CSN Students graduating

Graduate on time and get a head start on a career!

The best way to finish an associate degree in two years is to focus on completing 30 credits per year. Whether it's 15 credits each fall and spring semester or 12 credits each fall and spring with 6 credits over the summer, planning and finishing a degree in 2 years has many benefits.

  • Saves time and money.
  • Are less likely to drop out.
  • Can move into the job market or transfer to a 4-year institution more quickly.

A commitment to take 30 credits per year requires a plan.

  1. First-time students should choose an area of study and set up an appointment to talk to an advisor. (Current students should already be meeting with a counselor regularly.) 
  2. Work with the advisor to decide on a specific degree path.  This two-year pathway clearly lays out the course progression and timeline to graduation. 
  3. Make studying a priority. Arrange personal and work schedules around completing a degree.
  4. Check assigned MyCSN account frequently for important communications about deadlines, academic events, and registration information.
  5. Take advantage of the variety of resources available.

Following these simple guidelines provides a clear track to graduation! 

What Students Need to Know

CSN is encouraging students to complete at least 30 credits each year in order to earn an associate degree in 2 years. So we created the Finish In 2 campaign.

Why is it so critical to graduate on time with your degree?

  • You can save time and money by planning your schedule and avoiding extra semesters.
  • You are less likely to drop out.
  • You can move on into the job market or transfer to 4-year institution more quickly.

Here are the steps you need to take.

  1. First-time students should choose an area of study and set up an appointment to talk to an advisor. (Current students should already be meeting with a counselor regularly.) 
  2. Work with your advisor to decide on a specific degree path.  This two-year pathway clearly lays out your course progression and timeline to graduation. 
  3. Make studying a priority. Arrange personal and work schedules around completing your degree.
  4. Check your assigned MyCSN account frequently for important communications about deadlines, academic events, and registration information.
  5. Take advantage of the variety of resources available.

Here is how you can prepare yourself.

  1. Be prepared for college rigor. College is more difficult and time-consuming than high school and you need to be ready.
  2. Get to work on those core courses right away in your first year. Your advisor can help you plan this out.
  3. Know your plan and dedicate yourself to finishing your degree on time.
  4. Manage your daily schedule with a focus towards school and set aside study time everyday.
  5. Take only courses that help you attain your desired degree. Those electives may look attractive but they can also delay required courses.
  6. Don’t overlook summer semester and online courses to keep you on track. Not everyone can manage 15 credits every fall and spring semester so plan accordingly.
  7. Meet with your academic counselor often. Never be afraid to reach out for help and guidance.
What Parents Need to Know

Why is it so critical to graduate on time with your degree?

1. College is much different from high school. Talk to your child about key differences such as:
a. Being responsible. Many new college students will be making key decisions on their own for the first time in their life.
b. Maintaining focus. It is critical to focus in on school early and get a feel for the nuances of college academics.
c. Retaining commitment. Keep that focus going throughout the semester. Keep encouraging them and making sure they are taking care of themselves mentally and physically.
d. Managing time. That means down time, sleep time, and study time. Poor time management can quickly derail a new student.
e. Being open. Make sure they know it is ok to ask for help if they need it. CSN offers many resources and we are here to help.
f. Staying connected and enjoying the experience. College activities abound. Staying connected helps keep your child in school.

2. Emphasize the quick selection of a major and how important it is to pick one that they can stick with. Research shows that undecided majors do not usually graduate on time and are more likely to drop out.

3. Ask them about their advisor/counselor and the meetings they have had. Take an interest in what their degree path holds and how often they are meeting. Ongoing, consistent academic counseling is crucial to college success.

4. Encourage your child to take 30 credits per year. Most associate degrees are 60 credits and should only take two years to complete. While not every student can take 15 credits per semester, there are other ways to combine credit hours to hit that mark from summer courses to online courses. Taking 30 credits per year is key to staying on track and making it to the next step, whether that is a career or university transfer.

5. Educate yourself about our student services. We have services that range from counseling to tutoring and everything in between.

6. Keep an eye on your child’s progress. Even if you do not have access to their academic record, you can still stay engaged and ask a lot of questions. Staying up to date can help keep them on track.

 

Facts & Figures

1. Graduates with an associate degree make an average of over $10,000 more per year than a person with only a high school diploma.

2. Most students do not take the credit load needed to graduate on time. Only 29% of community college students nationwide take 15+ credits per semester.

3. Only 3% of Nevada community college students taking less than 12 credits per semester graduated within 4 years with an associate degree.

4. 62% of students complete their associate degree when they complete 30+ credits in their first year; however, only 4% finish it within 2 years.

5. An extra semester of college costs the typical two-year college student almost $1,500.

6. By 2020, 58% of Nevada’s jobs will require a career certificate or college degree yet only 28% of Nevada adults currently have a postsecondary degree.

7. Only 7% of part-time community college students graduate with their associate degree within 4 years and in Nevada, only 3% of part-time community college students graduate with their associate degree within 4 years.

8. The national average time to complete an associate degree for full-time students is 3.8 years and 5 years for part-time students. In Nevada, it is slightly lower with full-time students finishing in 3.7 years and part-timers finishing in 4.7 years.

9. 33% of part-time students withdrew in their first year of college.

10. The amount of time college students actually study (reading, writing, preparing) has dwindled from 24 hours a week to about 15.

Sources & Reports

“The Game Changers.” Complete College America. Web. Oct. 2013. Last accessed Jan 2014. https://completecollege.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CCA-Nat-Report-Oct18-FINAL-singles.pdf

“Time Is the Enemy.” Complete College America. Web. Sept. 2011. Last accessed Jan. 2014. https://completecollege.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Time_Is_the_Enemy.pdf

“Is college too easy? As study time falls, debate rises.”Washington Post. Web. May 21, 2012. Last accessed Mar 2014.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/is-college-too-easy-as-study-time-falls-debate-rises/2012/05/21/gIQAp7uUgU_story.html

2012 Complete College America/National Governors Association data collection & NCES report 2011-152, Table 5.0B.

Postsecondary Analytics. “How Full-Time are “Full-Time” Students? prepared for Complete College America, October 2013. (PDF)

Bureau of the Census

NSHE Fall 2008 Cohort Data

Average Published Undergraduate Charges by Sector, 2012-13.” Table 1A.

“Differences in Median Earnings Between a High School Diploma and an Associates Degree.” NCHEMS Information Center. Last accessed Mar 2014. http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=82