Community leaders and partners from Naugatuck Valley Community College’s 22-town service region gathered for the College’s sixth annual Community Meeting on May 12, to discuss NVCC’s progress Toward A Splendid College, as outlined in its 2013-2016 strategic plan and to brainstorm enhancements to community engagement initiatives.
“It gives me pleasure to affirm that our five strategic goals continue to guide our efforts and to support continued improvement and enhancement of educational opportunities for our students,” said NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.
“This is my seventh year as the president of your community college and I’m proud to report that it has been a very productive and rewarding year,” President De Filippis continued. “We believe in our communities and our partners; we believe in you; we believe in the awesome potential that working together has to produce meaningful outcomes.”
Incoming Student Government Association President Katherine Abreu said her vision for NVCC includes continued growth in enrollment and more student participation. “I would like to see students walk in here saying ‘I’m not only here to get a degree, but I’m here to help out my community. I want to be more involved.’”
Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembo delivered the keynote address, updating community members on state finances and stressing the importance of strong and vibrant public community colleges to Connecticut’s citizens and future. “When you look at the goals at Naugatuck Valley… you clearly hold yourself to a very high standard,” Lembo said. “That’s at the heart and that is the reason the successes are so many.”
Provost and Senior Dean of Administration James Troup provided an update to the community on campus improvement plans, including construction on NVCC’s Center for Health Sciences, which is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017 and relocation plans for the Danbury Campus. The audience also received updates on the NVCC Foundation from Chairman Daniel Sherr and on Academic Affairs from Dean Irene Rios-Knauf, Ed.D.
NVCC Dean of Community Engagement Waldemar Kostrzewa noted that the College is doing well in meeting its goals in the areas of job placement, transfers to four-year institutions and program completions in high-demand areas. He stressed that there is still work to do in several key areas, including enrollment and boosting completion rates, especially for under-represented students.
“The Midpoint Report: Toward A Splendid College requires all of us to recognize it won’t happen overnight, although we have a significant number of wins seemingly overnight,” Kostrzewa said. He noted that the theme of the day’s event was Going Strong, Going Far. “We believe we’re still going strong and on inference, getting to the next level, we want to go further.”
Community members then participated in round-table discussions about the College’s initiatives and future plans. Their feedback and ideas will be incorporated into the strategic planning process.