Academic Initiatives

[image 1]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


Amy Whitworth
Vice President of Academic Success 

[image 2]This is an exciting and wonderful time to be working at this great college! This spring semester there are many academic initiatives that all focus on providing a high quality education to our students that will help them to be successful at their transfer institution or in the workforce. 

In February, Dr. Christine Shupala offered information on simplifying our assessment practice to make it more effective. So this semester, faculty on the assessment teams are working to restructure the assessment into rotating cycles so that we are able to build into the assessment process the time needed to put into place action plans, and evaluate these results for continuous improvement. The Cooperative Learning team is working with disciplines to craft discipline specific cooperative learning techniques. They are also mentoring new faculty to help them create interactive and collaborative lessons. 

In March, faculty met to discuss both academic rigor and how to best support faculty teaching high-risk courses. Out of this discussion, chairs are working on a faculty support matrix that emphasizes a team or discipline approach using a root cause analysis. We are working on offering more online courses and to that end, we have increased the number of online teaching certification course offerings to five per year for our faculty. As of today, 172 current, active NVC faculty are online certified and we are on track to grow that number to 225 by the end of the year. The QEP team is gearing up for the student ePortfolio evaluation for the pilot group of over 20 class sections at the end of this semester. 

The Faculty Development Day Committee is planning a development day to be held Saturday, Aug. 13. The keynote speaker will be Deborah Santiago, chief operating officer and vice president for Policy at Excelencia in Education. Her presentation will focus on equity and the difference between being an Hispanic-serving college and an Hispanic-enrolling college. We want all of our students to know that we are honored that they have chosen to be here at NVC and have entrusted us to educate them and guide them and that we will continue to work together to ensure their success. We are very excited that she will be able to join us.

On April 29 at 1 p.m. in Lago Vista, we will have an all-college meeting on the implementation of the AlamoInstitutes at NVC. This will be the start to a conversation as to how we will take this opportunity to collaborate college wide, and create an even more meaningful educational experience for our students.

Finally, I had the great opportunity to attend the spring “Faculty Retreat on Renewal” led by faculty members, Julie Felux-Moore and Karin Wilkin, who organized and planned a two-day workshop: “Spring Cleaning: Embracing Simplicity-Welcoming Abundance.”  These two days were extraordinary, filled with warm conversation, time for reflection, and friendship. This is a wonderful way to support our faculty and staff at NVC.