NVC Degree Completion Soaring

Northwest Vista College faculty and staff are doing a phenomenal job supporting our students in their academic goals.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, NVC students earned 3,468 associate degrees and 211 certificates. The previous year, NVC students earned 2,300 degrees and 187 certificates. That is a growth of 51 percent in degrees and 13 percent in certificates.

If we look at the first-time-in-college cohort, NVC’s three-year degree completion rate for 2012-2015 was 23 percent. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (IPEDS), our latest FTIC cohort for 2013-2016 grew to 25 percent. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board notes our three-year FTIC graduation rate as 26.6 percent.

Another outstanding factor is that a majority of these degrees and certificates – over 58 percent during the 2014-2015 academic year — were awarded to Hispanic students. As a Hispanic-serving institution, NVC is making commendable progress in closing the gap for Hispanic students. Sixty-two percent of NVC students are now Hispanic which closely mirrors our service area of 60 percent and 63 percent for San Antonio. Although there is still a four-percent gap between Hispanic students enrolled and those earning degrees, it is a major progress from our past.

It 2005, NVC’s Hispanic enrollment dipped to 44 percent, and we quickly realized that it did not mirror the 63 percent of Hispanics living in San Antonio and Bexar County. NVC faculty and staff engaged in discussions and committed to providing continued access to education by identifying and helping students who were educationally and economically disadvantaged. Through strategic objectives and initiatives that included federal and state grants, NVC employees found ways to address our enrollment and completion gaps for our student segment groups.

Three years ago, we began to see a turn in these numbers with the last year showing outstanding growth. This provides an opportunity for us to pause and recognize specific teams and college-wide efforts such as faculty in math and developmental education, the NVC Recruitment Team with College Connections initiatives, the NVC Degree Completion Team, student advisors, and faculty from across the college who engaged in setting specific completion goals, the NVC Grants department, NVC Public Relations with marketing efforts and many others for breaking academic silos and collaborating effectively to create opportunities for success for our students.

NVC efforts have not gone unnoticed. NVC is being recognized by the Hispanic Outlook on Education (HO) Magazine as one of the leading community colleges for Hispanics in the United States and has been highlighted in the February issue of HO magazine. NVC is listed at No. 12 and is one of only two local colleges from San Antonio on this list of top 25 community colleges. San Antonio College is listed at No. 5.

Released annually, the list is based on data from the Department of Education, which includes:

  • Percentage of Hispanic students in attendance
  • Total student enrollment
  • Percentage of Hispanic students earning degrees

This exciting news is good for NVC and it is also wonderful for our city and our local economy as we prepare the next generation of citizens and employees. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to student success!

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