Nevada Institute

Student Access and Success in Southern Nevada:

An ASHE Institute with Southern Nevada Education Leaders
Presented by Ascendium



The project is being led by Project Chair Vanessa Sansone (UTSA), Project Coordinator Juanita Hinojosa (UNLV), and ASHE Executive Director Jason Guilbeau. 

Final Report (pdf)

About the Institute

Building upon the tremendous success of the institute in 2021 in Puerto Rico, the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) will once again engage with local higher education leaders in our 2022 conference location, Las Vegas, Nevada. Because Clark County, Nevada is one of the largest K-12 school districts in the nation, there is a unique opportunity to bridge our connections across education. We will engage with key players involved with student access and transitions, namely high school college counselors, higher education admissions counselors, and higher education enrollment leaders (e.g., vice presidents for enrollment management).

We will once again align key areas of this project to the key areas of Ascendium:

  1. Removing Structural Barriers to Success, specifically engaging with effective practices as well as identifying misaligned policies and practices to student access

  2. Streamlining Key Learner Transitions, specifically engaging with Southern Nevada’s connection to the tourism and hospitality industry and related industries

  3. Supporting Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training, specifically engaging with areas outside of Las Vegas and Reno as the remainder of Nevada is considered rural

These areas allow for a consistent project from our 2021 project in San Juan while providing for the successes and challenges of Las Vegas to be considered. The four key areas also align with the values of ASHE as well as the expertise of our members.

The Institute will aim to bridge connections amongst Institute attendees to expand access to higher education as well as college student success. The outcomes of the Institute will be to: 

  1. Learn from Southern Nevada higher education leaders. The Institute will be focused on cultivating and supporting higher education’s strength in Southern Nevada to best serve the most marginalized students.

  2. Contribute knowledge to significant questions in Southern Nevada. This Institute will provide an opportunity for participants to understand and expand upon the unique higher education practice, policy, and scholarship in a city and area oft considered a ‘party’ location. This includes Clark County being one of the largest K-12 school districts in the United States, the unique aspects of having one of only four elected higher education boards of regents in the United States, and the education-workforce connection throughout the hospitality industry.

  3. Expand networks amongst practitioners and scholars. This will include engaging K-12 College Counselors, Higher Education Admissions Counselors, and Higher Education decision-makers. Additionally, informing the institute would be the research of three teams of ASHE members working with Southern Nevada institutional leaders to apply findings from empirical data to higher education practice and policy. ASHE members would be learning from and with Southern Nevada leaders instead of being in a position of authority. The institute, therefore, is the connection between the work of ASHE member scholars and the frontline knowledge and experiences of Southern Nevada leaders. 

The work will begin with listening sessions led by the project’s leadership team. We are hoping to garner two things from these sessions: 1) to understand local successes and challenges around four key areas and 2) to develop an advisory committee of local leaders to help guide this work.

Event Leadership

  • Vanessa A. Sansone (Institute Chair), University of Texas-San Antonio
  • Juanita K. Hinojosa (Institute Coordinator), University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Removing Structural Barriers to Success
  • Jorge Burmicky (Team Leader), Howard University
  • Andrew Marx (Team Coordinator), University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Cristina Nader, Texas A&M University
  • Jessica Rivera, Ohio State University 
  • Jude Paul Dizon, Rutgers University
  • Roberto C. Orozco, University of Minnesota
Streamlining Key Learner Transitions
  • Federick Ngo (Co-Team Leader), University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Lisa M. Rubin (Co-Team Leader), Kansas State University
  • Amanda J Simpfenderfer, William and Mary
  • Benjamin Pincus, Seton Hall University
  • José Del Real Viramontes, University of California, Riverside
Supporting Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training
  • Ashley Clayton (Team Leader), Louisiana State University
  • Michelle Bailey (Team Coordinator), University of Delaware
  • Ali Watts, University of Utah
  • Ty McNamee, University of Mississippi
  • Kamia F. Slaughter, Auburn University
  • Natasha McClendon, UNCF