Second Annual Innovation Grants Awarded

Five winning proposals were recently selected by a Northwest Vista College committee for the 2017-2018 Foundation Innovation Grants for NVC.

This is the second year the Alamo Colleges Foundation is providing $10,000 to NVC in support of the Faculty/Staff Innovation Grants program. The Faculty/Staff Innovation Grant Program encourages faculty and staff to provide new and innovative approaches to instruction and/or student co-curricular support which positively impacts student learning, persistence and/or completion. The F/SIG program will fund projects which support the Strategic Priorities and Goals in the College Strategic Plan and/or Alamo Colleges Strategic Priorities.

By the end of the fall 2017 semester, F/SIG grant recipients will be required to provide a written status report of their grant-funded project. In addition, a comprehensive final report will be submitted to NVC President Dr. Ric Baser no later than the end of the spring 2018 semester.

Here below are the projects, the amount approved, the project director/s and a brief description of the four NVC projects.

  • Anatomy & Physiology Interactive Learning through Clay Creations; $2,474.28; Roberto Gonzales and Yael Edrey. The goal of this project is to incorporate practices obtained during a training workshop entitled “Anatomy in Clay” attended by several Anatomy and Physiology faculty this spring into the Anatomy and Physiology I and II lab setting. The workshop utilized specific anatomical models, clay and a variety of hands-on methods to help students understand basic anatomy and physiology concepts and terminology. The faculty hope to incorporate these methods into their teaching techniques and activities in the upcoming academic year.
  • Enhancing Student Career Development, Institute Selection and Retention; $2,500; Steven Rodriguez. In this project, students enrolled in one section of EDUC 1300 will complete two of the most widely researched career assessments: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) just after the beginning of fall 2017. These tests were administered to students in one EDUC 1300 section in spring 2017. Post-test results showed marked clarity in student career goals and confidence in making career decisions in the students who completed the MBTI and SII. In the control group of students who did not take these assessments, students showed seemingly greater confusion about their career path and understanding of the world of work after completed the Focus 2 assessment which has long been used by the Alamo Colleges for career development purposes. The goal of this project is to build support for pursuing larger future grants to impact more students.
  • The Academia & Community Partnership 2018 Exhibit; $2,500; Rudy De la Cruz, Jr. This project received funding last year. The intent of the partnership is to identify, catalog and serve as a repository for a Special Collection of documents and artifacts relevant to the early history of San Antonio from the 1500s through the 1800s. The special collection repository will be digitized for portal access and for access within a Center for Cultural Research to be located in San Antonio, Texas, at Northwest Vista College. To date, almost all of the hardware required to operate the Oral Histories/Digitization units have been received with the exception of one campus-bound desktop work station and some storage devices to hold research data (memory packs for the video camera and a 2- terrabyte external drive for the digitization unit). The goal for this year’s part of the project is to develop an exhibit to showcase findings from the Digital Repository and the publications generated from the primary research activities as they’ve been incorporated as part of the Public/Private Sector Publishing Cooperative (established on 2/14/17). The exhibit will be used in events  at Northwest Vista College and other institutions participating in the San Antonio Tri-centennial celebrations (2018).
  • Compressed Terms; $2500; Laura Lawrence and Mike Munoz. The goal of this project is to redesign the traditional 16-week, 16-week, 8-week school year to six consecutive 8-week terms with paired classes, allowing student to graduate with an associate’s degree I 16 to 20 months. The academic year will be divided into six 8-week terms with two weeks of vacation in August and two weeks in December. Cohorts of students will enroll in paired courses that complement each other and provide a logical direct path to the completion of an A.A. or A.S. in 16-20 months. A starting cohort of 20 to 40  students with a similar degree goal will begin the program.
  • Using Linguistic Resources To Support Mathematical Sense Making; $2,500; Vicki Lynton and Steven Gonzales. This project will explore how students’ use of language serves as a resource in mathematical teaching and learning. Instruction will be organized in a way that supports students in having multiple and varied opportunities to communicate their mathematical sense making. Students better understand the math content and develop the specialized language needed to be successful in math when they are involved in the production of language to communicate their mathematical understanding.


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