Goal Three: NVCC Programs Meet and Beat Academic and Industry Standards.

In higher education it is not enough to have good programs. Colleges increasingly must demonstrate their competitive advantage to students, faculty and staff, potential employers, and community partners. That means being better at demonstrating value—as higher education providers helping students pursue their career dreams while offering very practical supports that facilitate their transfer and employment.

To achieve this goal, we have identified three initiatives that will help build NVCC’s reputation for excellence from academic and industry perspectives.



Strengthen Liberal Arts, General Education, and Transfer

Many students seek out a community college to begin their higher educational journey. For minority, low-income, and older students, a community college is often an entry point to higher education and a place to increase their odds of socio-economic upward mobility.[13] Yet, while community colleges understand the importance of laying the foundation for continued learning, ensuring student transfer is complicated, given the complex interests and needs of students, as well as the difficulties in tracking where they go.

Through this initiative, NVCC will implement efforts mandated by the Board of Regents (BOR) for the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities which approved a Transfer and Articulation Policy (TAP) in 2012 designed to facilitate the transfer of the state’s community college students into their junior year at the state universities. By fall 2014, the successful implementation of the policy will significantly improve our current transfer pathways through the creation of a common general education core that allows students to transfer seamlessly to four- year institutions in the Connecticut system. In addition to complying with statewide education policy changes, by 2016 NVCC will review its Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum, to ensure that it offers an educational experience that encourages creativity, intelligence, and adaptability and helps students understand their transfer options.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Map Transfer Articulation Program’s Gen Ed Framework competencies/outcomes across all core courses.

Review, adjust, and adopt TAP Gen Ed Framework competencies for NVCC’s General Education core.

Strengthen seamless articulations with state universities through support of BOR Pathways committees.

Create pre-major pathways, which include 30–31 transferable gen ed credits common to all 17 ConnSCU institutions.

Develop and implement outcomes assessment plans for all disciplines within the common core.

Improve Job Placement Efforts

Although unemployment rates have been improving nationally and in the region, the recession hit Northwest Connecticut hard and the regional recovery appears slow going.[14] These circumstances, alongside changing expectations within industry regarding worker skills, make the job market more difficult to navigate for those who are both seeking and trying to hold onto a job.

NVCC recognizes it plays an important role in job placement. In fall 2011, NVCC opened the Job Placement Center (JPC) on its Waterbury campus. Since that time, 1,036 students signed into the JPC to benefit from its general career services, including its resume writing and interviewing workshops, job/career fairs, placement of students into cooperative education internships, and one- to-one assistance to connect students with job openings. By 2016, we will focus even more squarely on how we can help graduating students to secure quality, upwardly mobile jobs in their career areas of choice.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Develop a comprehensive, college-wide plan to improve job placement.

Build partnerships with businesses to better understand their needs and connect students with jobs.

Strengthen the job placement offerings and services, expanding one-to-one student supports, workshops, and internships/cooperative education experiences that provide students with the latest job-search tools.

Strengthen the JPC’s job placement systems and results.

Incorporate 21st Century Technology Inside and Outside the Classroom

Many colleges are exploring technology as an educational delivery tool within the classroom, via distance learning efforts, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), and the creation of smart classrooms. Colleges less often pursue technological innovation to strengthen academic learning supports and improve administrative decision-making and business practice. [15]

Through this initiative, NVCC will consider ways to better incorporate technology inside and outside of the classroom to improve student performance as well as institutional effectiveness. By 2016, we will: offer new online courses and identify ways to control the quality of online course offerings; reposition critical academic supports, such as our library, to better support student learning; and identify technological enhancements that can improve NVCC’s capacity to collect, organize, and report out on data to support a stronger culture of evidence-based decision- making.

Activity Areas of Focus:

Certify all online courses; introduce quality control measures across offerings.

Create new online courses and a fully online Associate Degree program in General Studies.

Increase the number of smart classrooms.

Undertake a needs assessment and review of promising technological approaches to library based learning supports in concert with the 2013 Library Program Review. Implement recommendations.

Re-engineer data collection, access, organization, and reporting processes.

Our Latest Accomplishments
NVCC Leads the State’s Community Colleges in NIMs Certifications

NVCC Leads the State’s Community Colleges in NIMs Certifications

Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) led the way with 162 certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) awarded this academic year.  Celebrating the highest number of certifications, out of the seven community colleges in the state system that have Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers (AMTC), NVCC is again poised to make a difference to the local workforce training. These nationally recognized, portable, stackable credentials are often used by manufacturers to identify qualified candidates for employment.

Author: beth coates
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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 Honored with Major Grants to Support Collaboration with Waterbury High Schools

Naugatuck Valley Community College Honored with Major Grants to Support Collaboration with Waterbury High Schools

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has notified NVCC that all three of their US DOE Upward Bound grant applications have been selected for funding.  These grants will support increased collaboration between NVCC and the three Waterbury High Schools, Crosby, Kennedy and Wilby. Each grant is a five year grant award in the amount of $257,500 per year/ per school.  The grant will provide 60 students from grades 9-12, at each school, college access, preparation, and awareness services. The 180 students will be selected based on income eligibility and academic need as determined through an interview process.  Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary enthusiastically commented that “the city is honored by the successful efforts of NVCC on behalf of our Waterbury High School students. The College continues to make a difference for students and their families.”

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Pilot Program Emphasizing Excellence in Teaching Elevates NVCC’s Student Success Plan

Pilot Program Emphasizing Excellence in Teaching Elevates NVCC’s Student Success Plan

Through partnership with the Association for College and University Educators

Increased student engagement, faculty who are more confident in their teaching, more relevant course material, and an improved student experience are many of the benefits that Naugatuck Valley Community College hopes to gain from a pilot program with the Association for College and University Educators (ACUE) which began in February. 

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NVCC Inducts 146 Students into National Honor Society Phi Theta Kappa

NVCC Inducts 146 Students into National Honor Society Phi Theta Kappa

Naugatuck Valley Community College held the 36th annual induction ceremony for the National Honor Society Phi Theta Kappa on Monday, April 10.  Faculty, staff, friends, and family celebrated the achievements of 146 student inductees. The event opened with a welcome by Professor Lisa Kaufman, an advisor for the organization. NVCC President Daisy Cocco DeFilippis, Ph.D. delivered the opening remarks commending the academic achievements of the students, Dean of Academic Affairs Irene Rios-Knauf, Ph.D., congratulated the recipients, and NVCC Professor of English Steve Parlato delivered the keynote address.

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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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Indicators of Success

Liberal Arts, Gen Ed, Transfer

  • All NVCC LA and Gen Ed courses transfer
  • Increased Liberal Arts student transfer
  • Guaranteed or priority admission, junior status granted to graduates going on to four-year universities

Job Placement

  • More on-the-job training and employment in areas of study
  • More matriculated students and graduates securing jobs
  • Graduates employed and earning more, working in fields of study

Technology

  • Better quality of online offerings
  • More students accessing and noting learning outcomes associated with library and other learning supports
  • Greater efficiencies/effectiveness in administrative decision-making
Supported By
Program Review

All academic programs at NVCC are required to undergo program review. Program Review Reports are created by small committees consisting of faculty, staff and community partners and submitted to the Responsive Academic Leadership and Programs committee. Click here to see what's included in a Program Review Report

References

13The Economic Case for Higher Education, U.S. Treasury Department, 2012. 14 Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board Strategic Plan, 2012-2017. 15 Mitchell, B. The Other Side to Technology in Higher Education. Huffington Post, 9/25/12