Monthly Archives: October 2010

Why You Need an Associate Degree

The benefits of an NVC Graduation!

For those who aren’t able to attend a four-year university, an associate’s degree can be a very practical and highly valuable alternative. Typically taking only two years to complete, an associate’s degree can provide more opportunities and higher pay in the job market. Three major reasons to get an associate’s degree are cost, flexibility, and time.

An associate’s degree costs considerably less than a four-year degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of an associate’s degree is rising more slowly than the cost of a bachelor’s degree. Attending a four-year college can be very expensive. Many students who graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree have acquired a lot of debt. If you start your college studies with an associate’s degree in education, you’ll actually save money. You can pursue an associate’s degree and take your first two years of required courses for a lower tuition than at a large college or university. These core courses will transfer to a new school if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Moreover, associate degree programs let you earn a degree that can be used as a gateway into dozens of different bachelor degree options. Students often enroll in associate degree programs as a first step toward a better career, sometimes even before deciding what career to pursue. You can decide on your future course of study while you’re getting your associate. Many four-year colleges and universities find that students with an associate’s degree are more mature and make better students than those who start college right out of high school. Students with associate degrees can prove that they are focused and maybe very successful in their bachelor’s studies.

This allows graduates to get into the job market and start earning sooner. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with an associate’s degree earn around $6,500 more per year than those with only a high school diploma. Associate’s degrees can stand alone or be a stepping stone to a second degree. Associate’s “Transfer Degrees” are designed specifically to have all the credits transfer towards a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university. An associate’s degree can often lead to more opportunities to advance in a career field. Also, the unemployment rate for those with an associate’s is lower than for those with only a high school education. A lot of employers prefer to hire someone with a college degree and an associate degree will open doors to higher income and promotions.

Andrea` Parker
NVC Ambassador

Don’t Give Up Just Yet!

Well, it’s almost November. Temperatures are dropping, basketball season is already here, and the semester is one month away from being over. I’m sure most of you are rejoicing in being only a month away from an A or B and being over and done with the semester. But what about those of you who slacked off during the middle and all of a sudden you are worried about your grades? You probably think there’s no hope now and you’d be wasting your time if you tried to salvage your grades, right? Wrong!

While your dream of getting an A may be well down the toilet if you’ve slacked majorly, passing the class is still possible. In many cases, the final exam is worth a large part of your grade, so if you ace the final, your grade may improve a little bit. Granted you won’t get that A, but then again whose fault is it for slacking anyways? You will also have to come to class every day and pay close attention to what’s going on. Even if you’re completely lost, usually the class syllabus will tell you whatever week you are supposed to be on to catch up. You may not get perfect attendance points, but if you show up, you’ll at least have some homework, quiz, and participation grades to rescue you.

So if you’re worried about your recurring case of post high school senioritis, know you can overcome it. If you worked hard enough your F might turn into a C and you pass the class! Worst case scenario you keep the F and have to retake the class. The good news about that? You don’t have to buy the textbooks all over again.

– Marisa Luna
NVC Ambassador

Thank a Teacher Today

Can any of you guys recall your first time in college? Do you remember what you did or didn’t do to succeed your first semester, or any mistakes you’ve learned from to help you in your current successes? If you can, you’ve probably learned those tips from one of your professors. Have you taken the time to say “Thank you” lately?

I’m serious here. These teachers do so much for us it’s not even funny. Whether they act as mentors, advisors, or even friends, they make a big difference in our lives. Some of you can relate. Others might want to slap the dummies on www.ratemyprofessors.com for recommending that teacher. Whatever your perspective is on your instructor, try to see things from his/her point of view. They really do care about us students, because the hiring board wouldn’t hire just anybody to teach us!

I myself have been blessed with the majority of my teachers. My multimedia teacher, Miss Viviane Marioneaux, not only helped me learn the basics of Photoshop and such but also helped me with unofficial graduation advising. If it weren’t for my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Sandra Uribe, I wouldn’t have even heard about the College Ambassadors program! James Puente, my history teacher, makes learning about American history a blast with his hilarious insights and commentaries, while Ito Romo (English) helped make me a better writer and also cured my morning/two o’clock hunger with fudge striped cookies! Finally, my algebra teacher, Gary Johnson, not only makes mathematically-challenged me understand college algebra every week, but also tells the class that he loves each and every one of us, which is evident in his passion to help us all understand the material.

In addition to the teachers that stand out in a positive way, I’ve also had my share of teachers that didn’t stand out as much to me. However in retrospect, I realize that they cared about the students just as much as the teachers who are more significant to me. I may not have agreed with them or even cared for them at the time, but now I see that they cared about us just as much as anyone else did. So maybe you have teachers that stand out to you that you would recommend to all your friends. Maybe you have others who you wouldn’t wish on anybody. Either way, let them know you appreciate all that they’re doing for you. Even if you think you don’t at the moment, looking back on it, you’ll realize you’re very grateful for what they’ve done.

To all the aforementioned teachers, as well as all others I have had, THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart!

Marisa Luna
NVC Ambassador

Most Students Qualify for Food Stamps

Everyone needs the help at one time or another…when it comes to food…..even if it’s just for a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Or maybe we just need the help while were in school. There’s no shame in that since we’re expected to spend the little money we do have on tuition, books, supplies, etc.

Did you know that not only low-income families can get help with food, but COLLEGE STUDENTS also qualify for food stamps. As long as they meet one of the many qualifications, they can get help while they are in college. Examples of some of the criteria are:

*As long as you are a full-time student who works at least twenty hours per week
*If you are a full-time, single student caring for children younger than 12
*If you are a full-time, married student caring for children younger than 6
*Or if you are at least a part-time student who is actively working any hours in a work-study program.

Did you know that federal financial aid including Pell grants, Perkins loans, Stafford loans and most work-study jobs are not counted as income against student eligibility? There are plenty of ways to apply, but these options aren’t for everyone. You can go to a local office, mail in an application, and now in some cases you can apply online.

To find out if and about how much you could qualify for, click on

the link to go to the ‘Food Stamp Benefit Estimator’ or just click on the picture.

– Elizabeth Torres
NVC Ambassador

Community Service 101

Hello there Wildcats!!!! I would like to tell you about the importance of volunteering, how it can change lives, and how to get involved. Volunteering goes a long way creating a healthy community. Volunteers reach out to those that are unable to pay for the help they truly need and although there is no monetary gratification, the reward for helping people is priceless!

Volunteering is the perfect vehicle to discover something you are really good at and develop a new skill. It is never too late to learn new skills and no reason why you should stop adding to your knowledge. For example, planning and executing a major fundraising event can develop goal setting, planning and budgeting skills. Supervising and training other volunteers helps to develop supervisory and training skills.

Primarily, volunteering is about giving your time, energy and skills freely. Unlike many things in life, there is a choice involved in volunteering. Volunteers predominantly express a sense of achievement and motivation, and this is ultimately generated from your desire and enthusiasm to help. It may be true that no one person can solve all the world’s problems, but what you can do is make that little corner of the world where you live just that little bit better.

President’s Volunteer Service Award is an award given by the president to anyone that successful fulfills 100 community service hours in 12 months, and at least five should be completed at NVC. You will receive an award medal, a personalized certificate, and congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama. http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/tg/pvsainfo/dspAboutAwards.cfm

We sometimes take for granted the community that we live in. People and societies co-depend on each other for survival. Volunteering is ultimately about helping others and having an impact on people’s wellbeing. So, what better way is there to connect with your community and give a little back? Well I’m glad you asked because I have any answer! Here at Northwest Vista, we have an abundance of community service opportunities! There is a link on our NVC page as well as our Facebook page full of volunteer opportunities that range from recycling on campus to Habitat for Humanity. I hope this inspires you to get involved and stay involved. Here are some links to help you start your journey!

http://www.alamo.edu/nvc/community/service_learning/index.asp

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Community-Service-at-Northwest-Vista-College/108353899187050?v=wall&ref=ts

Andrea` Parker
NVC Ambassador

Why You Should Care About Dual Credit

Quick pop quiz! Can any of you guys tell me what the Dual Credit program at Northwest Vista does? Can anyone even tell me what dual credit is? If not, that’s ok; you’re in the right place!

First off, what is dual credit? It is a program Northwest Vista, as well as all of the Alamo Colleges, offers to eligible high school juniors and seniors (and in some cases sophomores) to give them the opportunity to earn college credit and high school credit at the same time. Let’s say you need to take economics in high school to count towards graduation. If one were to take dual credit courses here at NVC, he or she would earn not only high school credit, but also college hours as well.

If any of you all have 16- or 17-year-old students in your classes, they are more than likely dual credit students.

I’m sure by now most of you all are thinking, “Why should I care about this? I don’t have to worry about high school I already made it to college!” This may be true, but I’m sure many of you have bright brothers or sisters, or children or even grandchildren who are eligible for this program. The possibility of graduating from high school with up to 24 hours of college credit really shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only does it reduce your course load once you enroll as a regular student, but the program is free! Your child/sibling/young loved one could save well over $1,000 if they take advantage of the program! Plus the need to take a student development course is eliminated. (For more information click on the link http://www.alamo.edu/nvc/students/learning/dualcredit/eligibility.htm)

Last off, graduation within two years is definitely possible. Most people attend community college thinking they’ll only finish their basics and that’s it. While that is still feasible, it is also easy to just take a few more classes and earn an associate’s degree (which makes the transition to a four-year university much easier). Plus if one were to apply for a scholarship or some kind of student society, having a dual credit completion on their resume doesn’t hurt one bit.

If you know an academically gifted high schooler (or have one of your own), please don’t hesitate to take advantage of NVC’s dual credit program. I graduated high school in 2009 with nine college hours and I’m scheduled to graduate with an Associate of Arts in the spring, so I’m proof that the dual credit program works.

Hope this piece of information helps!

Marisa Luna
NVC Ambassador

My Experience as an NVC Ambassador

The Northwest Vista College Ambassador Program, which started a couple of semesters ago, has really improved and enhanced the lives of the applicants and the ambassadors. I am very fortunate and privileged to be re-elected so I can serve Northwest Vista College.

It all started when I was called via the phone, asking me to come in for an interview. I asked myself when I applied for this program, maybe it’s not true. But on the day of the interview, I was told that Mr. Eddie Bishop, one of the best math instructors, had nominated me to serve the school. That was how my journey to leadership started, and ever since then, I have not looked back.

This program is a life-changing program, of which at the end, you see your life changing so positively towards people around you and the society at large. During the course of this program, I volunteered a lot for different school activities, had a few tours, such as showing high school students around our beautiful campus and going to several high schools giving speeches. Also at the end of each semester, there is a huge stipend to be given to each student and a wonderful plaque thanking the student for serving the school and their community.

I also got exposed to school authorities. Most of the time we dined together with the school president and visitors to the school, such as John Phillip Santos, the first ever Mexican-American Rhodes Scholar.

– Harrison Ohiri
NVC Ambassador