Seventeen new scholars of NVCC’s NViSION program joined a festive celebration to close the summer season and welcome a new academic year. Held on the Waterbury campus of Naugatuck Valley Community College, the event was a celebration at the end of a three-week summer bridge program designed to help the new first-year students succeed in college in their STEM majors and create a strong cohort of friends and future colleagues.
During the summer bridge, NViSION scholars successfully completed math, English, and science coursework, as well as many cohort building activities and workshops to prepare them for the fall semester.
The program stressed the importance of balancing hard work with fun and healthy habits to create a happy successful student.
The event that celebrated the conclusion of the program included wide range of activities and projects that allowed students to demonstrate their understanding of the science they learned. In a Judo and self-defense class, the scholars broke boards as an accomplishment of self-confidence. Teams of students were challenged to build the grandest, most creative paper roller coaster in a limited amount of time to illustrate their teamwork and creativity. They raced their solar-powered cars they’d built during the bridge program to discover the fastest car – a real challenge on the overcast day. Finally, showcasing their career exploration and research done in the three weeks, they pitched their career of choice in an elevator speech to the Deans and CEO.
The NSF-funded scholarship NViSION program at NVCC supports promising STEM students to graduate from NVCC and either transfer to a four-year college in a STEM program or directly enter the STEM workforce. The NViSION program provides programming, academic and social supports, and professional experiences to help students build increased motivation towards a STEM career, empowers students to self-identify as a STEM professional, and ensures STEM students’ self-efficacy, all while providing significant financial support in terms of scholarships to increase their likelihood of success.
Students accepted into the NViSION program are eligible for multiple supports, including scholarships in the amount of $1000-$5000 per year for the first two years of study, free tutoring, all-expense paid university tours and STEM field trips, as well as STEM workshops, advising, and counseling. In addition, students have the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research and participate in internships and job shadowing.
The NViSION program is directed by NVCC STEM faculty and staff including Rebecca Binney, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Director and Principal investigator of the NViSION program; Mariangeli Zerbi, Professor of Mathematics and Co-Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the NViSION program; Peter Angelastro, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Co-Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the NViSION program; and Virginia Jewell, Ed.D., NViSION Coordinator and Director of the program.