Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. Jacqueline Ja accq qu qu ueeli lin nee C Claunch, laau un nch ch, President, Prreessiid P deen nt, nt t, Northwest N No orrtth hw wes est Vi V Vista isstta ist ta C Co College oll lleegge
Harry Emerson Fosdick
Dear Northwest Vista College Supporters: I believe the community college movement epitomizes the ideals of democracy and “the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” Can you imagine the possibilities that would have been lost to our citizens had the twentieth century American community college movement not been born from imagining the possibilities? In our community alone, hundreds of thousands off people have benefited from the higher education n opportunities afforded by the visionary creation of the five Alamo Colleges.
on a journey to create in our beautiful environment an inviting and supportive culture where the dreams of our students can be realized and the future of our community will be enhanced.
When Northwest Vista College was established, we, the faculty and staff, imagined a college where engaging students in learning together allows them to imagine and achieve extraordinary possibilities. While we had limited d resources to make our vision reality, we set out
Thank you for nering with us to support their dreams. We salute you who help empower our students to imagine and to realize the possibilities that they have within themselves!
In this year’s President’s Report, we will share some achievements and some challenges related to our three key goals of student completion, student learning, and sustainability. We will introduce you to a few of our students and to the extraordinary possibilities they are achieving.
Jacqueline Claunch, President Northwest Vista College
Left: Butterfly near Manzanillo Hall
When W hen n I was in high school, I dreamed drea am a m of going to a university. u niverrssi Coming to Northwest N orth hw we Vista College was w as the the best choice I could h ave eev ve made. have ever Kristen Loar NVC Graduate 2012
As a yyoung girl, Kristen Loar always As knew kn new w she would go to college. When she sh he tturned u 18, her parents divorced aand an n nd Kristen’s K vision of college almost derailed. de eraaile Suddenly, she had to become fin fi nan nancially nc responsible and figure out how h ho ow o w to pay for college. “W “When Whe h n I was in high school, I dreamed off goi o n to a university.” Ultimately, going sh she hee m made a decision to attend her local co community om mm college. She said, “Coming to oN Northwest or Vista College was the best ch choice hoi o ce I could have ever made.” oi
and guidance from various NVC employee mentors and studied in China for several weeks. She was also accepted into the National Society for Leadership Academy for Students. Kristen graduated from Northwest Vista College in May 2012 with an Associate of Arts in Business Administration. Her determination to achieve her vision landed her in one of the few spots on the All-Texas Academic Team--quite an accolade. She will receive a full scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Kr K Kristen’s risste choice has paid off. Since eenrolling nro n olll at NVC, she acquired feedback
Left Le L eft: E Ea Earth arth D Day aactivities near Redbud Learning Center Da
About Northwest Vista College Northwest Vista College, one of the Alamo Colleges, began offering classes to 12 students in the fall of 1995. Although there were no physical buildings, classes were held at the Northside Independent School District and at partner corporate sites. The first campus building opened to the public in fall of 1998. Currently there are over 15,000 students taking courses at Northwest Vista College and at several offsite locations. Students have the option to enroll in 16-, 8- and 3-week semesters held daytime, evening, weekend or online. Most programs lead to a two-year associate degree, one-year certificate or marketable skills achievement award. We also offer community programs for children, adults seeking leisure classes, senior citizens and local businesses training their workforce. Northwest Vista College is â€œCreating Opportunities for Successâ€? through partnerships with businesses and higher education institutions. Located in Westover Hills, next to SeaWorld San Antonio, our campus combines a beautiful Hill Country setting with attractive modern facilities.
Creating Opportunities for Success
Our Commitment: We, the students, faculty, and staff of the Northwest Vista College community, are committed to making a difference through learning and through service. To that end, we are guided and inspired by a unifying set of values:
Our 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...
Learning Community Caring Together.
Synergy Diversity Creativity
Openness Integrity Joy
Alamo Colleges The Alamo Colleges serve the Bexar County community through programs and services that help students succeed in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed in today’s world. The five colleges — San Antonio (est. 1925), St. Philip’s (est. 1898), Palo Alto (est. 1985), Northeast Lakeview (est. 2007), and Northwest Vista (est. 1995) — offer associate degrees, certificates and licensures in occupational programs that prepare students for jobs, as well as arts and science courses that transfer to four-year institutions and lead to Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees.
Alamo Colleges Vision The Alamo Colleges will be the best in the nation.
Alamo Colleges Mission Empowering our diverse communities for success.
Alamo Colleges Values We the members of the Alamo Colleges are committed to building our individual and collective character through a set of shared values. These values guide and inspire our thoughts and actions as we seek to fulfill our vision and mission. Integrity Communication Community
Academic Freedom Accountability 5
The more moore we educate ourselves and a nd our our cchildren, the better off all a ll of of us us will w be, and the closer ttoo world worlld peace p we will become. Brian Henriksen NVC Student
Staff SStaff aff SSergeant er Brian Henriksen served 133 yyea years ars in the U.S. Army and earned sseveral se veera ral campaign medals. Now a ra biology b bi olloggy major at Northwest Vista College, Coll legge Henriksen has set a goal to become beco om me a military doctor. He wants to be aan ex eexample for his two young sons. Through Thro rou ugh his service in the Middle East, East Ea t, H Henriksen e learned to treasure his culture cult tturre and appreciate the differences in n the th hee diversity d of other cultures.
Left: St Student, tud u Faculty and Staff activity during Earth Day
He credits his education at NVC for helping him to identify issues that can cause conflict. â€œIf we learn to objectively open our minds, take the time to look at both sides, and better educate ourselves, there will be less miscommunication and less chance for conflict. The more we educate ourselves and our children, the better off all of us will be, and the closer to world peace we will become.â€?
Open College Culture Creates Positive Outcomes Northwest Vista College promotes open communication among faculty, staff and administrators. The Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) annually surveys employees about their perception of the college climate. NVC employees rate different climate factors that impact student success and institutional effectiveness. These factors include institutional structure, supervisory relationships, teamwork and student focus. Results from this survey show that college faculty, staff and administrators share a positive perception
of our workplace environment. Employees believe they work in a collaborative institution--a strong component of employee engagement. Our culture of employee engagement positively impacts student engagement based on comparative survey results from the National Community College Benchmarking Project (see section on engagement). With shrinking budget allocations from the state of Texas and continued enrollment growth, our team of nearly 1,000 full time and part time employees exhibits unwavering commitment to quality education.
College Culture Noted by National Examiners In 2011, Northwest Vista College was the only educational organization in the nation to receive a site visit as part of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award application process. The award recognizes organizations for their performance excellence. The college has used the Baldrige model as part of its quality journey for the last 10 years.
One of the key strengths identified by the Baldrige examiner team that visited the college was the collegeâ€™s organizational culture.
State Study Looks to NVC for Promising Practices 1.0
0.0 Employee Engagement (PACE) 2007 2008 2009 2010
Norm (2010) N
Northwest Vista College was one of three topperforming community colleges in Texas selected for a 2011 state study of promising practices in four areas: culture of improvement, engagement of staff and faculty, student focus and community outreach. The study, commissioned by the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporationâ€™s Center for Financial Aid Policy in community colleges, was conducted to examine how high-performing Texas community colleges meet the diverse needs of students and community in order to produce successful outcomes.
Students and Employees Embrace Diversity Northwest Vista College strives to create a collaborative culture. Employees and students collaborate internally and with community organizations to foster cultural diversity and to offer peace and conflict resolution training. Here are some of the events that took place during the last academic year: •
A collaboration by members of Humanities, Mass Communication, Civic Engagement, Fine Arts, Library and the Art Club created the “Immigrant Memorial” to honor 72 immigrants killed in Mexico. The Peace and Conflict Studies program, along with International Studies, sponsored speaker Ernesto Lizcano, a maquiladora factory worker in Mexico who spoke about his working conditions, immigration issues and drug wars in Mexico.
As of International Women’s Month, the Peace and Conflict Studies and the International and Mexican-American Studies programs engaged 500 students from History, Speech, Spanish, German, Humanities, Psychology, Sociology and Geography classes in a presentation related to human trafficking.
Two hundred students and faculty participated in workshops based on the book “An Ordinary Man” by Paul Rusesabagina, whose life and work was portrayed in the movie Hotel Rwanda. The workshops, organized by the Peace and Conflicts Studies program, raised awareness about genocide in Rwanda and looked at the root causes of “hate language.”
NVC welcomed Stone Kyambadde of Uganda who spoke about leadership and his experiences helping youth from disadvantaged areas in Uganda through soccer camps.
The Peace and Conflict Studies program and Faculty Development organized an employee and friends visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum at the Jewish Community Center in San Antonio.
English as Second Language Program Serves Diverse Populations: Enrollment Soars Our student population in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program is growing and becoming more diverse. Enrolled students come from 28 countries spanning across six continents including Brazil, China, Cuba, Korea, Egypt, Ukraine, Italy, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Panama, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Uzbekistan and Nigeria.
Northwest Vista College responded to changing student needs, including the addition of an accelerated option for those who want more intensive instruction. 1400 1,227
In two years, the student enrollment in the ESL program increased by 96 percent.
Students who want to improve their language skills take continuing education courses in English grammar, conversation, reading and writing. These classes help adult learners pursue their goals by targeting the areas they most want to improve.
600 400 200 0 2008-2009
Aft A fter er 266 years y of not being in sschool, chool,, yyou o forget many of the rrules ules you you learned and need a rrefresher efresher course in order to bee successful b success and go to the n ext llevel. evveel next Veronica V er “Roni” Martinez NVC Graduate 2012
Veronica V Ve ero oni o niica c “Roni” Martinez dropped outt of o ou o the th ninth grade when she became be beca ecaame a single mother. But after 26 yyears, year ea ss,, sshe h made the decision to resume h he er eed educ her education. Itt wasn’t waasn’ n t easy. Her first courses were developmental math, reading and d eve veelo lopm writing. writ itiing. it ““Aft Aft fteer 26 years of not being in school, you u forget ffo org r many of the rules you learned le earn arn ar ned and a need a refresher course i order in orrd rder to be successful and go to the next ne extt leve level.” Roni’s R oni ni’s’s goal go to become a math teacher propelled prop pr op pelleed her to successfully complete
Left L eft: Campus Caamp landscaping C
all the required developmental courses so that she could then enroll in collegelevel classes. It took five years of dedication and patience for Roni to earn her Associate of Science Degree in Teaching. At the same time, Roni also won the Northwest Vista College Graduation Idol contest to become a graduation speaker for the 2012 ceremony. During her address, Roni sparked enthusiasm: “Whether you are the first or the last, just remember you made it across the finish line.”
Northwest Vista College is a National Leader in Preparing Students for College-Level Math, Reading and Writing Based on NCCBP results, in 2012 more than 89 percent of students enrolled in Developmental Writing courses succeeded, compared to a national average success rate of 73.3 percent. The NCCBP data ranked NVC second in the nation in preparing students for college-level writing courses among participating colleges. Finally, in Reading, NVC ranked fifth in the nation with an 83.6 percent success rate as compared to a peer average of 74.6 percent nation-wide among participating colleges.
Approximately 80 percent of students who enroll at Northwest Vista College must complete Developmental Math before they can pursue college-level courses. Based on the National Community College Benchmarking Project (NCCBP), our Developmental Math program ranks first in the nation in preparing students for college-level math. In 2011, 85.5 percent of NVC students successfully completed Developmental Math courses. The peer average score for that year was 67.3 percent. NVC student success rates were the highest in the nation when compared to the 280 community colleges participating in the project.
The dedicated and innovative faculty in our Developmental Math, English, and Reading departments, along with support staff in several tutoring centers, ensure that students receive high-quality instruction and a great deal of assistance in order to help them meet their goal of academic success.
Additionally, approximately 60 percent of students who enroll at Northwest Vista College need Developmental Writing or Reading. NVC ranked significantly above average in student success rates for both areas.
100% 90% 80%
89.6% 85.5% 85.5%
70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Reading
NCCBP Peer Best (2011) NVC (2011) NCCBP Peer Average (2011)
Student Development Course Helps Students Succeed Students new to college may have some challenges navigating the higher education system. Northwest Vista College offers a Student Development course geared specifically for new students as an orientation to college. Over the years, the college has improved the course to further help students succeed. Information covered in the course includes helping students understand their learning styles, how to study, time management, goal planning, exam preparation and strategies to be successful college students. Based on the current college Strategic Plan, as well as feedback from an external assessment of the course, the goal is to further improve the curriculum in Student Development, adopt a textbook and collaborate with our sister colleges to align curriculum and set specific learning outcomes. The learning outcomes will be measured using a pre- and post-student assessment that evaluates whether students achieved their goals. The course will also focus
on degree planning and completion – strategic objectives for the college and the district. In recent years, the college also created a specialized Student Development course for those students who were on academic dismissal or had other academic needs. The success rate for students successfully completing this course is above 90 percent with many students named to the honor roll. College data show that students who take the Student Development course are much more successful in their overall coursework than students who do not take the course. Coordinator of Student Development Gary Bowling says, “Students who pass the Student Development course with A, B or C are successful in 87 percent of all their classes as compared to 71.6 percent for those students who don’t take the course and 44.9 percent for those not passing the course.”
Dual Credit Program Puts High School Students on the Fast Track to a College Degree During the 2010-2011 academic year, nearly 3,000 students participated in the Northwest Vista Dual Credit program--a record number for the college. Dual Credit allows high school students to enroll in courses that provide both college and high school credit simultaneously. The program offers students the opportunity to take up to four courses per year. From fall 2008 to spring 2011, Dual Credit students earned 36,544 college credits. The Dual Credit program is heralded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for its contribution to â€œClosing the Gapâ€? by increasing college enrollment and lowering academic costs, particularly for economically challenged students. Likewise, studies show that
Dual Credit increases the likelihood that a student will complete high school, enroll in, and persist in college. About 35 percent of Dual Credit students choose Northwest Vista College after graduating from high school. This program allows students to move more quickly towards degree completion, a strategic college objective that meets Texas state requirements. The Dual Credit program is successful thanks to strong partnerships with local school districts such as Northside ISD and Boerne ISD. The program anticipates growth by another 10 percent this year.
Total college credits taken by Dual Credit students while in high school: 36,544 2011 Dual Credit graduates who returned to NVC: 2,939 Percent who continued at NVC: 35%
Middle and High School Students Prepare for STEM Careers Northwest Vista College serves as a partner location for the San Antonio Pre-freshman Engineering Program (PREP) to provide summer mathematics courses for qualified middle and high school students. The program, administered in collaboration with the University of Texas at San Antonio, promotes careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to students who show the potential for success in these fields. PREP is a national program that takes four years to complete. It strives to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students benefit from a strong academic curriculum, fields trips, mentoring, guest speakers and special hands-on projects such as constructing toothpick bridges and building working rockets. “After completing my first summer of PREP, my experiences that took were just ncees in n every eve v ry class cla l ss tha haat I to ook o wer e e ju ust
awesome,” says Yvette Uresti, who took PREP classes in the eighth and ninth grade more than twenty years ago. Now, she works at Northwest Vista College as a math instructor and the PREP site director. “It’s because of PREP that I graduated with a mathematics degree from St. Mary’s University, and that I continued on to earn a master’s degree, and look forward to pursuing my Ph.D.”
Facts about PREP Students:* 99.9% complete high school 99% attend college 85% graduate from college 75% come from minority groups, usually underrepresented in STEM fields 53% are female 44% of college graduates are STEM majors 37% come from low income families _____________________________ *Data from the most recent annual PREP survey
PREP Program Has a Long Tradition at Northwest Vista College The Pre-Freshman Engineering Program coordinated by the University of Texas at San Antonio has a long tradition at Northwest Vista College. At least 12 Northwest Vista College faculty members who teach science, technology, engineering and math fields have participated in the PREP program as young adults or served as teachers. Another half dozen instructors serve as expert guest speakers for the PREP courses. It’s a program deeply rooted in the Northwest Vista College tradition, offered since the college opened in 1995.
“I can truly say that PREP had a positive impact on my life. It prepared me as a student. I learned discipline and work ethic as an employee. It is where I began to teach, which is, of course, my passion. And more importantly, it gave me the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives.” Eddie Bishop, NVC Instructor of Mathematics and former PREP student
IIff I didn’t didn’tt get involved as much ass I have, a have, my résumé would have h ave been beeen one page. Jesse Salazar III NVC Graduate 2012
Afte Aft A fteerr ggraduating ra from high school, Jesse JJe ess ssee SSalazar ala l III began college but later dropped d dr op ppe peed out and worked at a video ggame ga me sstore me to for four years. Once Jesse b be ecam me a father, he realized quickly that became hee n h needed eeed de to further his education, so hee en h enrolled nro oll at Northwest Vista College aand an nd b be became ecaa involved in campus life.
participated in various on- and offcampus extracurricular activities.
Through ro oug ugh his participation in the Student Leadership L ead der ersh h and Activities program, as well w ell ass other o campus organizations, JJesse essee d demonstrated em his NVC pride.
“If I didn’t get involved as much as I have, my résumé would have been one page. Universities say you can be a straight ‘A’ student, but if you aren’t involved in extracurricular activities, you will be overlooked.”
Life L Li f as fe as a single father, student and for the school was aambassador mba bass ssa demanding, d de emaandii but Jesse never neglected his h is d du duties uti tie as a dad. In fact, he often brought b br ou ugh ght his son Jesse to campus as he inte terraccte with other students, and te interacted
Left: Salazar Sala Sa l and son at Lago Vista
Before graduating in May 2012, Jesse learned that he was accepted into the University of Texas at Austin. Jesse says NVC prepared him well for his next adventure.
Jesse was not overlooked. UT Austin has accepted him for a highly competitive Radio, Television and Film program. Jesse says he is on his way to meet his next goal of becoming a filmmaker.
Active and Collaborative Learning Leader
Many students who attend community colleges have jobs and family responsibilities. They may not have time for extracurricular activities and college life. Therefore, we measure student engagement by assessing the classroom experience: active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction and the support students receive outside of the classroom. According to the Community College Survey on Student Engagement (CCSSE), Northwest Vista College is the highest-scoring community college in the nation for active and collaborative learning among our peer groups.
0 Active & Collaborative Learning 2007 2008
(2010 Survey Not Administered) 62.8%
Student Engagement on the First Days of Classes
50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Engaged Learning
Northwest Vista College also measures student engagement in the first days of classes using the Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE). The data from 2009 show Northwest Vista College is above the United States cohort in engaged learning and offering support systems. There is, however, a gap in early academic planning. One of NVCâ€™s goals is to create action plans that strengthen academic planning for entering students.
NVC US Cohort
NVC Students Use Social Networking for Academic Sucess Northwest Vista College students are technology savvy and are ahead in using social networking tools for academic success. According to the 2009 Community College Survey on Student Engagement (CCSSE) Special-Focus Items on Technology, 20 percent of students surveyed from NVC said they use social networking such as instant messaging, text messaging, MySpace and/or Facebook, Twitter, etc. to communicate with other students, instructors or college staff about coursework at the college multiple times a day. That compares to 14 percent for the other
312 colleges participating in this survey question, with 55 of those colleges considered large like Northwest Vista College. This creates a great opportunity for the college to expand two-way communication with students. In the spring 2012 semester, the college public relations team created a strategic social media plan to further engage students using college Facebook. Within one semester, the college increased Facebook likes by 201, bringing the total to more than 4,600.
Social Networking Engagement Use social networking for communication Multiple Times per day
Other CCSSE Participants 14%
Community Engaged in the Arts In the summer of 2011, Northwest Vista College created the Friends of the Arts at NVC (FANs) to advance the development of the Fine and Performing Arts at the college.
The organization hosted events to promote participation, encourage interest in the arts at NVC’s Palmetto Center for the Arts and to establish community relationships.
Primary goals include:
FANs raised funds to support music, theater and dance programs as well as instruction for the NVC Academy of Lifelong Learning. The group is currently raising funds for “Call for Scores,” a national original music competition for community college students organized by NVC faculty member Beth May.
Support quality artistic experiences for students Establish the Palmetto Center for the Arts at NVC as a leading arts venue in San Antonio.
I ggive ive credit ccrre to Vista for helping h elping m me learn how to work with w ith pe people eop on a professional basis. b asiss. Julien Mahler NVC Student
With Wi itth tw two of his brothers in college, Northwest N orrth hw Vista College student Julien Mahler Mah h er made a strategic decision to hl lighten ligh ghte gh ten the financial burden for his p pa areen nts and come to a two-year college. parents He aals H also so wanted to lighten his own load lo oad d of of debt on the path to becoming a pe pediatric ediiat doctor. Since enrolling at NVC, NV VC C,, Julien Ju has reaffirmed that he made mad de tthe h right decision. Thanks ankks aan ks to NVC’s Math Intensive Majors Maj Ma jors program p funded by a grant from the th he Na National ati Science Foundation, Julien received re eceeivved a full scholarship. Instead o working of worrk and going to school, this w sscholarship cho ola laars allows Julien to focus on his classes clas sse s s aand to be active on campus.
Left: Lago Laago g Vista near Cypress Campus Center
Often wearing a suit and tie, Julien has made a name for himself as a leader. He enjoys learning while serving as a Student Ambassador. Julien is also NVC’s president of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Known for his charismatic nature and inspirational talks, Julien is often invited to speak at college fundraising events. He also embraced the honor and opportunity to participate in a special neighborhood improvement project with the Bexar County commissioner’s office. “I give credit to Vista for helping me learn how to work with people on a professional basis.”
Cutting Edge Technology in Digital Video & Cinema Production Program Only in its third year, the Digital Video and Cinema Production program at Northwest Vista College has approximately 100 students who declared this field as a major. Two students have already graduated after completing the program in two years of study. With the advent of new digital technology, the local and national cinema industry is changing rapidly. Graduates are expected to have high-level technical skills and hands-on experience while competing for jobs in this new landscape. In response to industry needs for qualified graduates, the Digital Video and Cinema Production program matches students with internship opportunities and prospective employers. Students also benefit from hands-on projects for the college, local companies and community partners.
The Digital Video and Cinema Production program also recently upgraded its equipment by adding sophisticated camera equipment that allows students to work with high-resolution, digital-cinema technology. Northwest Vista College students learn not only how to operate these complex camera systems, but also how to edit, direct, add sound, create special effects, and produce cinema-quality videos. As local movie and video production companies begin using high-resolution, digital-cinema camera systems, the Digital Video and Cinema Production program will be on the front line of training students for high-demand jobs.
Part Time Faculty Share Professional Experience with Students By day, Associate Judge Jim Rausch presides over child support cases. He shares lessons learned from the courtroom with students in his criminal justice classes at Northwest Vista College, where he teaches part time in the evenings.
forward to coming here at night,” he added. “I am energized by the determination, work ethic, sense of humor, and life experiences of many of the students.”
“Real life episodes help students understand,” Rausch said. “Many of the concepts we study happen in the courtroom, and the students are able to see it firsthand.” Rausch has served as an adjunct instructor at Northwest Vista College since the fall of 2005. His 23-year experience in the courtroom adds reality and context to what students would normally learn only from a textbook. Every semester he encourages students to earn extra credit by observing the proceedings in his courtroom. “The most rewarding part [of teaching] is being able to offer wisdom and advice to these students and then hope that it plays a part in their continued success,” Rausch said. Rausch is one of 433 part time faculty members who teach at Northwest Vista College. “I look
Community Education Program Strives to Inspire Lifelong Learning The goal of the Community Education program at Northwest Vista College is to promote and inspire lifelong learning to diverse sectors of the San Antonio community. The Academy for Lifelong Learning provides education for adults 50 years and older. It offers social and cultural interaction, local tours as well as special interest topics for adults who embrace learning but are not pursuing a college degree. Members can attend as many as 40 classes throughout the year while acquiring new skills. They also engage in volunteerism and stewardship within the community. Since last year, the program has grown by 20 percent.
The Community Education program also offers hands-on activities for kids throughout the year through Saturday Enrichment and Kids Jam Summer Camps. Kids learn guitar, piano, dance, and theater; they also participate in field trips and take academic classes. Whether it’s an older adult who wants to learn how to navigate social media sites or a 10-yearold with a dream of becoming a concert pianist, NVC’s enrichment classes offer something for everyone at little or no cost. More than 300 kids and 24 senior citizens participated in various programs last year. The Community Education program strives to inspire growth, creativity and innovation, thus embracing the spirit of learning. 23
Michael’s M ichael’ss commitment to ccritical riticall inquiry in will serve him well w ell in in any an criminal justice rrelated elated career ca field. Steven Philbrick Michael’s Instructor
Micch Michael M hael Proctor’s first choice out of high h school sch wasn’t college. He was leaning le eanin i g toward the military – a desire t follow to fo olllow in the footsteps of his family ol m me mbe with military careers. But mb m members Michael M Mi cch hae a l realized that if he wanted to be a offi an officcer e in the military, he needed a college coll leeg ege degree. He ssta art r out at Northwest Vista started College Coll leg ege part time in the fall of 2008 while wh hile working w a full time job. After a few fe ew semesters, sem he decided that one or two tw wo classes cllas a semester was not enough; he n eed to invest more time and needed ort e o eff rtt in in his education. Michael Mi Mic icch chae h el enrolled at NVC part time and an d gr graduated ra in May 2012 with aan n Associate Ass so of Arts Degree with a concentration in Criminal Justice. con ncen nt
Left ft:: NVC NV Commencement
Raised by a single mother, Michael is the second person in his family to earn a college degree. His new goal is to become an attorney. This fall, Michael will begin his pre-law studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio, with a long-term goal of pursuing law studies at the University of Texas in Austin. The coordinator for the Criminal Justice program at Northwest Vista College, Steven Philbrick, described Michael as “inquisitive and seriously engaged in topics associated with criminal law and court systems and practices.” He said, “Michael’s commitment to critical inquiry will serve him well in any criminal justice related career field.”
Making Improvements in Degree Completion One of Northwest Vista College’s Strategic Objectives is completion. One measure of completion is the number of students earning an associate degree or certificate before they transfer to a university. Each year, we continue to make improvements in assessing student needs, services and understanding of the value of an associate degree or certificate. The number of associate degrees doubled from 552 in the 2007-2008 academic year to 1,117 in the 20092010 academic year. In certificates, the number grew from 63 to 172 during that same period.
AA Degrees Awarded Certificates Awarded
Transfer Rates Third Highest in State Another measure of success is transfer rates to a university. Northwest Vista College students transfer in record numbers. The college has the third highest rate in the state for students who transfer to another state institution in Texas after completing 30-plus hours.
0% All Transfers State Peer Average Northwest Vista College Baldrige Recipient College State Peer Best (Austin CC)
By 2015, NVC’s goal for transfer rates is to be the best in the state as we partner with the newly established fouryear Texas A&M University at San Antonio.
Rackspace, Inc. Hires 15 Northwest Vista College Students Cisco Networking Program The Cisco Networking program produced 26 graduates in 2010-2011. During this time frame, Rackspace, Inc., hired 20 entry level employees in San Antonio. About 75 percent of those new employees were students from Northwest Vista College’s Cisco Networking program.
Digital Media Program Accelerates Student Completion and Success The Digital Media program increased graduation rates by 50 percent during the 2011-2012 academic year. Faculty advisors support students by educating them about the importance of declaring a major, reviewing the degree program, and conducting graduation readiness reviews. The program encourages part time instructors to assist students with completion. The number of students enrolled in practicum, hands-on work experience for college credit, has doubled since the 2009-2010 academic year. Students from the program are placed in jobs, transfer to four-year universities or advance in their current positions.
The Digital Media program has articulation and transfer agreements with Texas A&M University-San Antonio, University of North Texas, Texas State University at Tyler and Texas A&M University-Commerce that allow students to complete three degrees in four years. Students enroll at Northwest Vista College for three years and receive an Associate of Applied Science in Digital Media and an Associate of Arts in either New Media Arts or New Media Communications. When students finish the remainder of their coursework with the transfer institution, they earn a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree.
“I graduated from Northwest Vista College with one degree in Digital Media and another in New Media Communications as well as a certificate as a Multimedia Specialist. My instructors also helped me obtain a practicum experience which lead to my current internship in my chosen field. I also recently transferred to the University of Texas at San Antonio where I’m pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Katelyn Carroll 2012 NVC Graduate 27
AWARDS Accredited in Public Relations
Renata Serafin, college director of Community and Public Relations, completed the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations on Jan. 31, 2011, entitling her to use the APR professional designation by the Universal Accreditation Board, a consortium of nine professional communication organizations. The Accreditation program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the profession. Congratulations to the Advocacy Center
Northwest Vista College received a grant of $2,500 from the Tarpley Faculty Developmental Education Grant program. The grant was used to implement iWrite, a pilot summer program in developmental English and reading, which sought to improve student skills and retention rates. With the help of iPads, students learned instructive play. The funding is part of a $12,500 grant from Col. Joe. J. Tarpley, USAF (Ret.), for use in developmental education. Employee of the Year 2011
Each month the Staff Council recognizes outstanding work performance by employees who exemplify the college values and goals. Nominations come from supervisors or fellow employees. At the end of the year, one employee is selected for the Employee of the Year. Tim Molina, Student Success Coordinator, was selected as the Northwest Vista College Employee of the Year for 2011. He was hired by Northwest Vista College as a Communications Specialist in 2004 and has served in various roles within the Student Services area. Faculty Selected to Help Lead Arts Festival
Drama coordinator Mellissa Marlowe was invited by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to serve as the Associate Director of Luminaria 2012. Luminaria is an annual arts festival held in San Antonio in March that showcases local artists. Approximately 300,000 people attended Luminaria in 2011. Mellissa is active in the community, has performed in more than 40 productions and has directed numerous plays.
Left: Great White Heron over Lago Vista
Excellence in Teaching 2011
Every year, Northwest Vista College creates an opportunity for students to recognize faculty who go above and beyond to help students succeed. In 2011, three faculty members received Excellence in Teaching Awards. Students wrote the following to nominate their favorite instructors for this award: About Eddie Bishop, math faculty: “I have never seen a teacher who was so involved with his students. Eddie Bishop goes above and beyond to make sure that we are prepared and understand the materials. He was my instructor for math 0301 and 0302, and he made them so interesting that I was able to pass both, even though I went through them for the first time over 25 years ago. He teaches with ease and with a welcoming smile. He has changed the way I see math and I know he has made a huge difference for my fellow students. He deserves this award because he is able to keep us interested, he makes it fun, and he is an overall great teacher!” About Kurt Elliott, biology faculty: “I nominate Kurt Elliott because he has a passion for teaching and really cares about his students’ success. I have taken several of his courses: anatomy and physiology, biology, and this semester genetics. He is always willing to help me and answer any questions. He requires a lot of his students, but he takes the time to make sure the whole class understands his lectures before moving on. We need more teachers like Dr. Elliott!” About James Puente, history faculty: “When I decided to take this course, I was sure I would be sleeping during class. I soon realized that this instructor’s energy was going to make it a memorable class. James Puente is an amazing instructor. He makes class interesting and fun. He helps us view things critically and question them. He guides us and helps us understand the topics by using humor along with facts. I actually learned a lot during this class!”
Film by Staff and Students Wins Award
NVC Selected as Top-Performing College in Texas
Lilith, a film produced by NVC students and employees, won the Bronze Pecan Award at the Seguin Film & Arts Festival. Lilith was created by a group of Digital Video and Cinema Production students who took part in a film internship to give them real-world experience.
The Center for Financial Aid Policy in Community Colleges commissioned a report to examine how high-performing Texas community colleges were meeting the challenges of increased enrollment and diverse student needs. Northwest Vista College was one of the colleges identified in the report.
Manuel Navarro of Workforce Education & Training coordinated the internship for students and wrote the script. Students served as the directors, producers, actors and overall crew to bring the film together.
A qualitative approach was used to gather information from three top-performings schools including NVC, Temple College and Wharton County Junior College. NVC and the others were selected for their higher than average persistence, workforce placement and Pell recipient rates.
Graduates Recognized by Goodwill Industries
Goodwill Industries honored five graduates of NVC’s Community Health Worker program for their contributions to a study to help Hispanic women on San Antonio’s west side make healthier lifestyle changes. Goodwill, which paid for the five graduates to work on the project, honored Marisela Lopez, Amelia Medrano, Jackie Casas, Guadalupe Campos, and Miguel Padilla. Alamo Colleges also recognized the graduates at a February Board of Trustees meeting. Fernando Martinez, Ph.D, who oversees NVC’s Community Health Worker program, said the results of the ongoing study will be due to the work done by the graduates. Kinesiology Faculty Honored in Museum Exhibit
Fine & Performing Arts and Kinesiology chair Vinnie Bradford was featured in a Fort Worth Museum of Science and History exhibit for her trailblazing career as a fencer. Titled “Fort Worth Champions,” the exhibit featured 25 Fort Worth-based leading sports figures and teams from multiple disciplines. In 1983, Vinnie won the U.S. National Championship in women’s épée and in 1984 won both the épée and foil championships, making her the first woman to ever win two national championship individual titles in the same year. Music Faculty Performs in New York
Music faculty member Bill Colangelo was recently part of “All Over,” a music and spoken-word live performance at the SUNY Oneonta Fine Arts Center in New York. The performance is the work of Composer Joe Pignato in collaboration with Author Ivan Robertson and 10 other composers/improvisers, including Colangelo. The performers both were present on stage and projected from locations all over the world via the Internet.
Partnership Leads to Big Money for Students
Northwest Vista College, in partnership with Texas State University and the United States Department of Agriculture, secured $140,000 in scholarships. This initiative will support NVC Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) students as part of the Food Safety and Agroterrorism Training: Educating Our Future Workforce program. Thirteen agriculture, nutrition, biology, or environmental science students have been awarded potentially up to $10,000 in NVC scholarships for two years while working on their associate degrees. Upon transfer to Texas State University, this initiative will provide an additional $8,000 per student per year while the students are completing their baccalaureate degrees. Photo of NVC Receives National Attention
A photograph of the NVC library, taken by librarian Amanda Gorrell, was published on the cover of the May 2011 issue of “Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.” This publication reaches college and university libraries in the United States. Piper Professor Award Nominee
Each year, Northwest Vista College nominates one faculty member for the Piper Professor Award, a Texas state recognition for superior teaching at the college level. In 2011, the college nominated math faculty, Javier Guerra. Here is how one student describes him: “I have taken two classes with Javier Guerra. Each time the class has been interesting, fun, and exciting. Mr. Guerra motivates and encourages his students. He makes every attempt to help, and makes sure that his students comprehend the material. It is obvious that he is dedicated to his students and that he loves math. Having a passionate instructor makes all the difference in the world.”
NVC Receives Coveted National Science Foundation Grant
About 80 students from Northwest Vista College will be chosen over the next four years to receive $6,000 annual scholarships for a Math Intensive Majors (MIM) program. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded NVC a nearly $600,000 grant to enhance the program. Northwest Vista College was one of just two community colleges to receive this grant from the National Science Foundation in 2011 and just one of eight organizations nationwide. The goal is to increase the number of students, especially women, in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
President’s Report Wins Lone Star Award
Northwest Vista College Public Relations received the 2012 Lone Star Award from the Houston Press Club for the 20092010 President’s Report, titled “Innovation.” The report took second place in the Lone Star Annual Report category. The Lone Star Awards are given each year in recognition of outstanding achievements in journalism and mass communication in Texas. The competition encompasses efforts in the fields of print, radio, television, Internet journalism and public relations as well as student publications and broadcasts.
PR Team Earns Creative Awards
TIER Reaching Younger Students
The Northwest Vista College Public Relations Team received three Hermes Creative Awards and one Honorable Mention in the 2012 competition. Administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, the Hermes Awards are judged by industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. About 4,700 entries were submitted from throughout the United States and other countries.
The NVC Robotics program, Texas Institute for Educational Robotics (TIER), is reaching younger students thanks to a grant from the Greater Texas Foundation. With the grant, TIER will be able to expand sponsorship of the Junior Lego programs for kindergartners through third grade. This grant is designed to develop 10 new Junior Lego robotics teams.
Paul Vallejo and Renata Serafin received the Hermes’ Platinum Award for the “Get Your Degree at NVC: More Money” video. NVC’s Public Relations Team -- Melissa Aguirre, Shawn Harward, Lisa McDaniel, Melissa MonroeYoung, Renata Serafin and Paul Vallejo – received the Hermes Gold Award for the 2009-2010 President’s Report titled “Innovation.” Renata also received the Hermes Gold Award for the “Get Your Degree at NVC” public relations plan. Melissa Monroe-Young received Honorable Mention for the “Get Your Degree at NVC” electronic newsletter. School Named for Instructor
The proposed “Cielo Vista North area” elementary school has been named McAndrew Elementary in honor of Sara McAndrew, a longtime Northwest Vista College adjunct instructor. The school will open in the summer of 2014 and is located outside of Loop 1604 and Interstate I-10. Dr. McAndrew is also a longtime teacher, principal and instructional leader in the Northside Independent School District. She is currently retired from the district.
Two Programs Honored by Gov. Perry
The Texas Skill Standards Board (TSSB) presented NVC with a certificate from the Office of the Governor of Texas recognizing the college’s innovative leadership in integrating industry-defined skill standards into its curriculum. Two NVC programs were recognized: the 3D Animation Associate of Applied Science degree and the Game Production Associate of Applied Science degree. Both programs integrated with the Electronic Game Content Development Skill Standards. Victory Media Names NVC Military Friendly School
Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Northwest Vista College to the coveted Military Friendly Schools list. This list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. The schools are recognized for their recruitment, retention and services for those with military experience or affiliation to include world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility, and other services. This is the third year in a row that th hat Northwest Northwe w stt Vista College received this rec recognition. ecog
Northwest Vista College Administration Jacqueline Claunch, Ph.D.
Jimmie Bruce, Ed.D.
Vice President for Academics
Debbie Gaitan, M.A.
Vice President for Student Success
Julie Pace, M.S.
Vice President for College Services
Mary Dixson, Ph.D.
Dean of Interdisciplinary Programs
Patrick Fontenot, M.A.
Dean of Workforce Education & Training
Jennifer Comedy-Holmes, M.A.
Dean of Student Success Services
Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees James Rindfuss
Anna Uriegas Bustamante
Yvonne Katz, Ph.D.
Joe Alderete, Jr.
Gene Sprague, Ph.D.
Bruce H. Leslie, Ph.D.
Alamo Colleges Chancellor
Accreditation Northwest Vista College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; telephone number (404) 679-4501) to award degrees in Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and Certificate of Completion. Northwest Vista College is also approved and accredited by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists. Northwest Vista College, one of the Alamo Colleges, opened in 1995 with 12 students. Currently, enrollment exceeds 15,000 students pursuing associate degrees, certificates and marketable skills achievement awards. Located in Westover Hills, near SeaWorld San Antonio, Northwest Vista College’s expanding agreements with business and higher education partners provide a wealth of opportunities for students and the community.
Cover and design inspired by the painting “Share Your Experience” by Karl Frey, former Northwest Vista College faculty. (Currently with Northeast Lakeview College.)
President’s Report Advisory Team Melissa Aguirre Lydia Beaver Eddie Bishop Lynne Dean Mary Dixson Pat Fontenot Eliza Hernandez Carlos Lopez Tim Molina Julie Pace Renata Serafin Content Writing Melissa Aguirre Jacqueline Claunch Lynne Dean Mary Dixson Carlos Lopez Melissa Monroe-Young Renata Serafin Cover Layout Lisa McDaniel Editing Jackie Claunch Manny Martinez Laura Lawrence Melissa Monroe-Young Renata Serafin Paul Vallejo Graphs Shawn Harward Layout and Design Lisa McDaniel Photography Kemp Davis Photo Coordinator Melissa Aguirre Project Leader Renata Serafin Research Ben Ernst Eliza Hernandez Viviane Marioneaux Julie Pace
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