New Admissions Process Helps Students Successfully Start College

2By Jessica Itzep

College of Southern Nevada recently made changes to the admission’s process for incoming students. Clark County School District high-school graduates must now complete four-preparatory steps before starting college.

“The program is going to help new students by ensuring that they get on the path to success at the very beginning of their college journey,” said William Neff, professor of communication at CSN. He is very interested in the new admission requirement because he is involved in Achieving the Dream, a non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education. Part of that initiative is to make sure students are ready to enter college and succeed while they are there.

“The mandatory matriculation process was the result of the research that was done as a part of our Achieving the Dream commitment as well as our overall student-success efforts,” Neff said.

“This program is different than what existed before because in the past students were given less guidance about what they needed to do to be successful,” Neff said. “This presented challenges for some students, especially those who were first-generation college students with very little experience to draw on about how to succeed in college.”

Before enrolling new students have to apply for admission and be accepted. Students will then participate in a three-hour on-campus orientation or they can do it online. Math and English placement tests will be taken to determine what level courses are appropriate for the students. Following they will meet with advisors to select majors and set-up degree pathways. The advisors prepare students for their first semesters and give information on tutoring, writing center, counseling and other resources available at CSN. This personal touch makes a big difference for students new to this college environment.

“Through this program, new students who enroll for the first time at CSN can focus on their educational goals and achieve them in the most cost-effective way,” said Soon Holl, CSN director of testing. “Unlike the old one, this new program allows CSN to enforce the policy by placing a hold till a student completes the required process.”

“It’s an excellent program,” said Candelario Burciaga, CSN student. “I wish I would of had it when I first started at CSN and if I would of had it I probably could of graduated a little bit earlier and gotten the help I needed.”

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