Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Best Two Years of My Life

Today marks my last day at Northwest Vista College. In a couple of days, I will be among the 1,000 plus students walking the stage at NVC’s graduation ceremony. I realize it’s not the most momentous occasion in the world, but it means a lot to me, and for that I want to extend my personal thank you to NVC.

I began taking classes here in 2008 at age 16 as a dual credit student. I didn’t think much of it at the time, and almost didn’t want to because the classes I took were online which initially scared me, but in the end I’m grateful I was a part of the Dual Credit program at NVC. Because of it, I learned critical thinking skills at a young age, so by the time I enrolled full time in 2009, I already knew what to expect in college.

In a way I can say I’ve literally grown with the college. I remember when MZH was the CCC. Wow, I hadn’t realized I have been here this long! It has been an amazing journey though, and one I’ll never forget.

My first year seems as though it flew by fast. The first semester at NVC, I remember feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive because I was afraid I’d be alone, as many of my friends from high school went to different colleges and universities. That changed the first few days when I met up with many old friends and rekindled old friendships while developing new ones. Along the way, I also took classes with the best teachers who really shaped me to where I am today.

My second year, I was blessed to be a part of a student leadership program, also known as College Ambassadors (it’s one of the reasons I’m writing this blog J ). The ambassador experience has truly been a wonderful one. I’ve gained much leadership experience and worked with amazing people. Our ambassador group truly is like a second family to me. Our ambassador supervisor, Darryl Nettles, has encouraged us all to reach towards our potential and made volunteer work around campus a blast! Special thanks to Darryl and also Kelly Blanco for giving me opportunities to gain ambassador hours while working with the Cat Crew as well.

With all the leadership experience and education I’ve gained, as well as the friendships and memories made here at Northwest Vista, these past two years truly have been some of the best of my life. Whoever said that the best years of your life are in high school obviously never took advantage of the college experience. Thank you Northwest Vista for making my first college experience a great one!

Marisa Luna
NVC Ambassador
Class of 2011

Finals Don’t Have to Mean Panic

Well students, it’s here. The end of the semester is upon us, and for some it’s the end of an era. Whether it’s surviving your first year of college or completing a degree program, all of us are at a milestone in our quest for higher education. The advent of finals is the biggest indication of that, but for some students, finals can be pretty scary. Especially if your grade depends on it, then preparing for one can be a nightmare!

But finals aren’t all bad. Yes, a lot hinges upon them, but you’ve made it this far already without dropping the class (given that you are in the class and/or dealing with finals). Perhaps you aced the tests all year and are exempt from taking the final, if so, good for you! You’ve worked hard and deserve it! If not, don’t give up so easily. I know finals can turn even the most confident student into a nervous wreck.

If you are indeed nervous about how the fate of this past semester fares, the best advice I can offer you is don’t doubt your abilities. If you truly don’t think you can ace the final, or get at least what you need to pass the course, talk to a teacher or tutor about any accommodations you may need. The labs here at NVC (writing, math, science, etc.) are here for the sole purpose of helping students succeed. Get together with friends/classmates, do whatever you have to do to ensure you make the most of your opportunity.

Also, don’t forget to study! I know that may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but if you’re like a lot of people (myself included), studying for tests usually gets relegated to the day before the test. If you’re the type that fares well this way, congratulations! Even still, you may want to give finals preparation a little more dedication.

Good luck on your finals, students! I hope you all do the best that you can on them!

Marisa Luna
NVC Ambassador

NVC Access Office Benefits Students with Disabilities

By NVC Student Kimberly Redgate

Do you know how the Access Office at Northwest Vista College can help students?

“Creating Equal Opportunities for Students with Disabilities” is the mission statement of NVC’s Access Office, which specializes in providing services to students who have physical, learning, mental, and psychological disabilities. The Access Office serves students with these disabilities by providing accommodations to help achieve academic standards in the classroom.

Sharon Dresser, Special Services manager of the Access Office, said the most commonly used accommodations are to allow students more time for exams, use a volunteer note taker or use a recording device. Depending on the specific disability, other services may be included in accommodating the student, such as a sign language interpreter, larger chairs or screen-reading software for those who are visually impaired.

Sharon said that not all of the estimated 700 students on campus who have confirmed disabilities come to the Access Office each semester to request accommodations. She believes some of the major reasons why this occurs are because students may be too embarrassed, in denial or don’t realize they have a disability.

Sharon recommends that students with disabilities visit the Access Office’s webpage to see what services are offered.

Based on the results of a recent Access Office survey, the majority of students who sought help from the Access Office ranged in age from 17-25 with the ratio of males to females being about even. They reported their experience to be very good in regards to how friendly the staff was, how helpful their services were, and how well their needs were met. In addition, their accommodations contributed greatly towards their learning, desire to continue college, and goal to graduate.

For more information concerning NVC’s Access office, visit its homepage or you can reach the office at (210) 486-4466 or through email at nvc-access@alamo.edu.