Since Northwest Vista College President Dr. Jacqueline Claunch came to the college in 1998, the school has grown from a handful of students taking classes off-campus and in portable classrooms to a bustling college of almost 10,000 students who participate in a wide variety of academic disciplines and occupational/technical programs. The college is currently breaking ground on buildings that will house additional classrooms, a new library and a new campus center.
A key focus for Dr. Claunch as a leader is to bring the college and surrounding community together around a shared vision and set of values that support access and success in higher education. She believes that an effective learning environment must be warm, open, creative, diverse, inclusive and fun. Dr. Claunch’s personal interest in technology, environmental conservation, active and collaborative learning, multiculturalism and community service, filter through all aspects of the school from the classroom to the program level.
Under Dr. Claunch’s leadership, Northwest Vista College was recognized by the MetLife Foundation as a “best-practice community college” for its student retention and success initiatives and its performance on the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). In May 2002, Northwest Vista College received the Master Naturalist Award for Preservation from the Alamo Area Chapter of the Master Naturalists.
Dr. Claunch is active in several national educational organizations, including the Continuous Quality Improvement Network, the League for Innovation in Community Colleges, the American Association of Women in Community Colleges and the National Institute for Leadership Development for which she has been named board chair-elect. She also serves on the boards of the Girls Scouts of San Antonio, the Trinity Alumni Association and the Northwest Area Business Council. She is past president of the Higher Education Council of San Antonio and is an active member of the Rotary Club, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to arriving at Northwest Vista, Dr. Claunch served for over 20 years in a number of teaching and senior-level leadership positions at Richland College in Dallas.
Dr. Claunch holds a B.A. in mathematics from Trinity University, an M.A. in mathematics and computer science from Texas A & I University, and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of North Texas.