Alamo INSTITUTES at Northwest Vista College

Over the past two years, faculty and staff have been preparing for the implementation of the guided pathways model, or Institutes. The pathways model is a framework for the design of a coherent educational experience.

Our students already benefit from a strong advising process, quality teaching practices, and effective academic and non-academic support. The Institutes will provide a structure so that students are able to enter a pathway, stay on a path, and complete their academic goals in an effective and timely manner. Each Institute team is led by a faculty member and is composed of faculty, advisors, and representatives from Academic Support, Student Life, Student Development, as well as other areas of the college. Their work over the past two years has centered on designing the best educational experience for the students in each Institute.

Essential to this model are the transfer advising guides, which are organized in course sequence and include milestone courses and key transfer information. The Institutes also focus on applied learning experiences, career preparation, academic support, and mentoring. Part of that work includes crafting working definitions of experiential education and co-curricular activities.

Many of the courses offered at NVC are already enhanced with high impact practices that include hands-on experiences, project-based learning, field trips, speakers, and themed events such as Psychology Day and Criminal Justice Day. Faculty and Staff have also teamed up to host Institute career days and advising sessions. The goal for fall 2018 is to bring awareness of these opportunities to students so they can better identify the marketable skills learned in their courses and explore what NVC has to offer outside of the classroom. The teams are working on communication plans to help with this endeavor.

The goal for the rest of us this semester is to become familiar with the Institutes and how they can benefit students, faculty, and staff. In the following weeks, you will find updates from each of the Institutes List of team leads in La reVista. The teams will also develop a resources page on our website where you will find information on all of the Institutes.  The 2018-2019 academic year promises to be one full of changes, excitement, and new adventures.


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