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
Financial Services Industry Summit Focuses on Careers and Curriculum

Financial Services Industry Summit Focuses on Careers and Curriculum

In an effort to keep its curriculum current for its students and to help close the skill gap in the state, Naugatuck Valley Community College turned to the experts on November 29th at its Financial Services Summit. Focused on industry careers and trends in the financial services sector, the summit was hosted by Financial Services firm NewOak at its Danbury, Connecticut, office. The summit provided an opportunity for professionals in the financial services industry to discuss the skills, educational background, training, and experiences that are most sought after in prospective employees.


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NVCC Recognizes First Class in Advanced Manufacturing Technology from  Abbott Tech

NVCC Recognizes First Class in Advanced Manufacturing Technology from Abbott Tech

Eight students receive career-launching certificates

Eight Naugatuck Valley Community College adult students who completed their certificate requirements were recognized on December 14. The students are enrolled in a first-of-its-kind 22-month program in Advanced Manufacturing Technology held at Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury. The program equips them with skills to foster career growth in the manufacturing field. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., Provost James Troup, faculty and staff from the College along with industry partners and Abbot Tech Principal Stacy Butkus were present to commemorate the achievement. The students embarked on the journey back in August of 2015 when NVCC launched a second cohort in its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program at Abbott Tech.


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Presidential Awards Ceremony Recognizes Achievements of Advanced Manufacturing Technology Students in Graduating Class of 2017

Presidential Awards Ceremony Recognizes Achievements of Advanced Manufacturing Technology Students in Graduating Class of 2017

Thomaston Savings Bank Scholarship Awarded to High-Performing Student Along with Presidential Awards Presented to Other Top Performing Students

Fifty-two Naugatuck Valley Community College students who will graduate in January and May with certificates in Advanced Manufacturing were recognized Friday at the Fifth Annual Presidential Awards Ceremony. The event was held at NVCC’s Technology Hall on its Waterbury campus and sponsored by the Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut (SMA). The students are enrolled in a two semester program in Advanced Manufacturing Technology. The program equips them with skills to foster career growth in the manufacturing field. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., Provost James Troup, faculty and staff from the College along with industry partners and representatives from Thomaston Savings Bank were present to commemorate the achievement.


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NVCC Hosts College Transfer Fairs on Waterbury and Danbury Campuses

NVCC Hosts College Transfer Fairs on Waterbury and Danbury Campuses

More than 40 colleges and universities from across Connecticut and beyond were represented in the Café West at NVCC’s Waterbury campus College Transfer Fair on October 19. Held every spring and fall semester, the event is organized by the College’s Center for Academic Planning & Student Success (CAPSS). At NVCC’s Danbury campus, students participated in a Transfer Fair on November 9. The new space allowed the College to invite a larger number of representatives than in past semesters and organizers reported a great turn out from colleges and universities in Connecticut and New York. 

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A Community of Many Nations: NVCC Boasts Students from More Than 50 Countries

A Community of Many Nations: NVCC Boasts Students from More Than 50 Countries

ESL Program Coordinator, Karlene Ball, writes of the vibrancy of the ESL program which boasts a richly diverse and incredibly resilient student body.

From Afghanistan to Venezuela, from Brazil to Yemen, from Gambia to Uruguay—they’ve come to the NVCC campus. This fall we welcomed students from some 40 countries to NVCC’s English as a Second Language Program. With these newcomers, we now boast a diverse group of students from about 54 countries around the world.

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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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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.