Goal One: At NVCC, Students Achieve Their Goals.

Ensuring  student  success  is  the  heart  of  what  we  do. And, it is complicated because it means different things to different students, depending on why he or she comes to NVCC: whether to secure a job, improve employment credentials, or to transfer and continue with education.

To achieve this goal, we have identified three initiatives that will help students stay on track as they pursue whatever they aspire for by coming to NVCC. These initiatives will build academic readiness for college, improve first-year student success, and guide students as they navigate their NVCC college experience.


Deepen the College-Wide Advising Program

Fewer college students today can afford the time to “find themselves” in college. Today’s students must be more laser-focused on picking a career and then determining the  quickest,  most-affordable  route  to  get  there. Academic advisement helps students develop one-to-one relationships with college representatives who can guide them through their college experience to achieve their academic and career goals. While advising approaches vary from campus to campus, national research shows that academic advisement can improve community college persistence, retention, and graduation rates.

Now all NVCC students (full-time, part-time, matriculated, non-matriculated) are assigned advisors to help them orient to the college, prepare to register, and determine appropriate courses to take. By 2016, we will improve key aspects of academic advising, including our capacity to engage students at critical stages, so that they can embark successfully along academic pathways that keep their long-term goals in sight.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Improve student understanding of the importance of advising to retention and graduation.

Strengthen faculty and staff training in advising so they better understand their roles, different methods, when advising is critical (early warning intervention sooner), and new program requirements to communicate with students.

Establish   an   advisor-designed   plan   to   strengthen first-year student advisement, implementing cross- functionally trained teams of advisors (faculty, staff, tutors, and peers) that include advisors connected to student majors.

Reinforce advising at other critical points, particularly as applicable to part-time students, e.g., when students are undecided, changing majors, or approaching graduation.

Integrate more technology into advising, from the creation of online advising systems to purchasing a program that can support group texting and peer-to- peer texting.

Assess and Fine-Tune First Year Learning Communities

College, especially a non-residential one, can feel overwhelming and isolating for many students, particularly in their first year. Learning communities offer an effective educational approach where students learn and undertake activities in cohorts, thereby creating a system of mutual support that impacts their performance, engagement and retention.[5]  Identified as a “high impact practice” by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, learning communities also promote greater curricular coherence by strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty.[6]

NVCC piloted learning communities with first-time, full- time freshmen in fall 2012. Based on preliminary indicators of success, in fall 2013 we expanded the program to 11 learning communities. By 2016, we want all first-time, full-time freshmen to have the opportunity to participate in learning communities, laying the foundation for long- term academic success.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Offer 25 learning communities by end of Year Three, serving the majority of first-time, full-time freshmen.

Strengthen various critical aspects of the curriculum through the program review and assessment processes (e.g., capstone experiences, internships, advisory councils).

Provide professional development for faculty to focus on student engagement and learning.

Redesign Remedial and Developmental Course Offerings

Today about 60% of first-year college students require some level of remedial or developmental education. At two-year colleges, about 75% of incoming students need remedial support in English, mathematics, or both.[7] Our nation can meet its ambitious college completion goals only if students who start in developmental education succeed.   In   August   2012,   Governor   Dannel   Malloy signed a new state law, P.A. 12-40, An Act Concerning College Readiness and Completion. This law requires the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, beginning by the 2014 fall semester, to offer certain students remedial support embedded with corresponding entry-level courses, and certain other students an intensive college- readiness program.

As  NVCC  works  to  fully  comply  with  the  letter  and spirit of the law, we will implement new procedures to ensure that students are spending their time and money earning college credits that help them graduate. Based on impressive research findings surrounding acceleration models,  by  2016,  NVCC  will  pilot  fast-track  courses, modularize instruction, and mainstream students into college-level classes, transforming the way our students learn and engage.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Provide diagnostic software for students to prepare for the college placement test.

Pilot self-paced modularized math instruction, allowing students to quickly transition from remedial to college-level courses.

Embed tutors within fast-track, self-paced, and intensive math courses.

Provide professional development for faculty teaching developmental and gateway courses.

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

Advising

  • Students connect to advisors sooner and declare majors faster
  • Fewer students on probation

Learning Communities

  • Increased student success (beyond national averages) among students enrolled in Learning Communities

Remedial/Developmental Education

  • Faster exit from remedial/developmental course sequences
  • Higher rates of completion among these students
Supported By

Institutional Planning Committees on:

Student Success

Environmental Scanning

References

4 Ensign, R. “Fast Gainers: 4 Ways That Colleges Have Raised Graduation Rates.” Chronicle of Higher Ed, 2010; What Works in Retention? Community Colleges Report, 4th Nat’l ACT Survey, 2010; Bahr, P., “Cooling Out in the Community College: What is the Effect of Academic Advising on Students’ Chances of Success?” Research in Higher Ed, 2008. 5 Tinto, V. Learning Better Together: The Impact of Learning Communities on Student Success. In Promoting Student Success in College, Higher Education Monograph Series (pp. 1-8). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, 2003 6 Lardner, Emily, and Gillies Malnarich. New Era in Learning-Community Work: Why The Pedagogy of Intentional Integration Matters. Change Magazine, July- August 2008 7 Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy, A Special Report by The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and The Southern Regional Education Board, June 2010.