Northwest Vista College Annual Report 2008-2009
Ten years ago in the fall of 1999 we were celebrating the opening of the college campus. Each year has brought new challenges and opportunities. Now in the fall of 2009, we celebrate the creation of five new buildings and innovative student learning opportunities.
Cover Painting "Spanish Olives" (2000) by Jack Robbins, NVC Art Faculty Creativity is a tree with countless branches that never stop blossoming. ~Alan Cohen, Author I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all who have contributed to Growing Creatively at NVC. Ten years ago in the fall of 1999 we were celebrating the opening of the college campus. Each year has brought new challenges and opportunities. Now in the fall of 2009, we celebrate the creation of five new buildings and innovative student learning opportunities. In planning for the Northwest Vista College 20082009 Annual Report, the theme, Growing Creatively, proposed by speech faculty member Amy Burton, quickly emerged. The beautiful cover befits the theme, and our thanks go to fine arts faculty member Jack Robbins for contributing his original artwork and allowing us to play with it. The theme Growing Creatively also pays homage to one of our college values -- creativity. I am grateful to our faculty and staff who strive for excellence in student learning and service. I am grateful to our students who have dedicated themselves to pursuing higher education, sometimes overcoming significant barriers, while serving as examples for their families and making a difference in our community. I am grateful to community members and organizations that have supported us through scholarships, bond elections and volunteerism, strengthening our programs and opportunities for students. What would we be without students, faculty, staff and community members, helping us grow creatively and achieve our vision and mission. I thank you all. Jacqueline Claunch President College Administration President Jacqueline Claunch, Ph.D. Vice President of Academics Jimmie Bruce, Ed.D. Vice President for College Services Julie Pace, M.A. Vice President of Student Success Diana Muniz, Ph.D. Dean of Community Development Deb Morgan, Ph.D. Dean of Interdisciplinary Programs Mary Dixson, Ph.D. Dean of Instructional and Extended Services John Carnes, Ph.D. Dean of Learning Resources Christine Godin, M.A. Dean of Workforce Education & Training Patrick Fontenot, M.A. Mission Creating Opportunities for Success Vision To become responsible members of our world community, we create exemplary models for: Learning to Be... Learning to Work... Learning to Serve... Learning to Lead... Together. Northwest Vista College Values Learning Community Caring Synergy Diversity Creativity Openness Integrity Joy Alamo Colleges Values Integrity Communication Community Academic Freedom Accountability Andrew Rico General Studies Andrew Rico is no stranger to Northwest Vista College. He was only eleven years old when he joined the Children's Enrichment Program as a summer camp volunteer. A few years later, while attending Communications Arts High School, Andrew managed to earn 19 college credit hours from Northwest Vista through our Dual Credit program. When the time came to enter college, Andrew was accepted by every college and university to which he applied: Trinity University, St. Mary's University, St. Edwards University, Mary-Hardin Baylor University, Baylor University, and Austin College. Andrew chose Northwest Vista College and is proud of his decision. "I think Vista was the smart choice to make because it allows me to get the same education as my friends but for thousands of dollars less." Andrew is especially grateful that most of his classes are under 25 students which allows for personal interaction with instructors and classmates. "NVC is unique at creating an atmosphere of diversity and giving every individual student a chance to learn." Andrew is determined to earn his associate's degree in one year by increasing his course load, attending summer classes and a Maymester session. "I find the education at NVC to be equal to that of universities, which solidifies my decision to attend this college." Building Infrastructure - Growing Facilities Five New Buildings Open on Time and on Budget At Northwest Vista College, one of the fastest growing community colleges in the country, the physical infrastructure is catching up with enrollment needs. During the 2006-2007 academic year, more than half of the classrooms were held in portable buildings. In the span of one year, between summer 2008 to summer 2009, the Construction Team at the college successfully opened five new buildings: Redbud Learning Center, Juniper Hall Academic Building, Live Oak Hall for Science and Social Sciences, Cypress Campus Center, and Palmetto Center for the Arts. This Capital Improvement Project, approved by Bexar County voters in the 2005 bond election, added 319,947 square feet to the existing site, more than doubling the size of physical facilities. Each of these new buildings opened on time and on budget, allowing enrollment to grow to 14,616 students for the fall 2009 semester. Student and Employee Feedback Guides Architects The leading architectural firm involved in the construction of our new facilities, Alamo Architects, in collaboration with O'Neil, Conrad and Oppelt, as well as Sprinkle and Associates, drew their inspiration from the input and requirements provided by employee and student surveys. The design of the buildings reflects the Northwest Vista College collaborative culture and open environment. Within the architecture, we have included natural lighting and have preserved native landscaping to ensure our committment to sustainability. The construction team lead by Broaddus + Project Control along with the lead contractor, Bartlett Cocke, used recycled materials where possible and created a two-acre lake in the heart of the campus that stores runoff water, prevents flooding on campus, and recycles the water for harvesting. The college construction team of faculty and staff reused moving and packing materials to minimize costs and divert hundreds of cardboard boxes from having to be recycled. A tracking database was developed to monitor changes, requests and warranty issues related to each of the buildings. After each move, a lessons-learned session was held to improve subsequent moves and to anticipate future requests. Student and faculty input in the construction is visible with centrally located computer labs, spacious science classrooms, a larger library with group-study space, as well as fine arts learning labs and performance venues. Redbud Learning Center Redbud Learning Center 40,942 square feet Redbud houses the library and 12 classrooms. It also has five group study rooms. The computer help desk allows lab assistants to help students with printing, using computers, and maintenance of equipment hardware. The third floor of the building includes stateof-the art classrooms and labs for multimedia and cinema production instructional programs. Live Oak O L i v e Hall a k H a l l Live Oak has a total of 40 classrooms and labs, as well as two faculty work areas serving 50 faculty members. It houses social sciences programs such as history, psychology, government, sociology, anthropology and speech. Live Oak is also a hub for natural and physical science programs that include biology, chemistry, geology, physics and engineering. 85,413 square feet Cypress Campus C a C y p r e s s Center m p u s C e n t e r 56,814 square feet The Cypress Campus Center houses all student services in one facility. This building includes a bookstore, cafeteria, advising, financial aid, enrollment, bursar, health clinic, counseling, disability services, testing center, student activities, and career and transfer services. With two large multipurpose rooms and outdoor lakeside venues, this is a popular gathering place for students as well as employees. Juniper p e J u n iHall r H a l l In 42 classrooms, students study reading, English, mathematics, interdisciplinary programs and English as a Second Language (ESL). Computer learning labs allow students to supplement classroom instruction using computer technology and tutoring assistance. Two faculty suites accommodate 50 instructors. 76,184 square feet Palmetto Center Center Palmetto for the Arts for the Arts 60,394 square feet Palmetto houses all fine and performing arts classes under one roof. Fine arts classes range from design and photography to sculpture and ceramics. A growing performing arts program includes a full range of music, theater and dance programs. Stellar facilities include a 400- seat proscenium theater, a 2,500 square-foot dance studio, recital halls, a black-box theater and art exhibit space. Renovations Will Accommodate Future Growth To accommodate future growth, existing buildings are undergoing renovations. Recently completed is Mountain Laurel Hall, which now houses Workforce Education and Training programs. Currently undergoing improvements is Huisache Health and Wellness Center, with the addition of a new gymnasium to be completed by January 2010. The final renovation process includes administrative and instructional support services in Manzanillo Hall, which is slated for completion in March 2010. New Degree in Fine Arts The opening of the Palmetto Center for the Arts in fall 2009 coincides with the launch of a new degree program, Associate of Arts with a concentration in Fine Arts. With this degree, students can now enter the workforce after just two years of study. These graduates can also transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree. Jennifer Osuna Two years ago, Jennifer Osuna was pregnant with her second child and managing a full schedule as a mother, wife and college student. She was working on an associate degree in an emerging field of Information Security and Assurance. The irony was that Jennifer was studying to be a computer expert, yet did not have a computer of her own. Information Security Jennifer was determined to succeed and made multiple trips to the computer labs at Northwest Vista College, often studying late into the night. It wasn't long before Jennifer caught the attention of one of her instructors who offered her a free computer, as part of a volunteer effort by college employees to refurbish old machines for student use. "I couldn't believe that I got selected. That was awesome, a really nice thing to do for students who were struggling." Having a computer of her own meant Jennifer did not have to commute as often to the college and was able to get a full-time position. Most recently, Jennifer received a security clearance for a new job. "Within one year, I increased my salary by $15,000 in my chosen career." Jennifer needs just a couple more classes to complete her degree. She credits NVC faculty with much of her success. "When I had my baby and a toddler at home, my instructors were flexible and supportive and always found time to work with me one-on-one after class. Now I can teach my boys. In fact my three-year-old already knows how to work the computer." Improving Student Access to College Highest Enrollment Increase in Public Higher Education in the Region Northwest Vista College is leading the way in enrollment growth for public colleges and universities in San Antonio and Bexar County. The percentage of enrollment increase has gone up by double-digits for the past few years, with a record-breaking jump this past fall. From fall 2008 to fall 2009, the overall growth of students surpassed even the highest projections of 12 percent to reach a impressive 22 percent. Several factors are contributing to the growth: � Five additional buildings opened at Northwest Vista College during the 2008-2009 academic year to provide space to serve additional students. � Northwest Vista College draws students from high schools in the Northside Independent School District (NISD), the fastest growing district in the county. � In 2007, Alamo Colleges began an active recruiting and enrollment effort known as College Connections with area high school students. � Students appreciate the collaborative environment they find at NVC. Overall Enrollment (Including Dual Credit) This graph illustrates enrollment trends described on the previous page. Northwest Vista College experienced our highest enrollment increase from 2008 to 2009 due in part to the growth of our new facilities. College Connection Completes Second Successful Year Since 2007, Northwest Vista College has been participating in a district-wide initiative known as College Connection, a partnership program between the Alamo Colleges and all Bexar County independent school districts. The main goal of this program is to bring the full enrollment process to high school students at their respective campuses. Every Bexar County senior who attends public high school is provided assistance � free of charge � with the following services: � � � � � College orientation sessions Application workshops Free assessment tests Advising Registration College Connection orientation to 4,480 high school seniors. More than 25 percent of those students registered for the fall 2009 semester, which resulted in 1,153 new enrollments, an 8 percent increase from the previous fall. NVC primarily partners with and serves the Northside and Lackland independent school districts. In addition, we provide support for the Edgewood Independent School District, which covers part of our geographic area. In the 2008-2009 academic year, the Northwest Vista College student services teams provided Hispanic Enrollment Growth is Highest in the State One key measure of our Strategic Plan is the growth or decline in Hispanic enrollment. Northwest Vista College has the highest growth rate of Hispanic students in the state. Our fiveyear goal, established in 2005, is to increase Hispanic enrollment to 48 percent of the total NVC enrollment by fall 2009. The college's longterm goal is to mirror the percentage of Hispanic students in the Northside Independent School District. In 2005, the Strategic Leadership Team examined the trend data for Hispanic enrollment since 2000. The team noted that the percentage had declined steadily until 2005 when Hispanic students comprised 44.9 percent of the NVC student body. Concerned with the downward trend, the college began to take measures to actively attract and recruit Hispanic students. Key among these strategies was the opening of the Westside Education & Training Center (WETC) in the heart of a predominantly Hispanic community and the College Connections program. In 2006 and 2007, NVC saw modest increases in Hispanic student numbers. But in 2008, Hispanic enrollment jumped from 45.4 percent to 47.2 percent of the total NVC student population. When comparing Hispanic enrollment increase from fall 2007 to fall 2008, the chart below reveals that the NVC increase was significantly larger than the state average increase. The data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board ranks NVC first in the state for increases among Hispanic Serving Institutions and near the top among all large colleges in our size category. Much of this increase is attributed to the expanded College Connection program. Percentage of NVC Overall Enrollment Increases Compared to Percentage of Hispanic Enrollment Increases 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Percentage of Hispanic Enrollment Increases Fall to Fall 25% 20% 2005-06 7.17% 9.30% 2006-07 8.36% 9.59% 2007-08 12.55% 16.46% 15% 10% NVC Overall Enrollment Increase Hispanic Enrollment Increase 5% 0% 2005-06 5.21% 9.30% 19.75% 2006-07 3.14% 9.59% 13.37% 2007-08 7.16% 16.46% 20.06% S Statewide N NVC S State Best LC Harrison Ohiri For Harrison Ohiri, coming to Northwest Vista College has been a welcoming experience. The academic system in his home country of Nigeria, where he lived for most of his life, is more formal than in the United States. Students do not ususally interact with instructors outside of class. When Harrison came NVC, he was surprised at the culture of openness and collaboration. "The help you get here at Northwest Vista College is cool and awesome." As a biology major, Harrison plans to go to medical school to become a pediatrician. His mother, a local pharmacist, encouraged him to come to NVC. His father, a journalist in Nigeria, instilled in him the belief that education will lead to success. Harrison's sister, who is also a student at NVC, has been supportive, supplying encouragement and help along the way. Biology Harrison has already reaped success in his education at the college. When he started a little over a year ago, he was enrolled in a developmental math course. With the help of the math lab, he is now taking Pre-calculus and plans to take Calculus I next semester. Outside of classes, Harrison is part of the STELLAR program. the college's Student Leadership Institute and the Ambassador's program. Harrison is grateful to these student organizations for helping him overcome his shy nature. "I feel like I'm so free to talk to people, and the leadership is helping me achieve my goals." Growing Student Success Students Satisfied and Engaged at Northwest Vista College At Northwest Vista College, students are satisfied with their education. For the past few years, 97 percent of NVC students surveyed by the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) stated they would recommend the college to a friend or family. NVC students also rated the college above the national average among large community colleges on five CCSSE benchmarks: � Active and Collaborative Learning � Academic Challenge � Student Effort � Student-Faculty Interaction � Support for Learners Further data in this chapter show that, in general, our students are successful and stay in school. It is also encouraging to see more students graduate each year with 750 associate degrees and certificates awarded in 2009. However, our overall two-year graduation rates are below those of many other community colleges in Texas. Yet, NVC transfer rates are above state average and close to best in state. Student Engagement Above Average on Five Benchmarks CCSSE Active and Collaborative Learning Among large community colleges, Northwest Vista College is at 61.1 in assessments by our students in active and collaborative learning. This compares to the 49.2 average scores this year for large CCSSE community colleges in the nation. The NVC score has been increasing slightly for the past three years and makes the college a national leader on the active and collaborative learning benchmark. Students Feel More Academically Challenged Each Year CCSSE Academic Challenge Based on student responses, we have moved above the natural average for all large colleges in academic challenge. NVC scores 52.2, which is above the average of 49.6, and above our own scores from last year of 50.0. Transfer Rate Exceeds Texas State Average Student transfer rate from two-year colleges to four-year institutions is measured by the state for full-time students. The captured data are for students transfering to other state institutions in Texas and does not include private or out-of-state universities. The current NVC transfer rate for fiscal year 2008 is 24.6 percent, which is above the state average of 19.6 percent for that same year. NVC's transfer rate is near the state best for large community colleges, currently at 26.2 percent. This represents the percent of fall semester full-time in college students who earned 30 credit hours and transferred to a senior public institution in Texas. This year's transfer rate is slightly lower than last year. In fiscal year 2007, NVC had the highest transfer rate in the state for large community colleges at 26.3 percent (see graph). Although our transfer rate is high, our degree completion rates are low, currently at 10.5 percent. That ranks NVC No. 43 in Texas in a three-year graduation rate for community colleges. The highest graduation rate in Texas community colleges is 31.7 percent. Graduation has been identified as a priority for the college in the coming years. Several action plans are being put in place to improve graduation rates and change student perceptions about the importance of an associate's degree or certificate. Transfer Rate to TX Senior Institutions Advanced Water Treatment After eight years working as a restoration artist touching up and repairing original paintings, furniture and buildings, Joe Imoe was looking for a change of pace. He researched a number of environmental careers and decided to study Advanced Water Treatment at Northwest Vista College, the only such program in the state and one of a handful in the nation. Joe made this drastic change in his life at the age of 57 to become what is known as a "nontraditional student." With the start of classes in fall 2009 and after only a couple of months of study, Joe is enthusiastic about the program and appreciates his devoted professors. He is also optimistic about completion. "I like the fact that I don't need much more college education to get into the program," The program takes five semesters and results in an Associate of Applied Science degree that gives graduates knowledge on how to operate, monitor, troubleshoot and chemically clean equipment that is highly crucial in manufacturing facilities. In this area, it's not unheard of for graduates to travel overseas to take wellpaying positions to work on water treatment facilities. Joe said with a degree in water treatment, he can pursue positions in a variety of industries that need clean water, including hospitals, sewage systems, municipalities and city governments. Joe Imoe Growing Workforce Programs Workforce Education Programs Implement Annual Review Process The Workforce team has developed a vigorous annual review process of technical and occupational programs (both credit and noncredit) whereby each program is measured based on a set of criteria to ensure the college meets standards for enrollment, administrative needs, internship/practicum requirements, and advisory committee oversight by industry professionals. The review includes open forums for students to provide their feedback on the effectiveness of these programs and on the instruction they are receiving. Activities are driven toward accomplishing the requirements of Exemplary Status, a recognition given by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for topperforming programs in the state. Currently several disciplines are reaching the requirements for Exemplary Status. The new annual review process combined with a strong auditing process developed by the Programs Development and Performance team have contributed immensely to the success the college has experienced in improving its programs. Workforce continuing education programs and training have also reaped the benefits of the team's efforts. The combined improvements in these areas include: � 100 percent of programs are meeting the state graduation standard � 39 percent enrollment increase in credit technical classes � 23 percent increase in the number of graduates in our technical programs � 18 new certificate programs added, both credit and non-credit versions � 17 new skills award programs added, both credit and non-credit versions � 20 percent increase in the number of contracts awarded � 19 percent increase in students taking Continuing Education classes � 33 percent increase in the number of corporate partner relationships established � 35 percent increase in generated revenue Factors that have contributed to the growth in Workforce Education & Training include: � Growth in the Northwest area of the city, particularly in the Westover Hills area � Health care industry is moving into the Westover Hills area � Growth in building partnerships over the last three years � New marketing tools and an increase in marketing � Increase in repeat customers and loyal customer base � Major new customers � USAA, Bexar County � New dedicated classrooms for continuing education on campus - Open enrollment With the help of corporate partnerships, the Vista Language Program focusing on ESL and ESL in the workplace, the Educator Preparation Program, and increased workforce program offerings, Northwest Vista College looks forward to becoming one of the strongest Workforce Education & Training organizations in the community. New Degree Program in Digital Video & Cinema Production Northwest Vista College offers a new Associate of Applied Science degree in Digital Video & Cinema Production (DVCP), the only such program in San Antonio. NVC is the third community college in Texas to have such a program devoted exclusively to this field. The program features classes in cinematography, film business & marketing, advanced film & video editing as well as screenwriting. Students can earn an associate's degree, a certificate or a marketable skills award. Merasol Malapo NVC Graduate, 2009 Merasol Malapo from Luzon, Philippines, received an associate degree in Criminal Justice from NVC in May 2009. She's now a police officer with the Alamo Colleges' Department of Public Safety and is currently taking classes at NVC to apply to a bachelor and master's degree. "Going to Northwest Vista College is a smart choice because it's less expensive than a university or a private college and still provides a quality education," said Merasol. "The instructors are easy to talk to and that makes me feel reassured as a student." Prior to coming to the United States, Merasol was also a police officer in Guam. Despite already having a career, Merasol believes in seeking higher education because she said it's important for police officers to stay current with the laws. Field policing is something you learn on the job, she said. However, she believes good communication skills require continuous training and college courses can help. Merasol wants to stay current with the laws and improve her communication skills with the community, the management at her job and her coworkers. She realizes that this may be more challenging for her than for most people since she comes from a different culture. Merasol said she likes the job of a college police officer because she gets to tell students how to get into the law enforcement industry. She enjoys giving tips and advice on safety and preventing crimes. Growing Community Programs College Offers Something for All Age Groups The mission of Northwest Vista College is Creating Opportunities for Success for all sectors of our community: children, high school students, returning adults, alumni and senior citizens. We offer successful children's enrichment programs on Saturdays and summer camps. Our Texas Institute for Education Robotics (TIER) promotes robotics, science, technology, engineering and math to students in middle schools and at the high school level. Through the Academy for Lifelong Learning, we provide opportunities for learning, social interaction and personal growth for individuals 50 years and older. Classes include native landscaping, low vision-prevention, soap making and cooking, just to name a few. Our partnership with the Northside Independent School District provides Dual Credit classes for high school students to fulfill their graduation requirements and earn college credit. The college also partners with community leaders and groups through our advisory committees that offer guidance on program development, improvements and job requirements. All community-related programs have seen increases in enrollment and quality of offerings. TIER Program Trains Students and Teachers in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology (STEM) Our Texas Institute for Educational Robotics (TIER) program, established in 2007, in partnership with various community and business organizations, promotes robotics to students and encourages them to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The program provides workshops, competitions and special events for children enrolled in elementary, middle and high school grade levels. It also offers professional development institutes for teachers in those grade levels to help them incorporate robotics into their curriculum. In March of 2009, NVC hosted the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship tournament in partnership with the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) organization. This was the largest such tournament in Texas with 35 registered teams from across the state including San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, Waco, Houston and Austin. In the summer of 2009, NVC provided several successful SpaceTEAMS Robotics camps for 170 students with a mix of grant-funded programs for low-income and minority students as well as open enrollment on a tuition model. While most of the camps were offered at NVC, our numerous partnerships allowed us to expand the program at our Westside Education and Training Center and at our sister college, St. Philip's. We also collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas to offer the first Teen Girls robotics camp. The TIER program also works with the San Antonio Manufacturer's Association and the Aerospace committee of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to provide funding and to connect engineers and technicians with area schools to serve as robotics team mentors. Dual Credit Grows by Leaps and Bounds and Adds Another District Over the past few years, Northwest Vista College has seen a significant enrollment growth in our Dual Credit program. The highest increase occurred from fall 2008 to fall 2009 with over 42 percent more high school students taking college-level courses than the previous year at our campus or at their schools. Northwest Vista College has a well established partnership with the Northside Independent School District (NISD) that dates back to 1995, when the college first opened. Since then, we've continued to add classes and now offer at least three Dual Credit courses at every NISD high school. NVC currently serves 2,795 NISD students and works with 79 teachers, 24 of whom were added this year alone. Also new this year is the addition of John Jay High School, one of our target enrollment schools with a high percentage of Hispanic students who are first in their family to attend college. Northwest Vista College fulfills a need in the community by providing college-level instruction in subjects that may not be available at several NISD schools such as Spanish, history, economics and government. Students completing these and other Dual Credit courses fulfill their graduation requirement and, at the same time, earn college-level coursework. One of our most recent accomplishments is the addition of Boerne Independent School District (BISD) to our service schools, bringing an additional 165 students from Boerne Champion and Boerne High School to our program. This has also resulted in adding nine new faculty from those campuses. Northwest Vista College is gearing up for the opening of Brennan High School next year in NISD. Other school districts have requested support from NVC and those options may be explored in the future. Betty Cunningham NVC Graduate, 1998 Betty Cunningham joined Northwest Vista College in 1997 as one of the first employees hired for a new college that had not yet been built. "I was an admissions clerk but we did everything: registration, advising, even marketing." It wasn't long before Betty became a student, fulfilling a long-time goal of achieving a college education. In May 1998, Betty became the first Northwest Vista College graduate, earning an Associate of Arts degree. Since then, Betty has seen hundreds of other NVC students cross the stage. She has missed attending only one graduation ceremony while dealing with cancer. Luckily, she's overcome that and has been cancer-free for four years. In 2001, Betty earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word. She has also been promoted to Student Success Team Leader-Veterans Affairs. This year, Betty was honored with two military coins for helping a Navy petty officer deployed overseas with the college enrollment process. As an academic advisor, Betty enjoys strong relationships with her students. "Being an older student, I've been able to use my experience to help other students realize that it can be done." Betty is currently enrolled in a leadership program to enhance her skills. In addition to her own accomplishments, Betty is proud of the collective success here at NVC. "It's amazing to see the growth at the college." Growing Successful Processes Student Advising Recognized for Exemplary Practice Northwest Vista College was recognized in January 2009 for exemplary practice in integrating academic and career advisement by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), an organization that promotes quality academic advising in institutions of higher education. This recognition, outlined in the October 2009 issue of NACADA's Handbook of Career Advising, describes NVC's fully integrated and collaborative model of academic, career and transfer advising services. The recognition comes at a time when an increasing number of first-generation college students and those of ethnic minorities are entering college in record numbers and relying on their academic and career advisors as a primary source of information and support, which impacts overall student retention and success. Academic and Career Advising Emphasizes Retention and Graduation NVC's integrated advising model has been in place since the inception of the college over 10 years ago. It includes a strong employee development component that requires four hours of weekly training, with a professional development certificate coming in the near future. This year, the advising team created a support program for minority males, a segment of students that is currently the hardest to retain at Northwest Vista College and throughout other colleges in the nation. A Student Development course � required of all first time in college students � was customized to the needs of minority males and offered as a pilot this year with special emphasis on academic and career advising and mentoring. Current priorities include engaging the entire campus community in promoting graduation and degree completion. This also means working with faculty who teach the Student Development course and all other courses to emphasize the importance of career planning and goal setting, strong components of degree attainment. The team is also improving internal processes and collaborating with university partners to enable students to simultaneously earn an associate's and a bachelor's degree. Other significant outcomes achieved from 2008 to 2009: � 40 percent increase in the number of students receiving academic and career advising � 39 percent increase in the number of advising services offered � 15 percent increase in the number of students who declared a major and began following an educational plan College Community Supports Sustainability Efforts In April 2009, Northwest Vista College held the 10th annual Earth Day celebration with students, employees and community partners planning and engaging in the activities. One of our traditional activities is the planting of trees on campus with the support of area elementary schools. The college's recycling team, in existence for the last three years, was on hand to promote the "Clean and Green Campaign" and to collect trash and recyclable materials during Earth Day. The group is made up of volunteer employee members and some student representatives who pick up recyclable materials twice a week and take it to a centralized location on campus for pick up. Currently our recycling program includes paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles. In 2007, the college began to track recycling data. Below are the results of our collective efforts. Recycled at Northwest Vista College from 2007 - 2009*: � 10,980 plastic bottles � 14,304 aluminum cans � 20,350 pounds cardboard � 51.74 tons of paper *Data provided by Green Star Awards + Accolades + Honors + Laurels Alamo Colleges Leadership Academy for Success (ALAS) Geography Award Six NVC staffers completed the district's 2008-2009 leadership program. The NVC participants were Kenneth Franklin, Sharon Dresser, Virginia Leggett, Viviane Marioneaux, Susan Escobar and Ann Marie Mungia. Scott Walker, NVC geography program coordinator, was the recipient of the Best Article Teaching award at the Elementary Level for 2008 by the National Council for Geographic Education. The journal article was titled, "Early Instruction in Geography: An Exploration in the Ecology of Kindergarten and FirstGrade Geography." Arthur P. Fidler Research Grant NVC Community Development intern Maryellen T. Mills was awarded the Arthur P. Fidler Research Grant to support her dissertation project. The grant was awarded from the National Resource Center for First Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. Greater Texas Foundation The Greater Texas Foundation gave a $25,000 grant to the college for the 2009 Community College Scholarship program. This funding will help support the 21st Century Scholarship for Young Men, a program implemented to help increase the retention of male students in college. Artist of the Month Drama instructor Mellissa Marlowe was selected March Artist of the Month from the San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs. She was recently the cochair of the Luminaria theater committee, a two-day multi-arts festival in San Antonio. Jazz Queen NVC assistant professor of Music Katharine "Katchie" Cartwright, Ph.D., was selected as the 2009 "Jazz Queen" by the Musicians' Society of San Antonio. She was recognized on April 16 on KRTU 91.7 FM, Trinity University's jazz radio station. CPS Board Homer Guevara, Ph.D, was nominated to the CPS Energy Board of Trustees. The economics professor will represent the utility's southwest quadrant on the five-member panel setting policy for the area's natural gas and electric systems. Leadership Lab Frito Lay Grant Northwest Vista College has received a $15,250-grant award from Frito-Lay to conduct a research project under the direction of Thomas Pressly, Ph.D., engineering faculty and principle investigator for the project. The research study will analyze the breakdown of compostable bags in the South Texas environment. This is the first corporate entity to give NVC such an award. The following individuals were selected to participate in the NVC Leadership Lab for the 2008-09 academic year: James Searles, Lucy Gauna, Leslie Moore, Kori Schneider, Melissa Monroe-Young, Tim Molina, Minerva Muniz, Gary Bowling, Gary Walderman, Deborah Trevino, Virginia Baker, Anthony Quintanilla, John Carnes, Vinnie Bradford, Julie Pace, Deanna Villarreal, Glo Jimenez, Gloria Lopez, Linda Reeves, Jennifer Comedy-Holmes and Bernie Zertuche. Live Oak Hall Recognized Northwest Vista College Live Oak Hall Academic Center, designed by O'Neil, Conrad and Oppelt, was recognized by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in five areas: Process of Planning, Design, Education Appropriateness, Innovation, and Sustainability. Kudos + Commendations + Recognitions Lone Star Award The Public Relations team took home first place for its 2007-08 annual report at the Houston Press Club's annual Lone Star Awards event on June 26. This was the first time NVC competed against an international corporate entity, Marathon Oil Corp., and came out on top. Silver Medallion Award The Public Relations team won the Silver Medallion Award from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations. The award was in recognition for media coverage generated after the publication and recognition of NVC as the Top 100 Associate Degree Producer by Community College Week. NACADA South Texas Club Sports League Northwest Vista's Academic and Career Advising Team was recognized as an exemplary practice in integrating academic and career advisement by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). The college's practices will be featured in the upcoming Handbook of Career Advising. Daniel Johnson of Student Leadership/Activities was selected coach of the year from the South Texas Club Sports League. His team of 14 NVC students won the league's basketball championship in the women's division. The team had a record of 17 wins and only four losses during the 2008-2009 season. National Endowment for the Arts Starfish Award National Endowment for the Arts awarded the college $15,000 to support a three-week residency reconstruction of legendary American choreographer Anna Sokolow's piece "Mural," which has never been performed in the U.S. The Starfish award winners are Gary Bowling, Roberto Gonzales and Anthony Coppin. The award recognizes a NVC faculty or staff member who has made a significant contribution or impact to a student's educational experience. Poetry Award Texas Workforce Commission Natalia Trevino, assistant professor of English, was named a major prize winner in the prestigious Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Contest for 2008. Natalia's submissions included, "It Was The Chef Who Finally Explained," "Well, God," and "Afterlife." Texas Workforce Commission awarded a $15,225 grant to the Texas Institute for Educational Robotics program to conduct a Space TEAMS Teen Girls Summer Robotics Camp. This program will engage teenage girls to use their knowledge in the areas of science, engineering, math, and technology. Science, Math Grant Northwest Vista College was awarded almost $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to boost the number of high school girls who choose college majors and careers in math and science. NVC will provide mentoring, summer programs, and educational and cultural activities for female students at risk of not completing high school. World Religions Grant A $3,000 grant was given to philosophy instructor Clint Dunagan to develop multimedia resources for courses in World Religions, which will be available for all of the Alamo Colleges. Women's Leadership Award NVC president Jacqueline Claunch, Ph.D, received a woman's leadership award in the public service/ education sector on Oct. 9 from the San Antonio Business Journal. Annual Report Team Advisory Team Vinny Bradford Amy Burton Jackie Claunch Pat Fontenot Debi Gaitan Melissa Monroe-Young Deb Morgan Julie Pace Renata Serafin Brian Stout Project Leader Renata Serafin Content Writing Jacqueline Claunch Patrick Fontenot Melissa Monroe-Young Deb Morgan Renata Serafin Editing Vinny Bradford Jimmie Bruce Amy Burton Cluster Byars Judy Camargo Jackie Claunch Pat Fontenot Debi Gaitan Lisa McDaniel Tony Montalbano Deb Morgan Melissa Monroe-Young Diana Muniz Julie Pace Renata Serafin Brian Stout Research Cindi Deagen Bluhm Maxine Cuellar Pat Fontenot Debi Gaitan Roxy Hernandez Elizabeth Lopez Deb Morgan Julie Pace Robin Sandberg Jerry Schott Andrew Schuetze Cover Painting Jack Robbins Cover Design Viviane Marioneaux Design & Layout Lisa McDaniel Graph Technicians Shawn Harward Paul Vallejo Photography Kamp Davis Ray Perez Karina Serna Suport Services Kathy Tipton The Alamo Colleges do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability with respect to access, employment programs, or services. Inquiries or complaints concerning these matters should be brought to the attention of: Director of Employee Services, Title IX Coordinator, 210/485-0200. Address: Human Resources Department, 201 W. Sheridan, Bldg. A, San Antonio, Texas 78204.