Northwest Vista College (NVC) is a two-year community college located in San Antonio, Texas. Students can pursue Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees. Additionally, working professionals can earn certificates of completion in a number of areas as well as marketable skills awards.
A member of the Alamo Community College district, the school has a brief but distinguished history. Its first class was offered in fall 1995, despite the fact that a campus had yet to be constructed. For the first few years of the school’s existence, classes and administrative operations were held in temporary, rented spaces. The college settled into its current locale in suburban San Antonio on land donated from the World Savings and Loan Association.
Official accreditation was granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in June of 2001.
The core curriculum includes 46 hours of classes. Full-time students can typically complete this requirement in two years or less. The Business Administration Associate of Arts and the General Studies Associate of Arts can both be earned entirely online. Articulation agreements between NVC and several nearby universities mean that associate’s degree graduates can seamlessly transfer to another institution and continue working towards their bachelor’s degree or beyond.
Students who enter the Business and Government track can choose courses in accounting, business administration, economics, government or marketing. Graduates earn the Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration. The Workforce and Technical Programs feature such areas as clinical research, game concept art, nanotechnology and web design.
English as a Second Language (ESL), both credit and non-credit earning, is yet another popular alternative at the school. The ESL curriculum is composed of six levels and four target skills. Incoming students sit for a proficiency exam to determine their specific level and the skills they need the most help with.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The college partners with local public school districts to strive for gender equity in the fields of math and science. Beginning in the 9th grade, GEMS participants receive continuous academic support, including Saturday sessions at the NVC campus. Role models from math and science intensive industries visit and speak with the students. A four-week summer academy prepares students for the rigors of college. Workshops in study skills, budgeting, time management, and financial aid options combine to give participants a head-start on their careers.
Giving back to the community is a key element among students, faculty, and staff. Service learning is a program in which students can volunteer their services for a noble cause. Opportunities include delivering food and supplies to home-bound adults and helping in the construction of new, affordable homes. A total of 14 local and national agencies are official partners with NVC’s Service Learning program, and that number is certain to grow. Contact the Coordinator of Service Learning or the Coordinator of Civic Engagement for further information.
As a member of the Alamo Colleges system, Northwest Vista has an open enrollment policy. Every prospective student meeting the basic requirements will be admitted. The first step for new students is to take the ApplyTexas online application, a standardized form that allows for submission to more than one public college or university in Texas. Incoming students are required to take the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA), a placement test that gauges a student’s proficiency in several key areas.
Tuition charges are partly based on student residency. An in-state student will pay significantly less for tuition than one applying from another state. Part of the ApplyTexas process includes determining an applicant’s official residency. Further documentation of residency may be required at a later date.
Education at NVC is affordable by almost any standard, so federal and private loans are discouraged. In fact, one of the goals of the Student Financial Services Office is to see that every student graduates debt-free. Employees work hard to match students with need-based grants and scholarships.
The first step in determining aid eligibility is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form allows eligible students to receive both Federal Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. For state-based grant money, students must fill out an Alamo Colleges grants and scholarships application. The Alamo Colleges application checks a student’s eligibility for the Top 10% Scholarship, the Texas Grant, and the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant.
Student Financial Aid Details
The student body is a mix of high-school graduates who want to begin school close to home before going elsewhere, and working adults who want to enhance their career prospects.
The first class at NVC had only 12 students. Enrollment quickly surged as new campus buildings were constructed, with the current student population exceeding 13,000.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Students have ample opportunity to compete in a variety of individual and team sports. Intramurals are open to all students, faculty and staff of the college and include basketball, flag football, volleyball and soccer.
Former high-school athletes are eligible to compete in the South Texas Club Sports League, a collective of other Alamo Colleges and regional two-year institutions. Participants must enroll in a minimum number of hours and maintain a 2.25 GPA or better. Club sports include cross-county, basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s soccer and tennis.
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