Title V Five-Year Grant Funds Successful Pathways and Outcomes for NCC Students

Norwalk Community College recently completed a five-year, grant funded plan to increase student success through multiple initiatives that redesigned student services, dynamic instruction, and academic support.

The Title V: Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant awarded $2.3 million in 2016 and made an impact on approximately 20,000 students over the five-year term by focusing on Student Advising and Retention (SOAR), gateway courses and the development of a physical and virtual Learning Commons which relied on enhanced technologies—including self-service kiosks and text message capabilities—to increase service efficiencies and impact to a broader student population.

The myPATH initiative provides physical spaces with the resources necessary to support each student on their unique path toward their goals and aspirations, and seeks to demystify college policies and practices in a welcoming classroom culture that validates and engages students that communicates the value of the students’ racial/ethnic backgrounds as sources of learning and knowledge.

With a focus on first-time, first-generation and underprepared students, NCC also introduced a Student Ambassador program to provide peer mentoring and guidance. Peer academic support introduced embedded tutoring and supplemental instruction for students in the gateway math and first year experience programs, while faculty focused on embedding Student Success Skills (S3) into their curriculum to improve learning outcomes.

More than 100 faculty and staff participated in the initiative over the course of the grant, and student achievement rates increased from 62% to 69%. Retention rates increased from 61% to 68%, and graduation rates from 8% to 14% until the pandemic took students off-site in 2020.

“A lot of hard work and passion went into the projects and initiatives made possible with this Title V grant,” said Rachel DiPietro, NCC Director of Institutional Research. “The Title V team is so grateful to the NCC faculty and staff who took a chance on all of the work that was accomplished under the Title V umbrella, and for being champions on behalf of our students. It’s been an honor to be on this PATH together.”