This semester has literally flown by and our commencement exercises are slated for Monday, May 16 at 7 p.m. I hope to see as many of you there as possible. We have some exciting enhancements to this year’s graduation ceremony, such as a live music ensemble playing “Pomp and Circumstance.”
Let’s demonstrate our support for our students for all the hard work they have done to get to this point. For many of them, graduation from NVC may be the biggest success of their lives and we want it very special.
During the summer and throughout next year, you will be given opportunities to have input into the development and implementation of the AlamoInstitutes, which represent career/transfer pathways for groups of related academic and workforce programs. Please make sure to attend these important meetings to ensure sure your voice is heard and we receive the feedback necessary to make the launch successful in the fall of 2018. If you have questions or constructive feedback, please email Amy Whitworth, NVC vice president of Academic Success here.
Before we end this semester, I wanted to share with you how NVC is doing in a “Performance Update” that I recently presented to the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees. We have much to brag about, such as our enrollment increasing 5.4 percent to 16,656 (without Flex II enrollments) for 2015 over the previous year. The enrollment trend continued in the spring with a preliminary increase of 3.5 percent over the previous year.
We track a variety of leading indicators and I’ve included a few that were presented to the Board. While we didn’t quite reach our course completion target of 93.7 percent, we were close with over 90 percent of our students completing course offerings. Our three- and four-year graduation rates are the best in Texas among the very large community colleges.
According to our CCSSE results, NVC is considered a leader in active and collaborative learning. The additional efforts have resulted in reducing the number of high risk courses from 13 in fall 2014 to 11 in 2015. For instance, due to the full implementation of our “Math Pathways,” NVC was able to see a 6 percent increase in productive grade rates in both Math 1314 and Math 1414 classes. I’ve been in higher education over 35 years and we have celebrated increases of less than one percent. An improvement of six percent is huge!
Some of the lagging indicators that we track include the number of degrees and certificates awarded. For 2015, we increased by 39 percent over the previous year to 2,487 – a record for NVC. And we also have impressive four-year transfer rates with NVC being the top college in the state in this category.
While we have much to brag about, this also becomes part of our challenge to improve student success each year. In addition to Math Pathways, we are constantly trying to identify high-impact practices to help our students succeed. For example, we have more of an intrusive student orientation, placement and advisement process which enhances student success by getting them on the best path. The case-loaded advisement model provides a much more personal one-on-one experience for our students.
I welcome any feedback you have to improve our processes and to keep us leaders in higher education. To see the full Power Point, go here.