CSN student success takes center stage at Spring 2020 Convocation, poster fair

The College of Southern Nevada kicked off the spring 2020 semester by celebrating student success on Monday.

Held in the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre on the North Las Vegas Campus, the event set the tone for the spring semester, with presentations from across CSN. Leaders from the CSN constituencies, including Faculty Senate and Administrative Faculty Assembly, discussed a renewed spirit of support to help propel CSN to success.

“We’re supporting one another to become family,” said Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Arnold Bell.

Student body president Daniel Gutierrez spoke as well, highlighting the CSN transition to a multi-campus model and how the new model is already creating a positive experience for CSN students.

The Spring 2020 Convocation and Poster Fair marked the start of the new semester for faculty and staff.
The Spring 2020 Convocation and Poster Fair marked the start of the new semester for faculty and staff.

CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza reflected on his last 15 months serving at CSN, saying “the state of CSN is strong, and our future is bright.” And he brought the data to back it up.

  • The CSN graduation rate has doubled from 7 percent in 2016 and is on track to reach 14 percent in 2021.
  • The CSN transfer rate has increased from 15 percent in 2016 and is on track to reach 26 percent in 2021.
  • Combined, the student success rate, a combination of graduation and transfer, will jump from 22 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2021.

And CSN has set ambitious goals beyond that, aiming to reach a combined student success rate of 49.5 percent for 2025. To do that, CSN will continue expanding on proven programs and double down on closing the achievement gap between subsets of students.

CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza speaks at the Spring 2020 convocation
CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza speaks at the Spring 2020 convocation


Particularly, Dr. Zaragoza called for a renewed focus on initiatives targeting African American students at CSN, who are graduating at a lower rate than other subsets of students.

“These numbers are certainly not acceptable to me and I know they’re not acceptable to you,” he said.

Dr. Zaragoza called upon the CSN community to craft innovative and creative solutions to help make sure all our students are completing college and graduating prepared to enter the diverse Southern Nevada workforce.

A new, shorter mission statement for CSN was introduced at convocation as well, to better align with CSN’s vision and values. The missions statement reads:

 “The College of Southern Nevada empowers our students and diverse communities to achieve, succeed, and prosper.”

After the event, a poster fair held in the Horn Theatre lobby highlighted innovative work being done across the college, with posters outlining student research, new attendance policies, information on recruiting a diverse pool of candidates and how conference attendance helps shape the student experience.

Classes resume at CSN on January 21. It’s not too late to apply. Visit csn.edu/apply for more information on how to get started.

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Run. Hide. Fight. Active Shooter Training Available

University Police Services will hold a “Run. Hide. Fight.” active assailant safety training January 27 through February 6 on all three CSN campuses. The free training sessions are being offered in partnership with Louisiana State University’sNCBRT, a nationally recognized center for emergency preparedness and response training. 

The training uses both classroom instruction and hands-on scenario-based activities to teach the “Run. Hide. Fight.” response model and how to employ these methods in the event of an active threat. Participants are prepared with principles that will help them create plans and procedures for their classrooms and workplaces. 

The training sessions will include the use of blanks in firearms to simulate an active shooter scenario. Signage will be posted during each training session to notify faculty, staff, students, and visitors. 

Space is limited and registration is open to all faculty, staff, and students at CSN, the Desert Research Institute, Nevada State College, UNLV and NSHE. All NSHE institution employees may attend training at any NSHE campus. All participants must attend the full training, which is offered in either one eight-hour session or two four-hour sessions.

Sessions are currently scheduled as follows:

College of Southern Nevada

Charleston Campus

Monday, January 27 – two half-day sessions, part one

Tuesday, January 28 – two half-day sessions, part two

North Las Vegas Campus

Friday, January 31 – eight-hour (full) session

Saturday, February 1 – eight-hour (full) session

Henderson Campus

Wednesday, February 5 – two half-day sessions, part one

Thursday, February 6 – two half-day sessions, part two

Nevada State College

Wednesday, January 29 – two half-day sessions, part one

Thursday, January 30 – two half-day sessions, part two

UNLV

Maryland Parkway Campus

Monday, February 3 – two half-day sessions, part one

Tuesday, February 4 – two half-day sessions, part two

Half-day sessions are from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. and full-day sessions are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break.

Registration is available online and will close on January 3, 2020.

Please contact University Police Services with questions or for more information about the training at (702) 895-5575.

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Advocacy project benefits CSN Coyote Cupboards

This semester, students in Communication Professor Charlene S. Gibson’s COM 115 Applied Communication classes chose to collect hygiene items for the Coyote Cupboard on the North Las Vegas Campus as part of the classes’ group advocacy project, called #TeamGibsonGives.

epartment of Communication Professor Charlene S. Gibson and one of her students, Brian Arreola, stand with their #TeamGibsonGives Coyote Cupboard donation, part of a group advocacy project in their COM 115 Applied Communication classes.
Department of Communication Professor Charlene S. Gibson and one of her students, Brian Arreola, stand with their #TeamGibsonGives Coyote Cupboard donation, part of a group advocacy project in their COM 115 Applied Communication classes.

The students collected more than 300 items for the pantry and also raised $250 for CSN’s Holiday Angel Program, which assists in helping CSN students with children of their own buy presents for the holiday season. The additional money helped Paul Herrle, who created and coordinates the program, allow an additional family — which he originally had to turn away — into the program.

Professor Gibson believes that excellent communication not only changes the lives of her students, making them more competitive and marketable in the work force, but also teaches them how to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.

#TeamGibsonGives exemplifies this belief through this project, and helps students build confidence, leadership skills, and additional experiences and talking points that set #TeamGibson students apart in their resumes and job interviews.

As a reminder, the Department of Student Life & Leadership Development, along with ASCSN, are seeking toiletry items for the CSN Coyote Cupboards this holiday season. There is a specific need for deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, body wash, shampoo and feminine hygiene products.

Donations will be accepted at any student government office at any student union between now and Friday, December 20

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CSN in the Community

In the spirit of giving, members of the CSN Office of Inclusive Learning and Engagement recently attended a number of events to give back to the community.

Guy Amato and David Phillips

Founded by Jon Ponder, HOPE for Prisoners assists with reentry by providing the formerly incarcerated long-term support and services as they work to reclaim their lives, families and standing in the community. 

CSN Instructor for Applied Technologies David Phillips partners with HOPE to provide work training for these men and women. He, along with CSN Director of Inclusive Learning Guy Amato, recently attended a HOPE for Prisoners graduation ceremony on behalf of CSN.

Nora Mirabal and Joan Lima

HELP of Southern Nevada responds to the changing needs of our growing community. They strategically expand their programs and refine their service delivery systems to better serve the poor, the homeless and those in crisis who come to them as a place of last resort. During a recent Thanksgiving Meals for Families in Need event Interim Executive Director of Inclusive Learning and Engagement Nora Mirabal volunteered her services on behalf of CSN.  More than 2,500 free turkeys and grocery bags for handed to families in need.

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CSN signs memorandum of understanding with Mexican universities

Presidents of technical colleges in Mexico recently got a look at some of the College of Southern Nevada’s specialty programs and leaders signed a memorandum of understanding with CSN, pledging to continue the cross-cultural partnership.

The delegation of college presidents from the Associacion Nacional de Universidades Tecnologicas spent two and a half days touring the CSN campuses and programs, including the cybersecurity labs, public safety, hospitality and culinary programs.

CSN signs memorandum of understanding with mexican universities

CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza and the college presidents ended the trip by signing a memorandum of understanding with one another. The work is just beginning and there may be some new programs and initiatives in place as early as March, said Carol Fimmen, CSN’s director of international programs.

“This will provide the opportunity for our students to interact with the students that will come directly from Mexico for different programs at CSN,” she said. “That’s one of the most enriching experiences is when you have a diverse student population in the classroom. It’s a great benefit to faculty and staff, as well.”


Details of what the opportunities – which may include study abroad type programs – are still being worked out, she said.

This collaboration is in addition to systemwide effort established by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents earlier this year. The system effort is aimed at creating new educational opportunities and building greater cultural and academic collaborations with universities in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

In October, CSN’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development also hosted a weeklong cybersecurity summit for Mexican practitioners. Read more about that bootcamp here.

For more information on the partnership, visit: https://nshe.nevada.edu/2019/03/regents-approve-international-partnership-with-higher-education-system-in-tamaulipas-mexico/

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Fulbright lecture discusses culture of science in Egypt

Fulbright Visiting Scholar Dr. Alaaeldine Saleh shed light on the long history of scientific innovations in Egypt and identified strategies to bring back that innovative spirit during a recent lecture at the College of Southern Nevada.

Dr. Saleh is an associate professor and research at the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority in Cairo. He came to CSN as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program’s Outreach Lecturing Fund, which enables scholars to share their research interests and ideas with students, faculty and organizations in the United States.

Dr. Alaaeldine Saleh speaks about the Culture of Science in Egypt at CSN
Dr. Alaaeldine Saleh speaks about the Culture of Science in Egypt at CSN

Ancient Egyptians had an extraordinary command of science and technology, Salah said. In addition to the towering pyramids, inventions like paper, ink, cosmetics, toothbrushes and toothpaste have all been traced back to early Egyptians. Some of those innovations are still a marvel to today’s scientists, he said.

“Many of the Egyptian inventions or engineering principles are not known now,” Saleh said.

But, Saleh said, Egypt seems to have lost some of the magic in recent years and the culture of science has taken a backseat. Reinvigorating the appetite for science is a critical issue for the continued development of Egypt, he said.

Partnerships like those between Egypt and the United States will help, Saleh said, but he believes there needs to be more public funding for research as well.

“It will require a critical transformation,” he said.

To learn more about the Fulbright Visiting Scholar program, visit https://www.cies.org/program/outreach-lecturing-fund

Dr. Alaaeldine Saleh speaks about the Culture of Science in Egypt at CSN
Dr. Alaaeldine Saleh speaks about the Culture of Science in Egypt at CSN
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CSN Recognized for ‘Work Ready Community’ Partnership

Representatives from the College of Southern Nevada recently attended the national ACT Workforce Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, to recognize the recent designation of Clark County as a “Work Ready Community.”

Malik Williams, the assessment services coordinator in CSN’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development, was the college’s key partner with county officials in this work. The area was recognized by the testing company ACT in the spring.

The designation is bestowed on counties with robust workforce development initiatives. These initiatives must link education and workforce, align to economic development and match people to job.

More than 2,000 students and jobseekers have earned the ACT WorkKeys Nationals Career Readiness Certificate through DWED. The certificate is an industry recognized credential that helps identify skill levels in workplace document, applied math and graphic literacy. Jobseekers can use their credential to prove their skills to potential employers.

For information about the Division of Workforce and Economic development, visit www.csn.edu/workforce. For more information about ACT and the Clark County Work Ready Community initiative, visit www.workreadycommunities.org/NV/003

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CSN Cybersecurity Bootcamp Shares Expertise, Knowledge with Mexican Universities

The College of Southern Nevada recently hosted six colleagues from universities in Mexico for a weeklong cybersecurity bootcamp.

Hosted by CSN’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development, the weeklong event was hosted at The Learning Center. Representatives from the Mexican universities were able to hear from Las Vegas experts in the cybersecurity field and take classes in cybersecurity through Learning Center instructors.

A panel of speakers, including Adam Garcia, associate vice president and director of University Police Services Southern Command; Randy Robison, director of legislative affairs at CenturyLink and a member of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and Earle Keizer, president and co-owner of Business Continuity Technologies and a member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, moderated by DWED Executive Director Ricardo Villalobos helped answer student questions and provide tips for when attendees returned to their universities.

The panelists stressed that partnerships and open communication, like that between CSN and the partner institutions in Mexico, would help mitigate risks of cybersecurity attacks and would promote student success in the field.

The bootcamp also included a tour of the state-of-the-art cybersecurity labs on CSN’s North Las Vegas Campus. 

To learn more about NSHE and CSN’s partnership with the higher education system in Tamaulipas, Mexico, visit: https://nshe.nevada.edu/2019/03/regents-approve-international-partnership-with-higher-education-system-in-tamaulipas-mexico/

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CSN Promise Summer Academy featured at technology conference

Data-driven decision making around CSN’s first Nevada Promise Academy was recently highlighted at a higher education technology conference.

Brian Bourgon, the director of enterprise applications in the Office of Technology Services, discussed the innovative approach as part of a panel at the EduCause Annual Conference 2019 in Chicago in late October.

Annually, the conference attracts between 5,000 and 6,000 IT professionals working in higher education. 

About 200 students participated in the Promise Summer Academy

Bourgon was invited to discuss how data helped inform the first summer bridge program at CSN for students receiving the Nevada Promise Scholarship.

“A lot of our data work with Nevada Promise is geared toward retention, and in particular, there was a lot of work around the summer bridge program,” Bourgon said. “We had a super short time to get the summer bridge program together so we used data to find the students who would benefit the most.”

Held for the first time in summer 2019, the Nevada Promise Academy allowed 200 incoming CSN students to receive intensive interventions while earning math and English credits and learning leadership skills. The program was free for the students, who are now in their first semester at CSN.

Since only 200 students could attend the summer program, Bourgon worked with the Nevada Promise team at CSN to analyze student data, including ACCUPLACER, ACT and SAT results, as well as demographic data, to focus on students who would benefit the most from the program.

“We had to figure out which 200 would benefit the most, and we did that using the data,” he said.

By the end of the program, a significant number of students were performing dramatically better than when they started, with a significant number of students testing into higher math classes at the end of the program.

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CSN Day of the Dead Altar on display at the North Las Vegas Campus

Step into the multicultural center on the College of Southern Nevada’s North Las Vegas Campus and step back in time by visiting our Day of the Dead altar.

Centered around the idea that education is the golden step toward prosperity, the altar was sponsored by ASCSN and the Latino Alliance and was recently featured at the Springs Preserve.

The CSN sponsored Day of the Dead altar is on display at the North Las Vegas Campus
The CSN sponsored Day of the Dead altar is on display at the North Las Vegas Campus

Titled Los Pasos Dorados (The Golden Steps) the altar commemorates Latinx academics, who have helped paved the way for current and future generations to use education as a stepping stone to a successful future.

The altar will be featured in the multicultural center in the Tyrone Thompson Student Union until November 15 for those who missed it at the Springs Preserve Day of the Dead event over the holiday weekend.

Those features on the altar include:

  • Julia de Borgos, a poet born in Puerto Rico in 1914. De Burgos’ poems engage themes of feminism and social justice and are a combination of the intimate, the land and the social struggle of the oppressed. She died in 1953 in Harlem.
  • Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, a poet and activist, was born in Denver in 1928. Gonzales was a boxer, a poet and an activist in his home state, where he helped register more Mexican Americans during John. F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign than any other time in the state’s history. He died of heart failure in 2005.
  • Sor Juana Ines De Laz Cruz, an author and a nun born in Mexico in 1651, as the illegitimate child of a Spanish captain. She studied and read in secret, because girls were prohibited from those activities at that time. She died in 1695 after a plague fell over her city. She has been recognized as the first published feminist of the New World. 
Linda Loya, the artist who created the altar.
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