Student Experience

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 Marketing & Strategic Communications.

– Dr. Ric Baser, NVC President





Dr. Daniel Powell
Vice President for Academic Success

In a recent Institutional Effectiveness meeting, I was asked to provide three areas that could be used as a dynamic dashboard for decision making and a metric of success in the Academic Success area and specifically for evaluating my leadership. After some thought and creativity for aspirational targets, I landed on the following broad categories:  Student Experience, Student Engagement, and Student Progression. I believe these are at the heart of our mission and what it is that we do in the Academic Success area and across the whole college. If we believe this, then we ought to center our data and feedback systems in a dynamic way around this to make the best decisions possible and evaluate them accordingly. I will focus on the student experience area in this post.

The college is how the student experiences us. It is not the buildings, budget, books, strategic plan etc., it is about the student’s experience of these things. Since the students come and go and the employees stay year after year, it is easy to center a bias on how we experience the students rather than focus on how they experience us. What is it we want the students to experience and how will we know if we meet our target?

How much of our data directly reflects this important area? Much of our data is centered around group statistics such as average class size or full-time and part-time ratios. We experience the students in large numbers and in different settings. Students, however, experience us as individual learners and not in this same way. Our data that does exist in the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) captures this but it is often not in a dynamic way for decision making and is not as intentionally integrated into our daily practice as it should be. This is also a broader survey and does not drill down to the Vista experience that is very unique and why students come to study at our beautiful campus with amazing faculty!

To take all the progressive and innovative work to the next level at NVC, we need to lead with new ideas about how to define and measure success. I look forward to finding new ways to capture the student experience more in our data and sharing this work with you to innovate and move the institution into the zenith.


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