March Chronicle

The CSN Chronicle 

Greetings and welcome to The CSN Chronicle for March 2012.  For a year when the Legislature is not in session, the spring semester is unusually busy with studies, events and policy changes that I want to share with you.      

Fall 2012 Registration Changes 

Three major policy/protocol changes have been announced that may impact student enrollment for fall 2012 semester classes.  I would ask that all faculty and staff understand these changes so that we may all work to help students experience a smooth enrollment process and a successful fall semester. 

1.  Payment due date is June 1:

Early registration begins May 1 and the payment due date for students who register early for fall 2012 classes is June 1. Payment or payment arrangements (whether paying out of pocket or with financial aid) must be made by this deadline or students’ enrollment may be canceled. Registration re-opens for all students on June 4, after which time payment is due at 11:59 p.m. on the day of registration. 

The use of this “rolling” enrollment cancellation process will help ensure CSN does not shutdown the entire registration system for all NSHE institutions as we did last fall.   

The following steps will help students protect their enrollment from cancelation:

· Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form before May 30;
· Pay the balance due before 11:59 p.m. on June 1; or
· Sign up for a payment plan online via MyCSN and pay the minimum amount due by 11:59 p.m. on June 1, (or do so in person at a campus cashier’s office during regular business hours).                       

2.  Residency application materials are due Aug. 1, 2012:

To apply for in-state residency for the fall 2012 semester, students submitting residency applications must turn in their complete application with all supporting documentation no later than Aug. 1, 2012.           

3.  Changes affecting students who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent:

Incoming students seeking a degree or certificate of achievement from CSN must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, to be admitted to an academic program at CSN and to be considered for financial aid. 

An incoming student without a high school diploma or its equivalent may apply for admission to CSN as a degree-seeking student under alternative criteria but will not be eligible for financial aid. Incoming students may be admitted under alternative criteria by satisfying one of the following requirements: 

         Placement testing scores sufficient for entry into ENG 100 and Math 095 or higher; or

         Transfer credits equivalent to NSHE’s ENG 100 and Math 095 with grades of “C” or better   

          from another accredited college or university; and have good standing at any previously

          attended institutions, including but not limited to, records of disciplinary action. 

Subject to the approval of appropriate high school and college officials, junior and senior high school students who are at least 16 years old may be admitted and enrolled at CSN. 

Due to changes in federal regulations, students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered for financial aid. 

Current degree-seeking CSN students without a high school diploma or its equivalent receiving financial aid (including students satisfying the Ability-to-Benefit requirement) will be allowed to complete that program with financial aid assistance but will not be able to change their declared majors after June 30, 2012 without first earning their high school diplomas or its equivalent. 

Therefore, current students who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent should verify that their declared major/degree programs in the MyCSN Student Center are accurate. If the major/degree listed is incorrect, a student must submit a change of major form in person to the Office of the Registrar prior to June 30, 2012. 

 If students have not graduated from high school and would like to take the GED (offered in English or Spanish), they can prepare for and take the GED exam at CSN. They must pre-register in person with a proper government-issued picture ID at CSN’s Testing Center, located at each campus. CSN also provides GED preparation classes.  For a paid class ($135), contact 702-651-4747. For a free course at CSN’s Sahara West Center, please call 702-651-4487.           

Please help us communicate to students that they must plan ahead for the June 1 payment due date and submit their FAFSA forms before May 30 if they intend to use financial aid to pay for courses this fall. I appreciate your assistance in helping us to disseminate this information to help students succeed at CSN. 

Why are these changes necessary?   

1.  Effective July 1, the U.S. Department of Education is changing the “Ability to Benefit” (ATB) criterion in order for students to be eligible for and to receive financial aid.  This change, affecting all colleges and universities in the nation, directly impacts CSN. The timing with CSN’s new admission policy that requires degree-seeking students to have high school diplomas or its equivalent is incidental. 

2.  Although NSHE has a new administrative computing system, CSN’s registration volume and purge schedule has collapsed the system as we registered students during the past year.  The technical and human problems this has created will be resolved with a “rolling” enrollment cancellation process.  Such an approach should also help with more reliable enrollments and schedule planning. 

3.  Increases in the number of non-resident students applying for in-state residency have created processing delays that have frustrated students and impacted our ability to reconcile tuition and fee payments.  Creating a better deadline should address that problem. 

4.  The new admission policy for community colleges in Nevada sets a “floor” for college readiness that the state has not had in the past.  We want students who are college ready to enroll and succeed at CSN.  But we also have an obligation for educational opportunity, for non-traditional students, and for students in the public education pipeline who may not be as well prepared for college-level work as their peers.  Community colleges nationally, and CSN in particular, have been institutions that help people with alternate routes for admission.  Our own GED program is a marvel, and more people should know about that option.   Placement testing offers another option.  There should be no barrier to students entering CSN.  We just need to advise them about the appropriate pathway to their success. 

Work Climate Survey

The Work Climate Committee will again survey faculty and staff later this spring.  The survey will be anonymous and results will be posted on CSN’s Institutional Research web page.  The intent of this survey is to improve our work climate in an honest and open manner.  You may recall that the themes of last year’s findings centered on policies, service, training, and communication.  

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

The Nevada/California region of Phi Theta Kappa held its annual Regional Conference in Las Vegas this year under the leadership of CSN’s Bruno Rhodes and Jacob Elison.  It was another great success.  Our officers and members’ efforts paid off Saturday night when they were presented with the following awards: 

  • Five Star Level Award for Chapters
  • 4 members were awarded the Individual Five Star Level Award
  • Distinguished Chapter Award-3rd place in the region
  • Participation in The Make A Difference Day Regional Project
  • Completion of Project READ
  • Participation in Chapters United
  • Participation in the 2011 Regional Service Project Human Trafficking

Elections

  • Public Relations Officer Chris Marshall voted Nevada Regional Vice President to the NV/CA Regional Board
  • Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Bruno Rhodes voted Nevada Regional Advisor to the NV/CA Regional Board 

  Congratulations Alpha Xi Beta!  You cannot do better than five stars!  

Key dates:March 19-23—Spring Break

  • March 26-30–Forums each day for Vice President for Student Affairs candidates
  • May 4–Outstanding Student Awards
  • May 10—Retirement Luncheon
  • May 12–CSN Legacy of Achievement Gala, Rio Hotel
  • May 18 – CSN 2012 Reflection of Success, Texas Station
  • May 21—Commencement
  • August 18—Part-time Faculty Conference, Texas Station
  • August 20—Fall Convocation 

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members: 

“What is the enrollment picture for spring semester?”

We will submit census data as of March 15th.  Last I saw, headcount enrollment was down 9 percent over the same period last year, and FTE was also down about 9 percent. 

 “Is remedial education funded in the new proposed funding formula?”

Yes, developmental math and English courses will be funded at the same level as a college level English and math courses in the current iteration of the funding formula that NSHE is pursuing. 

 –Mike Richards

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