Northwest Vista College is among an elite group of community colleges
competing for a prestigious national award – the Bellwether Award. Only
10 community colleges from across the nation have been chosen as
finalists for the 2018 award in the Instructional Program & Services
The Bellwether award annually recognizes outstanding and innovative
programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges
into the future. As a finalist, NVC will have to present its program,
“Dismantling the Great Math Barrier: A College-Wide Approach” at a
Florida conference on Jan. 29.
NVC, the third largest college/university in San Antonio, has been
working to improve graduation rates of its students and realized many
students never complete a degree at NVC due to several reasons
associated with a college level math requirement. Not only is
this frightening for those students, but it can also mean the difference
between a student graduating or not. Key NVC Math faculty created a
college-wide approach to provide students early faculty and student
success advisement in helping students discover the best math pathway
for them to be successful in completing our degree, enhancing their
transfer to their chosen university and/or employment. The Project Math
Pathways advisement process includes math faculty in new
student orientations, in the admissions’ (Vista Central) center, and
educating employees on how to advise students on identifying the
best math pathway to support their educational goals.
Two years ago, NVC also received a federal grant that ultimately
launched “Project Math Paths.” NVC Math faculty designed five different
math pathways because they realized not everyone needs college-level
algebra designed for science and math students. Many four-year
institutions are accepting college-level liberal arts math, statistics,
and algebra (without the STEM focus).
NVC President Dr. Ric Baser said being selected as a top 10 finalist validates the hard work of faculty and our NVC advisors.
“We knew our Project Math Paths approach wouldn’t be easy because it
would take college-wide collaboration to make this a success,” he said.
“Ultimately we were able to make adjustment along every semester and
due to the culture of Northwest Vista College, the results include
significant gains in math completion and graduation rates. We are
honored to be recognized as a finalist for the Bellwether Award that has
come as a result of our dedication to student success.”
In addition to being a Bellwether finalist, the Charles A. Dana
Center at UT-Austin, recently recognized NVC’s Math department’s
approach as a “best practice” nationally.
The award winners in the three Bellwether categories will be
announced on Jan. 30. To learn more about NVC’s Project Math Paths, go