Northwest Vista College is among the colleges highlighted in a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) as providing student assistance to address multiple needs. Published today, the Mission Critical: The Role of Community Colleges in Meeting Students’ Basic Needs report on food insecurity among community college students highlights the struggles students experience.

The report is based on national data gathered from the spring 2021 CCCSE survey with 82,424 community college students attending 194 institutions in the U.S. The data also includes information gathered from the Survey on Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) and CCCSE’s interviews with students.

The highlights of the report include:

  • Nearly a third of all respondents reported running out of food and not having money to get more.

  • One in four students with dependent children reported cutting the size of their meals or skipping meals.

  • Nearly a quarter of students with dependent children have low or very low housing security, compared to 10 percent of students without dependent children. 

Findings from the report are featured in a USA Today article titled, “Eat or pay tuition? Many community college students are forced to choose. But colleges can help.” NVC Interim President Debi Gaitan is quoted in the article reflecting on the tough choices students must make between paying for tuition or paying for food or rent. “Helping students now with their critical needs can pave the way for their long-term success,” she added.

NVC’s Student Advocacy & Resource Center is highlighted in the article as working with students individually and advocating for their multiple needs, beyond just giving them community contacts. NVC Advocacy Center Director Lisa Black is quoted as saying “We really endeavor to not just give the student a list of numbers,” she said, “Because when you’re drowning, that doesn’t feel like much of a life raft.” She added.

CCCSE is a service and research initiative in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. 

The entire CCCSE report can be found at this link.

NVC students, faculty and staff who want to learn about NVC’s Student Advocacy & Resource Center can review services offered at the following link on NVC’s website

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