NVC Named to Top 10 Finalist List for National Award

Northwest Vista College is among an elite group of community colleges competing for a prestigious national award – the Bellwether Award. Only 10 community colleges from across the nation have been chosen as finalists for the 2018 award in the Instructional Program & Services category.

The Bellwether award annually recognizes outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future. As a finalist, NVC will have to present its program, “Dismantling the Great Math Barrier: A College-Wide Approach” at a Florida conference on Jan. 29.

NVC, the third largest college/university in San Antonio, has been working to improve graduation rates of its students and realized many students never complete a degree at NVC due to several reasons associated with a college level math requirement. Not only is this frightening for those students, but it can also mean the difference between a student graduating or not. Key NVC Math faculty created a college-wide approach to provide students early faculty and student success advisement in helping students discover the best math pathway for them to be successful in completing our degree, enhancing their transfer to their chosen university and/or employment. The Project Math Pathways advisement process includes math faculty in new student orientations, in the admissions’ (Vista Central) center, and educating employees on how to advise students on identifying the best math pathway to support their educational goals.

Two years ago, NVC also received a federal grant that ultimately launched “Project Math Paths.” NVC Math faculty designed five different math pathways because they realized not everyone needs college-level algebra designed for science and math students. Many four-year institutions are accepting college-level liberal arts math, statistics, and algebra (without the STEM focus).

NVC President Dr. Ric Baser said being selected as a top 10 finalist validates the hard work of faculty and our NVC advisors.

“We knew our Project Math Paths approach wouldn’t be easy because it would take college-wide collaboration to make this a success,”  he said. “Ultimately we were able to make adjustment along every semester and due to the culture of Northwest Vista College, the results include significant gains in math completion and graduation rates. We are honored to be recognized as a finalist for the Bellwether Award that has come as a result of our dedication to student success.”

In addition to being a Bellwether finalist, the Charles A. Dana Center at UT-Austin, recently recognized NVC’s Math department’s approach as a “best practice” nationally.

The award winners in the three Bellwether categories will be announced on Jan. 30. To learn more about NVC’s Project Math Paths, go here: http://alamo.edu/nvc/pmp/

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