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's GEAR UP Program Wraps up a Second Successful Year

NVCC's GEAR UP Program Wraps up a Second Successful Year

Over the course of two years, NVCC's GEAR UP program has helped more than 2,400 middle school students prepare for the rigors of high school and matriculation to college.

Administered through NVCC’s Bridge to College Office, the GEAR UP program is a seven-year, state-funded grant program designed to significantly increase the number of low-income students prepared to enter and succeed in college by providing early intervention, testing, advising and academic and social support. 

Author: Smith, Tara
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Community College Nursing Partnership a Winning Combination for Students and Community

Community College Nursing Partnership a Winning Combination for Students and Community

NVCC and WCSU share a long history of successful collaborations for the benefit of nursing students.

NVCC and WCSCU continue their history of successful collaborations which benefit nursing students with a convenient and affordable RN to BS program.

Author: Smith, Tara
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Principal-to-President Scholarship Helps 22 High School Students Earn College Credits in 2014

Principal-to-President Scholarship Helps 22 High School Students Earn College Credits in 2014

Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a reception honoring 22 Principal-to-President scholarship recipients from 11 area high schools on Monday, June 9 in the Technology Hall Dining Room.

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2014 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Recognized for High Academic and Community Achievements

2014 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Recognized for High Academic and Community Achievements

This year's valedictorian and salutatorian received a 4.0 and 3.95 GPA, respectively. Combined, they earned eight recognitions at the 2013 and 2014 Honors Night ceremonies

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1,325 Awards Given Out to NVCC's Largest Commencement Class (Yes, again.)

1,325 Awards Given Out to NVCC's Largest Commencement Class (Yes, again.)

Graduates of the Class of 2014 ranged in age from 17 to 71, and hailed from 10 states in total.

On May 29, 2014 at its 49th commencement, Naugatuck Valley Community College celebrated, for the fifth year in a row, the largest graduating class in the history of the College. The total number of awards conferred is 1,325.

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Finally finish college!

Finally finish college!

Go Back to Get Ahead is offering you up to three FREE college courses

Do you have college credits but no degree? Now is the time to finish the degree you started! A limited time program from the State of Connecticut called Go Back to Get Ahead is offering Connecticut residents up to three FREE 3-credit courses when you enroll at one of the 17 institutions in the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system.

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NVCC Awards More Than 100 Students for Excellence at Honors Night

NVCC Awards More Than 100 Students for Excellence at Honors Night

More than 100 students gathered with their families on Tuesday, May 27, for Naugatuck Valley Community College's annual Honors Night at the College's Fine Arts Center. Honors Night recognizes students who have distinguished themselves throughout the academic year by excelling academically, demonstrating leadership in their field of study, or engaging with the campus and greater area community.

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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.