NVC’s Academic Support Services Staying Busy

In every team and department at Northwest Vista College, there are always great stories to tell that show faculty and staff going above and beyond.

While it’s hard to capture every story, we hope to periodically share in this space some of the major accomplishments or projects that are taking place. Members of the executive team will write about important topics that they feel NVC employees should be made aware of.

Let us know about the positive things your area is doing to help students or improve processes by contacting myself or NVC Public Relations.

– Dr. Ric Baser, NVC President



Patrick R. Fontenot
Dean, Academic Success
Academic Support Services


NVC Librarians play an active role on campus and are pursuing ways to take the library in fresh new directions.

Norma Vélez-Vendrell, Rose Rodriguez, and Linda Reeves are enjoying reading Blindspot as part of the employee book club. Linda is a member of the Cooperative Learning Training team and recently completed training in the Kagan structures approach. The library helped celebrate Dia de los Muertos in collaboration with the Mexican American Studies program by displaying the beautiful altar that head carpenter Anthony Quintanilla built. Also, the Spanish department and the NVC Library hosted the Calaveras Literarias contest for student poetry. Amanda facilitated an upcycling book session for Employee Development Day. Rose, Norma, Nancy, and Linda participated in International Education Week with a table promoting language learning. Rose and Linda hosted an interactive library table for the college Psychology Day event.

Rose, Amanda, and Linda are facilitating the third year of the Information Literacy Academy in support of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan. Every month, faculty from a wide variety of disciplines complete an online component through Canvas and then meet for a three-hour face-to-face session in which they explore information literacy concepts as they apply in their subject areas.

The librarians also seek out opportunities to learn about possible future directions for library services. Amanda Gorrell and Nancy Kaida attended the Texas OER Summit at UTSA this past November. Academic librarians, faculty and administrators from across Texas were invited to the two-day strategic planning summit to discuss the future of no cost/low cost resources in Texas higher Ed. Amanda was invited to discuss OER as part of the OER Boot Camp panel.

Amanda also attended the 15th Annual Open Education Conference (OEC) held in Niagara Falls, New York. Over a three-day period, participants from across the globe came together to discuss Open Education and its impact on higher education.

Rose and Linda are currently enrolled in Social Justice and Librarianship, an online course offered through the Association of College & Research Libraries, in support of the goals of the college’s new Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Norma and Linda, along with librarians from the other Alamo Colleges, attended North Carolina State University’s Library of the Future Symposium. The innovative Hunt Library was a showcase for the library as a place, including 800 different kinds of chairs and collaborative spaces for students to work together. The Hunt Library also features efficient access to information and technology such as 3-D printing, virtual reality, and visualization rooms.

The library is excited to announce the launch of a new service to support student learning, Book a Librarian. Students can request a 30–60 minute appointment to sit one-on-one with a librarian for in-depth research assistance. Appointments can be made from the library homepage.

Supplemental Instruction

Thanks to a grant we received from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the INRW lab has now added supplemental instruction to the wide range of academic support services already offered. Supplemental Instruction or SI is a great resource that has proven to be successful for students enrolled in traditionally difficult courses. An SI Leader who is a current NVC student or recent graduate is assigned to ENGL/INRW co-requisite courses and attends class together with the students while offering additional support and mentoring in and outside of the classroom through scheduled SI workshops, one-on-one tutoring, and advising support.

Many INRW students have trouble registering for courses due to needing specific overrides, department approvals, or linked courses. As a result, the INRW lab held its first registration lab on Monday, Nov. 19 in JH 110 by creating a registration campaign and inviting all INRW students into the lab for assistance with spring registration. We are hoping to make this a recurring event in order to encourage INRW students to register early and complete their developmental education requirements.

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