(Waterbury, CT) - After two years of rigorous self-reflection and -evaluation, Naugatuck Valley Community College concluded, for its part, the decennial College accreditation process with a Nov. 11 - 14 site visit by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). An official evaluation report by the NEASC team will be sent to the College this spring.
NVCC welcomed the NEASC team Sunday evening with a reception catered by the NVCC Hospitality program and Events Management Club students. Dr. David Levinson and Dr. Elsa Nunez, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities(ConnSCU) vice presidents for community colleges and state universities, respectively, were on hand to help welcome the visiting team along with faculty, staff and several community supporters.
“The presence of so many members of the Naugatuck Valley Community College family and of representatives from the Foundation, Regional Advisory Council and the community at large lent strength to our collective voices of support for the role the College serves in our region and our state,” wrote President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., in a follow-up email to the campus community. “It was powerful! The Welcoming Reception crystallized how much community and our students matter to us.”
The team met with faculty and staff and held open hearings Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, the team addressed the College with some preliminary findings.
As noted by President De Filippis, the quality of NVCC’s preparation was reflected in the closing remarks of Dr. Daniel Asquino, chair of the NEASC visiting team.
“Dr. Asquino began his verbal report by recognizing our multiple strengths, which are based solidly on a highly committed, collegial community that lives the mission and advances the goals of our strategic plan” wrote President De Filippis. “The team validated the concerns we ourselves identified in our self-study. Most importantly, they confirmed the need to continue to improve our graduation rate. In summarizing their findings, Dr. Asquino congratulated us all on our professionalism, warmth, compassion and commitment to our mission.”
In his final words Dr. Asquino expressed his belief that NVCC was “an outstanding institution with a bright future.”
Led by the efforts of co-chairs Dr. Sandra Palmer, dean of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Kim O’Donnell, professor of psychology, approximately 100 faculty and staff members contributed to researching and documenting the College’s work in the 11 NEASC standards. On Nov. 16, President De Filippis hosted a “high tea” to recognize the hard work of those individuals. The accumulation of that data is available in the NVCC Self-Study.
Once the final NEASC report is received by the College, it will be used to inform the work of the 2013-16 NVCC Strategic Plan.
“Peer review, the opportunity to conduct a self-study and to reflect about the work that we do is fundamental to academic life,” said President De Filippis. “It is the foundation of education in civil and democratic societies and what makes American higher education strong, true and relevant. We have come a long way in our journey ‘towards a splendid college’ but this reminds us that there is much good work still to be done.”