James McCoy

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Success & Director of Co-requisite Implementation

Nevada System of Higher Education


James McCoy

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Success & Director of Co-requisite Implementation

Nevada System of Higher Education

James R. McCoy is the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the acclaimed documentary No Greater Odds and currently serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success and the Director of Co-requisite Implementation for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Previous to his role at NSHE, James served for about seventeen years at the College of Southern Nevada in a variety of roles to include as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Academic Success, as Chair and Lead Faculty for the Department of Communication, and as a tenured Communication Professor. James was also an instructor at several community colleges in California where he taught an array of communication courses. Prior to working in academia, he worked in radio broadcasting as a radio morning show host and radio station program director.

A highly sought after keynote speaker and presenter, James often talks about the important work that community colleges do in the United States. Additionally, James speaks and consults for corporations, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions throughout the country. Some of Mr. McCoy’s more recent clients include Walmart, Nevada Eye Care, The Falmouth Institute, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Area Health Education Center of Southern Nevada, Big Bend Community College, Aiken Technical College, Santa Fe College, North Carolina State University, Gateway Community College, Mohave Community College, South Plains Community College, Metropolitan Community College, Edgecombe Community College, Complete College America, CCSSE, NACADA, The College Board, as well as an array of national conferences and symposiums. James also had the opportunity to speak during the 2016 Democratic National Convention where he focused his remarks on the mission of community colleges and student success.

Some of the areas of consulting and speaking that James focuses on include communication, workplace culture, leadership development, customer service, conflict management, teaching pedagogy, student success in the community college, memorization techniques, overcoming personal odds and an array of other relevant topic areas.

James serves as the state lead in Nevada for Complete College America. His latest work with CCA involves the development and implementation of the Momentum Year--this includes Guided Pathways (GPS) complete with academic mapping, 15 to Finish, proactive advising, metamajors, Purpose First, and co-requisite math and english in the first year.


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15 to Finish

Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

Math Pathways

Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

Corequisite Support

Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Momentum Year

Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.

Academic Maps with Proactive Advising

Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

A Better Deal for Returning Adults

Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.

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