Because we ran out of time at the March 9 All College Meeting, I did not get the opportunity to address two written questions that were submitted. I want to thank the individuals who submitted the questions and to answer the questions to the best of my ability.
Question: What is the Gates Foundation grant that NVC has received to support new students? Who is heading it up? And how can people get involved?
Response: The Gates Foundation grant to which I believe the question refers is a project called “Completion by Design” which actually involves community colleges in four states, including Texas. The participating states and institutions are:
- Florida – Miami Dade College
- North Carolina – Guilford Technical Community College
- Ohio – Sinclair Community College
- Texas – Lone Star College System (cadre includes Alamo Colleges, Dallas County Community College District, El Paso Community College, South Texas College).
Northwest Vista’s participation is as one of the Alamo Colleges in the Texas cadre.
Completion by Design (CbD) is a five-year endeavor, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is focused on significantly increasing completion (degree, certificate or transfer) rates for low-income students under 26 within the community college environment.
CbD uses findings from previous initiatives, such as Achieving the Dream, to assist community colleges with interventions at key points where they often lose students. As part of the planning process, the Alamo Colleges team has been examining our own data to identify initial cohorts with which to develop strategies and programs to address completion issues. The first year is a fact finding and planning year. In the coming year we will begin the implementation. My response probably seems a bit vague, but the Alamo Colleges team is still in the process of fact finding and planning. Once the team settles on a strategy and action plan, I will be able to provide more specific information.
Vice presidents Jimmie Bruce and Debi Gaitan are leading the initiative for Northwest Vista. If you are interested in getting involved, by all means, contact one of them. And if you have further question feel free to ask.
Question: What can be done about the cleaning service in CCC (Cypress Campus Center)? (The questioner cited several specific items as examples of the cleanliness issue.)
Response: The person submitting this question is not the first to register concerns. Julie Pace has expressed the concerns to John Strybos, the associate vice chancellor for Facilities. John has indicated that he would register the concerns and get some results with the vendor. That said, I believe we need to institute some type of system/process for quickly identifying issues, in writing, and for getting changes implemented by the company. It is easy to point the finger, but without an effective process for improving services, any results we see are likely to be temporary at best.
Julie and her small staff are going to attempt to identify some effective processes used by other institutions/organizations. We will then work with our district and the vendor to initiate a process to improve the situation.
The issue of facilities cleanliness is one that has challenged us since the day we opened this campus. If you have ideas or know of a best practice, I would appreciate if you can share suggestions with me or with Julie.
Thanks to both the individuals who submitted questions. Keep them coming.