Waterbury, Conn. – Approximately 125 community stakeholders and partners gathered at Naugatuck Valley Community College on June 7 to review the College’s 2012-2013 community report, and gain a first glance at NVCC’s 2013-2016 Strategic Plan, Toward a Splendid College.
Community leaders entered into a conversation about progress and opportunities at NVCC, reviewing the achievements made over the past three years and offering feedback on upcoming initiatives.
Some of NVCC’s major accomplishments this year include awarding the highest number of certificates and degrees in school history during its 2013 graduation, when the first students received certificates through College’s newly-opened Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. Student enrollment, retention and graduation rates have increased consistently since 2010, with enrollment at NVCC’s Danbury Center increasing by 50 percent.
“We believe in our students and their future,” NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. said. “We have asked all of you to work with us and make things better, and I’m really encouraged by what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.”
Major components of the 2013-2016 plan include deepening the college-wide advising plan, improving outcomes for underrepresented groups, improving job placement efforts and building workforce pathways in high-demand careers.
Speakers such as Webster Bank Chairman & CEO James C. Smith, the Honorable Mayor Neil M. O’Leary, Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Catherine Awwad and St. Mary’s Hospital President & CEO Chad W. Wable shared how NVCC has impacted the community in recent years, emphasizing the college’s vital role in bettering the 22 towns it serves.
“One thing that really impresses me about NVCC is that they understand the needs of the people who come through its doors,” Smith said. “This strategic plan (2013-2016) is the best plan in the system, and it really sets itself apart from other colleges and other institutions.”
Mayor O’Leary thanked NVCC’s leadership for increasing its enrollment by 25 percent in the last five years, because so many of the College’s students come from less privileged, inner-city homes.
Honors student Yovany Cruz shared how NVCC helped her overcome the obstacles she faced after entering the workforce, marrying and starting a family at the age of 19, rather than attending college. Struggling with a lack of resources and skills, Cruz eventually met with NVCC staff members who helped discover her passion for human services.
“I am representing the voices of hundreds of other students for whom I will continue to advocate for,” Cruz said. “These students share a similar story and it is because of the magnificent environment, love poured out from faculty and staff, and leaders that help this school, that allow students to flourish.”
At the close of the event, guests participated in round-table discussions about the College’s initiatives, to give NVCC leaders a better idea of the community’s needs.