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
NVCC Hosts College Goal Sunday

NVCC Hosts College Goal Sunday

Students learn about how to pay for college

College students and their parents who need help to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) came to the annual College Goal Sunday workshop hosted by Naugatuck Valley Community College on Sunday, October 23.  For prospective students and parents who haven’t filled out the application before, it can prove a daunting and often confusing task, so the event is aimed at simplifying the process.

 
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NVCC Inducts Seven New Student Ambassadors into President’s Circle

NVCC Inducts Seven New Student Ambassadors into President’s Circle

Naugatuck Valley Community College inducted seven new students into the prestigious President’s Circle during an October 21st ceremony held in the Technology Hall Dining Room.  Membership represents the highest honor a student may receive while matriculating at the College. Inductees have a minimum GPA of 3.4 and they represent a select group of outstanding achievers who serve as the College’s student ambassadors. President’s Circle ambassadors have the opportunity to attend major college events with the President and/or her Cabinet and lend voice to their experiences as NVCC students.

 
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Welcomes New Students at Fall 2016 Orientation Program

Naugatuck Valley Community College Welcomes New Students at Fall 2016 Orientation Program

More than 450 new students and their families attended the Saturday Orientation program hosted by Naugatuck Valley Community College. The morning opened with a continental breakfast. The top twenty resources for an incoming college student were represented in the Leever Atrium of the Fine Arts Center on the Waterbury Campus including the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), Academic Division Leaders, the Center for Job Placement and College Opportunities, and Veteran’s Affairs to name a few. The formal program was introduced by Dean of Student Services, Sarah Gager. Welcoming remarks on behalf of NVCC President, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., were presented by Provost and Senior Dean of Administration, James Troup, who concluded his welcome with the poem, “It is I Who Must Begin”  by Václav Havel.

Author: Coates, Beth
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Celebrates Student Success in Visual and Performing Arts

Naugatuck Valley Community College Celebrates Student Success in Visual and Performing Arts

Burton Tedesco, Assistant Professor of Theater at Naugatuck Valley Community College, loves his work. He delivers the elements defined in the mission of the Performing Arts Department, which are to provide mentorship, teach fundamental skills, create opportunities for performance and present pathways to further student training and careers. 
Author: Coates, Beth
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Building Bridges to College for Waterbury Youth

Naugatuck Valley Community College Building Bridges to College for Waterbury Youth

Summer is a time of academic, social and personal enrichment for students from the Waterbury public schools who have the privilege of participating in NVCC’s Bridge to College programs. Since early July the campus has been bustling with college access students aged 13-18.  They are at the College for any of three programs including Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program (ConnCAP), or Community College Scholar (CCS).  Hundreds of Waterbury public school students and first year NVCC students engage in meaningful academic enrichment and exciting social experiences.  “We are excited by the energy surrounding our students this summer,” says BTC Division Director David Celotto.  “Our students have strategically taken the necessary steps to advance through our summer programs.  They have come to campus with the drive and determination to learn and grow.  What more can we ask from our young leaders?  We are very proud.”  Highlights of the featured programs include:
Author: Coates, Beth
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Hosted Connecticut Association of Latinos in Higher Education (CALAHE)

Naugatuck Valley Community College Hosted Connecticut Association of Latinos in Higher Education (CALAHE)

Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., hosted the annual CALAHE Scholarship Reception in the Technology Hall Dining Room of the Waterbury campus on Thursday evening, August 6, 2016.
Author: Coates, Beth
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Commissions Renovations for New Danbury Campus Location

Naugatuck Valley Community College Commissions Renovations for New Danbury Campus Location

Set your GPS for 190 Main Street Danbury, CT and you will be pleasantly surprised to find a 1920’s art deco building getting a major makeover to accommodate the thousands of college students who are about to make it their new campus. Work crews are hurriedly braving the heat and humidity while taking advantage of the long summer days to complete the vision driven by the NVCC mission, to offer “quality, affordable education and training in response to evolving community needs by providing opportunities to individuals and organizations to develop their potential.”

 

Author: Coates, Beth
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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.