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
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. 
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Welcomes Third Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence

Naugatuck Valley Community College Welcomes Third Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence

Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) is hosting its third Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for the academic year 2016-17. Felipe Karam, a traditional and folk violinist from Brazil will be teaching music at the College.

Author: Coates, Beth
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Workforce Achievers Value Education (WAVE) Celebrates 12th Year of Success at Naugatuck Valley Community College

Workforce Achievers Value Education (WAVE) Celebrates 12th Year of Success at Naugatuck Valley Community College

Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted an Orientation Ceremony for the 2016-17 class of WAVE students. Sponsored by the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, WAVE is in its 12th year at NVCC. New students from Wilby, Crosby, Kaynor Tech, Abbott Tech, Naugatuck, and Danbury High Schools were on hand to participate in the opening reception. Students in the WAVE program are recruited from the high schools in the service area of the College. The process of selection involves attendance at open houses, followed by a series of interviews that lead to the final selection. 
Author: Coates, Beth
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Celebrates the 5th Anniversary of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center

Naugatuck Valley Community College Celebrates the 5th Anniversary of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center

For the fifth consecutive year, the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center on the Waterbury campus of NVCC has successfully placed manufacturing grads into internship and career positions with local manufacturers in greater Waterbury, Danbury, and the northwest corner of the state. To date over 150 graduates of the center have found jobs with some of the over 200 industry partners of the College. According to AMTC Director, Joe Defeo, industry partners are manufacturing companies who have an understanding of the program. “They are in lock-step with the College’s AMTC program and they know it as a pipeline of talent.”

Author: Coates, Beth
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Naugatuck Valley Community College Hosted Academic Conferences on Higher Education in America

Naugatuck Valley Community College Hosted Academic Conferences on Higher Education in America

On Monday, April 18, Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a symposium with Board of Regents Chairman Nicholas M. Donofrio and former Chairman Lewis J. Robinson, Esq.  Chairman Donofrio’s intellectually invigorating presentation on Making Value for America was well-attended by NVCC faculty, staff, and management. The program led to a discussion on the role higher education and public libraries play in transforming the U.S. economy from one in which ideas are generated to one in which those ideas produce long term value. Chairman Donofrio’s visit marked the beginning of an exciting week of intellectual discourse for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Senate at Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Author: Coates, Beth
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Annual Leadership Breakfast Celebrates ‘Powerful Year’ at NVCC

Annual Leadership Breakfast Celebrates ‘Powerful Year’ at NVCC

Naugatuck Valley Community College welcomed nearly 100 area legislative, municipal, community and business leaders, as well as Connecticut Board of Regents Chairman Nicholas Donofrio and Connecticut State College and University System President Mark Ojakian to campus on January 8 for NVCC’s seventh Leadership Breakfast.

Author: Kupec, Aaron
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Honors Institute Showcase Features Student Projects

Honors Institute Showcase Features Student Projects

Students in Naugatuck Valley Community College’s Honors Institute presented their research projects for the fall semester at the Honors Institute Showcase on December 3. Research topics ranged from monetary policy to children’s literature.

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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