Student success is a nebulous term. Does it mean graduation? Good grades? Or completing college and landing a great job?
With more than 67,000 credit and noncredit students a year, the College of Southern Nevada’s definition of student success is as diverse as our student body.
There may be a poor stigma associated with associate-degree-granting institutions. As commuter schools, we have transient student bodies and low graduation rates. But at CSN, we are redoubling our efforts to increase the number of college graduates in Nevada as a primary measurement of student success and we are working to swap that bad reputation for one that better reflects our community and who we are.
Nevada’s finest attend CSN. With a record 530 student members as of this year, the CSN chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor’s Society is one of the largest in the nation. It provides opportunities for top-performing students to serve the community and gain leadership skills. The chapter helps students obtain elite scholarships and transfer to highly competitive universities.
Last year, our student officers planned and participated in 24 service learning events that fed the homeless, cleaned up Mount Charleston, provided immunizations for children and raised funds for the Children’s Heart Foundation.
CSN’s students are nationally competitive in their fields. This summer, CSN floral design students Monica Macaibay, Gayoung Park and Teryl Tollefsen-Soren placed in the top 10 at the Student American Institute of Floral Design Competition in San Francisco.
CSN student Connor Stidham is yet another example of success. The 18-year-old took first place at the national SkillsUSA Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning competition. The first in his family to receive a college degree, Stidham graduated from CSN in May, shortly before receiving his high school diploma from Foothill High School. He is the first student to take advantage of a fast-track HVAC associate degree option. His story is not unusual for community colleges, which educate roughly half America’s higher education students.
Speaking of CSN graduates who are achieving student success, there is Maryknoll Palisoc, who received her degree in chemistry from CSN in May. Her mother literally carried her on her shoulders to school in the Philippines where she grew up. And now, she is on her way to Ohio State University to become a doctor and do cancer research.
Then there is J.T. Creedon, our former student body president, who has dealt with homelessness off and on throughout his academic career and now, after graduating this spring with honors, has an opportunity to get into almost any college in the country.
While these students offer anecdotal examples of success, I encourage you to go online to http://www.csn.edu/pages/3748.asp to look at our latest accountability report. The number of students graduating from the largest college in the state continued to increase this spring.
CSN is a gateway for thousands of Nevadans, who have found themselves and their dreams while attending our classes. You can learn more about many of our students, who have achieved different kinds of student success and about what CSN is doing to ensure more students achieve their goals throughout this section.
We are the community’s college and you should know what we are doing for you, your neighbors and your family.