of the State of Nevada is its diverse system of higher education within which students may seek and obtain advanced education for their personal and professional improvement.

While some Nevada students begin and complete their education at one institution, many find it necessary to take courses at multiple colleges and universities.  Some take transferable college level courses while still enrolled in high school.  Because students move so freely through our system, they often miss key services to help them proceed efficiently toward their career goals.  They may not carefully monitor which classes articulate with bachelor’s degree programs, and of course as they take new classes, they may change their career objectives several times en route to a bachelor’s degree. In some cases,lack of understanding of application requirements, how to apply, and how to secure financial aid can create barriers to success.  Recent cuts have also created critical service gaps that may complicate transfer and must also be addressed.  The process of reverse transfer is also  poorly understood by students “swirling” through different institutions.

With these challenges in mind, CSN and UNLV will form a Task Force on Transfer to examine ways to improve transfer mobility, increase student satisfaction and degree completion, reduce the costs of their education, and improve the efficient use of tax/fee dollars.  

The charge to the task force will proceed in phases as follows:
·        To gather inter-institutional data on transfer or develop the data resources needed to gather the data using our new student information system and data warehouse tools.
·        To analyze the data in a detailed way to understand transfer patterns, inefficiencies and success.
·        To examine transfer policies and practices in other states and recommend best practices for institutions and students in Nevada.
·        To develop a comprehensive plan addressing weak links to improve transfer success and efficiency, including identification of the resources needed to effect the changes.
·        To form an implementation committee to track our progress and ensure a high degree of institutional collaboration in the service of our students.

The results of the task force will be published as each phase is completed and can be used to improve transfer throughout the NSHE.  Our overall goal is to provide a high quality educational experience for transfer students as well as native students, and to increase our graduation success in Southern Nevada, and our state.


I know that transfer issues of all kinds have impeded students and frustrated faculty.  Now we have a chance to address the issues with a review of best national practices. 

Faculty Election Results: 

Congratulations to Dr. Darin Dockstader,  the new Faculty Senate chair-elect! 

Congratulations to new and continuing department chairs elected this spring. These terms are effective fall 2012 to spring 2015: 

Business Administration:  Clarissa Cota

Computing and Information Technology:  Margaret Taylor

Dental Sciences, Diagnostic Evaluation and Rehabilitation Services:  Jim Godin

English:  Levia Hayes

Health Relate Professions:  Cassie Gentry

Social Sciences:  John Hollitz 

Salary Schedule Review

Carolyn Collins and John Scarborough are CSN’s representatives on the Salary Schedule Review Committee.  They are doing an awesome job for us.  We should see a preliminary report from them during fall Convocation. 

Regional Planning Authority

For the past several months, CSN has participated with other community organizations on the creation of a Regional Planning Authority to implement the Nevada Economic Development Plan.  Many thanks to Rebecca-Metty Burns and Constance Brooks for their work on this new direction for southern Nevada.  

The RDA will serve as a regional organization focused on strengthening local economic development.  CSN is a stakeholder in this process and I am part of the steering committee comprised of city, county and chamber officials. This is a great opportunity for local and state government, education and community officials to work collaboratively with the private sector on such issues as economic diversification and workforce development with a focus on Southern Nevada. 

Budget Priorities

Over the next few months, the Board of Regents will establish budget priorities for the 2013 legislative session.   The presidents have recommended funding salaries at the full base and eliminating furloughs for all employees as top priorities.  We are also recommending that the state improve funding for benefits and provide plan options. 

In addition, we are recommending the new funding formula become the NSHE and legislative compact. 

ASCSN Elections:

Student government completed its elections in April. Congratulations to the new 2012-13 officers:

President: Travis Brown
Vice President: Antonio Guerrero
Secretary: Charles Winters
Treasurer: Julie Ogulnick
Cheyenne Senator: Cecilia Arroyo Arias, Christopher Herrera, and Nailah Gantt
W. Charleston Senator: Jonathan “Streetz” Paya, Michelle Tewes, James Garrett, and Steven Cohen
Extension Senator: Jesus Lopez Huizar

Phi Theta Kappa

Congratulations to CSN student and PTK member Gail San Diego, who was elected to be the International Vice President of Division IV, one of the highest ranking positions within the honors society at the annual convention in April in Nashville, TN. 

Formula Study

Since December, the Legislature’s study committee on higher education funding has met monthly to consider a new and more equitable funding formula.  CSN has supported the Chancellor’s plan to revise the formula with an emphasis on course completions described in campus meetings held earlier this spring.  I have kept my blog up to date with the latest information on the formula and how CSN compares.    Committee chairman Steven Horsford has formed two subcommittees:  one to examine the alternative formula and the other to consider local funding and governance.  Should there be developments on the formula over the summer months, we’ll post them to our web page and my blog and report on them during Convocation. 

Remember our Reflection of Success Awards dinner and program is on Friday, May 18 at Texas Station.  It’s a chance to recognize our wonderful faculty and staff. RSVP at

The CSN Foundation Legacy of Achievement Gala is May 12 at the Rio. More information is available at

Also, remember Commencement is Monday, May 21 at 6 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV.

 Emergency Management and Preparedness 

On April 17-19, 2012, CSN sent a team to a FEMA sponsored training, Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education.  The team, which included Darryl Caraballo, Carlo Dacumos, Greg Gammon, Brad Gruner, and Luis Tristan received first hand training regarding:  1) phases of emergency management; 2) identifying hazards and using a risk assessment process; 3) response using Incident Command System (ICS), and setting up an Emergency Operation Center; 4) partnering with our community; 5) developing plans; training and testing the plans; and 6) engaging the campus community.    

Over the past year, we have been actively engaged in developing CSN’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and various aspects of emergency preparedness for CSN—among them the Emergency Management and Preparedness Guide which was launched to the college community in Fall 2011.  The Guide can be located on the CSN website  Over the coming months you will continue to hear about efforts to better prepare CSN in the case of an emergency and the role you play in this all-college priority.   

During  Convocation  in August, an overview of what we have accomplished to date will be presented, and training opportunities will be provided during the CAPE schedule to communicate the Emergency Operations Plan, faculty, staff, and student roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency; and lots of key information that you will want to have. 

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration, Patty Charlton at 651-5667.

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members: 

“How likely is the chancellor’s funding formula proposal to succeed and be implemented by the state?”

I believe there is a good chance that the revised funding formula will be adopted and implemented according to the schedule that Chancellor has outlined.  My meetings with legislators and regents have reinforced the favorable elements of the new formula, and have been encouraging.  We must be vigilant, however, because this is a long process, and changes could occur along the way.  I’ve become very leery of proposed changes because they negatively impact CSN. 

 “How much did CSN pay to join Achieving the Dream and what does that provide that we cannot do ourselves?”

As part of CSN’s selection to join Achieving the Dream, the college pays $75,000 per year for membership. For this fee, CSN will receive a leadership and data coach that will each visit the institution multiple times a year to work with us in our first year of planning and review and then in our subsequent years of intervention and review. We will receive assistance with data analysis, access to best practices for methodologies to improve student success and conference registrations. Indirectly, CSN receives the prestige of affiliating with like institutions and additional opportunities to seek alternative funds to support our initiatives.

Achieving the Dream will help us improve student success opportunities and diminish achievement gaps, faster than we could ourselves.  In addition, the mileage Nevada will receives from these improved practices and the impact we hope that they will have on students will help our state and local economy as we move better prepared, critically thinking and highly skilled students into the workforce.

“Why did CSN want to be a designated Achieving the Dream Institution?”

In the 2010-2017 CSN strategic plan, also known as Enterprise 10-17, student success is a common theme through the core themes of access, quality, and diversity.  Examples of CSN goals and achievement indicators targeting student success are:

  • Encourage students to complete degrees in 3 years, certificates in 2 years;
  • Increase the number of declared majors who graduate;
  • Encourage students to take remedial work in first 30 credits; and
  • Any department offering remedial education will show increased student success. 

“How did CSN become a designated Achieving the Dream Institution?”   

CSN initially applied for ATD designation in 2010.  Our application was rejected and we were encouraged to reapply.  We reapplied in December 2011 and were accepted into the fall 2012 cohort of colleges.  CSN is the first community college in Nevada to apply and be accepted as an ATD institution. The announcement was embargoed, meaning we were unable to say announce this, until the national organization released the information to the news media.  

“How does Achieving the Dream affect the average faculty member?” 

For the first year, most impacts will be felt in institutional research and student affairs.  But long term our success with Achieving the Dream will be an institutional effort involving faculty, staff and students.   The ATD coaches will be working with a variety of constituents to evaluate the college’s practices over the next year and create a plan going forward. Specific interventions will be developed at this time that may or may not impact each individual faculty.  The important point is that this will be a collaborative process and you will be able to provide input either through faculty senate representation, communicating directly with core team leaders or other communication mechanisms that will be developed. 

Convocation will take place August 20 at Texas Station.  Thanks to your input in our survey last year, we have modified the program to target a number of reports during a short two-hour session. Look for the email invitation, requesting your RSVP in the coming weeks.     

 –Mike Richards

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