Goal Four: NVCC Is an Engine of Change Within Waterbury and the Broader Community.

NVCC’s  mission  is  grounded  in  its  relationship  with its service region—the big cities and small towns that surround it. When it leads or collaborates with its communities on issues from access to higher education to workforce development and employment growth, NVCC acts as a powerful force for regional transformation.

To achieve this goal, we have identified three partnership initiatives with communities to address our common interests and concerns.




Build Partnerships and Community Presence in Waterbury, Danbury, Naugatuck, and the Broader Service Region

One of NVCC’s most widely noted successes in recent years is the establishment of evening bus service for Waterbury residents. College, city, and state leaders collaborated to bring this service that has affected the lives of thousands.[16] Evening bus service means area residents can work in the late evening. NVCC students can now use bus UPasses to get to campus, enabling them to enroll in more classes and remain on campus longer to access our educational services and student activities. Since October 2011, evening bus rides taken by all riders city-wide total 360,000, and 21,400 evening bus rides were taken by UPass holders,  among  whom  NVCC  students  were  counted. Our bus service collaboration illustrates what can happen when  college  and  community  come  together.  Through 2016, we will continue to explore partnerships with the City of Waterbury, Danbury, Naugatuck, New Milford, and other cities and towns to increase our responsiveness to community needs.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Monitor   evening   bus   service   and   student   UPass ridership; advocate for state funding beyond 2014.

Continue and expand numerous partnerships with the City of Waterbury and its Public School System.

Working with state officials, obtain lease for new downtown Danbury Center site to accommodate rapid enrollment growth (up from 231 students at opening in 2009 to 919 students in 2013).

Meet with Danbury, Naugatuck, and New Milford leaders to identify mutual interests and needs.

Reach out to other mayors and municipal leaders to identify potential partnership opportunities.

Enhance Pre-Collegiate Pathways to Higher Education

As a nation, we know we need to better address college preparedness issues much earlier in a student’s academic experience. We also need to more clearly delineate and articulate the requirements and credentials for different fields of study and employment, so that students can more successfully pursue post-secondary degrees and credentials, as well as careers.[17]

In 2012, NVCC joined the City of Waterbury and became the fiduciary for GEAR UP (Gain Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a federally funded $11.2 million, seven-year grant to help prepare middle and high school students for post-secondary education. NVCC’s Bridge to College Office currently administers this grant along with others: Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program, Workforce Investment Act In-School Youth Program, Community College Scholars Program, AmeriCorps, and the College Access and Challenge Program. Through this initiative, NVCC advances these and other efforts to help Waterbury and surrounding communities improve student performance in high schools and middle schools, thereby improving student pathways to higher education.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Serve as the fiduciary and partner in administering the GEAR UP grant.

Incorporate Bridge to College into the fabric of NVCC and strengthen collaboration between programs, maximizing impact on students.

Increase the number of high school graduates who are college ready.

Explore state funding and partnerships with boards of education and area employers to establish a Middle College Science Academy at NVCC.

Build Workforce Pathways in High-Demand Careers

Workforce development partnerships between community colleges and industry are increasingly the norm and expectation. As business sectors seek more skilled workers, many are turning to community colleges to lend their expertise at serving local workforce training needs. And, training programs developed in partnership with industry tend to be more attractive to students, especially in this economy, where they can provide greater assurance of employment.[18]

Through this initiative, NVCC will expand our recently established Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC), which, with funding support and via a curriculum developed jointly with local manufacturers, offers a blend of non-credit to credit award options to students in basic and advanced manufacturing skills. Given that non-credit courses often serve as first entry points for students who seek credentialing programs for new jobs or advanced skills in their current positions, we will explore additional non-credit to credit programs in allied health, business/computer skills, accounting, and other high-demand careers. We also will strengthen our internal processes to monitor area workforce needs so that we can adjust our curricula and design new degree programs or certificates for emerging careers.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Expand day and evening enrollment in AMTC and ensure equipment is state-of-the-art.

Implement new allied health academic programs consistent with the Academic Plan.

Provide incumbent worker training for employees of our manufacturing partners via the AMTC.

Identify and implement additional non-credit to credit pathways and programs.

Explore high-demand career pathways that build joint STEM programs between NVCC and four-year colleges.

Undertake program reviews and assessments in coordination with industry associations and employers to keep NVCC programs current and connected with workforce needs and demands.

Our Latest Accomplishments
Annual Honors Night Celebrates the Difference Community Colleges are Making

Annual Honors Night Celebrates the Difference Community Colleges are Making

Honors Night at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) is documented in a crisp navy blue program with regal silver type. It opens to reveal linen stock that boasts excellence on every page. Special recognition for leadership, arts, excellence in journalism, and a collection of memorial scholarships take the audience through page one. Ten additional pages of awards to NVCC students in the four academic divisions of the College fill the Mainstage Theater of the College's Fine Arts Center with congratulations and pageantry. Students and their families gathered to receive their awards and tell their stories in the tradition of NVCC. 
Author: beth coates
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Education is a Family Affair at Naugatuck Valley Community College

Education is a Family Affair at Naugatuck Valley Community College

When Elida De Jesus graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College in May 2016, she was awarded the President to President Scholarship to attend Eastern Connecticut State University.  Inspired by NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., and presented by Eastern President Elsa Núñez, Ed.D., the award recognizes academic excellence and commitment to the continued pursuit of higher education. At the awards ceremony that year, President De Filippis, in words and with an embrace, personally informed President Núñez that she was receiving one of NVCC’s treasures. “I knew then, as I know now, that Elida is a dedicated, intelligent and very poised young woman who will contribute greatly to her communities and to the world community in years to come.”

Author: Coates, Beth
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Two NVCC Students Make All-Connecticut Academic Team

Two NVCC Students Make All-Connecticut Academic Team

Two graduating Naugatuck Valley Community College students, Desiree Lafontaine and Anju Gautam were accepted to the All-Connecticut Academic Team. Lafontaine and Gautam were nominated from a pool of applicants based on the strength of their applications with respect to academic excellence, leadership, civic responsibility, and contributions made to the college community. The All-Connecticut Academic Team recognizes the outstanding scholarly achievements and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in Connecticut’s community, technical, and junior colleges. Each college is allowed to nominate two students, who are then accepted as All-Connecticut Academic Team members and then become eligible for the national All-USA Academic team which awards scholarships.

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Student Spotlight: Micah Small

Student Spotlight: Micah Small

2015 NVCC Grad Testifies to the Power of Community Colleges

“I choose my life every day, using what I have learned. My time at NVCC has made a difference to that learning" ~ Micah Small

Micah Small is a graduate of Naugatuck Valley Community College, Class of 2015. He came to NVCC because it was affordable. “The value was really important for me, but once I got here, I discovered that the faculty really made a difference to my learning. The culture at NVCC is supportive and the emphasis is on resources for student success, for example I relied heavily on the ACE to help with my classes. The tutors were excellent.”

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Student Spotlight: Yovany Cruz

Student Spotlight: Yovany Cruz

Naugatuck Valley Community College Alumna Sets Her Sites on a Future of Advocacy and Social Justice

Yovany Cruz is a 2014 graduate of Naugatuck Valley Community College.  She transferred to the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT, where she majored in Social Work. Professors enthusiastically identify Yovany as a “star student.” Advocacy is a personal mission for Yovany. She is a strong advocate for the Latino community and for people in general, when she sees there is a need.
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Student Spotlight: Nicole Hayes

Student Spotlight: Nicole Hayes

Naugatuck Valley Community College Grad Testifies to the Power of Community Colleges

"My roots have been planted firmly and my voice blossomed through my educational experiences and the relationships I built at NVCC." ~ Nicole Hayes

 Nicole Hayes is a graduate of Naugatuck Valley Community College, Class of 2017.  After graduating with an associate degree on May 25, she will attend Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. At NVCC, Nicole was a General Studies/Pre-Allied Health & Nursing major. With the help of faculty, and the supportive culture at NVCC, Nicole has blossomed as a student and will graduate with a 3.85 GPA. This past semester she completed one of the highest level English courses offered at NVCC, and she is a prolific writer for the College newspaper, The Tamarack.  Over the past two years she has written many articles about social justice issues. Tamarack faculty advisor, Associate Professor Steve Parlato, stated, “I couldn’t be more proud of Nicole. Along with academic excellence, she’s poured heart and soul into her role as Senior Staff Writer. Her meticulously researched articles, on issues of racial and gender-based inequality, make her a powerful voice. I’m thrilled her exceptional work has led to Wesleyan; I know she’ll do great things there.”

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Naugatuck Valley Community College Commencement Features National Teacher of the Year

Naugatuck Valley Community College Commencement Features National Teacher of the Year

Commencement Speaker is another example of the difference community college makes.

Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year and NVCC Alumna was the keynote speaker at the College’s fifty-second commencement ceremony. The event was held on the afternoon of Thursday, May 25, at 2 p.m. at the Waterbury Palace Theater.

NVCC proudly conferred over one thousand degrees or certificates for the sixth consecutive year. 

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Indicators of Success

Community Partnerships

  • Partnerships with common agenda in four to six cities/towns

Pre-collegiate Pathways

  • Increase Bridge to College funding, student reach and impact
  • Determine feasibility of establishing a Middle College

Responsive Pathways to Jobs

  • Expand non-credit to credit options, like LPN to RN
  • Strengthen responsiveness of programs to regional workforce needs
  • Prepare more workers with multiple credentials
Supported By

Institutional Planning Committees on:

Institutional Effectiveness

Environmental Scanning

References

16 Historic Bus Ride Marks the Start of Evening Bus Service in Waterbury, Waterbury Observer, 10/24/11, http://www.waterburyobserver.org/node/570. 17 Pathways to Prosperity:  Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century. Pathways to Prosperity Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education, February 2011. 18 Community College and Business Partnerships Take Root. Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Community College Advancement News, February 14, 2012.