Western Nevada College (WNC, Western), www.wnc.edu, a member of the Nevada System of Higher Education, is a comprehensive community college that serves more than 4,600 students each year primarily within a five-county area spanning more than 8,000 square miles. Since 1971, WNC has offered a wide range of educational opportunities with a balanced focus on accessible pathways to careers, transfer degrees and sustainable student success.
Western’s main campus is in Nevada’s capital, Carson City, has rural campuses in Fallon and Minden, and serves smaller Nevada communities including Fernley, Yerington, Silver Springs and Dayton. Located at the base of the Sierra Mountains, the area offers a range of outdoor activities and has been named one of the country’s best ‘micropolitan’ areas. By offering diverse degree, certificate, and university transfer programs, scheduling classes at convenient times and offering a number of degrees and certificates completely online, WNC ensures students an accessible, positive and supportive college experience. The college offers a Bachelor of Applied Science, Associates of Arts, Science and Business, non-transfer Associates of Applied Science and General Studies, and Certificates of Achievement and Completion.
Western Nevada College has a number of noteworthy programs, initiatives and facilities. The Jump Start College program enables students to earn an associate degree before they graduate from high school, the Veterans Resource Center has become a model Nevada program helping veterans and their families transition to higher education, and the Jack C. Davis Observatory is open to the public and provides a research-level facility for WNC students and the community. The Nursing & Allied Health Division AAS degree in Nursing is one of the top ranked nursing schools in Nevada. In response to the growth of high-tech manufacturing in the region, the Career and Technical Education Division has initiated many program changes including the internationally recognized Siemen’s Certified Mechatronics Systems Certification. Western has an outstanding Musical Theater Company that operates in Carson City through the college’s performing arts program. The college was recently recognized for having the fourth best online associate in multimedia design in the country (thebestcolleges.org).
The Chief Enrollment and Student Success Officer (CESSO) reports to the college president and is the chief student services officer for Western Nevada College. The position serves as a member of the President’s cabinet and oversees admissions, financial aid, strategic enrollment planning, student success, and student disciplinary matters. The CESSO will play an integral role in policy decisions related to student services. The position works closely with faculty, staff and students and is responsible for leadership, organization, delivery, assessment and fiscal management of comprehensive student development programming that includes Enrollment Management (recruitment, retention, completion); Admissions and Records; Office of the Registrar; Student Financial Aid; Counseling Services (first time, transferring and returning students, and testing); Academic Skills Center (tutoring); Student Judicial Affairs; Adult Literacy & Language; Disability Support
Services; Jump Start College; Latino Outreach; and the Veterans Resource Center.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
(Within Budgetary Constraints)
The college seeks a dynamic and visionary professional who enjoys effective collaboration with colleagues across campus, including the senior executive team and the region’s business and industry partners. The team of student services professionals is committed and talented and will benefit from an inspiring leader who values their contributions and empowers them to the next level of excellence by gathering and articulating a clear student services vision. The successful candidate will be comfortable with change management working with several recently inaugurated senior administrators. The CESSO will create and drive a strategic vision for enrollment, and collaborate with stakeholders to build processes and practices that support this effort.
Appreciation of Culture
The college is on the precipice of tremendous potential. The student services mission is, “Recognizing the worth of every individual, the Student Services division provides services to support the academic and personal success of all members of the WNC community.” The college is proud of its student-centered culture and is embedded in the regional community and economy. The arrival of major precision manufacturing and high technology companies creates an opportunity to address innovation related to workforce/career and technical education, economic development, and STEAM needs while highlighting the importance of higher education to the college’s K12 schools and traditional and non-traditional students.
Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success
Declining enrollment requires the CESSO to develop a strategic enrollment management plan designed to attract the broadest range of potential students, which is critical to the continued success of the college. The successful candidate will have a track record of admissions/enrollment/retention success with a high level of technical competence in all student services matters. Student recruitment and increasing enrollment has a positive impact on the college’s performance funding budget. Student success includes persistence, retention and completion and requires a holistic approach to meeting the needs of each and every student.
- Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Increasingly responsible student services experience in a higher education environment which includes managing others, with a focus on enrollment and student success
- Demonstrated commitment to and support of diversity, equity and inclusion
Desired Personal Attributes, Characteristics and Experiences
- Earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution
- At least three years of senior level administrative experience in higher education, especially at a comprehensive community college within a complex system
- Technology savvy, including leveraging branding and new media marketing strategies (social media) relevant to student recruitment in the digital market place
- Track record of growing student enrollment, improving retention and completion; evidence of implementation of best practices in student services
- Demonstrated experience creating and implementing a strategic enrollment management plan; able to cite accomplishments linking enrollment and marketing
- Ability to be an ambassador for college student services and collaborate within the system, its colleges and universities, and the community it serves
- Track record of successful relationships with business, industry and community
- Understanding and appreciation of rural colleges and unique student circumstances
- Experience with non-traditional students and developmental education needs
- Preference for research and data informed decision-making
- Experience evaluating internal controls and organizational structure for maximized efficiency and effectiveness
- Proficient understanding of applicable laws and regulations affecting student services, including Title IX
- Experience with operationalized strategic plans tied to budget
- High energy level sufficient to support efforts of a college doing more with less
- Develop a culture of engagement across all members of the stakeholder community as it relates to student recruitment
- Knowledge of current best practices and trends in enrollment with evidence of national engagement related to student services
- Shared Governance (or similar decision-making model) experience
- Success in promoting a holistic student experience; support of collaborative relationships between academic and student services functional areas
- Possess an entrepreneurial spirit in support of the college’s culture to include fostering creative thinking and measured risk-taking
- Evidence of effective team-building, ability to hold courageous conversations; embraces participative, student centered decision making; communicates decisions widely
- Active listener, approachable and caring, trustworthy, authentic; ability to motivate, empower, mentor and inspire