Greetings faculty and staff! I hope your spring semester wrapped up well and those that are here for the summer term are excited for a new group of students and classes. This Chronicle includes a summary of the legislative session and important information about what’s to come as we get closer to the fall semester.
Cost of Living Increases
We are grateful to the Governor for including a 2 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in each year of the next biennium’s budget, effective July 1, 2017. In the 11th hour, legislators were able to pass another 1 percent increase for each year, which the Governor has not yet signed. Therefore, state employees could see a 2 or 3 percent increase in each year of the biennium. Classified employees should see the increase on their July 25 pay (which covers the period from July 1-15) and professional (academic and administrative) should see the increases reflected on their August 1 pay (which covers the period from July 1 – 31).
Thank you to all faculty, staff and students who spent their time and effort advocating on behalf of CSN students this legislative session. Whether you went to Carson City and took part in CSN Day or wrote a letter from your home computer, you are part of the reason CSN experienced such a warm welcome and support from lawmakers this session. Our main needs were met, including an increase in the funding formula for certain Career & Technical Education programs; the Silver State Opportunity Grant was made permanent and the funding was doubled; and our capacity initiatives were funded for the second year of the biennium, including support for the multi-campus district transition and an expansion of advanced manufacturing. In addition, CSN and Nevada State’s joint Health and Science building also received funding for planning, which means we will go back to legislators in 2019 for construction funds for this important project. Additional bills involving CSN are mentioned below. I would like to thank Michael Flores, our director of communications and government affairs, for his tireless work to orchestrate a clear path for these initiatives.
We are also incredibly grateful to Sen. Mo Denis for authoring the Nevada Promise Scholarship, which passed unanimously through both houses. The Governor signed the bill yesterday. This bill creates a statewide workforce development and K-14 pipeline that incites high school students to attend community college upon graduating and helps them succeed by offering a college degree with no college fees if they complete requirements. Only graduating high school seniors can apply. They must meet mentor and community service requirements, apply for financial aid and attend two meetings about scholarship requirements and the college-going process prior to matriculation. The scholarship then covers all mandatory registration fees minus any federal or state aid they receive. If high school seniors do not apply for the scholarship in the fall of their senior year and meet entry requirements, they are no longer eligible. The bill allows for community colleges to opt into the program, meaning they can choose whether or not to offer the scholarship. High school seniors will begin applying for this scholarship this fall with the first class of Promise students entering in fall 2018.
Prison Education Passes
Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford’s bill to create a pilot prison education program between the Nevada Department of Corrections and CSN also passed through both houses. It awaits the Governor’s signature. This bill would allow for 50 men and 50 women nearing release from high security facilities to enroll in designated courses offered onsite. Before the Great Recession, CSN taught students in the prisons, but the program was cut when funding dried up. The bill allows for inmates to use specialized and highly secure tablets to participate in the coursework. It is estimated this pilot project alone could save the state millions of dollars by reducing the percentage of those who re-offend and ameliorating over-crowding. I would like to thank Apprenticeship Director Craig von Collenberg and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs James McCoy for their efforts to launch this program.
AB 94, also known as the Nevada Grow Act, was also passed. It too was signed by the Governor yesterday and will make permanent the pilot program established through the 2015 Legislature under the leadership of Assemblywoman Dina Neal. This legislation provides funding to create an economic gardening program to provide local businesses with the tools they needed to use data-driven strategies to grow and expand. A variety of stakeholders are involved, including CSN, the Nevada Small Business Development Center, the Urban Chamber, the Latin Chamber, Clark County Business Licensing and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. I’d like to thank CSN Business Professor Kevin Raiford and the Division of Workforce & Economic Development for their assistance with this pilot program and the legislation.
CSN Alumni Business Competition Finalists
Speaking of Professor Raiford, one of the local start-up businesses that has its roots in CSN’s business incubator program is a finalist in the 2017 Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition.
Revive Brand, which makes and sells backpacks, hats and other “streetwear,” is one of five finalists in the competition, which is jointly run by the UNLV Center for Entrepreneurship and the Las Vegas Business Press. Several years ago, Raiford started the business incubator program at the college to help students start their own businesses. So far, Revive Brand is one of 41 local start-up businesses that the program has helped students develop with support from the CSN Foundation. For more, visit www.snbpc.com.
The CSN Coyotes baseball team had a phenomenal year, taking the Region 18 Championship and earning a trip to the Junior College World Series for the first time since 2010!
The CSN Coyotes baseball team had a phenomenal year, taking the Region 18 Championship and earning a trip to the Junior College World Series for the first time since 2010! Although the team did not ultimately win the series, the drive and determination they showed along the way can be an example to us all. Congratulations, CSN Coyotes, on another great year!
CSN graduated a record number of students at our 45th Commencement Ceremony. There were 3,440 students are eligible to receive 3,569 degrees and certificates, according to preliminary data. Official numbers for the spring 2017 will be available soon. I’d like to thank everyone who helped put the wonderful event together, as well as our guest speakers, including Congressman Ruben Kihuen and Board of Regents Vice Chair Allison Stephens and our student commencement speaker Larissa Marcum.
Emmy Award Nominations
Please join me in congratulating students in our Videography and Film program, who earned 26 Student Production Emmy Award nominations from the Pacific Southwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. What an incredible accomplishment. CSN students won eight of the awards last year. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony June 24 in San Diego, Calif.
Unmanned Aviation Systems
I am also delighted to announce that CSN is developing a new discipline in unmanned aviation systems, thanks to a grant from the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT). The grant, which totals almost $200,000, will help fund the new focus, which will be housed in our existing engineering technology department . We expect to launch the full degree discipline in the fall of 2018. It will combine coursework from aviation, computer information technology and engineering technology. It is being developed in close consultation with industry leaders and experts to ensure that our graduates are ready for the workforce from day one.
Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) Grants
CSN also received an OSIT grant of approximately $37,000 for the college’s aviation training simulation laboratory on the Henderson Campus, which will allow us to expand this program with eight new state-of-the-art simulators. In addition, CSN and UMC received a $148,000 grant to allow participating nurse residents to gain nationally recognized, specialty-specific credentials, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) or Electronic Maternal-Fetal certifications, leading to improved marketability for the new nurse and a more highly-skilled healthcare workforce. Nevada’s acute care hospitals have difficulty finding registered nurses with necessary certifications and hands-on experience needed for specialized care. The pilot program will train 30 nursing residents per year.
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved a $1.1 million Workforce Innovation for the New Nevada (WINN) grant to CSN to provide additional assessment and training for southern Nevada’s growing manufacturing industry in collaboration with the Department of Training, Employment and Rehabilitation and the Clark County School District. Approximately a year ago, CSN was the recipient of the first $500,000 WINN Grant, which has helped to train approximately 90 high school students in advanced manufacturing, each of whom received about 10 college credits this school year through dual enrollment.
Our chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society received designation once again as a five-star chapter, the highest designation possible. We have one of the largest community college honors societies in the nation.
Silver Trowel Award
Congratulations to Kevin Rafferty, who recently received the Silver Trowel Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nevada Archaeological Association. Rafferty is retiring this semester after almost 30 years with CSN.
Faculty & Staff Question
“Will classified employees be allowed to work four, 10-hour days this summer?”
To provide continuity of services and ensure adequate coverage during the summer months, the college will not be moving to a four-day, 10-hour work week during the summer for its employees.