A Call to Action: Bridge the Economic Divide in Our Community

Last week, Northwest Vista College hosted a meet and greet gathering with our incoming Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores.

The goal of this event was to create the opportunity for NVC faculty, staff, students and NVC business and college partners to visit with Dr. Flores and ask questions about the future of the Alamo Colleges District.

In his presentation, Dr. Flores talked about his background of growing up in San Antonio and shared a video about the inequality and opportunity in America. The video from the Bookings Institution shows Bookings Fellow Richard Reeves using Legos to explain the chances of economic success based on race, marital status and level of education. One of the examples shows the likelihood that a higher education degree can transform the social mobility of an individual from the bottom of the economic ladder to the top of that ladder.

Dr. Flores invited employees of all the colleges within the Alamo Colleges to be a part of the call to increase college enrollment, retention and success of our students. He shared data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that shows the college participation rate of Bexar County 2016 high school graduates. Less than 50 percent of students from Northside, Alamo Heights and Northeast Independent School Districts enrolled in Texas colleges. The percentages are lower for other school districts.

NVC faculty and staff have witnessed the impacts of the economic divide in our community by listening and responding to our students, majority of whom attend college part time and hold several jobs to afford college. I applaud the recent Hunger Relief Effort at NVC and other ideas that have sprung forward to address needs and support student success.

The new NVC 2018-2023 Strategic Plan to be launched later this year was created from the collective feedback from our faculty, staff and students. It calls for developing community-wide partnerships to improve access to education and the quality of life in San Antonio and its surrounding communities. The plan to create a culture of care, achievement and distinction is dear to NVC and one which will align well with Dr. Flores’ call to action in bridging the economic divide in our community.

To view the Bookings Institution video, click here. To view the college participation rates in Bexar County, click here.

 

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