Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program – Title V

Norwalk Community College (NCC) has received a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions Title V Program, which is designed to expand and enhance the academic offerings and program quality of colleges and universities educating Hispanic and low-income college students. NCC’s Hispanic student population has steadily grown from 20% of the student body in Fall 2006 to 37% in Fall 2016. The College’s Title V Comprehensive Development Plan focuses on increasing the success of students, especially Hispanic students, through improved student services, dynamic instruction, and enhanced academic support.


NCC has outlined the following grant activities for October 2016 – September 2021 to increase student success:

  • Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR): Provide a comprehensive advising system from admission to degree completion, including onsite and online orientation, a three-stage academic advising program, and an Early Alert system with accompanying interventions.
  • Success in gateway courses: Provide classroom-based and online academic support in gateway classes by integrating Student Success Skills (into myPATH) and embedded tutoring/Supplemental Instruction.
  • Learning Commons: Provide a comprehensive student support system, leveraging physical space, academic technology, and an online portal where students can access academic supports and Student Success Skills materials.


myPATH is a grounding framework for a student’s journey at Norwalk Community College. It supports you to grow, persist, graduate and achieve your goals.

It is called “my” PATH because NCC seeks to provide students with the resources necessary to support your unique path to your dreams and aspirations. Students are encouraged to become the “owners of their own vision and agents for their own success.” The PATH acronym stands for:

(P) PLAN AHEAD for academic, career, and financial success. Students connect with advisors, explore major and career interests, evaluate transfer opportunities, and learn about financial options.

(A) ACCESS RESOURCES to strengthen academic and leadership skills. Students learn with their peers, join student clubs, connect to campus services, and are called to be active in their education.

(T) THINK CRITICALLY about your community at NCC and beyond. NCC asks students to reflect on their experiences, connect with people from different backgrounds, build their support network, and always consider the source of information.

(H) HEAD OUT confidently on your path to success. As you work toward your goals, we want you to commit to your own success, create your future, inspire others to make a difference and stay connected.


Virtual Student Ambassadors (VSAs)

The Virtual Student Ambassadors (VSAs) program was launched in Fall 2020 to help new and returning students adjust to the virtual/remote online learning environment. VSAs provide virtual peer-to-peer support for students in the top twenty (20) enrolled courses at Norwalk Community College. For Spring 2021, the VSAs’ student support extended to the entire student body. The Virtual Student Ambassadors are comprised of graduated and currently enrolled students. Stay tuned for information about the VSA program for academic year 2021-2022.


VSAs will help students understand how to use remoting learning tools like Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, etc. They will also help students navigate how to continue to access resources such as the Library, Tutoring Center, student service areas, and more. Virtual Student Ambassadors will be available to meet with students and give them 1:1 training, learning how to access and use online learning tools.


All Virtual Student Ambassadors must meet the following requirements:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of application
  • At least two (2) semesters experience at NCC by the start of the program
  • Must be attending NCC for that semester (if a current student)
  • Good academic & judicial standing (not on any form of probation) with the College
  • Able to attend ALL trainings and other programmatic obligations
  • Act as a role model for the Norwalk Community College experience


Any questions about the VSA program? Please email the VSA program manager, Winni Paul (

Image by Katarzyna Tyl from Pixabay

Project Personnel

  • Dr. George A Peffer, Title V Project Director
  • Candiece Goodall, Title V Coordinator
  • Winni Paul, Title V Assistant Coordinator & SOAR Special Projects Lead
  • Suzanne Lyons, Title V Project Assistant
  • Roberto Reyes, Title V Technology Specialist
  • Ramon Rosario, Title V Learning Commons Tutor Coordinator
  • Suzanne Wall, Title V Research Specialist

Student Success Collaborative Committee

  • George Peffer (Title V Project Director, Dean of Academic Affairs)
  • Candiece Goodall (Title V Coordinator, committee co-chair)
  • Heather DeDominicis (Faculty, committee co-chair)
  • Rachael DiPietro (Director of Institutional Research, committee co-chair)
  • Lois Aime (Faculty, Director of Educational Technology)
  • Andres Aluma-Cazorla (Faculty)
  • John Alvord (Faculty, Graphic & Web Design Program Chair)
  • Simone Bowen (Enrollment Services Project Assistant)
  • Kellie Byrd-Danso (Dean of Students)
  • Cheryl DeVonish (Chief Executive Officer)
  • Diane Donovan (Director of Academic Support Services)
  • Nancy Fleming (Faculty)
  • Rebecca Hussey (Faculty)
  • Erica Kipp (Faculty)
  • Catherine Miller (Director of Counseling)
  • Hannelore Moeckel-Rieke (Faculty, ESL Department Chair)
  • Robin Morris (Assistant Director of Admissions)
  • Winnifred Paul (Title V Assistant Coordinator & SOAR Special Projects Lead)
  • Valerie Ramos (Faculty, Interim Veterinary Technology Program Coordinator)
  • Mobin Rastgar-Agah (Faculty, Engineering Program Coordinator)
  • Joanne Renwick (Workforce Education Academic Advisor)
  • Roberto Reyes (Title V Technology Specialist)
  • Ramon Rosario, Title V Learning Commons Tutor Coordinator
  • Pracilya Titus (Student Retention Services)
  • Suzanne Wall (Title V Research Specialist)
  • Feng Allison Wang-Huang (Digital/Instruction Librarian)