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COMMENTS FROM NVCC GRADUATES BY CAMPUS: CLASS OF 2003 Research Report No. 10-04 Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Northern Virginia Community College December 2004 NORTHERN VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH, PLANNING, AND ASSESSMENT The purpose of the Office of Institutional Research is to conduct analytical studies and provide information in support of institutional planning, policy formulation and decision making. In addition, the office provides leadership and support in research related activities to members of the NVCC community engaged in planning and evaluating the institution’s success in accomplishing its mission. ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH, PLANNING, AND ASSESSMENT Dr. George E. Gabriel STAFF MEMBERS Margret Chang Jamir Chowdhury Johan Dennett Laura Henderson 4001 Wakefield Chapel Road Annandale, VA 22003-3796 (703) 323-3129 http://www.nvcc.edu/oir www.nv.cc.va.us/oir FOREWORD Every year the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) surveys NVCC graduates. The Graduate Survey collects information on graduates' jobs, salaries, and goals. The graduates are also asked to evaluate their academic instruction, instructors, and College services and facilities. This information is summarized in the Graduate Survey Report, which is published every other year. In the second part of the survey, graduates provide their thoughts and opinions on what was best about their NVCC education, what problems they experienced as NVCC students, and how the College could improve its services. Since these comments directly address many of the issues the College is concerned with, all the comments from the 2001-2002 Graduate Survey are included in this report. In the 2001-2002 academic year, 2,573 students graduated from the College. Of this group, 956 completed a Graduate Survey with many students providing comments on their NVCC educational experience. Graduates had high praise for NVCC programs, instruction, and staff. Although many expressed satisfaction with their NVCC education, some of the 2001- 2002 graduates also had concerns about the College. Three other OIR Reports, (No. 13-99, Comments From 1997 NVCC Graduates by Campus , No. 9-01, Comments from 1998 NVCC Graduates by Campus, and No. 27-01, Comments from NVCC Graduates by Campus: Class of 2000) provide similar information. A comparison of the four reports will help to determine areas where improvements are needed most as indicated by graduates. Unlike this report, OIR Report 13-99 does not contain a summary of the survey comments. Because the Graduate Survey is confidential, OIR has taken special precautions to ensure that survey responses and comments are not linked to any graduate. Therefore, comments are presented only by campus. In addition, OIR has made some changes (e.g. spelling, grammar) to the comments in order to enhance comprehension and protect student confidentiality. However, the editing was kept to a minimum. Whenever respondents referred to a particular faculty or staff member, the name was deleted. If you have any comments or concerns, please contact OIR at (703) 323-3129. COMMENTS FROM NVCC GRADUATES BY CAMPUS: CLASS OF 2003 Table of Contents Page Synopsis of Responses……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………i-viii Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education Alexandria Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 Annandale Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 Loudoun Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 19 Manassas…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 24 Woodbridge Campus……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27 Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience Alexandria Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 32 Annandale Campus…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………38 Loudoun Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 49 Manassas Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 53 Woodbridge Campus……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 56 Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? Alexandria Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 60 Annandale Campus…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………66 Loudoun Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75 Manassas Campus………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 79 Woodbridge Campus……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 81 SYNOPSIS OF RESPONSES In order to provide insight on the comments provided by graduates, summaries have been developed for the three survey questions. The following is a brief synopsis of the responses to each survey question. QUESTION 1 – “What was best about your NVCC education?” There were 685 respondents who answered the survey question, “What was best about your NVCC education?” The responses were grouped into categories and are presented below. Because the survey question allowed for multiple responses, many graduates provided more than one comment regarding their NVCC education. Each comment that a respondent may have given was counted within the corresponding category (percentages based on multiple responses). Faculty: There were 303 responses (44%) in which graduates stated that NVCC faculty was the best aspect of their NVCC education. These responses mentioned specific professors who assisted graduates, as well as general comments on the overall excellence of the teaching faculty at NVCC. Many respondents mentioned the additional assistance that faculty provided and the extra time given outside of class to help students achieve their goals. Program and High Quality In 159 responses (23%) graduates commented on the exceptionally high quality of both specific programs of Education: and the overall education at NVCC. Many graduates also stated that their education provided them with a strong foundation for pursuing further college studies and that there was an overall positive atmosphere at NVCC. Tuition Costs: In 98 responses (14%) graduates indicated that NVCC was reasonably priced. Many graduates stated that the quality of the education was excellent in comparison to the price. Respondents indicated that the price per course was reasonable, especially compared to other colleges and universities. Flexibility: In 74 responses (11%) graduates stated that NVCC offers a wide variety of courses at convenient times and at different campuses. Location: In 65 responses (9%) graduates stated that the wide variety of locations offering courses was the best aspect of their education. Many respondents indicated that the various campuses are conveniently located within the metropolitan D.C. area and that offering courses at specific workplace locations was a positive aspect of attending the College. Small Classes: In 44 responses (6%) graduates indicated how small classes and individualized attention were beneficial. Peers & Student Diversity: 44 responses (6%) pertained to the wide diversity of the student body and how this diversity enhanced the quality of their education. Computer/Library/Other In 34 responses (5%) graduates commented on the current technology offered at labs, the wide variety of Student Services: courses that are offered on computer programming languages, the excellent library facilities, and the quality of student services. ELI: 28 responses (4%) pertained to the usefulness of ELI in completing programs and enhancing the options to enroll in courses at NVCC. Many respondents stated that ELI was especially beneficial for adults who worked full time while attending school. Evening/Weekend 21 responses (3%) concerned the availability of both evening and weekend classes at NVCC. Many Classes: respondents stated how helpful these courses were for adults who were working full time while attending the College. Job Skills: In 20 responses (3%) graduates indicated that their NVCC education allowed them to obtain a better job and/or increase job related skills. Transferability: In 13 responses (2%) graduates remarked on the ease of transferring credits to other colleges and universities. Counseling: In 10 responses (1%) graduates indicated counselors were helpful in assisting students in transferring to colleges and universities and in providing overall guidance in selecting courses while at NVCC. There were several areas that had less than 10 responses. These categories were consolidated as follows: ease of registering for classes (9 responses)(1%) and high quality of ESL courses (2 responses)(0.3%). QUESTION 2 – “What were the major problems, if any, in your NVCC experience?” There were 506 responses to the survey question, “What were the major problems, if any, in your NVCC experience?” The responses were grouped according to subject category. Because the survey question allowed for multiple responses, many graduates provided more than one comment regarding problems while at NVCC. Each comment that a respondent may have given was counted within the corresponding category (percentages based on multiple responses). Faculty: 97 responses (19%) pertained to the teaching quality at the College or specific professors. Many responses concerned grading practices that were perceived to be unfair, lack of cultural sensitivity on the part of some professors, lack of assistance from professors outside of the classroom, and professors who were not prepared for lectures. It is important to note, however, that the majority of the comments pertaining to faculty were positive in nature. Parking: In 88 responses (17%) graduates stated that the parking facilities were not adequate. Comments included that not enough parking spaces were available and problems with meters and parking tickets. Counseling/Advising: 78 responses (15%) pertained to the lack of proper counseling and advising services. In many of the comments, graduates stated that they were not given the proper guidance on which courses to take in order to graduate on time. Other comments indicated that some counselors and advisors were not available on a regular basis to assist students, and that inconsistent advice was given among counselors and advisors. Facilities: 54 responses (11%) were regarding poor facilities at all five campuses. These responses included poor cafeteria services and cleanliness, lack of heat and air conditioning, improper restroom maintenance, and lack of lab and computer equipment. Some other comments pertained to library services and hours, over- crowding in classrooms, and lack of available hours to access labs. Poor Quality of Programs Graduates indicated in 55 responses (11%) that specific courses or programs were not satisfactory. and/or Courses: Comments included that some programs were not applicable to the “real world” and particular courses were not satisfactory in content or teaching methodologies. Class Unavailability: In 50 responses (10%) graduates indicated that some courses were not available, which caused students not to graduate on time. Some responses were regarding the reduced number of courses offered during the summer semester and at some of the smaller campuses. Other comments pertained to core courses needed for specific programs, which were not available every semester. No Problems: In 35 responses (7%) graduates indicated that there were no major problems. Personal Issues: In 30 responses (6%) graduates indicated that personal issues negatively impacted the experiences of some graduates. Some issues included balancing family and work commitments with school, long commutes to attend classes, and disapproving of other students’ behaviors. Cost of Books/Bookstore: In 23 responses (5%) graduates stated that books were too expensive and that the hours of operations for the bookstores were not convenient. Registration: In 17 responses (3%) graduates indicated dissatisfaction with the registration process. Some of these comments included long wait lines at registration time and a lack of customer support from some of the Admissions and Records Offices. Transfer of Courses: 16 responses (3%) were regarding the inability of graduates to transfer some courses to four-year institutions. There were several areas that had less than 10 responses. These categories were consolidated as follows: lack of tutoring services/career services/writing center services (7 responses) (1%); problems with graduation (4 responses) (1%); lack of security/safety in parking lots and on campuses (5 responses)(1%); various financial aid difficulties (8 responses)(2%); high tuition for out-of-state students (4 responses)(1%); and problems with administrative staff (12 responses) (2%). QUESTION 3 – “How can NVCC improve its instruction and service?” Graduates provided 466 responses to the survey question, “How can NVCC improve its instruction and service?” Responses were grouped into subject categories and are presented below. Because the survey question allowed for multiple responses, many graduates provided more than one comment on how to improve NVCC instruction and service. Each comment that a respondent may have given was counted within the corresponding category (percentages based on multiple responses). Classes/Programs: In 105 responses (23%) graduates suggested changes for specific programs and/or courses. These responses included more rigorous course content, more modern text and audio visual aids, better transferability of courses, and others. Faculty: 105 responses (22%) pertained to changes that could be made to improve the quality of teaching and grading at the College. Some of these responses indicated that NVCC should keep on hiring and retaining the excellent teaching staff that it already possesses. Facilities: 74 responses (16%) pertained to suggestions for improvements in NVCC facilities. This category included suggestions on improving classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, library services, and labs. Many of the responses also addressed the need to extend library and lab hours in order to accommodate students who work full time. Counseling/Advisors: In 55 responses (12%) graduates indicated that counseling and advising services could be improved. Several respondents suggested better training for counselors, insuring that advisors and counselors have the same information, and making counselors more aware of the College’s programs and transfer information. No Changes: In 52 responses (11%) graduates did not feel there were specific changes that could be made to improve NVCC services and programs. Parking: In 45 responses (10%) graduates recommended changes in parking operations. Some of the recommendations included improving lighting and security in parking areas, having parking fees included in tuition, and reducing ticketing fees. Registration: In 24 responses (5%) graduates recommended that registration processes be made easier and that more staff be hired during peak times to assist students. Administrative Assistance In 16 responses (3%) graduates indicated that administrative services could be improved. Some to Students: comments indicated that administrators should help streamline processes at NVCC and staff could at times be more helpful to students with questions. Job Skills/Placement: In 14 responses (3%) graduates indicated that job placement services are inadequate and that graduates were not prepared for employment upon graduation. Many of the graduates suggested improving co-op programs and strengthening curriculums to better reflect the demands of the local job market. ELI: In 16 responses (3%) graduates indicated that the College should increase the number of courses available through ELI. There were several areas that had less than 10 responses. These suggestions for improvement were consolidated as follows: improving graduation (4 responses) (0.8%); converting NVCC to a four-year institution (9 responses)(2%); lowering the cost of books and improving bookstore operation hours (7 responses)(1%); enhancing student services (6 responses)(1%); and financial aid (5 responses)(1%). Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AL Computer classes and methods of teaching. AL Broad range of course offerings; good coverage of topics; good instructors; good internet service. AL The price. Great value for an exceptional education. I felt very comfortable in the learning environment. Being a recent immigrant when I started NVCC, I had my doubts about if the AL college was sensitive to students in my situation. NVCC does an excellent job in that area. AL Meeting people. AL The fact that all of my instructors were easily accessible. AL Proximity to my house. Parking facilities have improved. Most instructors are available via email or phone. AL Flexibility of classes. The instructors were great at their job. I feel that I got the most that I could out of my classes. The instructors at George Mason AL University don’t seem to have the same interest in having students learn. AL Instructors were very up-to-date with not only teaching the subject matter, but in preparing students for the job market. The class content was great. This was a learning experience for AutoCAD work I do at my job. I took the AutoCAD course for AL my job. Teachers provided extra help and attention to students in the transition from high school to college. Small campus sizes allowed AL for more personal interaction between students, faculty, and staff. AL Convenience and cost. Availability of faculty. 1. Cost; 2. Location; 3. Meeting new people; 4. Allowing me to meet one of my personal goals; 5. Allowed me to get a salary AL increase; 6. Some of the courses I took at NVCC challenged me to pursue a different profession. AL Down to earth professors. AL The quality of education and variety of classes. AL The cost was my number one reason for attending. AL I believe NVCC is an excellent school. I would recommend it to anyone. AL The fact that I was slightly ahead of my class when I transferred out. NVCC is a very good college with good teachers, facilities, and course offerings. I am very satisfied with my experience there. AL ELI classes made it easy to go to school while working full-time. AL The chance to use skills learned in class to help other students as a Lab Monitor at NVCC. NVCC education gave me an opportunity to meet people from different countries, especially people from different African AL countries, which also helped me to appreciate other people’s point of view much better than I used to do. AL The best part would have to be learning and expanding my knowledge in my career field. Also being a teacher during class labs. I felt like I was still in high school. I liked that it was a small college and teachers knew students on a personal level. I also loved AL that the classes were not unrealistically demanding and needed constant work. At GMU, the teachers think that their students only live for school, but NOVA was in touch with the students’ priorities. 1 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AL NVCC education helped me to improve my knowledge, and gave me more confidence to continue my education. AL To be able to think about my future. AL Meeting new people. Interaction! AL It has empowered me to keep striving to be and give the best that I am towards my future and success. AL The fact that I finally graduated. The schedules were flexible. The lecturers were friendly and understanding (most). Very diverse (in terms of students). And AL most especially, I was well prepared for four-year college. AL Teacher quality. NVCC provided me with an opportunity to further my education and prepared me to enter a 4-year institution after being out of AL school for over ten years. AL Convenience of the campus. AL It gave me a sense of purpose and focus in life. That’s a debt I can’t repay. AL Flexible course schedules and teachers’ great cooperation with students. AL The professors were (are) knowledgeable and passionate about what they taught (teach). AL NVCC’s understanding of the needs of the working adult. They were accommodating and flexible. AL How the teachers helped with future career tips and tricks. They made me feel comfortable. The overall education and quality of most teachers were above average. Two or three select teachers worked much harder with AL their students to help them appreciate and enjoy their class. AL School was close to home and affordable. Good instructors, well prepared. AL Above all NOVA was great in regards to academics. AL Flexibility and accessibility of the educational courses. Some great professors. Low tuition fees. AL Professors were always available for students. Small size classes. Good ESL program. AL The cost. It was very affordable. It was a great value for the price. AL I was very successful in achieving my education goal through NOVA. Especially that I can continue to go to the school. AL Good quality education, low tuition, excellent instructors, convenient location in Northern Virginia. I enjoyed most of my classes, because of wonderful instructors. I feel like going back to school again. Some instructors are AL wonderful!!!!! AL The flexibility of course timetables. Most of the courses are transferable to recognized 4-year colleges (esp. GMU). Classes were small – compared to universities – easier to ask questions in the class, more interaction with other students and AL instructors. AL How flexible the time schedule was; if one couldn’t do it at a certain time most of the time there was another class available. AL Summer classes were short and fast. Best results for working students. AL The class sizes, the extra help I got from professors’ office hours, the affordable tuition and friendly personnel. 2 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AL Educational, enjoyable, and inexpensive. The educational environment was a comfortable and small (convenient) place to learn. The people are friendly including most AL faculty and staff. The professors are hard-working and their teaching skills are excellent. They are very nice and friendly. The program almost AL covered everything that is easy to learn and to apply to real life. The most and the best are the school fees. AL Most of professors are good and competent. AL Ease in scheduling around my busy life (as I am the working mother of 7 children). AL Convenience of location. AL It was very helpful and I felt one-on-one contact with the teachers. AL The availability of the different campuses and the class times. The fine arts classes were well organized. AL Mr. X’s Spanish class, Dr. Y’s Biology, the History department, and graduation. AL The instructors from whom I took courses. Everything from the professors was “super excellent.” AL Convenience to campuses and price. Small classes. AL Instructor’s knowledge. AL Affordable tuition and vocational training. AL The professors are very professional. The clubs. Having received three NOVA degrees, I can definitely say NOVA’s greatest asset is its faculty. My favorites were Professor X, Y, AL Z, and XX. The best teacher there, however, in my opinion is XY. She combines a passion for her subject with a genuine concern for her students. She’s the best! AL Most instructors were excellent; tuition costs are reasonable, and I gained increased knowledge and self-confidence. AL I think the faculty in the legal assisting program are excellent. I enjoyed their classes. The education I received at NVCC was well-rounded and diverse. The classroom discussions were always great because the AL student body is made up of people from many different backgrounds, ages, gender, etc. AL Variety of instructors. AL Teachers are great. AL All the computer classes that I took. AL To begin with college-level education in USA. AL Flexible hours, low rate. I wish NOVA had four-year instead of two-year degrees. AL The SPD 111 course by X at the Alexandria Campus. Dr. X is the biggest asset that the NVCC Annandale Campus has. His positive attitude and interactive teaching style left an AL impression on me, which will not be soon forgotten. AL Facility for the courses. Good counseling. In general terms the teaching staff was adequate and well prepared. AL The architectural program was enjoyable. The teachers that I had were experienced and worked in the field. 3 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AL The friends, teachers, classes, learning itself. AL Instructors’ ability to enhance my education at a reasonable price. Love being able to register by phone. AL The teachers are nice and a wonder to work with. Had a broad knowledge of academic studies and social life. Interacting with other students from different countries with diverse AL cultures was a great pleasure. AL In providing knowledge, NVCC is one of the best colleges in the USA, I think. AL Learning and having great instructors like Ms. X. AL The freedom in the ELI program, the availability of the testing center, the library. AL Teachers, art programs and advisors. Lab and computers with updated programs. AL The instructors and counseling center. AL The cost. Good return for limited investment. AL Broadening my understanding. AL It helped me to improve my writing and have more knowledge about learning and using a computer. AL Learning English, using computers for programming, designing web pages. Time I have spent learning new things in my new “culture.” Good life experience! Also, NVCC has been a big “savings account AL for me.” In other words, compared to where I am going to school now, NVCC is the most affordable educational institution in the area. In return, I have intellectually gained a lot. AL The availability of classes on weekends and the ELI course offerings. Since I’ve been at NOVA, I must say, I had excellent instructors. The Early Childhood Department is excellent, especially for AL individuals who would enter into that field. Also, my English teachers were great, though I personally just needed more help with writing skills. AL Accessibility (walking distance from home). Affordability, good instructors. I enjoyed my public speaking class. Public speaking was always hard but the professor made me believe I could conquer the AL world. AL Low cost. Right next door to where I live. Most instructors are “very good.” It was inexpensive. It is a quality education at an inexpensive price. I am putting myself through college and my student loans AL are not as bad as they would be if I had gone to GMU all four years. AL Opportunity for everyone who wants to go to college and works full-time. The versatility of the NVCC education. Whether someone wants vocational training, enrichment, or to move on to a four-year AL school, like I did, NVCC is a key. AL NVCC has excellent instructors. AL Accessibility and convenience. Flexible schedules, too. 4 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? Library facility, library services. Some instructors were very good, they were concerned about their students’ level of education AL and they had suitable methods. Some were not concerned with their students’ level and they were strict in evaluation of their students. AL Got more educated and gained knowledge. The relationships, formed with both my fellow students and professors, as well as the confidence I obtained to strive forward in my AL career. AL I was close to my home and office and the core courses really laid the ground work for me to pursue advanced courses at GMU. AL Cost. I am an officer in the U.S. Navy. Having a SOCNAV agreement made finishing the program easy and flexible. Also, the person in AL the military services office was very helpful in telling me what I needed to complete my program. I cannot say enough good things about NOVA (Alexandria/Annandale campuses) and my educational experience there. I would advise anyone to make this his or her first stop before entering into a four-year university. Every professor that I had, except one or two, were very professional, very prepared, very knowledgeable, and had the students’ best interest at heart. There are seven AL professors that readily come to mind that made difficult subjects intriguing, motivating, and so interesting that one could not help but to excel. These professors in my opinion exceed in excellence. The counselor (X) that I had at NOVA was also above excellent. I cannot thank him enough for all of the assistance that he provided to me by helping me choose the right courses for my academic major. The counseling department overall was very good. AL There was a large variety of options for class schedules. This worked very well with my work schedule and family life. AL The price was right. I wish Bachelor’s level courses could be found at a reasonable price. AL The library service is very excellent and the teachers were very helpful. AL Knowledgeable instructors, working with real life/present – current issues. Very affordable courses – attentive instructors. AL Teachers who work in my field (network administration). AL Being able to choose which campuses to attend based on class availability. I was very fortunate to have 90% of my instructors be great teachers, except one. As a result, I nominated two instructors for Who’s Who among America’s Teachers. The PLACE program was a great opportunity for me to obtain credit for life experience. AL This is a great program for working adults that are qualified professionals in their field but don’t have the credentials to validate their qualifications and experience. I was thrilled to be honored at NVCC by being placed on the dean’s list and being inducted into Phi Theta Kappa. I had very good professors. One bad experience with an adjunct professor in intermediate accounting. ELI classes were AL convenient and enabled me to take more than one class at a time. AL Flexibility, availability of classes. AL It prepared me for the workforce and got me my last two jobs. I learned valuable information to take back with me to the workplace or in future legal assisting jobs. Classes were small in AL comparison to the college that I previously attended. 5 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? The quality of instruction at NVCC is a great value for VA residents. I enjoyed the diversity in ages and backgrounds of the AL students. AL Willingness of staff to work with my schedule. ELI. AL The diversity of the student population and the large selection of classes. AL Getting it over. AL Willingness of professors in providing assistance with course work. AL The small college and classroom environment. AL Teachers. Ms. X and her class catapulted my degree acquisition. AL The location. The professors. The different cultures. AL I found the faculty to be very caring and positively involved in educating the students who were serious about being educated. Excellent teachers in Photography department, courses structured for lots of lab time – both studio and darkroom – for good AL practical learning experience. Lower cost than other colleges in the area. AL Most of my computer teachers were very good. AL I really thought the schedule was convenient. AL Cost and quality of the staff. AL The teachers at the computer graphics design department were great! They go out of their way to help their students. Most Information Technology instructors at Alexandria Campus are very good with the exception of a few adjunct instructors. Cost of education is very affordable and enabled me to consider pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at George Mason because of the money I saved while at NOVA. The Alexandria Campus is nice and compact and buildings are easy to get to, except the building AL that contains the bookstore and Arts classes. Entry level classes are taught frequently. Class times for evening students are at good times so schedules can be more flexible. However, often those final few classes needed for graduation are not taught often enough or there aren’t enough of those classes. AL The professors were enthused, involved, well-informed and great. AL Most of the professors were great in dealing with the students and in their instruction of the course material. AL Good class sizes. Tutorial center. Convenience. AL Mr. X – English. Dr. Y – Biology. Learning Peachtree computer accounting. This is taught at Annandale Campus. I particularly enjoyed Dr. X’s Anatomy classes and labs. For limited facilities, we had access to enough materials to learn the AL materials. AL Availability of night courses that matched with my work schedule. Any quality education that you can pay without excessive loans is the best education, especially when one is getting great AL instructors, service, and guidance to achieve long term goals. AL It was free! AL The best thing about NVCC was having all the classes I needed in the evening. 6 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AL Tuition-I have paid a fraction of the cost compared with any other school. AL Different people from different cultures and backgrounds. Classes at night. AL I am most grateful for the opportunity to go to college, especially since my education was paid for entirely by my employers. AL With every few exceptions, the instructors I had at NVCC were very inspirational and taught their area of study very effectively. AL Good education, fair tuition, and diversity. AL Spanish professor X. Spanish classes/labs and computers. AL The material I learned from different courses. Enjoyed a variety of students (age, race, nationality). I love that. Professor X is great, great, great! NVCC is very affordable and AL a great place to study. AL Graduation. AL The instructors and students in the classroom. Professor X at the Alexandria Campus was the catalyst of my wonderful NVCC experience. He was the first of my many AL professors to show the interest in me as an individual not often found at four-year institutions. Along with the counseling staff, the encouragement to excel was what made the entire experience unforgettable. AL The diversity, the instructors, the whole learning experience. AL College staff was very helpful all around. Some teachers worked with me to help me understand subjects. Location of the Alexandria Campus. The campus is close to work and home. Teachers who enjoyed working for the community. AL Evening classes. AL Overall, what NVCC offered to its students. AL Reasonable tuition. Provides great programs. Multiple campuses. I learned English as a Second Language. I gained knowledge in writing and speaking skills. I learned to be a leader. I learned to AL use math in my everyday life and computer applications. AL The teachers were excellent and cared about the students. AL First-class teachers, affordable tuition, convenient location and “adult education focused.” AL Knowledgeable teaching staff (engineering) and computer labs were very efficient. Teachers have a very high level of education. I was surprised that most of them teach at very expensive, prestigious, private AL universities as well. AL The attention given by professors and small class sizes. AL Some instructors were not just very knowledgeable but they also could teach very well. I’m very thankful that I had them. AL Small number of students in class. Teachers who challenge my intellect. AL Small classes. Variety of course selection. Excellent faculty members. AL Teachers had Master’s/Ph.D.s and spoke English. They knew their material. 7 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AN The counseling was available and willing to help always in all aspects. AN Good program for technology. Impressed with the teacher and the equipment. Tech. Center people very helpful. AN Wide variety of clinical experience. AN Cost, course content, excellence of nursing school faculty. I had a few really good instructors. They cared about their students and the students’ ability to really understand the material. AN They balanced out the couple I had who did not care at all. AN Convenient times for classes/ flexibility and course faculty. AN The teachers were wonderful and I had a great experience. AN Radiography program was excellent – mainly because of the faculty. AN Convenience of the location of Annandale Campus. I learned a tremendous amount from all of my professors. I went to a four-year college and came back because I felt I received a AN better education at NVCC. AN People. Learning. AN Well organized and prepared. AN Professor X: always available, incredibly helpful with career and college planning. AN My math teacher Dr. X changed my perspective in life. Excellent and dedicated teacher. AN The teachers I had, especially for history and psychology. AN Being able to attend classes and the faculty were great, always helpful and interested in my progress. AN The convenience of being able to go to multiple campuses. The interaction with many other cultures. AN Nothing major. It was great, very convenient on my schedule. AN I really liked my instructors. They were knowledgeable and fun. AN Flexible schedule and very helpful faculty. The quality of instructors, the overall knowledge I gained from them and the varying availability of class times. Additionally, the AN price at which this all came was unbelievable! AN NVCC education is very organized. Variety of programs, courses are affordable. AN The selection of evening courses was a big help in getting necessary courses after work hours. AN Dedicated and knowledgeable instruction at an inexpensive price. AN Help received when beginning my education. AN My experience in math classes was by far the best. You have excellent professors in the mathematics department. AN It helped me reach my goal of becoming a registered nurse. I feel I received a decent education at a very affordable price. My instructors in the RAD program did everything they could to make my learning experience the best I have had. I cannot thank AN them enough. AN Cost was good for the instate per credit fee. Met a couple of exceptional teachers and learned a lot from them. 8 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AN I liked the length of the classes, not too long, but not too short. AN I had many good teachers. AN Cost. AN Decent instruction, strong developing IT department. AN The teachers were very helpful and nice. They cared about the students. AN The teachers that I had truly understood me as a student. And help me very much in the classroom and outside with tutoring. AN Gaining knowledge about various subjects, especially in the computer field. Since I had an incomplete Bachelor’s degree from years before, I was able to apply those credits to earn an Associate of Science degree at NVCC. Along with the Associate degree, I was also able to earn, for personal satisfaction, my career certificate in AN microcomputer repair. Now that I have my Associate degree at NVCC, I’m able to also apply those NVCC credits to finish my Bachelor’s degree from Radford University through their Adult degree (Extension) program from home. NVCC has helped me to supplement and nearly finish my Bachelor’s degree form Radford University, with just three hours to go! AN Good school for old students and international students. Knowledgeable professors, always available to counsel and to solve any concerns. My professors, the hospitality staff, were the AN best I could ever have. AN I put all my effort and I reached my goal. I learned from other cultures. I improved my communication skills. I had great teachers. AN Credit hours cheaper. Course availability. AN Small class size. AN The instructors! They took the time to help, tutor, mentor, etc. AN The level of comfort of surroundings. Most of my teachers motivated me and kept it fun. Convenient. Several local campuses to accommodate a wide range of classes. Extremely reasonable tuition, and easy to deal AN with VA representatives. AN The fact that all my classes transferred to GMU. AN Able to obtain RN in 2-year program. AN It was close to home, affordable, easy to register, intelligent teachers, diverse. AN Cost associated with obtaining my degree. AN Personal counseling. Professors. The best thing about my NVCC education is the classes that I took were the same subject matter and quality of teaching as AN George Mason University. Some of the class professors taught at Mason, which means the classes are a lot cheaper at NVCC. AN The enthusiasm of some professors when delivering their lecture. AN Excellent teachers. Excellent availability of classes. AN Some patient instructors. Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AN Some members of the faculty who really care about the students; the importance that some gave to the internet and computers for 9 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus our future development at work. Classes that involve the student in actual things, in Virginia, or the area where we live or work. AN Flexibility and faculty (instructors were great). Tuition fee is the best because it is not expensive. NVCC is the best for students who are trying to transfer to a four-year college or AN university like me. AN Helped me a lot to learn new things, prepared me for future goals, but basically gave me an education. Thanks! I love the professors! All the teachers were very nice and welcoming! I felt extremely comfortable at NVCC! I wish that NVCC was AN a four year college! I would definitely go back. The professors at NVCC were intent on helping me become successful. They were not distracted by tenure issues, research AN obligations and university faculty politics. The fact that most NVCC professors brought their knowledge from the professional marketplace, rather than textbooks, prepared me the best. AN Well this school is good for education, but some teachers really aren’t performing their job as well as they should be. AN Graduating. AN Faculty, science labs and equipment, course availability. AN We get the same professors that teach in the universities. Small classroom size. AN Excellent PTA faculty, great program. I improved my writing and verbal abilities. NVCC helped me to improve my level of education since I finished high school. I learned AN how to become more sociable and how to interact with other people, e.g. teachers and international students. I expanded my knowledge in various subjects such as psychology, sociology, programming, business and literature. I really enjoyed the overall experience at NOVA Annandale. I thought all the professors I had knew the subject they were teaching. Mr. X, Y, Z and Mrs. XX were very exceptional. I would recommend the networking program to anyone interested in learning about AN computers and technology. The quality is high and the price is low. I also used the gym a lot and was very surprised at the high quality of equipment available. It’s unfortunate that it is not used more. It was usually empty when I was there. AN The faculty was very dedicated, helpful and qualified. AN The teachers and their advisement. AN Proximity to campus. AN The cost. The location AN The price for quality education. Mr. X for Biology – he made me fall in love with it. Dr. Y for communication was fabulous! Mrs. Z’s presentation of the information AN in the course she taught was the most efficient and detailed of any teacher. Her teaching style was the best I have ever experienced. By the end of the course I had gained more knowledge than I could have imagined and thoroughly understood it all. AN Very good instructors. Small classes. AN Exposure to effective teachers and various perspectives. 10 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? I got an excellent education in an area that I love. Got a great job, in one of the top hospitals in the county, and made lifetime AN friends. AN Fair. AN Tuition is very affordable. AN Some of the courses were very good, especially the prerequisite courses for Anatomy and BIO. Good lectures with extra materials (notes) for all courses. Good sitting accommodation. Flexible schedule. Proper parking AN facilities. Easy to contact lecturers. AN Providing many programs and majors. Diversity (students and staff). Flexibility (classes at any time and Saturday). The ESL teachers were wonderful and they care very much about the students. They made learning pleasant and enjoyable. They AN gave me the desire to study very hard and do my best in everything. AN Learning a skill that made me eligible for promotion. AN Faculty, curriculum, availability of courses needed for degree completion, registration, bookstore, testing lab, and ELI. AN Most instructors were excellent. I enjoyed working with most all of them. AN Cost ratio to subject matter learned. AN Staff and faculty friendly and helpful. Two instructors were particularly knowledgeable. One was Professor X (Travel), and also Professor Y (English) was exceptional. Easy access to parking. Mason is a nightmare in comparison. Was a little nervous that the travel division would be cut as AN enrollment was down. Classes were reasonably priced. Facilities could stand some updating. Lots of evening classes to choose from. Good value for money, interesting cultural diversity. You get a lot of value for the buck at NOVA and don’t feel like a number the way I do at GMU. AN It was not expensive. AN Excellent and understanding teachers. They were all very willing to make sure you learned and did well. Attending NVCC provided me with a diverse learning environment. This was very important and significant to me. Also, the faculty AN and small class sizes contributed to an overall excellent educational experience. AN The college provided a good learning atmosphere. Almost all faculty were helpful and resources were easy to come by. AN Instructors in the Administration of Justice program were outstanding, and courses in this program were excellent. AN Job-related classes. AN My teachers were the best I had ever had. Even better than the four-year school I had attended in the past. AN The best part was the many friendship made with some outstanding professors. AN Just that I finally found what it was I wanted to do with my life. AN Accessibility. NVCC gave me a second chance to start my life. I was a miserable high school student with no SATs and no hope of going to AN college. NVCC gave me a leg-up. 11 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AN It was affordable. AN Prepared me for my four-year college. AN Becoming a dental hygienist. AN Attending a diverse college with professors that taught exceptionally well and cared about their students. Classrooms are small; therefore the lectures are more productive. Courses at NOVA have more quizzes and tests and that helps AN students to review the course material as well as improve their grades. AN Got me ready for the workforce. AN Good instructors. Good programs. Great learning environment. Good library and computer lab services. AN I like how it helps prepare you to go to a university, just to get somewhat of a college experience was a good thing for me at NVCC. Having a wide variety of programs and the ability to take many routes (i.e. I started with an interest in engineering and ended up in AN business). AN Good instructors. AN Instructors knew their materials fairly well. It was a good environment to experience higher education. I enjoyed my weekend class. Professors were the best. I feel both ELI AN and weekend classes are very useful sources along with the traditional courses. AN Improved my language skills. AN Loved my math class and teacher. AN Class, curriculum, and instruction. NOVA has excellent teachers who are generous in educating, advising, and directing students. Labs are well equipped and AN accessible most of the time. AN Good education, good instructors, and good course availability. AN Experienced and good instructors. AN Affordability, physical convenience, variety and number of options, quality of teaching staff. AN Most of my teachers were adjuncts; they imparted their personal/professional knowledge in a manner I could understand. The smaller class sizes (versus a university classroom size). Particular instructors who went above and beyond duty to help AN students, either through dedication to the discipline or by providing more than just “theory” on the subject. AN Availability of classes. Good IT teachers. Convenient locations. Affordability. Flexible class schedules which also included weekend and ELI classes. This really helped me when I was working full AN time. The fact that I was program placed and didn’t have to decide which classes to take made each semester easy to prepare for, as well AN as the mandatory grade requirement per class. AN That instructors actually worked in the field that they taught. 12 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? I was able to research and take classes to allow me to figure out what I wanted to pursue. It was nicer to have the small classes AN and the interactions with the professors than it would be to go straight into a university. AN Material taught to U.S. students was the best and most valuable to me. AN Affordable tuition and quality education. Easy registration process. Equal opportunities for non-native American students. AN It was excellent because it prepared me before going to a four-year school. AN It has helped me understand more about my job. I enjoyed going to class because the professors were fun to learn from. AN Being able to have an associate degree and earn a quicker increase in salary and respect from the community. AN I loved the positive environment! Great professors and classmates. Most of my classes were great. Thank you! I had very good professors from international student affairs. These professors helped me grow as a student and as a person. At AN the end of their courses I ended up loving their classes, being a student, and my passion for MIS intensified. They were ready to help me with any questions and acknowledge me as a person, not only another student in the crowd. AN Field trips. Clinical. Giving oral presentations. Educated, knowledgeable, flexible, committed instructors. Lab instructor, X. The professors! All the professors I had cared about my performance and encouraged me to learn and grow academically. NVCC helped me gain self-confidence and the knowledge I needed to move on to a four year institution. I especially liked the student AN achievement awards and the honor activity organized for students with high grades. They encouraged me to continue to do my best. The math labs were also helpful – especially the computer based calculus lessons. I had good teachers, mostly. I learned a lot about subjects I would have never have taken if it wasn’t for having to take so many AN electives. It was cheap and less than 2 miles from my house. I will probably still take more classes in the future. AN I learned course content that I actually use in my job. Teachers really want students to learn the material. AN Course scheduling, multiple campuses. Outstanding ECO201 instructor and English literature instructors! I appreciated being able to work at my own pace, faster through more familiar material, slower through difficult material. ELI was AN very supportive, especially with personal letters to explain necessary information. AN The teachers. AN Convenience – location. Parking is good. Some teachers were fair. Some classes were interesting and easy to understand. AN I had very good teachers. I will always remember their methods of teaching. AN Wonderful nursing program, very skill-based! AN Knowledge in a field that was unknown for me. The best thing about my NVCC education was the availability of classes at different times. I had a full-time job while going to AN school. It really helped that classes were offered during the afternoon when it was easier for me to take them. AN Convenient. Good price. AN Easy to understand. AN The professionalism of the teachers. The diversity of the students. 13 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? It is one of the best colleges that prepare students for four-year college. I would recommend that international students attend AN NVCC and then transfer to a four-year college for further education. AN Resources. Faculty. AN Best part of my NVCC experience was meeting people like X (adjunct); Y (fac. Advisor), Dr. Z, Dr. XX; and XY, among others. AN Using the computer labs there was so much help. The teacher showed me lots of things on the computers. AN Location, many choices in fields of study. AN Gave me self-confidence that I was truly prepared for college. AN Diversity. AN The biology teachers are the best I’ve had. They make it real and fun. AN On-site professors were wonderful, especially Annandale Campus. Really liked NOVA days to learn about clubs. NVCC education was very helpful because of its affordable prices and also the atmosphere. Coming straight out of high school and going to a large campus was somewhat scary for me. NOVA, however, made the transition easier with smaller classes. I could AN take in the whole “college experience” in steps and at my own pace. It gave me the chance to get involved in college programs and helped to deal with all the responsibilities delegated to a college student. AN Excellent instructors in the Administration of Justice program. AN The attentive teachers who care. AN Small class size. More interaction with teachers. AN The affordable price, small class sizes, and teachers were always willing to give help/assistance. The best about my NVCC education was that the teachers were very concerned about the students’ involvement in the class. For AN instance, they have good office hours to talk about class material, and they also helped out a lot with test studies and homework. The classes were a perfect size, which helped me and the teachers to get to know one another. AN Meeting new people and diversity of students. The faculty was outstanding for the most part, and provided quality education. I was also able to schedule all my classes either at AN night or on the weekends, enabling me to work full-time. I also received excellent counseling from X. AN I have gained knowledge in courses and activities. I couldn’t have gone back to school when I did without ELI. I found the quality and accessibility of the ELI faculty to be excellent. AN On campus (AN) I particularly enjoyed Phi Theta Kappa and my classes with Dr. X and Dr. Y. NVCC education helps me create a path toward my future career. Four years ago, I had no idea what my future would be. I did not know how to speak and how to write English well. When I came to NVCC, I made friends with a lot of foreigners like me. We struggled together. Everybody was facing the same issues. Day by day, month by month, years went by, and I concentrated on AN my communication skills, computer skills, and math skills. I could never explain how many things I learned in a very short period of time. Today I am a full-time student at George Mason University and I am almost going to graduate. I realize that I would never make it if I had never come to NVCC. 14 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AN Cost! Much less than GMU. AN It gave me confidence and helped me to develop the skills I need to attend college. Besides, it's affordable. AN The faculty was excellent. I’ve learned a lot in achieving my goal. AN Excellent and caring professors. AN The instructors were excellent and very personable. I felt like they were there because they wanted to be and they enjoyed it. AN The price. AN I got the best education and tuition was affordable. I am grateful for updated information and clinical practice in my field. AN The teachers that offered me help were exceptional. AN With my program it was the personal counseling with the staff in the program. AN I received a good foundation to be prepared when I transferred to JMU. AN I learned a lot in all of my classes and enjoyed learning materials from such excellent professors. AN The professors are very knowledgeable, always have time for students, give great advice and are very nice. They also grade fairly. As a networking major, the faculty was extremely helpful in providing real life experiences, which panned out to be true once I achieved my new networking position. They also made themselves available for questions/assistance after class hours. I cannot AN say enough good things about all the staff there. It felt more like it was a family than a school. I recommended the NOVA IT field to all potential students. AN Opportunity to learn new skills, grow professionally, personally and make life-long friendships. Inexpensive compared to a four-year degree. At the same time rewarding job training without a BS. I am a RN making good AN money. AN The fact that there are many campuses made it very easy to choose my classes with little or no problem. AN Love of professors in teaching their courses. AN Tuition costs were reasonable. AN Being an older student, it was valuable to me that NOVA accepts transfer credits from previous universities. AN Interesting instructors. Very knowledgeable. All were subject matter experts. I had the opportunity to have great teachers who took the time to make me understand the material taught. A few of them kept the AN class interesting, which is very important. This is only my opinion, though. AN I graduated. The people I met. AN Clinical (Nursing). AN Courses offered at convenient times of day. AN You have some excellent teachers. AN Location and price. My major, Administration of Justice. The professors were great, Ms. X was the best. She made learning fun even in the boring AN classes. She treated everyone like her own kids. 15 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? I would say the best thing or things about my NVCC experience was that the college provided me the opportunity to meet and interact with people from many different cultures. Along with that, the faculty and staff provided me with the guidance and direction AN I needed to complete another major milestone in my life. I cannot thank enough the many people that help me along the way, such as Ms. X, Mrs. Y, Mr. Z, Mrs. XX as well as the instructors at the many different hospitals I completed my clinical training at. Once again thanks. AN Small classes, more one-on-one instruction available. AN Nursing curriculum. AN The expectations of the faculty of the student academically. I feel they pushed to succeed. Affordable. For training or part-time job, the College could be more involved and assign staff to be mediators between work places AN and students. The entire nursing program. The instructors in the nursing program are the greatest instructors I have ever had the pleasure of AN learning from. They are all wonderful! AN The Nursing faculty staff (most of them) were very supportive, morally and emotionally. AN Very easy and classes are smaller so you can learn more. AN Excellent instructors. AN Graduation. (A) Knowledge immediately applicable to occupations. (B) In most cases, high quality and up-to-date. Professors often adjunct – AN who care about what students learn. (C) Being able to go to other NOVA campuses to get the most qualified teachers who care about the student experiencing the learning process rather than just numbers and grades. AN The best thing about my NVCC education, even though I got an Associate degree, was that I finally got accepted to Mason. AN The opportunity to select a class on the days that I needed it. AN The nursing program and the prerequisites were wonderful. AN Convenient (location of campus). Quality instructors. Time schedule of classes. The honors classes were excellent. So were my French courses. I appreciated the small class sizes, having the same professor for more than one course, and getting to know the professors. I appreciated that I was not just a student number on a roster. I also AN enjoyed the activities I participated in. I served as an officer in Phi Theta Kappa and the French Club. I was happy that I received a top-rate education at an affordable price. I like the fact that the campus was easy to access in many directions. If I could not get into a class in Annandale, I could often enter AN that course at Alexandria Campus. I found it amazing the knowledge I gained in so many of the different classes. AN That I was not a number, I was a valued person. AN The presidential meetings that President Wheelan held during her leadership and my studies. AN Smaller class sizes. Easy access to faculty. Availability of evening classes. AN Multiple options for class scheduling: ELI, evening, morning. Sincere teaching staff. 16 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AN It applies the current skills required in the industry. AN Although I am not working at the present, my NVCC education is helping in my renovation project. AN Having different classes that led me to decide what I really wanted to do. AN Cost and small class sizes. Most of my professors were extremely knowledgeable in their fields, and they were good at conveying their knowledge. It was fun AN to learn and often it was “eye opening.” Overall opportunity to learn in an unintrusive environment. NOVA allowed me to mature at my own rate and gave me opportunities AN I wouldn’t have had at a larger school, like Phi Theta Kappa. AN To improve my knowledge. To meet new people and expand my thoughts. To have good instructors. AN My teachers who actually had hands-on experience in my field of study. With my two-year program, worked closely with instructors and peers. This helped me and others succeed with motivation and AN focus. Offsite training and clinics helped me make connections and have plenty of job opportunities. AN Friendships I made in the nursing program. As former member of NVCC’s Student Government Association, I very much enjoyed having the opportunity to have lunch with AN Dean Thrash. In the future I hope that the Dean’s invitation is extended to the entire student body. AN It was easy to register for classes, and all the buildings were close to each other and not spread out. AN Business language. The flexibility of the classes and instructors. I work a 24-hour shift. All instructors remained flexible with my assignments and AN attendance. They allowed me to attend without taking leave from work. AN The instructors are very helpful and encouraged me a lot during my two-year program. AN Met many nice people and made many new friends. Was introduced to a totally new educational environment. AN Most of my professors were exceptional. My faculty advisor was wonderful. I truly enjoyed my experience at NVCC. AN Smaller classes, more concentration on students. AN The dedication of the faculty toward having the students pass in the nursing facility. The standard and principles of the nursing program is a key factor to my success and for me it is the best part of my NVCC AN education. AN Some of the professors were just great! I learned a lot from them. AN The teachers and the location. AN The variety of computer classes. You are always on the cutting edge of offering classes in the latest technology. AN The interaction with other students and teachers. It is much cheaper than Mason. There was not much pressure. The work was manageable. Professors were very patient and AN understood the material. AN Affordable education with night classes. 17 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? AN All of my credits transferred to my new school. AN Good class sizes. Teachers tend to have higher graduate level degrees. Proximity to my home. AN Flexibility in class schedules. AN Affordable fees, great faculty staff. AN Cheap tuition, easy, fast learning, straightforward teaching. The teachers I had. The majority of my teachers knew how to teach very well, especially Mr. X. The respect given to the students AN by the teachers. AN I like those math professors. They’re really smart and they care. AN The best about an NVCC education was the schedule of classes. AN I have seen so many people from around the world, and NVCC has prepared me for American culture also. AN Hands-on computers. AN Affordable, nice professors, friendly people. AN Courses, hours. AN English classes, both English Composition and Literature, and math. AN Courses and good schedule time of classes. AN Class availability. 18 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? LO The professors. The breadth of their knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject. LO My major was Art History and Mr. X is a consummate expert. All my professors were experts, but three others were problematic. LO I enjoyed all the classes that I took at the Sterling campus. The teachers were awesome. They were all willing to help whenever I had questions. Registration and admission was easy. LO NOVA net is great! The faculty and staff are very nice and helpful. Sometimes I wish that the teachers were a little harder on me, maybe pushed me more to think independently. LO Ability to take courses online was what made it possible to attend. Outstanding instructors/professors. Excellent teaching points. Challenged me to think ahead about my community life. Personal LO advancement and entertainment. More tolerable. Provided basic knowledge of General Studies; excellent preparation for transfer to 4-year college; ELI courses are excellent LO resources. LO Amount of classes offered after “normal” business hours. Good professors. LO Close to home. LO Teachers were very personal and helpful. LO The learning experience through creation of projects. The friendships created between professors and students. Most, if not all, teachers are very knowledgeable and demonstrate it very effectively. Always applied what we learned, making class LO very interesting. LO It was an excellent opportunity to get a firm groundwork in music without having to audition. LO Meeting other students who share similar interest in horticulture and the natural environment. LO ELI courses offered me the flexibility I needed to complete my degree. LO By far – the knowledge, enthusiasm, and concern of the faculty I was privileged to learn from. I was in the Horticulture Technology Program. The curriculum was excellent. The core instructors in that program – X, Y, Z – were LO also excellent. I began the program for personal enrichment but then decided to complete all the requirements for the Associate degree (I already had BS degree in education). I had no major problems. I do feel, though, that the internship program is weak. LO A few of the instructors really cared for the students, though they made the class work hard, they were fair and helpful. LO The instructors were the best. LO Ability to transfer credits to 4 year college. A few professors, such as Dr. X (English) and Dr. Y (History), stand out in my experience at NOVA. They deserve accolades and LO set a high standard of teaching that has not been met at GMU. For the cost, NOVA is the best deal in town. Great, professional teachers in technical field classes such as physics, math, computer science. Not as good in others like speech LO at Loudoun, or economics at Manassas Campus. Using real-world development packages like Visual Studio as opposed to GMU. Preparation for a four-year institution. Most of my teachers were excellent. All were from the Loudoun Campus. YY was a terrific LO advisor and helped me greatly. 19 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? The knowledgeable and caring faculty, especially X and Professor Y (Loudoun). Also, the liberal arts background helped me take LO care of many of my four-year institution’s requirements. I liked working with younger students, but not on projects, because they were/are unreliable. I learned to write with confidence. LO Prof. X pushed me to achieve at the highest level. Dr. Y is an awesome professor and every student would benefit from having him. I learned to take tests and to not faint during a dissection. LO Diversity of students. Good service at an affordable fee. Good counseling services. The best part was the excellent organized, concerned faculty. But also of note were the affordable tuition, the physical facilities, and LO the course availability. All were excellent. I’m a satisfied customer and would recommend the College to anyone. The faculty, especially Dr. X, was very involved and concerned about the students. The quality of the Veterinary Technology LO program. One of the best things at NVCC was the faculty. The professors were very helpful, understanding, and encouraging. Counseling LO from the counselors was excellent as well. LO The instructors were great! LO ELI. LO I received a good understanding of the basic principles and theories in my area of study. I transferred to NVCC and it was very easy to use my credits. The advisors were very willing to work with me. I enjoyed all my LO classes and my teachers. I enjoyed all my time at NOVA. I was prepared and excited to move on and start at George Mason. Relevant Graphics Design instruction that prepared me well for enrollment in the field… comparable with a four-year degree in this LO concentration. Ongoing, post graduation encouragement from instructors of creative writing and design. LO The quality of the professors was excellent. Very well versed in their fields (chemistry and geology). LO Meeting new people. LO Evening classes and some instructors were very good and very fair. LO I liked the atmosphere and the teachers – more personal. LO NVCC provided a cheap way to complete core classes close to home and allowed me to continuously hold a job. LO The extended learning institute made achieving an education both easy and affordable. LO That I can stay to get an Associate Degree before going to GMU. The cost of my education was exceptional. I appreciated having instructors that had regular day jobs, they brought reality to the LO classroom. I appreciated the small class sizes. The camaraderie of the Vet Tech program. The small class sizes and dedication of my teachers. They all showed such passion for LO teaching! Much better experience than the 500-student class I took at the University of Arizona. LO Convenience. Math classes at Annandale Campus are great. Annandale Campus and Alexandria Campus provide good environments for LO studying. 20 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? LO Less students in a class and it was easy to understand the teacher. LO The location to where I lived, course availability, and class size. LO Having instructors with their Doctorate degree. I felt that for a community college, it provided an atmosphere and an education that rivals some four year colleges/universities. I say LO this because of the class size and how the professors generally show concern for the well-being of the students. LO The small class sizes and teachers that care. I had fun going to class. I was enrolled in a program (Horticulture) that I really enjoyed. I learned a lot, and I am using my LO knowledge in the workplace. The best thing about my NVCC education was the advice I received from my counselor; she was excellent! Always providing the LO right amount of support and encouragement. Another thing I liked was being able to finish all of my general requirements and knowing that all of them would be accepted by Mason when I transferred because of the agreement between Mason and NOVA. LO The best thing was that the College offered evening classes, which fit my schedule because I work full-time. NVCC has a high standard of education, which is what‘s important. The convenience of accessing information to help in attaining LO an educational goal in counseling and ELI. NVCC’s website is user-friendly and very useful, which made it easier for me to go to school, since I work full-time. LO Good preparation for students who would like to get a certificate or transfer to a four-year college. LO Generally the instructors were employed in their field of instruction. LO The convenience. LO Most teachers were pleasant and helpful. Free tutoring. I felt proud studying and trying to create something meaningful in my life. I also felt great being able to do well at the English LO Placement test and not taking any ESL classes. So many ESL classes tend to discourage foreign students from completing their curriculum requirements. I had a hearing disability which was very well attended to by both the faculty and the students. Small classrooms. It provided an arena where thoughts and ideas were shared. The teachers were great, discussing and LO encouraging students to want to understand the subjects. LO The G4 MAC computer lab. I learned a lot about myself with the classes that I attended. The classes included all the Human Services classes that I had to take LO for my degree. X and Y were excellent instructors who helped me become a better person because of everything that I learned from them. LO Prepared me for a bachelor’s degree. 21 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? The best things about my NVCC education: (1) Interactions with all the great teachers and guidance counselors, (2) Interaction with all the different students, (3) Opportunity to learn business skills, improvement in mathematical skills, writing and comprehension, computer skills, etc., (4) Working individually and in groups with other students to complete a project, (5) Getting help from the LO wonderful lady in the math lab who was so patient and understanding. There were days I actually felt like quitting; however, she worked with me until I understood the problem. Unfortunately, I can’t remember her name; however, she always worked the evening shift, (6) While attending NVCC, I received a promotion to a position with opportunity for growth. In addition, I have been promoted twice since attending NVCC, (7) Walking across the stage in my cap and gown. I was fortunate enough to have interested instructors who were knowledgeable in their subject and enthusiastic. I enjoyed attending LO class. LO Learning from teachers with professional experience in the field they teach. LO Ability to take classes online. The professors were very knowledgeable in their field. Always gave thorough answers to my questions. NVCC was very affordable LO and flexible with my work schedule. LO I enjoyed NVCC at Loudoun and Annandale. I also enjoyed the overall community (among students). LO Times of classes offered. LO The instructor I had for many of my horticulture courses was excellent. He was/is very knowledgeable and inspiring. Most instructors were knowledgeable about their subject and enjoyed teaching. Most of all – I would say – that I learned to like LO history due to Professor X at Loudoun Campus. The multimedia Design Certificate Program is excellent. The curriculum was comprehensive and the teaching staff was first rate. LO Most of the instructors had real life experience in the subject they were teaching as well as the ability to teach. You could tell that the instructors were passionate about their fields and enjoyed passing along their knowledge. The best part of my NVCC experience was the instruction of my two graphics teachers at NOVA Loudoun. X and Y created LO challenging assignments in multiple design software programs. As an international student, this was my first experience with the American school system. It was different, but a good experience. LO Also, being a member of an honor society helped me learn a lot about the country and its education. The academic instruction and course offerings. My field was horticulture/landscape design. The faculty members X and Y were LO excellent. LO Close to home. LO It prepared for me for the type of profession I wanted. I needed this education to become a licensed veterinary technician. LO Some instructors were very knowledgeable and knew how to transfer that information to the students. LO I enjoyed the program and the instructors. I found it very educational and beneficial. LO Course content was interesting. Classes were affordable. I liked meeting new people. LO The school’s location and its commitment to the community. 22 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? LO The majority of teachers were excellent and truly seemed to enjoy teaching. The care and teaching abilities of X! I am amazed that one person can teach so many varied classes as well as he does, and he LO has unlimited patience and concern for each student. LO The diversity of students. Teachers with career experience in the subject they are teaching. LO The use of programs that I will be using for my career in the future. Instructors were always willing to help. My advisor, X, was an exceptionally helpful faculty advisor as well as a very strong teacher – clear objectives, very well organized – LO I learned a lot in her classes. Also I loved Printmaking with Professor Y – excellent class. LO Tuition is a great deal. LO The teachers were great, very knowledgeable and ready to help me fill my educational and cultural gaps. Dr. X, Mr. Y, Professor Z, Mr. XX, Mrs. XY, and Ms. XZ are exceptional teachers. All were able to present their topics clearly at a LO high standard. The diversity of people is great (diversity of age and backgrounds). LO Excellent schedule choices and extremely convenient. Small class sizes, individual contact with instructors, diversity of students (age, background, ethnicity, etc.), affordability, supportive LO environment. LO Adjunct/part-time faculty were very helpful. I learned more from them than from the tenured faculty. LO It was successful in helping me increase my GPA and gain access into a four-year institute. The course materials and projects were good. Library resources were excellent. Overall, the program prepared me for entering the LO field of Graphic Design very well. LO I had a great teacher, Mrs. X. She helped me to realize my educational goals. I liked NVCC. Most of my professors were not only well acquainted with their subject but they also knew how to teach it. Thankfully, LO I did not need much help outside the classroom so I look back on my NVCC time as profitable. LO Good faculty, nice teaching staff. 23 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? MA The hands-on instruction with qualified instructors at the Manassas Campus’ Automotive Technology Department. MA The instructors were always available if any extra attention was necessary, and they were always happy to help. MA The instructors were often overqualified, and taught because they loved what they were doing. The money was secondary. Many of my instructors were excellent teachers. They knew their subjects and taught with great enthusiasm. I was excited to MA experience the level of teaching found at NVCC. MA The professors really care and take the time to help you. I received a good quality education that was not expensive. I was able to afford to get a two-year degree without going deeply in MA debt. MA Small class size, teachers always willing to help. Everything was wonderful. I cannot stress that enough. The faculty was excellent, the courses were a challenge and interesting, the buildings were clean and the registration process is so easy! The counselors are very helpful. The quality of the education, the MA faculty and the staff at NOVA far surpass what I've received from Mary Washington. I'm also impressed by how easy it was to transfer to a 4-year institution. MA Instructors’ willingness to work with students. The attitude of the faculty. It was apparent to me that they wanted their students to succeed. I loved the supportiveness and MA positive nature of all faculty I dealt with while at NVCC. MA Convenient, affordable, teachers are caring and dedicated. MA Smaller classes, more one-on-one help. MA The ELI program is excellent. The exam process is very good. ELI is very convenient and fits into my work schedule. MA The few teachers who really care about the students and also know the subject matter they are teaching. MA It was cheaper than going to GMU all four years and I feel I learned more about my major at NVCC than at GMU. About four to five of the professors were excellent teachers and set you up to succeed. Of the professors I asked, they each wrote MA me three letters of recommendation to universities to which I applied. The life experience of my instructors. This helped a lot to convey the course material. Prof. X (ADJ AN Campus) and Dr. Y are both MA phenomenal instructors who are both wise and compassionate. I can’t say enough about them. MA Great teachers, good availability. MA Cost and location. MA Good education, good instruction. MA Low tuition rates, quality education. I really enjoyed all of my IST courses. Although it was my major, the instruction and coursework were outstanding. In many cases MA the information learned was on par with the material covered at George Mason University. MA Teachers can individually attend to any question you may have. 24 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? Most of my teachers were really great. They made my classes interesting and made me want to go to class and learn. X at the MA Manassas Campus was my favorite teacher of all time. She is the best! MA Flexibility of when classes are offered. I feel great appreciation for the “super NOVA” as the Washington Post called it recently. Since my first stop in the financial aid office I felt a warm welcome, a real open door to opportunity. Ms. X, the FA officer, has the ability to transmit optimism that makes me feel MA like “I can.” The faculty, a hard working team helped me step by step to achieve not only my primary objective but also setting higher goals. Thanks to all of you. MA Small classes. Open computer labs. Math department. Library. Parking. It gave me the confidence to pursue my career goals. The campuses were convenient. The classes were scheduled to meet my MA needs as a full time employee. MA I thought the instructors understood their tasks very well and could effectively teach. All of the professors/instructors were top-notch. All were excellent teachers and really care about the student’s learning. The MA teachers are what really made my NVCC education. MA Convenience, location of campus. Availability/time of classes. MA The teachers were so careful to make sure each student was learning. They were willing to accommodate all of the students. MA Excellent stepping stone to a university. MA The teachers were always willing to listen to you and help you. MA Knowledgeable teachers. Price and campus convenience. ELI was a good thing until I discovered the classes were so hard. I’ve managed to pull “A’s” in the MA classes I took but it required almost all day study every day. For example BIO 101 and PED 116 was misleading and totally unfair. Most of my instructors had a lot of real world experience and because of their experience they went beyond the textbook and provided a valuable education and practical advice and information. I have attended four-year universities and the instructors were MA very academic and did not have the insight or practical information I got at NVCC. The university instructors were long on theory and short on practical application. MA I was able to explore many different fields of study cost effectively. MA The variety of times classes were offered and the personal touch of instructors. MA Availability of required courses. MA I like the teacher-student ratio at NVCC. It was more personal. MA The family-like atmosphere between the students and teachers. MA Convenience. MA It was easy to work around my schedule. MA Being able to do most of my classes through ELI. MA I enjoyed Prof. X’s BIO courses. I learned a lot in Y’s Spanish 201-202. Prof. Z is a wonderful Pre-calculus and Calculus teacher. 25 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? MA Convenience in scheduling classes. Good transition from high school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Excellent professors. They all seemed like they were MA experts in their fields. MA ELI, because I prefer to take many classes at home on my own time. MA Instructor involvement. Course availability. MA The mathematical instructors on the Manassas Campus. The ease of registration. MA Professors were good; sometimes more passionate than professors at four-year colleges or universities. MA The location of campus. The availability of courses at most campuses. MA Lots of fun. Learned a lot. Very relaxed atmosphere. MA Mr. X is, by far, the best instructor I ever had. His name should be on a building for his commitment to excellence. MA I never had a teacher I disliked. Well staffed. Using ELI to complete degree, I was able to complete a degree away from Virginia. Completed classroom instruction while based in MA Virginia. Excellent math department! I went all the way from developmental math through vector calculus with NOVA and the experience MA really opened up a whole world of possibilities for me. MA The vast culture differences. Also, the placement of campuses in the VA area. Most of my credits were able to transfer. MA The professors. MA Courses were well planned and instructors were always willing to help. Inexpensive, good quality and close to home. MA The knowledge shared and taught by most instructors. I really only had 2 very poor instructors. MA Some of my professors at Manassas and at Annandale and working with Student Activities. I loved everything about my education – classes and their course content and the instructors! I also liked that several sections of MA classes were always offered to help me in scheduling my classes. MA Its environment was very nice and also very diverse. Teachers and counselors were excellent. Got help whenever I asked for it. 26 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? The fact that I was learning and gaining experiences and confidence was best about my NVCC education. Being exposed to others WO along with their ideas and experiences was also good. WO Availability of evening courses. WO Friendly environment in classrooms. Instructors are sympathetic to evening students’ situation, i.e. work and other responsibilities. WO Teachers made night classes a lot of fun and interesting, no matter how long a day they had. WO NVCC had a great course selection which enabled me to achieve my goal quickly. WO Variety of classes and instructors with experience. I got to meet people of different backgrounds and learned some new information about different cultures. In addition, the instructors WO were available when I needed assistance. WO The ELI program was excellent. What was best was it prepared me for a whole new dimension, professionally and educationally. Although NVCC is a former college and many employers don’t give recognition to AA degrees, the knowledge that I gained from courses and from excellent faculty has WO allowed me to excel in my speech, my interaction with high level officials and become a better student at George Mason University. My NVCC experience encouraged me and brought about the discipline I needed to pursue my education further. NVCC was the first step which taught me how to crawl, walk, and run. The diversity in students that attended. Learning wise, this was a huge endeavor. The type of teachers that taught the curriculum WO made this a memorable mission towards furthering my education. WO Tuition, class size and schedule. WO I had affluent teachers who made learning interesting and at times comedic. The instructors were very helpful. They were knowledgeable in the subjects that they taught. Most if not all of my credits from a previous college were accepted toward my degrees from NVCC. I had taken night and weekend classes at Woodbridge and WO Quantico Base which were geared towards older students like me. The instructors were always working in the field that they were teaching. They had a sense of what we were going through as students working full time and taking classes. It was very comfortable. The faculty was willing and able to help and it was a huge mile marker for me. The support that NVCC WO provides is wonderful in helping students better themselves. WO Multiple locations. WO 1. Quality education at affordable rates 2. A speech teacher I had, X, was the best instructor of all my classes. WO Meeting the many different people and cultures and the ability to attend while working. WO The professionalism and concern of the instructors and advisors. WO The teachers. They are excellent! WO Knowing your professor cares about your grade. WO Timeframe of the classes and online courses made it easy to complete two degrees at the same time. 27 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? As a full-time worker/part-time student, I found the professors to be very accommodating if I had a time crunch. Class times were WO flexible. Love the diversity of the student body. Love that NVCC is not too large. WO It taught me how to manage my time. It got me my first two years of college at a much cheaper price then a four-year school. The hours of courses were so flexible. I WO loved that. It was very helpful. I also want to thank Ms. X (Woodbridge Campus) for helping with my special circumstances. The quality of the instruction---the best!! The physical location. Class schedules. I am extremely pleased with the education I WO received at NVCC. If I could have achieved a Bachelor’s degree, I would still be there! It was a great experience. I valued my time at NVCC. I think classes are much harder for me now at George Mason. The course content is more intensive WO and there are a lot of papers which I didn’t encounter at NVCC. NVCC also has the best faculty around. My teachers were all very good and really gave teaching their all. The campus’ proximity to my home and work. Class availability and price were very reasonable. Enjoyed taking ELI courses which WO gave me flexibility in my schedule while working full time. Nova Net helped to simplify registration. WO I learned a lot and without NOVA I would have never gotten into JMU. WO IST 212 taught by X. Online courses make taking more courses possible due to less travel time and classroom administration. WO The availability and willingness of instructors to assist students. WO Learning new information. WO Excellent instructors! WO Convenience and comfort of classes. Quality of professors and course instruction. WO My Biology and English classes really helped me have a better understanding and got me ready for life experiences. WO X’s English classes. Y’s tennis classes. Z’s biology class. I learned a lot, met some great people. WO Very relaxed atmosphere, felt comfortable pursuing my interests. WO Improving my knowledge in mathematics, obtaining a degree in networking. WO The availability of evening courses and the computer courses offered are first rate. WO The instructors that I had an opportunity to learn from and interact with. WO Location, price, and scheduling options. WO The professors were knowledgeable and helpful. WO The overall experience itself. I loved the diversity of the students. WO The quality of the teachers. The attention that I received and the excellent schedule flexibility. WO I learned the importance of class-participation and punctuality. The math department was helpful, as was the science. WO Convenience of location. Diverse student body. Woodbridge Campus is very close to home. Professors X, Y, Z, XX, and XY were very good at the WO Woodbridge Campus. They knew their stuff. I was well prepared for GMU. It was inexpensive. It was more personal due to a relatively small student body. I grew tremendously at NOVA mentally and psychologically. 28 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? The small and personal classrooms. Small class sizes made for good student/teacher and student/student interaction. I enjoyed my WO time at NOVA. I would like to thank the faculty in the HVACR at NVCC. They were quite competent in their knowledge of the curriculum they WO taught. I learned a great deal from them. Keep up the good work. Thanks. WO The opportunity to study heating and air and almost anything else. WO Small classes, availability of courses, good professors. WO Campus close to home. WO Being close to my home. Some of the professors. Others seemed not to care and did not take time for questions. Extraordinary professors at NVCC: Dr. X, WO Dr. Y (retired). WO The school/classes are affordable and I like the fact that most credits transfer to a four-year college. Diploma! I would have to say the early afternoon (4:30pm) course availability for those of us that work early hours. This course time usually fit into my schedule. Also, the ability to take courses at other campuses. Most of all, the instructors who take their job WO seriously – that really comes across in their teaching. My best class was in Manassas – BIO101/102 with Dr. X! She was one of your best assets! WO PLS classes, setting own schedule. The caring and concerned staff and faculty. The Math and Writing Center at Woodbridge Campus was the best. We also had WO excellent counselors in the Counseling Center. WO Most of the faculty I came into contact with were excellent. WO Close to home, convenient schedule (variety of day and evening classes). I went to NVCC for two separate degrees. The first was to transfer to George Mason, and the second was to help with my technical WO job. I answered the questions according to the technical degree. I had a full time job at the time. I recently quit to work on my Master’s and stay at home with new baby. WO Location. WO Smaller classes, informed learning. Closer teacher/student relations compared to larger schools and of course a lot cheaper. WO Great teachers. WO Enjoyed the instructors. Both campuses were conveniently located (Annandale, Woodbridge). Flexible class schedule. The faculty and instruction were the best experience for me. The faculty was extremely helpful. The library is the second best thing WO about NVCC. WO The teachers. WO Dr. X’s English class. Availability of classes. WO The computer resources were outstanding. However, the hours of operation were slightly limited. WO Better than average instructors. 29 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? Schedule. X was excellent to me! She remembered me after no contact for one year and a half, was always available to help and WO always followed through when she said she would do something. She went way beyond what I expected from her. I am very grateful for her help. WO The ADJ teachers were the highlight of my educational experience. WO Excellent instructors. WO It came in my life when I needed it the most. ADJ curriculum was excellent. Network security classes were also excellent. Correspondence (web based) programs were also WO instrumental in my success. The course of instruction – most instructors seem to enjoy what they were doing and were very knowledgeable. The VA counselor WO was always on top of things. WO I liked the convenient location, registration over the phone, and variety of class times. WO Education necessary for work force is top notch. I had a problem and X saw me personally to assist me. She was very nice. WO My advisor’s ability to work with courses and credits I was transferring from another college. WO Easy to take classes. Very flexible courses. WO The Woodbridge campus was close and I was able to get an AS. WO Everybody was easy going. WO Convenient class scheduling and location with my job. WO NVCC has such a wide variety of classes to choose from. WO The instructors were all excellent and very supportive. They all knew their subjects and enjoyed teaching. I could not be happier. WO High quality courses that are transferable. The Woodbridge Campus’ Administration of Justice instructors. They were very knowledgeable and had ample real world WO experience. The teachers are what I like best about NVCC – Woodbridge Campus and my education. They bend over backwards, were WO extremely helpful to this fifty-year-old-plus student. They are the reason, in part, for my success. The best thing about my NVCC education was the learning center. The people were friendly and available to help with any WO problems I had with math or Spanish. Course flexibility! Working full-time, I took courses in the evenings and weekends. I also liked the courses being condensed. I took WO a few courses in 4, 6, or 8 weeks so I could get two courses in a semester instead of one class in a semester. And as a single parent, I didn’t have to be away from my son very much. WO Completing my courses. WO Variety of classes. WO Flexibility. Several campuses in the region allowed for scheduling flexibility. WO Easy registration and low cost through the military. 30 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 1: What Was Best About Your NVCC Education? WO Meeting and learning from some really good teachers. WO Online registration, caring of many teachers. 31 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? Useless classes that do not transfer (even as an elective). It’s a waste of time and money to be required to graduate. Also that AL some classes were offered at Annandale and Alexandria campus and vice versa. I had to rush between campuses during traffic hour to get to my next class on time. Business office didn’t get my tuition (lost in the mail). All of my classes were dropped and nobody actually knew how to solve the AL problem. After one month, I had to give up. AL No major problem, however some classes were difficult to obtain. AL When they took away the static cling parking passes. At first, it was a culture difference having come from a different country. I found it difficult to blend in. However, after some time it AL wasn’t a big problem anymore. Also, the teaching was entirely different from what I used to. AL There were no major problems regarding my experience at NVCC. AL As an older student, I found it very distracting to have to put up with the attitudes and actions of the young students. Some instructors were so mean and do not have any teaching skills. They just repeated the textbooks (Ms. X). There were lots of AL good instructors. But I was afraid to meet instructors like her. While I was taking her class, I had to quit my work because I couldn’t take any more pressure. And worst of all, I did not learn anything from her class. AL Bandwidth of phone registration is inadequate. AL Parking. Book deal monopolies. I had a difficult time getting hold of my instructor. Not everyone has convenient access to emails. The other option of conveying AL messages by telephone is very poor. The new parking garage has solved the other major problem. AL Teacher not following course outline. Parking and counselors. Too many students for few counselors. Student lines always long and counselors in a hurry to finish with AL you. Also the admin office is too slow in answering phones. Why can’t I receive the catalog at my P.O. Box? AL Prerequisite course. Course and major program advisors don’t give effective recommendations. I was wasting time to set appointments with them and AL did not receive a satisfactory answer. As a returning college student after taking 10 years off, the steps to be followed in the process of course selection and transferring AL credits weren’t always clear. AL Faculty at times was quite poor. No student evaluations. There was only one major problem I experienced at NVCC. When I was trying to fulfill my math class, no one told me which classes I needed to take. When I asked questions (counseling office/math personnel), I felt I was given the runaround. This resulted in me AL taking a math class that I did not need to take. I had taken math 003 and 004, while I still needed to take math 153. No one told me I had to go to the head of the math department to have them release my grade so that I could take 153. It wasn’t until after I had taken math 120 and after further questions about taking math 153 that I was told what to do. AL Academic and Financial Office hours and parking. 32 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? Instructors that didn’t understand that a number of their students worked full-time and attended classes. They felt that nothing else AL in life mattered except their class. Parking was a big problem. Also, I believe there should be more focus given to legal classes. I didn’t feel confident that I could get AL the job done because there wasn’t enough time. Getting money to buy textbooks was very difficult. Excess financial aid checks were never issued on time to help those who really AL need them to purchase their textbooks. Therefore, I think if a mechanism could be put in place whereby students can use their excess financial aid to pay for their textbooks, it would be helpful to most students. AL No major problems during my experience. The only problem I had was being late to class. AL Parking! AL Availability of financial aid to all legal immigrants. AL Bad service at bookstore and handling a complaint about a professor. The fact that each campus operates independently – they only offer certain degrees/certificates at selected campuses. Also the fact AL that the same course at a different campus uses a different book. Need a location in Stafford. AL Maybe just parking. It got me late to class sometimes. The counseling office! They do not seem to care about the goals of the students. They do what they have to do to get you in and AL out as quickly as possible. AL NVCC did not provide me with correct information for transfer to GMU. My major problem was when I discovered that I only had to complete two years prior to transferring to a four-year university, which I AL discovered during my orientation course. Parking lot is bad. Schedule of the bookstore for evening shift students/need another bookstore in upper building of Bisdorf. Book AL prices change every semester. Took some classes in a high school building. It wasn’t safe for night shift students. Computer lab is not accessible for night class students, always full of people who only use it for personal email or internet service. In chemistry, the teaching of the professor was a bit trying and challenging at times. There were a few (maybe one student) AL students that were not very challenged in the class. But all in all, we managed and really learned chemistry. AL Parking lot not well lighted. Some instructors are unorganized. AL Lack of specialized services for international students. Lack of career services. A large degree of inconsistency in quality of instructors and class work. For example, Fundamentals of Accounting was the best AL college class I ever had. Some of the other classes (Auditing and Intermediate ACCT) were the worst. Too much of a variance in quality. AL I wish that they understood more about people for whom English is a second language. AL Parking not well planned, expensive, hectic; public transportation access inadequate. Major problem was in the computer classes because theory was not enough; hands-on work is most important. Please stress AL hands-on in your computer classes. 33 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? AL Finding a convenient schedule for summer classes. There were some instructors who were not professional enough, such as often canceling a class, not grading fairly, speaking bad AL about certain students when they were absent, not willing to “help” students in terms of lecture materials. AL Some counselors are excellent; others just don’t care and just get rid of you. Counseling, advising. Being a minority with no parental background and without the support of a school system makes it difficult to AL make good choices. I was unaware of how to transfer or continue school. In learning English as a Second Language, there should be more opportunity to practice speaking skills and more communications AL courses in ESL and English, so that students can improve their English skills. AL Class schedule is not flexible. AL Lack of job assistance. AL I had only one difficulty and that was scheduling with my counselor. I found X easier to get a hold of, so I worked with her. AL Hard to see a counselor to get the help I needed. AL Parking. The sticker was always falling off with static cling and I would always get tickets. The communication design department at the Alexandria campus is very disorganized. There are professors who show extreme favoritism, while ignoring the needs of other students who need the help and pay the same for the classes. They are also unfair in AL grading the same students who lacked the same instruction. With other classes I took, not related to my degree, the departments were excellent. AL Other than those good teachers, there were not so many instructors who are good, demanding, helpful, and hard. AL Did not have any. AL Not being able to get into necessary classes. The bookstore was awful. They kept selling me the wrong books for my classes (when I asked for assistance) and then it was AL extremely hard to get a refund. The prices are outrageous. The assistant manager raised her voice at me because I wanted to return a book BEFORE the deadline. She kept saying that all sales were final. Parking. As a musician, I appreciate the performing arts as much as the next person, but did we really need the Rachel AL Schlessinger Center instead of decent parking at the Tyler building? AL Nothing major. The Associates Degree program was introduced as being an automatic acceptance into GMU as long as the GPA had been AL maintained at 2.0 or above. This was not the case and forced me to take electives over the summer and enroll late (in August) in order to get into GMU. I just wish I had known in advance. AL Just the parking before the new garage came. But that was it, after that it was good. AL 4:30 classes are too early and 7:30 classes get out too late for me (I get up at 4:30 am). AL Commuting without my own car. 34 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? I wanted to transfer to George Mason but couldn’t transfer all of the credits. So I end up going to Strayer. I wish NOVA had some AL kind of agreement with Mason regarding transfer credit. AL Lack of guidance, and red tape in the career office. AL More courses and more higher learning science courses. AL Going to pick up my diploma. Working full time and going to school at night (which I still do not have time to do). AL Civil engineering technology courses are not available in every semester. Some teachers do not give room to foreign students to express themselves. They don’t pay attention to them mostly if she or he is AL questioning in class. Sometimes, the teachers act as if the student cannot be understood. AL Taking courses not in any way related to your major field of study. My only problem was in my Accounting class with Mr. X. He was so negative about everything he was teaching. I got a “D” in his AL class. AL Physical access to all of the buildings. I'm in a wheelchair and it was difficult getting from one building to another. AL Yes, getting advice from counselors on how to complete degree – received “mixed” information. AL A speech instructor and a math lab assistant who had attitude problems, which means about 83% of my instructors were great. Closed-mindedness of some faculty members. NVCC-Alexandria Campus had a variety of people from all over the world, but some AL teachers do not see the world in 20/20 format. AL I had problems with the professionalism and experience of the bookstore staff. I really did not have any major problems. However, my writing skills I felt should have been better. The writing classes that are AL provided at NOVA are great, however, I feel they should have classes that start from the basics. Especially when an individual has been out of school many years, the individual tends to forget the basics of English writing. In ELI, the English literature professor was harsh. She expected the student to see her point of view in literature selections. When AL you had a different opinion she basically wrote notes on your paper making you feel you should have never passed comp 1 or 2. AL My major problem was with the course and program advisement and also personal counseling. My major problems were: I could not follow some issues because of my disability, but I had to try hard in learning. At that time, I AL hoped the instructors would understand my problems and help me. AL No sport activities. My Accounting II teacher was horrible. I think she was hired based on her accounting experience because she did not know how to AL teach. AL Because I work full-time, it was sometimes hard for me to make it to campus before the administration offices closed. AL Scheduling for some classes was difficult. The writing lab has very limited hours; it is not open for students most of the time or is occupied by scheduled classes, so it was a AL big problem. 35 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? Meeting with a competent guidance counselor took three years. I wasn’t told how the transfer program to George Mason worked AL and it took some errors to learn how the system works despite multiple trips to the offices at Alexandria and Annandale campuses. I didn’t feel like I got what I wanted in counseling advising. Couldn’t or didn’t take time to talk to me. I did not care for my faculty AL advisor. AL Some teachers were hard to understand, due to English being their second language. AL The parking cops. There should be a little flexibility in issuing tickets, e.g. warnings. Several instructors with poor conduct; however, issues were taken care of promptly when addressed with appropriate staff AL members. Getting into the school was a major difficulty as a foreign student. I am here legally, and even before 9/11 the Annandale head of AL foreign students was not only unfriendly and rude but is biased in my opinion. There does not seem to be an openness to other cultures. AL Not having choices in selecting classes with different teachers. AL Elevator in main building needs updating. Not enough handicap elevators. AL Counselor providing the wrong information on course selection, causing me to lose a year of my time. I had a hard time when it came time to transferring because I had inaccurate information from my counselor. I had several instances AL in upper level Spanish and one in English in which the instructors were adjuncts and they left mid-way through the courses. A few classes starting at 6 p.m., had difficulty getting there on time from a job. Had to spread out courses over several years part AL time while working full time. The required student orientation class should only be required for those students who have never been to college or those who just AL graduated from high school. Problems with adjunct faculty. Often hard to get a hold of. Many instructors had no office hours. One math instructor was physically unable to teach the class and made understanding very difficult. Had one information system instructor who refused to tailor hands-on labs to text used for class. Several instructors didn’t speak English well enough to be teaching at college level. Had AL a science teacher whose lecture consisted of pointing to the end of chapter questions in text. Provided no enthusiasm towards subject. Information Systems classes should be more hands-on than theory. Avoided classes at Annandale Campus due to parking issues and age of building. Bathrooms in terrible shape. AL Academic counseling must improve. Some counselors were attentive, others were not. The required equipment for some of the labs was not available and the tools provided were not enough for the number of students AL present. AL There was no job counselor to help me get a job. 36 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? I found one of my Chemistry professors to be both an ineffective educator and completely unprofessional. For example, when a student asked that he explain a theory, he responded that the student should read the book. The student responded that he did AL read the book but was unclear on the concept. The professor then told the student that he must be stupid if he still didn’t understand. AL Alexandria Campus – overcrowded computer labs. AL As a student at NVCC, I did not experience any major problems. AL Some of the instructors were very arrogant towards students. They had the “if I know this work, you should know too” attitude. AL I cannot remember having any problems at NVCC. AL Programs that are not recognized by most employers. Poor counseling, poor advising. Faculty members: some teachers were not well-qualified to teach. I'm very disappointed because most of the time, I learned with AL the book, and the instructor couldn't answer my questions. AL Enforcing some laws to help some students while forgetting others. Parking stickers: for the summer semester I wish they were cheaper. I took only 8-week classes, but had to pay full $ as in AL spring/fall semester. Books: every semester I had to buy new editions, even for a continuing class. I wish NOVA had bachelor’s degree programs. AL Language barriers with some instructors. AL The facilities in many cases were outdated. AL Lack of money to finance my education. Some students in my class were very disruptive and controlled the teaching environment. Teachers seemed to be intimidated by AL bullying students. So we spent a lot of time not learning because of these students. I had a couple of bad teachers who had no business in a classroom. These were part-time teachers that had no time to prepare for AL class and could not engage the students. Crowded classrooms. Bad experience with a couple of employees at the writing lab. The individual was kind of obnoxious and was AL acting rudely towards ESL students. I remember in my freshman year, a Biology professor made fun and mocked me in front of the class, which really hurt me. Also an AL English professor who intimidated students just because of the fact that most us were ESL students, saying that we might not be able to succeed in college. AL Lack of professionalism. AL Not any at all, except parking, which I guess is now taken care of due to the newly built garage. AL Computer lab staff. They are rude, and also there are not enough computers to work on. AL Parking sticker rule. No longer being allowed to use the plastic pockets. AL Classes filled out very quickly. AL Noisy library. 37 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? AN Parking lot. At a testing facility, the person working did not have any idea what test I was doing and it took an hour to finally get my test AN underway (she couldn’t find the program??). AN Counseling services were not very informative. Dr. X, chemistry professor at Annandale campus. Due to his inability to teach, I received an F on the first test and because I worked fulltime it was the only time slot I could attend. It put my education behind a semester but worked out great because I discovered AN the great chemistry department at the Alexandria Campus. Dr. X expected students to be chemists the first day of class and didn’t seem to care about teaching the students. Dr. Y, on the other hand, taught chemistry with enthusiasm and wanted the students to understand. I received an A on her first test and subsequent tests. The major problem for me was that I could not earn a Bachelor’s degree at George Mason University. GMU does not have AN Information System Networking as a major. AN Computer lab equipment didn’t work right and sometimes not at all. AN The examiners for the NLN are very rude and not concerned for the students. Their behavior can cause a student to fail the test. AN Lack of available student parking more often than not. AN Late classes, ending at 10:50pm. There was never security in the parking lot. AN At times, lack of communication between faculty and students. While taking my pre-requisites for the program, I was in the USMC, with my home of record as NY. My husband had been a AN resident of VA his whole life, yet I had to pay out of state tuition. I don’t think it is fair that VA schools charge out of state tuition to active duty military personnel. Courses would only transfer as electives to a four-year school. Counselors did not inform me that an associate’s degree would cut AN down the course work required in my four-year school. Parking hassles caused me to arrive late to classes. AN Information technology labs were under-equipped. AN My computer science teacher was awful. Not sure she was even qualified. AN Getting books on time in bookstore. Parking. Cold classrooms. AN Financial Aid. I was unfairly treated. AN The parking was very inconvenient. AN Parking. Problems getting my transcript to George Mason. Yes, I had a lot of problems getting all the courses approved for graduation, due mostly to changes in the requirements for the AN degree. AN Guidance gave me the wrong transfer agreement to GMU. I took over 12 credits that I did not need for my degree. Not being able to take level 1 courses during the spring semester, e.g. Physics 101. Professors seemed to treat students as high AN school students instead of college students. 38 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? For me it was distance. All of my classes were in Annandale and I live in Ashburn. Although it was inconvenient I feel it was worth AN the commute. AN The parking experience. AN Not enough hands-on in the IST department. One big problem was getting help from counseling about where to go for advising and what to take. I kept getting the run-around. AN This didn’t just happen to me; there were/are several other people who had the same problem. Parking: I disagree with the fact that decals must be permanently stuck on the outside of the vehicle because I have to borrow my AN parents’ cars sometimes, and did not have a sticker because it was on my car and had to pay for parking. This is a bad policy. AN That I discovered that I like math too late in my academic career. I don’t know if that helps you though. AN Did not prepare me for Mason’s academics, and there are no good writing courses. AN Poor programming textbooks. Some teachers had books on their curriculum but they weren’t utilized at all. AN Counseling center needs to be better organized to help students. Counselors were not helpful. Some of them had attitudes. AN Need more computer labs and have rooms for studying as group. AN My major problem was that I was not successful in getting a job in my field of study after completing my major at NVCC. While in the microcomputer repair career certificate program, the required courses weren’t available enough to finish the program in AN a timely manner. Sometimes, the classes were cancelled just when more people were registering to make a minimum class population. AN Counselors not totally aware of options. AN International student services, badly organized at the time, made it very difficult for me to obtain a student visa. My worst experience was Math 120, the easiest and the worst grade I got. My big mistake was to take it online. I did not receive AN any help from my teacher. I did not have any feedback; it was like not having a teacher, just learning on my own. NVCC traffic. Would be easier to register online. Living out of the area, I did not receive a schedule of classes even though I was AN registered in a degree program. Very poor service to a student paying tuition. AN The counseling area gave me different routes for my goal, which only prolonged my stay. AN Some classes were cancelled, understandably, due to low student enrollment. Grading scale different for Nursing Program vs. other programs. Parking should have cling sticker again, not fair to have to buy AN several stickers if you drive different cars. Some professors lack concern for their students. A great leader knows when to reduce complexity to general and disseminate in AN concrete and understandable terms. Most professors lacked this skill and did not view their relationship with their students as a business relationship. AN Cigarette smoking outside the doors. It should be done further toward the open area and away from the building. The major problems that I experienced while attending NVCC were class availability and schedule and computer lab hours for Cisco AN classes. 39 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? AN Parking was a little concern. AN Advising (poor). AN Some instructors are not fair. How the management of each campus almost ignores the night students; no activities, early cafeteria, bookstore and library AN schedule. How the nationalities or origin of students divide the students and the College doesn’t do anything to integrate them. AN Availability of courses. More online (ELI) courses needed. "Counseling" is the major problem. My counselor wasn't good enough for me because he doesn't know anything about the school, AN George Mason, to which I was trying to transfer. AN Did not really prepare me for my GMU transfer. GMU to me is a totally different environment; oh well just need to adjust. There wasn’t a major problem, except for the counseling center. The receptionist at the counseling center was ALWAYS rude and AN cruel. Every question I ever asked her, she made me feel as if it was dumb or unimportant. And the counselors were not very helpful; I ended up answering my own questions. I was disheartened by the anti-Catholic bias of the various humanities professors. Their personal political agendas have no place on AN their syllabi. There are some professors who have no business teaching. Despite an abundance of formal complaints, they remain. AN Most of the time students have problems with teachers and finding classes; many classes are only offered once a week, or at night. There are not enough parking lots for students. Students always have to either wait for a parking space or look for one for a long AN time. AN Getting the classes I want during registration. AN Parking spaces were very expensive, and it was difficult to find a space at noon. Only one instructor was unfair when it came to grading. The instructor’s teaching ability was poor. As a result, many students AN including me withdrew from the class. The admissions and record officers at the Annandale Campus were not courteous and were authoritative. The cafeteria had barely any healthy food. The only problem that I saw was a lot of cheating. Some students took the easy way. I worked very hard at school and I had many AN friends who also did. It’s too bad there are some students who did not; those caught should be expelled. Parking. I got a ticket on the day I went to go buy my parking pass before the semester started; it was appealed and disregarded. I AN still feel cheated out of the money I had to pay for that ticket. Horrendous advising, terrible access to advisors who were too busy with their own tax businesses to advise students. Too AN frequently, course syllabus was altered due to students’ other commitments, resulting in bad preparation for four-year school. Mr. X for Economics made students feel like idiots for asking a question. I received an A in his class but learned nothing. I was not AN prepared for the intermediate Economics course I am taking. AN Parking is expensive. AN Faculty concern for students. AN Most courses are transferred as electives to second two-year school. Some curricula are not clear in their requirement. 40 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? I was in the dental hygiene program. The major problem was that the clinical instructors did very little, if any, instructing. Generally, AN they played favorites. It was the most negative experience I have ever had. Not only did the instructors not want to instruct, they were negative and critical and seemed to take great pleasure in any students’ failure. AN Some classrooms were too small for the class. Temperature adjustment needed in some cases. There are some programs that should be taught at NVCC, for example Natlab for engineering. In GMU, they believe that all NVCC AN students did Natlab before transferring to GMU. The tuition for out-of-state students is very high, if they can do something about it. Also offer some support to out-of-state students AN as they do for in-state students. I felt some teachers had trouble teaching a beginner/introductory class. They taught at a much higher level and the material was AN difficult to understand. AN Lack of advisement regarding courses needed to be completed in order to transfer or receive certificate for BSW/MSW. AN I felt the jump from C++ into object oriented. C++ was overwhelming. There needs to be more instruction between these classes. In one course I took, the teacher expected you to already know the software. There was nothing in the notes to say that you should AN know the software. It is hard to take a class when you didn’t know the software used for that class. Also, the teacher was not helpful in fixing this situation. Phone registration was sometimes difficult. Often times the curriculum wasn’t very challenging. Many exams seemed right out of AN the textbook. Could use more employee recruitment from graduates. Parking at the Annandale Campus is a pain. In the science building some of the classes have echoes; sound doesn’t carry well. It AN was difficult to hear the teacher. Counseling was terrible. I was supposed to get a second AA but could not because they made a mistake. Then I was treated very AN poorly once I brought it to their attention. AN I don’t recall any major problems. Counseling Center presented problems every time I went. The people at the desk and some counselors made me feel like I was AN always interrupting and that it was a burden for them to answer the simplest questions. I was greatly disappointed with the way I was treated every time I went in there. AN Courses taken that cannot transfer to a four-year college. AN Some of the instructors had a hard time speaking English. AN Records and Admissions staff – incompetent and lazy. AN I needed more challenge and more real world application of my studies. AN Parking and tickets, sometimes the meter was broken but you would still be issued a ticket. Parking was always a pain. AN Parking! AN Some instructors in the Dental Hygiene program: some very unhelpful, disrespectful to students of other race. Discrimination. AN Parking became a problem at times. Long lines at the registration office. Long waiting periods for academic counseling. 41 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? There were no major problems about NVCC education, but I suggest having group projects according to course’s material. When I transferred from NVCC to GMU, I was not prepared to work in groups and do presentations. I also lacked the skills to write reports AN in doing research. Most of classes at GMU require students to submit research papers which have at least ten pages related to courses material. I had a hard time in studying for the test because most of the courses have only two tests: mid-term and final. Therefore each test covers a lot of course material. In some courses the test is cumulative. AN Parking, sense of community. My worst experience in NVCC was that my academic advisor didn’t really care or know what program I was following. I was supposed to graduate and attend the ceremony in May 2001. But my excitement and happiness went away when I knew my name AN wasn’t on the graduation list. The reason was my advisor made a mistake by putting me on an old program instead of the new one. It was corrected later. I had to receive my degree in August and waited another year to attend my ceremony. AN Cost of books, also I did not feel my writing skills were improved. AN Parking and registration. Extremely expensive books. When minor changes are made in required textbooks, teachers require students to purchase the latest AN edition even though minor (sometimes unnoticeable) changes are made. This is very expensive for students. One teacher gave me an unfair grade. When confronted she gave no rhyme or reason. I took the class over and got a good grade. AN My only gripe is that she missed countless days for personal leave and counted one day I was out against me. AN Teachers that can explain the materials well on the board. Improvement on books in the bookstore (too expensive). AN Some teachers were very bad. Auditing, Real Estate. NOVA wasted one year of my life before notifying me to take a one credit PED class to obtain my diploma. I received an invitation AN to attend the ceremony, but when I went to inquire about my degree I was told to take a PED class but the registration day had passed. AN The only problem was the cafeteria. AN Parking and long lines at the bookstore, especially during the first month of each semester. Scheduling classes: most are offered in the evenings and are not possible to combine. Mountain-biking class: I worked for and was told that I received an “A.” However, the instructor mistakenly and unfairly gave me a “B.” I have great concerns about the fairness AN of testing (objectively and relevance). I think I would like to discuss this further with any one who has interest in removing this black spot in my career at NOVA. Thanks! Only one major problem. It would be to the advantage of the College to improve the policy concerning the parking sticker. Only one group should scour the lot (Marshall or Police), not both, to enforce the requirement. I received a ticket from a police officer, who did not see the sticker. I feel the Police need to worry about security. Leave the enforcement of parking stickers to the Marshall. Also AN the policy of having to buy an additional sticker for every vehicle, rather than purchasing a pouch for each additional vehicle registered to any one person is taking advantage of students who are attending community college because they don’t have a whole lot of money. AN Poor math teachers. Parking fees very high, not enough parking available, sky-high textbook costs. 42 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? AN I did not like the way the administration handled our complaints regarding the Accelerated IT program. AN Some of my classes were cancelled due to lack of enrollment, but I was able to substitute another course in their place. AN The Admissions and Records staff needs to be a little friendlier and more responsive. AN Trying to get an internship on my own for the career that I studied. AN I would have liked NOVAnet to be online. The phone lines were always tied up. AN Class unavailability (i.e. IST classes): more classes need to be offered for students. Teachers are not clear with their instructions especially for foreign students. I felt left out because I was not grasping things right at AN first. I was not well prepared for a four-year college. I faced difficulty in my classes when I transferred to GMU. I think you can make CS AN classes more intense to prepare the students. My faculty advisor did not understand I was trying to transfer to George Mason University. He directed me to programs that confused me: Business Administration and Business MGMT. This often confused me and made it difficult for me to select classes AN each semester. Every semester I went back and forth, adding and withdrawing classes. I started as an international student and experienced a cultural shock when I enrolled at NVCC. It wasn’t required for me to take STD 100 in my first semester. This class would have really helped if it was required for me to take it in my first semester. It was confusing at times to know which classes to take and which ones would transfer. I ended up spending three, instead of two, AN years at NVCC because of this. Parking stickers, making people stick them on a certain way! I started when there weren’t any meters at all. It’s obviously a great AN source of revenue for the school; however, when you have a problem and want to speak to someone – good luck! No one is really in charge that you can speak to. Parking. I have multiple vehicles and was not happy about purchasing multiple stickers. Having a nice Cadillac, I also was not AN going to apply a sticker to the outside. This is the leading reason for quitting NOVA after nine years of enrollment. Bathrooms are always in horrendous conditions, both mechanically and filthy. NVCC is under funded! But you know that. AN Basement classrooms have a major temperature and airflow problem. Dealing with financial aid involving my consortium agreement with Germanna Community College. Tough to get results over the AN phone. AN I still have not received my diploma. The only problem seemed to be at our end, meaning the person losing/misdirecting paperwork. Perhaps ELI could send out AN confirmation of receipts of tests or quizzes so that if professors receive the work, but don’t act on it promptly, at least student knows that work was received at NOVA. AN Faculty advisor was not available, hard to schedule appointment with, hard to discuss future academic plans. 43 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? The major problem I experienced was trying to get financial aid. I’m not sure how the decision was made as to what constitutes AN making too much money to deserve financial assistance, but as a divorced female with a substantially sized mortgage, some financial aid would have been helpful. A major miscommunication or lack of help with a few instructors which led to a lower grade. I asked for help with one instructor and he said he didn’t have the time. But when the semester ended he was willing to help. One instructor wouldn’t let me take the final AN exam early or make it up when I had a death in the family, so my grade went down. I was willing to take the exam but he wouldn’t let me. AN Transferring credits to GMU. There was a grade policy, where you had to have an 80 (passing grade) and there was a “grade scandal” where they allowed into AN the nursing program many students to pass with a 78 and gave them a “Bridge” course, yet students who had gotten 80 and above were not allowed in the “bridge course.” AN Finding a job in my field of study, during the orientation session I was told it will be a field with lots of openings. The Annandale Campus has big parking lot, but at the Alexandria Campus, it was hard to find a place to park. I got a ticket once AN and in order to pay it, I had to come back to the office when it was open; otherwise I couldn’t register for classes. It was very inconvenient. Not enough variety of dates and times for the courses offered in the architecture program. Also, some required courses were not AN even offered; therefore, we had to take 2 and 3 credit courses to substitute for 1 credit courses. Some courses were not even offered at other campuses. The parking lot during the morning. The politeness of the campus police. The meaningless of some classes that are required, AN which are not transferable and are not related in any way to the major. AN ESL program. AN Bus. Most of the teachers were knowledgeable and helpful. However, X was egotistical and unconcerned with helping students improve AN themselves. She was only concerned with persons like herself. She did not like people who were different than her. Retiring teacher who seemed to have “given up” (X). Campus police that seemed to be on a “power trip” (working on an accident AN off school grounds, for example). AN Small writing labs. AN Counselors didn’t care (except for X). The English and Speech department taught the classes like an ESL class. AN An ELI teacher was very hard to contact and caused me to have to drop the class due to her inefficiency. AN Advisors (counselors) weren’t very helpful. AN Parking. When I first attended, I did not know in which direction to go. AN Counselors giving conflicting advice. AN Unmotivated students slow class progress. 44 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? Maybe improving the science labs could be beneficial. Maybe having up-to-date equipment will help make science more interesting AN to students. Also, some of the classrooms were kind of old, and applying maintenance will make students want to be in classrooms. AN Just one particular instructor. AN High book costs. High parking permit costs. AN No major problems, but the Physics instruction and lab facilities were much better at Alexandria than at Annandale. The cafeteria at NVCC was unhealthy. It was hard to find a job on campus. Some teachers did not have office hours, and I had to AN depend on my friends. The writing center had limited hours for tutors. If it happened that I missed one appointment, they would kick me out of the writing center for an entire semester. Tuition fees increased quickly every year. AN Parking! Grading scale for the Nursing program. AN Joint venture programs are hard because too many people think they are in control. It was very difficult. I didn't have major problems. Only one of the professors wasn't good to teach the class but I compensated by getting help at the AN Math center. AN Trying to get day classes approved. I completed all of my NVCC classes by going to school at night. AN Maintaining a family, home and part-time job while trying to study. AN I had to wait an extra semester to take my final class. AN My Java instructor (X) did not agree with the pre-req. requirements and took it out on those of us who had never programmed. After I got my A.S. in marketing at NOVA, I transferred to Old Dominion University as a marketing major for my B.S. I was upset to learn that most of my marketing classes did not transfer because I did not receive an Applied A.S. in marketing. I think I should have been counseled about this at NOVA and I believed that I wasn’t because some instructors just want more students so that they AN can show that their class is needed. I also was told that NOVA will not mail my degree to me and that I have to go up to the campus and pick it up. This is hard to do when I live in VA Beach and go to school full-time. I honestly feel that my time and money spent at NOVA was worthless! Because of NOVA I have currently changed my major from marketing to sociology. The major problem for me was as a black foreign student, I was set up to fail by my instructors. I went to the research office to track the number of black foreign students who start the program and completed successfully. It took me 3 years to complete 2 years’ AN work. Time after time my spirit was broken. I had to work more than any body else in the program to make it. When I don’t get it and asked questions, I was treated as a waste of time. AN Too few. AN Not enough evening courses. The bookstore--sometimes they wouldn’t have the books kept in stock long enough. Also, the parking sticker. I did not like having AN to put a parking sticker on my car, especially when it sticks to my vehicle. It is not that easy to remove. I know I was in the military. AN It took me a long time to achieve my goal, which was to graduate. However, I finally it did it after 7 years part-time. 45 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? There wasn’t much to do there. Gym was small, weight room was tiny, too few choices in cafeteria (not a lot of fruit), game room AN wasn’t good, bookstore could have used more space, would have been nice to access a more open computer lab (crowded a lot of the time). My only complaint would be guidance after achieving my degree. I intend to study in-depth the networking field and there was no AN direction offered. I pursued Old Dominion University with little success, as the staff there (Annandale Campus) was inadequate to handle questions/issues like NOVA. The major problem was the parking. I have more than one car and couldn’t transfer my parking sticker from one car to another. AN Because of that, I had to buy two stickers at all times while at NVCC. I sometimes questioned the quality of objectiveness of an instructor’s teaching when the class textbook was either fully or partially AN written by said instructor. I also found the school unable to bend or flex when faced with exceptions to the general rules or policies. Several of my computer classes had no hands on – only book examples – pretty useless in my opinion, i.e. for “C” programming, we AN had the lab for only about an hour of class. I think it became available about 9 p.m. AN Parking. Needed to pick up a form, no meter available, was fined $25 for parking in student lot. I don’t consider this major but I can recall very clearly a teacher who discouraged the students in her class. I dropped this class and AN took the same class the following semester. I passed it with A. My point of view is that a teacher is supposed to help the students, not make them drop the course. Parking is a pain (could they make it further from campus and more up hill, also I hate parking passes on my car). The bookstore AN was a tiny dungeon. I took PE through ELI; that course should have a warning, since you do so much paper work there is no time to work out. Office people in Admissions, Registration, and Business Office are very rude. AN Several instructors with more ego than teaching ability. AN Parking! Machine (paid parking is never available). Math 120 - Spring 2002 - I had extreme difficulty with a TBA instructor. Language and culture proved to be a barrier between the AN instructor and the students enrolled in the course. Several complaints were placed with the division but no action was taken, nor did the situation improve. Four students out of 25 completed the course successfully. AN Limitation in higher level engineering professors. Only one professor per course. AN Major problems with NVCC were the counseling services (not very helpful) and faculty was sometimes rude. AN Class times. Parking. Lighting. AN Fairness of grading in the clinical aspect of my Radiological program. Parking. Ignorance/confusion of administration employees to follow NOVA’s records to get the degrees executed in a timely manner, and the AN lack of flexibility to correct their own errors for the applicable semester. AN Getting bad grades. Having to commute back and forth from home. The instructor that required each student to teach one chapter. More than 75% of the students could not speak conversational AN English, yet they had to try to teach other students. 46 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? AN Paying per semester to park. The student activities office was too rigid. As I left, the new staff was making life even more difficult for clubs and organizations on AN campus. If there is too much red tape, then students and advisors won’t bother with officially recognized clubs. It’s very difficult to get community service hour requirements for each club. Sometimes I found a professor pushing a certain political agenda which did not add to the theme of the study. Sometimes I found AN some classrooms with disruptive students that seemed a bit distracting. AN Trying to get parking and access to the classroom. AN Cancellation of student events at the cultural center. AN Counseling was too generic, not a real reference or guidance resource (not a ‘major’ problem). AN No problems. AN I would have liked some CAD classes during the day. AN Locating the mezzanine level of the one building on Annandale Campus. It took me a few tries to locate it. Administratively NOVA is very weak. Counselors, administrative faculty are very poorly informed and either fail to give advice or AN give incorrect advice. AN Most of my teachers were good. Others were not. They were distant and there was no communication with the students. Parking! Those stickers are still on my car. And not being able to use mine and my husband’s car alternately the last year was AN uncalled for. Get decals that hang on windows or mirror and let students cross-use stickers. The worst I’ve ever seen at any college. AN Getting information for the reapplication process for nursing program. Limited computer lab hours for health technologies. My personal advisor did not properly advise me and consequently I got a degree that I did not want. If I didn’t take the degree, I AN would have had to postpone my graduation and transfer date. Cancelled classes were my major problem. Fortunately not many that I registered for were cancelled, but when they were I had to AN scramble for needed credits that fit my schedule. Heating and cooling in the classrooms were the second biggest problem. AN Professor giving mid term and final only. When a professor does this it is like flipping a coin. I don’t like it. I feel it is ridiculous that books change from semester to semester. I had to pay $80.00 for an American History book. I took AHI. I AN was going to take AHII but the professor changed books. Nothing in history had changed why change books? This was not the first time. AN Not a major problem, but I had one male math teacher who was awful. I had to drop the class (as did numerous other students). AN Counselors – not very helpful – never aided with true direction – new system of assignment of advisor. AN Distance and parking - one campus for nursing. AN Cancellation of three of my classes included in my program, because of low number of students enrolled in the program. AN My time was limited in class; therefore, there was no time to encounter any problems. 47 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? They did not teach enough computer skills/training that would better assist me at GMU in my DMIS major. Did not touch on key AN topics like database design, web page development and a few more technical skills. NVCC needs to incorporate more technology and technical writing. I feel my writing was not graded critically (i.e. syntax). I feel that AN the professors need to incorporate more technology (i.e. web or power point) in classroom presentations. I also feel professors need to require APA style (or MLA) writing referencing. Speech teacher had a strong accent, was sometimes hard to understand. I have had other teachers who failed to motivate the class AN and individual students. AN Too expensive. You guys don’t count military members as in-state. I paid over $10,000 for my Associates. AN Lack of guidance. Lack of locker space in all areas of campus. AN A few people in the office don’t have good manners, especially to those who come from other countries. AN Classes being closed, cancelled, or full. AN The ESL program has to make some improvement. The ESL services in CE building are not professional. International services had given me a lot of trouble when I was there. Also, unfortunately Admissions and Records was really AN burdensome. Hopefully, it is better now. AN Lack of good instructors, courses in the campuses. AN Parking, small bookstore. AN CS classes should be taught better. AN One course, which was yoga, in which the instructor did not grade fairly. AN Out-of-state tuition. 48 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? LO Parking was and still is a major problem at NVCC Loudoun. Parking sticker regulations. New policy, where students have to use permanent stickers (not static), stopped me from taking any more classes at NOVA, which I could apply towards my GMU degree. A lot of people I know will not take any more classes at LO NOVA until the policy is changed (including me). After buying expensive cars, not many people will put some parking sticker on their bumpers. Parking at Loudoun Campus was not good. New restriction placed on incoming home-schooled students are extreme. My LO accounting course left out material which placed me behind in my James Madison University classes. Advisor X was very difficult to work with. LO Didn’t have many at all. Communication regarding graduation and classes that counted toward my degree. Instructors not teaching so that students LO understand, just showing up and acting like their time was wasted. LO No major problems were experienced. LO Sometimes I wasn’t able to register for a class because it wasn’t offered at a time that I could attend. A course I needed to graduate that was taught online filled up immediately two semesters in a row. Although I requested permission LO from the instructors to get in to the class as classroom space wasn’t a consideration – he refused. I thought this was unreasonable. Otherwise, everything was great. LO Parking and availability of books prior to start of classes. LO I did not experience any major problems. LO The labs seemed like they didn’t have enough hands on. They need more visual aids. LO I did not experience any major problems in NVCC. LO Distance involved in traveling (used Loudoun and Alexandria campuses while I live in Fairfax), couldn’t be helped. Finding classes at local campuses to me. Receiving transfer credit for classes to a VA state college that cooperated with NVCC LO system. Some classes seemed more intense with requirements and workload than others with same credit hours. Manassas Campus had a difficult time keeping decent Spanish language instructors while I was there. Classes in Horticulture were limited to Loudoun Campus. Limited choice in the times that classes were offered. Same two teachers LO taught all the classes in this program. Different teachers would have afforded a broader approach to the subject. The Math curriculum. Yes, you needed the pre-calculus and the calculus and yes, they are hard courses. But there wasn’t any LO tutoring service for the higher math. The math lab needs more volunteers to help with students not involved with self paced courses. LO Classroom space was at a minimum. LO Had no major problems in NVCC. Curriculum did not prepare me to enter the job market in that field. Advising and program placement is ridiculously ineffective, LO especially for ELI students. 49 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? Not all instructors knew the material they were teaching. Example: X teaches biology, but does not know some of the lesson LO material she was teaching the students. The “surprise” additional Math class before graduation. In addition, I continually struggled with communication issues during the LO Math distance learning class. Most of these problems were with my software and computer system, with no one to troubleshoot. The parking/traffic office caused some problems when we planned events. It was insulting to have to pay for a permit to take the LO board exam in June. I think the parking decal business is highway robbery. The schools used to give a discount if you purchased for a whole year. They changed how to display from inside to outside. I wasted money on a window pouch. I liked when the schools had the parking LO sticker that hung from the rearview mirror because if your car is in the shop you could drive another car. The parking cost should be included in aggregate fees since NVCC is a commuter’s college. LO Counseling center didn’t help much, they just rush you around. The course selection counseling was a little weak. My first semester the counselor had me signing up for classes without discussing LO options. It wasn’t until my third semester that I was introduced to degree options. The counselors always seemed rushed and very general in all suggestions. LO The library had limited research materials. LO Not all courses adequately prepared me for transfer to GMU. Please expand course curricula. LO Rude security personnel, especially at Loudoun Campus. Cafeteria needs to have some real meal restaurants or coffee shop. Parking lot needs to be more accessible to get in and out LO through main road. LO Credits would not transfer to JMU as equivalents and as electives so I added one year of schooling. LO Parking was my biggest concern as well as lack of communication between NOVA and GMU. Some of the classes required for my degree were a waste of my time, e.g. IST 117. It did not fully transfer and there should be a LO test to place out of the class. LO Sometimes the inconvenience of the Admission’s office. The odd hours it has sometimes. Other than this, nothing else really. LO I didn’t have any major problems. LO I did not have any major problem while attending the College. There were some semesters when the classes I needed to take were not being offered at night, which was difficult for me. I had to LO wait until it was offered. LO Some inexperienced instructors, i.e. illustrator teaching typography and history of design. LO Not enough classes offered at my home campus (Loudoun). LO I don’t think I had any major problems. LO Not enough space in the Art lab, too many people in a small room. LO Not enough room for desired subjects. 50 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? 1. When somebody in charge of calculating credits actually missed some of my credits, I receiving a letter that “I needed 3 additional credits to graduate.” Fortunately, the issue was resolved by Ms. X (counseling), who meticulously recalculated my credits and discovered the error. 2. Getting a parking ticket because the sticker was no longer supposed to be placed on the inside of the car, LO but adhered to the outside window. 3. Before graduating, I requested that two low grades in Psychology and Introduction to Computers be removed from my GPA transcript. These grades were more than 12 years old. In addition, I received a letter stating the request was approved. Recently, when I requested a copy of my transcript, the low grades were still being counted in my GPA. Transferring my credits to Mason was a major disappointment. Very few of my IT associate degree credits transferred into Mason’s LO degree program. Some classes were taught on a higher level than the students were on. Also, programming classes that were supposed to have a LO lab, did not. It was difficult to learn not using hands on. LO I don’t like the “off” campus classes - usually at a middle school - rooms not comfortable. My initial counseling session was very unsatisfactory. I did not feel that I received the guidance I sought and left with more LO questions than when I came in. LO Traveling to four different campuses to complete my degree was taxing, but worth it. LO My major problem was that I had to take classes I had no interest in or that had little to do with my major. LO Guidance from the people who work within the Vet Tech program. Misinformation in the counseling process. The information given caused problems for me at the end of my course of study. LO Counselors never offered some plan of action or recommendations as to which classes would work together. The need for the Vet Tech Department to receive adequate state funding to get equipment that works. New chairs for the labs. LO New slide projectors. Classroom was changed at last minute from on-campus (Loudoun) to a grammar school some distance away. Only two instructors LO for the Horticulture program – it got OLD. Also Horticulture classes only offered at Loudoun. The commute was long. LO Wasn’t forced to learn Accounting concepts in class (open book tests) which is an issue because I am an Accounting major. LO Classes offered at campuses far away rather than those closest to me. Very bad recording technology equipment and program. LO Lack of up-to-date software in the computer labs; sometimes parking; not enough 3D animation courses. LO The people in the Registrar’s office were often rude and not helpful. They seemed to care less about my concerns/question. LO If the counselors helped me more maybe I would have not spent more than two years at NOVA. LO The only problem that I had was a math teacher, whose English was very hard to understand. Counselors (several of them) did not listen to what my goals were and I ended up with a degree that I was not aiming for. I attended LO the campus for more than three years, and only in my last semester did I find out that I had a faculty advisor. LO Parking; unavailability of higher level math, science, and engineering classes at certain campuses/certain semesters. 51 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? The faculty had minimal concern for students’ well-being and learning. Many tenured faculty members have not worked in the field LO for several years and were not comfortable teaching current trends in medicine. We were in no way offered help preparing for state/national exams. Online classes were disorganized and self-taught. LO The career counseling performs a poor job of assisting the student with finding an internship or job. Besides the fact there is no gym or cafeteria, there is a serious lack of quality teachers. I had teachers who just didn’t show up, LO ones who could not speak English proficiently, and ones who had no idea how to teach a college-level course. There needs to be a teacher rating system done after the first few weeks of class to correct problems early. I had one accounting professor who knew her subject but didn’t really know how to teach it. But one not-so-good professor in two LO years isn’t such a bad ratio. LO Counseling services, career planning/educational counseling, financial aid. 52 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? My math credits from previous schools did not transfer, forcing me to take a math class that seemed to be geared toward a middle MA school student. Honestly, I don’t know how that is all that NVCC (or the State of Virginia) requires for an Associate’s degree. Bureaucratic decisions that got rid of the best instructors and gutted curriculums because of budgetary constraints left us wondering MA when and if necessary courses would be offered. Decision making was unbelievably poor. MA Traveling to other campuses became difficult due to distance and/or traffic. I had to substitute/eliminate courses from my schedule. MA Advising and class availability. Counselors did not evaluate my previous school transcripts in timely manner. I ended up taking classes that could have been (and MA were) waived because of my previous degree. Attitude of parking enforcement. More emphasis should be placed on common sense and decency than on a storm trooper MA mentality. Very negative anti-student attitude, which is polar opposite from the faculty. MA Availability of night classes. MA The staff didn’t care about the students or their education. MA Don’t think there were any. About three professors were horrible at teaching and taught directly from the book, and it was difficult to learn. I know how to read, MA they need to learn how to lecture. MA Parking at the AN campus. Price of books. Poor career counseling. Changing requirements from NVCC to George Mason was very frustrating. Classes should include some MA sort of “real world” example of a job. My chemistry teacher was hired two days before classes began and had such a thick Asian accent. I couldn’t understand her. She MA is also a highly educated woman in chemistry but taught introductory-level classes and treated us like idiots. MA The problems I encountered were with my job, not with NVCC. I did not have any significant problems at NVCC. All classes I took were taught by true professionals. Any problems that did occur MA were short in duration and usually solved by the end of the course. MA Beginning students should have more knowledge of what is going on with school activities. MA Location of campus for certain courses. MA Requirements for major often changed and were unclear. MA Hardware repair not available with hands-on experience. MA I found not having the bookstore open on Saturdays to be a bit of a problem. MA Poor financial aid help. Ended up not using any. Hard. MA Somewhat extended high school environment because you didn’t stay on campus. Knew a lot of others from high school. 53 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? A PE class I took in spring 2002 (PED 116) was so incredibly unfair on the tests. I tried to speak with the instructor and department chair and got nowhere. There were a couple of questions that were flat out in error, but nothing was ever done about it. It cost me MA my “A” grade and destroyed my 4.0 GP. It has totally tempered my joy at NVCC and has prompted me to move on sooner to ERAU. I am I the process of being accepted there. Parking is a pain. There especially needs to be some way for ELI students to get some reduced price. They only show up at the MA campus to take four exams. Unfortunately, they are charged to use the parking lot for the whole semester. MA Mostly facility problems (rooms too cold/hot). MA The limited amount of classes offered at my home campus (Manassas). MA The availability of classes. Times were constantly conflicting with my schedule. MA My learning experience at NVCC was a very positive one. MA Required a lot of independence, which was fun for myself but could discourage others. Classes canceled or hard to get in. One counselor for years kept telling me that I would never succeed at anything I brought up to MA him. That is why it took me 20 years to get a two-year degree. I finally quit going to him. He is thankfully no longer there. Prof. X, a history teacher, demanded way too much work for 100-level classes. I withdrew from her courses twice. I found her class took more time than all my other classes combined, and I felt her assignments did not contribute to further understanding of the MA material. My biggest problem was that Microbiology did not transfer toward Biology major at George Mason. I have to take BIOL 305 (Microbiology) at George Mason, and I worked hard to get an A in microbiology at NOVA. MA NVCC cancelled my program so I had to take alternate courses to complete my degree. The bookstore hours on the Manassas Campus were not adequate. The adjunct teaching staff at the Annandale Campus did not MA adhere to the hours promised to the students. At times, the teacher did not show up and was late often. There was no help on the Saturday mornings at the Annandale Campus when this occurred either. Calls were made, but there was no response. MA Limited courses offered only at beginning levels (100). The access to advisors. The true lack of caring for the working student. The courses offered on weekends. The requirement of MA OLDER adults to take STD100, a complete waste of time and money. The absence of a cafeteria at some campuses (Manassas). MA Resources were lacking for the auto lab: equipment, tools. Computer science lab filled with viruses. The faculty didn’t do anything to improve the situation even after it was reported. They MA didn’t care. Campus security at Annandale. I had something stolen from me and was rudely hung up on and yelled at by an officer on duty. My MA whole experience was a nightmare. The math classes that are recommended for students have very little to do with the placement tests. If a student and teacher agree MA that a class is “worthless,” then something needs to be changed. MA Correlating week w/night classes, but it was much easier to do that at NOVA than currently at GMU. 54 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? Science labs in Annandale were a bit behind the times as far as equipment, space and facilities. Instructors who were not able to MA speak clear enough English to teach scientific classes. My frustration is with an evening instructor who taught the Theory and Research Commercial Design class. She didn’t provide any MA feedback on any class work or projects turned in. She didn’t even provide grades. She was unprepared and did not use any visual aids to help teach. She was not willing to share her knowledge. Wasted class in my view. MA Some professors were bitter and discriminatory. Campus needed updating. Not being able to park using more than one car. I had to use my husband’s car when my car was being repaired and obtaining a MA temporary parking permit was an additional problem. Walking through a cloud of smoke to enter the buildings was extremely annoying! 55 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? The major problem in my NVCC experience was with the ELI classes. These problems include not getting T.V. access to these classes because I live in Stafford, computer "glitches" with online classes, and the lack of availability of some ELI instructors. Not WO getting classes on T.V. is inconvenient because renting the tapes is costly and going in to watch them is inconvenient and sometimes difficult if it is a popular class. My degree was IST- Networking. I spent absolutely no time in labs learning and troubleshooting a network. Except for IST 203, 206 which only showed me how to install Windows 2000 server. IST students need hands-on learning on networks and they need to develop troubleshooting skills. I felt deprived of that and after graduation I felt unworthy to touch a network although I knew what all WO the acronyms meant. Also, during IST 220 (computer architecture), I never saw the inside of a PC. That class should physically show you what a PCI slot is, what a socket is, etc. IST needs to be taught more hands-on in labs. Make it more practical so that graduates have the know-how to actually work on networks, not just recite protocols. I had quite a bit of difficulty with my faculty advisor. She was not prompt in returning my inquiries and many times gave conflicting WO information. I found this quite frustrating. WO Trying to contact a specific instructor to talk about my final grade in the semester before I graduated. WO There were no problems. I think that the main problem that seems to be occurring quite frequently is how certain degrees are routed. Just because most of WO the IT fields reside near the Sterling area, does not mean that that campus is the only campus in need of this information. These degrees should be available at other campuses also. When I attended, the cafeteria didn’t accept debit or credit cards for food purchases. I think that the cafeteria closed early during the WO weeknights. The bookstore should stay open till 6:00pm Monday-Thursday and close late on Friday with a four-hour opening on Saturday morning (10-2pm). WO I had not encountered any problems. If I did, they were solved every quickly. In a few classes, there were students who tried to disrupt the class. That was very frustrating and I felt the teacher should have WO been able to do more to remove those students from the learning environment, although what can you do at a college level? WO Not enough accelerated courses. Not enough weekend classes. Parking problems (not enough meters at Woodbridge). WO None noted. WO The instructors weren’t flexible enough with full-time employed students. They favored the kids right out of high school. WO As “high class” and challenging as you can expect from a community college. If I had met with a counselor and/or advisor earlier, I would have had a better focus on what I needed to accomplish to meet my WO goal; therefore, I would have been able to graduate earlier. WO No major problems. WO Parking was a little annoying and the grading might have been a little too easy. WO More advice needed to pursue future goals and where to start. WO Computer lab. Teaching computer aid. 56 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? WO Contact instructors (ELI classes). WO Parking availability. WO Parking ticket fine amounts, because that lot has probably been paid ten times over. WO None, I very much enjoyed my two years at NVCC. I always recommend NVCC to others. WO Availability of classes. In my early years of study (I attended part-time for many years off and on), the security for students walking to their cars at nights. I WO saw an improvement over the years. I had one teacher accuse me of not doing my fair share of work on a project, because my project partner claimed that I hadn’t. She WO did so in front of the entire class; she was wrong and I was humiliated! No one in my Cisco class could find a job for some time after we finished that program. I have since not seen many of my classmates, but hear they still, like me, never found a Cisco/computer job. Our Cisco teacher was okay teaching the material, but WO had no real experience in the field. Therefore, she could not advise us on looking for these types of jobs. Cisco is a specific program that should have more emphasis on resumes and interviewing in that field. Constant harassment about switching my parking permit (my brother and I shared a car, so sometimes I would need to borrow my WO mother’s). Limited selection of literature-based courses. When I first enrolled, I met with counselors and told them I was going to transfer to a four-year school. I was told to take certain WO classes that ended up not transferring, so once I was at a four-year school I spent a year and a half taking basic courses. NOVA was a waste of my time and money and I would never recommend it to anyone. Frequent parking tickets – some unjust. Counselors (in guidance department) did not seem knowledgeable about degree programs, WO requirements, or transfer information. The only bad experience I found was that I had to commute long ways with the traffic. Woodbridge is the only campus that offers WO this program so not much choice was available. I chose to study heating and air. My courses are offered in Woodbridge only. I graduated with an associate’s degree, but it was WO hard. Living in Falls Church and having to drive to Woodbridge with two other campuses near by. Offer HVAC on other campuses and you will have more students in HVAC. WO Parking fees. Classrooms too cold. Poor guidance counselors. Parking. The parking is horrible and the ‘ticket givers’ are ridiculous, as well as the position rules for passes. If you see a pass – do WO not ticket!! Also the Admissions office is horrible. They did not follow through with my transcript TWICE. Then argued with me until I brought my receipt to prove it. Also they had horrible attitude. None, until now. ODU Teletechnet has over 150 students in their program there, including myself. I was hoping to earn my WO bachelor’s degree at NOVA, from ODU. Now I might have to leave ODU. 57 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? Parking and cafeteria services. Parking should be included in the tuition or at least let you use one parking pass for multiple WO vehicles (I own 3). The cafeteria is useless and the food terrible. Also the faculty advisory times only coincide with full time day students’ schedules. I had to take off work early to see an advisor to graduate. WO Some teachers were poor at their job, couldn’t teach; not all classes at home campus. WO There was too much focus on parking tickets at Woodbridge. WO The classrooms themselves could really use some makeovers. There were often problems with lights and heat/a.c. The only issue that I had was with the ladies in the Associate of Arts department. I received my AAS degree in Networking but WO realized I had never applied for the AA in Liberal Arts degree in the early 90’s. I had already completed the courses in the early 90’s, but the department did not want to give it to me, but finally it did. It seemed like no one in the advising department wanted to help transferring students. I tried a multiple number of times with no WO success. WO Some classes were not offered every semester. WO I did not experience any. WO Advisor instructed me on wrong classes for degree program. WO I did not encounter any major problems. Whatever problems I experienced were always solved. I only had one major problem at NOVA. One that I will not fully elaborate on, but unfortunately will never forget. My experience was with an applied calculus instructor at the Alexandria campus. This was a difficult class for me, and what I initially thought would result in support from her, turned out to be the opposite. She tried to use intimidation and dealt with me in a condescending manner. WO Although she was very knowledgeable about applied calculus, she did not do anything to help me to succeed, even when she saw that I was putting forth great effort to do so. Her attitude, however, did not deter me. I continued on and took the same class at the Annandale Campus, under EXCELLENT instruction, and succeeded. WO Completing ELI courses. WO Counseling service was limited. Math course taught by Dr. X. He was not very punctual responding to email and correcting exams. Also was over critical. When taking a math course over the internet, everything is pretty much self-taught by reading info provided. If a student provides the WO correct answer to a question and proves to understand what is going on, they should not be criticized for not doing things exactly as he expects. WO Some of the “younger” students made it hard at times to have a quiet learning atmosphere. WO Trying to contact my faculty advisor. WO Crowded library, courses dropped due to insufficient enrollment. WO Going back to school after being out for so long. WO Parking at Woodbridge and Annandale campuses. WO I think there needs to be more parking. 58 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 2: What Were the Major Problems, if any, in Your NVCC Experience? WO No major problems. The curriculum that I wanted to take wasn’t offered at Woodbridge or Quantico (Pre-Med or electronics). I was too tired/lazy to WO spend the time and gas to drive to other campuses. WO Book and supplies were a lot of money. WO My faculty advisor was unavailable. The majority of the time offered little help. 1. Getting necessary paperwork for the Walt Disney World College Program filled by the Dean. 2. Sending an incomplete transcript WO to Towson University. Poor guidance from counselors and department heads caused me to get a degree that would not be able to transfer, and caused me WO to take more classes than necessary on incorrect classes. IST: the labs in the classroom at the Woodbridge Campus were not functional and the software was not correct, i.e. we were using WO MS Office 97 in class while the rest of the world was using MS Office 2000 and MS Office XP. WO I did not experience any problems. WO I really liked condensed courses. Wish there were more available. WO Lack of quality food in cafeteria for evening students. Understanding some of the instructors. Some instructors were hard to communicate with. I came across one instructor who did not know very much about the course she WO taught. I knew more! WO Several times, I was unable to schedule classes because a prior teacher had not submitted grades on time. WO Rude teacher. Not enough parking for students, when half of the parking lot is reserved for teachers and usually the spots are empty. Also the fine WO for parking tickets is ridiculous. WO Speech teacher unfair and refused to give me the “A” I earned. 59 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? AL Given that NVCC is a community college, I think the college is overall doing an excellent job. I enjoyed being a student at NVCC. AL Knowledgeable teachers. Have help during semester enrollment. Why enroll in the basement (long lines) and pay $ on first floor (admin office). Not a good, AL efficient system! AL Keep library and computer lab open until late hours during weekdays and weekends. AL I would like for NVCC to offer advanced courses in areas of degree-related subjects. AL Don’t demand each professor to teach until the last minute of class. The instruction should focus on quality, not quantity. AL I hope this survey can help to eliminate the instructors who can’t teach and are mean to students. AL Providing better English teaching professors. More staff. Overall, I believe it’s a great institution. There just needs to be more instruction in specialized areas and less on ones that do not AL apply to the diploma or certificate. I think if NVCC can supplement internet registration to that of phone registration, it would be more convenient to most of the AL students. AL NVCC can improve in its instruction and services by maybe having assistant teachers, and smaller class sizes. AL I think what you are doing is fine. But maybe you should allow NOVANET to be available for longer hours. Some classes only have one to two courses per semester, usually in the evening. I was hoping that it would be possible to have AL more than one or two. AL Parking should be annually, not by semester. Also it should be free. AL Keep up the good work. Never give up on students. AL Padded chairs. The services are great. However, the counseling service could be improved. The information or advice given to students should be AL authentic. I noticed that some of the teachers who taught me will soon be retiring or have already done so. I hope that their replacements are AL as enthusiastic and dedicated. I suggest keeping this in mind during the hiring process. A better screening and review process of adjunct professors (instructors) should be instituted to guarantee that students receive AL instruction and testing that is consistent with the course material. AL I believe that the instructors need to maintain better classroom discipline so that people who are there to learn may do so. AL Build more parking areas for Alexandria Campus. AL Show that students are just as important because without them, there is no NVCC. AL Have more info for career services and help on the internet. AL Get counselors that care about the students’ goals and are willing to help them get there. NVCC should allow illegal aliens to attend school with in-state tuition. It is bad enough for them not to receive financial aid. They are AL also taxpayers, and part of the community. 60 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? AL It should be mandatory that every student should go through an orientation course before starting any other courses. Open more bookstores or move it to Bisdorf (Alexandria Campus). Provide some more parking in all campuses. Provide more AL lights and security for evening shift students. Employ more instructors and better teachers for paralegal. ESL should not be mandatory for non-native Americans. AL Specialized services for F-1 students. There should be a career center. Better advisors for choices in major. I think overall, the college offers a great value for the money. It may help if you let students evaluate the class and instructor and AL post it for future students to read. I’m a big believer in consumer reports and critiques. I don’t see why college courses can’t be like that. AL Access shuttle three times a day, connecting to major Metro stations. AL Stress hands-on to your computer classes. Provide summer classes for all courses both in the first and second half of summer semester. Some of the classes should be AL scheduled by 8 am in the summer. Require instructors to have more professional attitude. I don’t know if this is possible, but this is alternative way of saying “hiring AL instructors who like to teach and help students,” I guess. AL It could use some counselors that do care. Need to improve coordination with the four-year schools’ programs. The counselors do not have any idea of what is going on with AL George Mason, one of the main colleges to transfer to. I love the NOVA community. I would like to see it as a four-year university. I am sure that students would not mind paying a higher AL price. It would encourage students to continue their studies, too. AL Find ways to reduce the price of new textbooks. Maybe if staff or faculty could pay more attention to each individual’s background and build a relationship that can motivate students AL and teach us from their experiences how to become successful. Must improve in the job placement program to help students look for jobs. Should find a better way to assist students in finding AL internship or cooperative jobs while attending NVCC. Should create a website or network to post students resumes so employers can access workers who want to be hired. AL More instructors like Ms. X, Dr. Y. AL Have more people on staff in counseling, in parking services and the admissions office. AL Take a closer look at the departments and poll the students. This is a universal feeling. AL Have more classes taught by instructors like the above. AL More classes at certain campuses. AL More classes. More instructors‘ office time. AL During in-person registration, extend business hours. AL Provide the students with lists of books they need. Perhaps it could be available in each of the departments. 61 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? AL It would be very helpful to have a bigger computer lab and more computers available to have a study room. Maybe you could offer the technical/trade courses at more than one campus, i.e. heating and air condition or auto mechanics at the AL Alexandria Campus. AL Possibly a job placement service. I think Legal Assisting should be provided at more than just one campus (Alexandria). I worked full-time while going to NVCC and AL had to commute to Alexandria from Sterling. Overall, I am very happy with the instruction and service at NVCC. I always encourage my friends who are thinking about going AL back to school to go to NVCC. AL The new garage and the cafeteria look very good. AL Do not charge for parking permits and lower book costs. AL Offer a yearly parking pass. Offer more 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. classes. AL By not lacking the NOVA net registration. Students need to have a better understanding of what can be transferred. Any course you take at NOVA can’t be easily transferred AL so you end up taking courses you really don’t need. AL Mailing out our diplomas. AL Lobby for greater government subsidies. AL They are doing great; they just have to keep up with their hard work. AL Extend library operating hours to 5pm on Saturday and 10:30 or 11:00pm on weekdays during exams week. AL Focus more on quality. AL Listen to students when they have bad experiences with teachers. Need to have better writing assignments. In a four-year school the normal paper is 5-7 pages with working bibliographies and AL endnotes. I did not learn that at NVCC and ended up being confused about the process at MWC. AL More graphic arts classes. AL Need more “one-on-one” counseling and advisor support. AL Do not have instructors issue surveys, instead have students complete surveys online when retrieving grades. AL Quality faculty members. More hands-on experience. In the second question I answered, I think that the college should provide a class that has the basic fundamentals of English writing. AL I strongly suggest that older students who are re-entering college should have a refresher course in writing. Overall, NOVA is an excellent college, I will recommend to anyone that they should enroll and I will continue to take classes when necessary. AL Get voicemail for the school telephones. AL Show professors how to teach at college level, not Doctorate level! Have all instructors mention the honor awards for high GPA’s like X, Y, Z… After I found out about this after getting my ASCS, I AL then started getting straight “A’s” from then on. 62 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? Mandate teacher evaluations. I only had few teachers I didn’t like at NVCC. Those teachers somehow got away with not passing AL out evaluations. The course and program advisement should guide students step-by-step in selecting courses that are transferable, for students who AL want to transfer to a four-year college. Personal counseling should deal with each student based on their needs. AL Everything as far as instruction is perfect. No changes required. NVCC can improve in its instruction and services. For instruction: must survey students’ education and find the best way to instruct AL students in learning, either testing or evaluating them. Services: need more people in service during the registration period. Extend the hours of the library and lab activities before a testing period. AL Add more courses and lower the tuition fee. AL Perhaps more career/job placement services for mid-life, mid-career changes. AL More part-time classes for major courses. Not too long wait for courses. AL Continue to build on the resources you currently have. Hire more qualified instructors. In some of the courses, teachers were not well prepared to answer students’ questions. Also, the AL classrooms are not well cleaned or equipped. AL Do not hire teachers without experience. 1. Please make sure that all professors have students fill out an evaluation form on them. One particular instructor that I had who was arrogant, snippy, and had an abrupt attitude did not give anyone in the class that I attended an evaluation. 2. My initial registration experience was a good one, as well as registering for classes through NOVANET. However, there were a couple or so persons in the registration office that had negative, almost hostile type attitudes. This needs to be corrected, because persons AL working with the public should always exhibit an attitude of cheerfulness and helpfulness no matter what. I also ran into a problem that everyone working in the registration office is not fully knowledgeable on answering questions as it relates to GPA calculation. 3. Please make sure that the instructors you hire are as prepared as they claim to be. For example, one particular professor (PhD) that I had was a bit on the lazy side, and did not put forth the effort of instruction as stated on the syllabus. As a class we always felt shortchanged. AL Provide administrative office hours one Saturday per month (8-10 or 8-12). AL More internet (web) classes. More week-end classes. Require more active presentations/discussions by students (formal and informal). As typical with most classes – teachers speak AL while student takes notes/listens. Should encourage open discussion on topical issues, if applicable to the subject matter. AL Inform guidance counselors to orient kids with the school or include this information in the orientation course. AL Services: computer labs/classes uncomfortable to use. No workspace and uncomfortable hours. AL Make sure all classes and degrees are completely transferable to all institutions. Screen adjunct professors/teachers better. I’ve dropped a couple of courses because the instructors could not effectively AL communicate the material. 63 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? I enjoyed the experience and being able to complete a degree I started ten years ago. I will probably return for refresher course in AL the future. AL By being more up to date in its computer instruction. AL Try to offer more classes over the weekend and all subject matters should be available at all campuses. AL The bookstore location hours are terrible and changes should be made to both for the students’ benefits. Expand the photography department – need larger range of course offerings: more on digital imaging, more on commercial/studio AL work. Get your survey out sooner. I graduated in 2001. AL Expand to outer/other military installations. AL Upgrade computer labs and instructors. AL The required orientation course should be eliminated. Better quality instructors that are easier to contact and have posted office hours. Full-time instructors instead of adjunct instructors. More hands-on computer classes. Instructors with a better grasp of the English language. Annandale Campus parking is too far from classrooms. Elevators at Alexandria and Annandale campuses are both incredibly slow and often felt unsafe. Annandale AL Campus in need of a total remodel, bathrooms at Annandale Campus are in terrible shape and need to be gutted. Class cancellations should be given with more notice. Classes should not be cancelled if 15-20 students are enrolled. Parking sticker rules are terrible. A permit should be allowed to move to all cars owned by student. A student who is not able to take the lab that reflects the lecture (Biology) with the same professor due to a work schedule should AL not be discriminated against. Not all students can take the lecture and lab with the same professor. Professors should be understanding. AL Provide better equipment for lab. AL Perhaps give students help finding a job. AL More computer and lab hours. Not just picking and choosing. Know the background of these teachers (not personal). How well can they teach, how long, and their AL educational background. I personally don’t think NVCC needs to improve its instruction and services. I think everything was good. The only thing I wished AL you could do is to have more ASL classes. AL Hire better staff – come up with better teaching materials plans and better degree programs. AL Get better instructors. AL Provide more information on instruction and provide more services. AL Hire good quality instructors who can make a difference in the course of study, for all students. Provide the professors with better academic resources, in all departments. Please do not restrict your professors in any manner; AL they are the College’s bread and butter. AL Continue to ask for feedback from students and family and listen to what we have to say. 64 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Alexandria Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? Teachers should not tolerate students who take over their classrooms. Maybe the problem is only in the vocational studies AL department. In the Automotive Tech. Dept. some teachers need to learn more of what they teach. AL Improve teacher screening. AL Create a job placement /training department. AL Overall, my education and experience at NVCC have been great. Some faculty members who have doctoral degree might be good professors, however, they lack ethical issues when dealing with AL students and should be more respectful. Some of the staff, especially those in the admissions office, should have some public relations training. AL Continue the good work and service that it provides to the community. NVCC is an excellent college. AL By faculty evaluation and student evaluations. Through in-service training, e.g. seminars, conferences, etc. AL Check the quality of the staff with surveys. Look into private companies for computer donations. Instruction: be sure to hire instructors that speak very clear English. Services: better chemistry lab facilities and equipment in AL Annandale. AL Offer more “hot” computer classes. AL Overall I am very satisfied with the instruction and service at NVCC. 65 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? AN Better parking; overall was good. Make sure counselors provide students with complete information. Increase availability of convenient parking. Teachers must AN acknowledge the fact that they teach underclassmen courses, and provide knowledge, assistance, and feedback accordingly. AN Make sure all professors are qualified to teach. AN NVCC is average as any other college. AN More technology in classrooms. AN By enlarging the parking lot. AN Transferring for students should be made easier. Greater availability of faculty advisors (I had to wait two weeks before I could meet once). Also, the counselors need to be able to AN inform students about courses. AN Need to have specific guidance counselors for degree options, who understand the requirements for that degree. AN Treat students like college students. AN Add more space for students who do not have a car sticker. Get more knowledgeable people in facilities, not just students working for a little extra money or whatever. There was no one I could AN call or do anything to help me, and my schedule is busy. That’s why I went to NVCC – plus I live Dumfries and had to go to school in Annandale. AN The lab equipment and classrooms, especially at Loudoun, need improvement. AN Have better informed counselors who can take time to discuss future decisions with students. 1. Ensure quality teachers are retained through competitive salary, perhaps comparable to George Mason. 2. Renovate or add AN buildings/facilities for the various learning departments (science labs). 3. Provide more support to understaffed departments like the financial aid office. There was only one loan officer processing the checks and it took two months for me to get my financial aid. In my opinion, I believe that IST needs more labs. The networking lab needs some improvement. Computer lab for networking AN needs more servers and workstations for students. AN Keep your computer labs and equipment up to date and functional. AN More up-to-date equipment to use in the classroom. NVCC needs more informed advising for its technical students, especially those of us who are pursuing degrees in computer AN science. AN Provide more hands-on classes for IST majors. AN Change the decal (parking) policy. Have much more flexible requirements so people can take what they want and that way they are much more likely to find an area of AN study they like more. That sounds good, right? AN Fix the counseling center. AN Pay teachers more so they enjoy being here more and don’t have to work two other jobs. 66 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? AN Purchase more computers. And create in the library a section where a group of students can get together and study. Offer all of the A+ certification programs through NVCC, instead of passing those programs off to those expensive private AN companies. The online course teachers should be more open and willing to help students. Online courses are harder, so teachers have to AN manage their time to be able to help students when students don’t understand or they need some help. AN Registration online. AN Train all counselors with same seminars. Maybe offer a shuttle service. AN Have more IT courses that transfer. There are a few bad instructors who need to be counseled on how to achieve their desired effect. They lack effectiveness and AN therefore, lack an ability to perform their job functions. I think NVCC needs to expand so it can improve its instruction and services. NVCC Annandale Campus is getting overcrowded, AN which affects class registration. Create positive and enthusiastic approaches of teaching since students can get motivated when professors have a tendency to be AN energetic about their classes. NVCC is an excellent college; I am pleased I went there because I learned a great deal from my teachers. I would have liked more AN interest and organization from the students’ advisors. AN It is OK. More discipline, ask more of anyone in any class. More flexible classes in the afternoon, for example at the Annandale Campus or AN Alexandria, you could have classes starting at 6 or 6:30, not 7:30, which could improve the security at the parking lots. Ending class at 10:30 is too risky! AN The counseling services shouldn't be assigned by matching last names. Students should choose their own. AN Prepare students for what to expect from four-year colleges when they transfer. Hire counselors that are actually interested in the students’ academics. Replace the mean receptionist with a friendly one who is AN willing to offer help and assistance. Lab work in the natural sciences was more “busy work” than instructive. I did not tie in lecture concepts well. Please reevaluate the AN way science is taught in lab. However, I did find lab work in biology and human anatomy and physiology extremely well-taught. AN The faculty should evaluate the teachers strongly. The food in the cafeteria is really bad. The parking is really bad. By providing students on the dental hygiene “waiting list” with a standardized healthcare aptitude test for admission advisement for AN the Dental Hygiene program. AN More employees, perhaps. AN To find solution for parking. Discount price in cafeteria. 67 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? The admission and records office needs to recruit benign and professional employees. The cafeteria needs to renovate its food AN section with a variety of health foods in order to raise students’ energy. NVCC needs an extensive search when it comes to recruiting teachers. AN Looks like you are doing a good job. AN Four-year degree program. AN Better food in the cafeteria. AN More lights at the Annandale Campus-very unsafe conditions currently. Invest in replacing poor teachers – listen to students when they do the teacher evaluations. You have some amazing teachers and AN some horrible ones. Improve counseling services and academic advisors. I met with mine once – that’s it – no help was given and I had to figure out a lot of things by myself. AN Online registration and grade checking. Parking could be cheaper. AN Grading system and student services and activities. Get some new clinical instructors. It might help to have some male instructors to alleviate the power struggle my instructors seemed AN to have. The instructors should be taught how to instruct, not only how to grade. I and many other students often asked for help and were told “you should know that by now.” I learned more from other students and other hygienists than from the instructors. AN More web-based tools. Need for internet registration. NVCC should add some courses that most students applying for a B.S. or B.A. will need as basics during the last two years at a AN university. AN Your choice. Have teachers teach beginning classes in a simple format. I think teachers who normally teach at a higher level have trouble in AN teaching lower level classes. The ladies restrooms need improvement, especially in the CT Building. AN Perhaps offer “more” ELI courses. I had a few (and I emphasize few) instructors who should not have been there. You need to develop a system for weeding these AN instructors out quickly. AN Listen to students about teachers, not just rely on teachers’ experience and tenure. Evaluate teachers thoroughly. Bring in some new professionals to teach us. Don’t know if that means more money to entice, or maybe benefits. Give more money AN back on used books, not easy to apply for only financial aid. Counselors (some, not all of them) were very rude. I brought it to their supervisor and she treated me even worse. Then she and AN the counselor both denied that they had any responsibility in the mistake. AN I would like to see a class in biological psychology offered or introductory cognitive psychology. AN I think the new Springfield campus will help with Health Tech classes. 68 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? That all provided services such as parking stickers and books, etc., be available at the Springfield Medical campus. Also, I AN understand that everyone tries to stay within a budget; however, I feel there is no reason to be of out of chalk and have the teachers have to hunt around for some. There is also no reason to run out of toilet paper. AN Some faculty was excellent, particularly mathematics and English. I felt some were lacking, especially computer science. AN Monitor counselors and teachers and make sure that they are not trying to defeat what the students are trying to accomplish. AN More fairness to students, fair grading. Continue to offer new courses in various fields. Offering certificate programs, i.e. Oracle certification based on 5 or 6 courses. AN Using hands-on and practical teaching methods to help students understand concepts and theories more effectively. Improve student services; make sure students receive the right services. Counselor should work closely with students’ program. AN Help and inform students about any available intern program at the beginning before it is too late (it happened to me). AN More emphasis on office hours. AN Have more advising opportunity for students. AN Lower rates of books. AN Introduce the prospect of graduate studies so that students have resources upon transferring. Parking should be free for tuition paying students. Temperature in classrooms is almost never right. Seating is uncomfortable, AN inadequate for adult education. AN Get a better solution for parking spaces. Get instructors that actually care about students. AN Have better teachers. Change management at cafeteria! Food. Please notify students promptly as to what is needed to complete the degree. A notification before the registration date ends will AN help greatly for future students. AN Accessibility and/or availability of instructors, counselors and other school staff to students whose native language is not English. AN Greater instruction: emphasis on “hands-on” experience when working with computers. AN I feel that the flexible scheduling is what really helps everyone. AN Move the CN building, but that’s already being done. AN More information is needed on careers, for which an internship is a necessity. Offer four-year degrees. I attended GMU before NVCC. The instruction at NVCC was so much better than GMU. These teachers AN actually come to class, speak English and care if you learn the material. NVCC needs to have dependable career training for students who want to enter the workforce after graduation, and needs a career AN service department that advises students who seek jobs related to their majors (internship). Announce early when school is closing due to inclement weather. Have better communication between school police and parking AN enforcement. AN CS classes can have lags to prepare students with programming. 69 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? Professors and departments need to agree about the textbooks for the semester. Is disappointing when you buy a textbook and never use it in the semester. It is also discouraging when professors don’t have a well-prepared class and only read from the AN textbook. It makes you feel you can do that at home instead of coming to class. If professors don’t like to teach and are only there because they need the money (and some tell you so very straight forwardly), they should at least be nice with students. AN More instruction in spinal and sacral iliac dysfunction. Specifically, rotations and methods for correction. I would like to see many classes held one day a week in the morning or afternoon. If a person takes two classes a week you must AN be on campus 4 or 5 days a week, unless you go at 7pm or later. I hated that and it messed with my work schedule. Pay closer attention to student evaluations. ECO 202 professor had slipped through! Worst instructor of my life. If an entire class AN fails an exam, and the instructor applies a curve so 80% pass, is this OK? No! The instructor obviously is not teaching his students effectively. Waste of students’ time and money and fails NVCC goals. AN Make sure that support staff can adequately speak English. There was one teacher that will always stand out in my mind, Dr. X. I cannot say enough good things about him. I learned a lot in his class and found it disappointing that as I progressed in math level, the other teachers were not able to explain it so that it made AN sense. If you could clone him, you would have an excellent math department. My experience in later math classes was horrible, as I struggled to complete each required class for my degree. Most instructors are good but some really need to be there for their students when we ask for help. And more hands-on training for AN a “work” environment. I majored in computers and I only touched the computer for one or two classes. AN Not sure. AN You’re doing the right thing. Keep up the good work. AN It can improve the quality of the food in the cafeteria. Improve the service in the bookstores. AN To get more instructors in the business field. AN Keep the good teachers you already have. Investigate complaints about some teachers. Follow teacher evaluation closely. Also, come up with another way for students to comment on teacher performance while being AN assured that it will not affect their grade in that class. AN Keep hiring trained and nice professors. AN Advising and course counseling service. AN More parking spaces at Annandale Campus. AN Try to inform new students more effectively on how to graduate. Maintain class sizes. Improve time availability and size of fitness room. Many people would take advantage of a workout. The AN physical is as much a part of well-being as the mental. AN I think NVCC’s instruction and service are excellent. 70 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? The writing center needs to provide more flexible hours in mentoring students (especially international students). ESL teachers AN should be more strict and creative in their teaching, for example, give more homework or more writing to do on a routine basis. The cafeteria needs to sell more healthy food such as vegetables, salads and juice. NOVA can improve by providing promotions for classified staff. I feel that if you achieve your goal in a degree, there should be AN some type of salary increase in promotion. I felt that after all of my hard work by taking classes at night, I was disappointed to find out there was no salary increase. AN Add medical Spanish to the Nursing Curriculum. AN Job placement service. I graduated in May 2002. I still have not found employment in my profession. More part time instructors. I thought they were usually better than the full time instructors and had a better attitude about teaching AN and students. NVCC needs to serve the community’s needs. As a diverse community, the college should identify why students from certain AN backgrounds fail again and again. Instructors might need to learn how to treat and teach people from all over the world. Too many teachers who teach part-time with regular jobs. Not accessible for help before and after class. Obviously have not AN planned lesson well. I knew budget restrains a lot, but having some health care classes like Radiology at night might provide me with admission into other AN programs. Doing such an excellent job for students, so nothing has to be improved. NVCC is an excellent community college and I would AN recommend anyone to go. I came all the way from New York to this college. Offer graduates a workshop to see where they can go to pursue further study/job fields/counseling. I was lucky to link up with a network of people and get pulled into the system where I am excelling. But I still yearn to learn more, and let’s face it, in the IT field, AN you need to continue to study because of the nature of the business. Help us there. If you have such a workshop already, make it available to people who are already employed, i.e., weekends and evenings, for I knew nothing about them. AN Bathrooms really need remodeling. AN NVCC in my opinion is doing a very great job. Keep on doing what you have always being doing and things can only get better. AN NVCC needs to improve more on computer equipment. AN More weekend classes. I think having a student advisor is very important. It should be mandatory for every student to consult a counselor or advisor AN regularly. Rebuild—the buildings and campus are old and supplies outdated. Do away with that one-credit college prep course for those returning to college; all we need is more busy work. Revamp the entire RN program. Now that I’m in FL I am amazed at the AN difference in the programs, and for the better. Another problem-- it would be nice if someone sent me a certificate of Graduation some time in the near future. AN I thought the nursing program was excellent. 71 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? AN Expand online registration services -- more lines and options. Extend your classes in American Sign Language. More and more people want this skill. A big resource in the area. This is the only AN college of NOVA that has the complete program. Conduct more instructor evaluations on new, temporary, and permanent instructors to maintain good teachers/professors and help AN to improve other instructors that lack certain skills. I have learned that there is a difference between a teacher and an instructor. My goal is to “teach” some day, possibly at NVCC. AN Work more closely with four-year universities to correlate transfer courses. I would like to see the college offer more advanced training under the major “Radiography.” What I mean by that is to offer more AN classes, possibly in the evening or on the weekend, in other modalities such as CT, MRI, Mammo and Dexa and at some point consider Nuclear Medicine and ultrasound. Nursing lab supplies, less expensive cafeteria food, more staffing in registration office, less expensive parking stickers, provide AN student ID card. AN Provide motivation and enthusiasm to the faculty. Allow the nursing program room to grow, due to the nursing shortage, the community and the United States and the whole world will AN benefit greatly from NVCC nursing students. This is just a perfect school for me. I loved/love most of my instructors. They were available and very supportive of me, for I am a AN single parent of a minor. I had to work full-time and attended full-time. They were kind. AN Tell and show skills for each major and help get related jobs or internships to our majors. AN Offer more 6pm classes vs. 7pm classes. Provide more lighting, make sure present lights are operational. AN Teachers. Get with the times in the administration’s attitude toward internet accessibility. It strongly affects networking (LAN and WAN) and security courses. Many of the professors have done extra work to make a course worthwhile because of Annandale Campus’ AN shortsightedness; others simply refused to continue teaching at Annandale Campus. Sometimes, there seems also to be a need for better cooperation between campuses to get the most qualified persons teaching the higher level courses. AN Provide more parking for students on campus. AN More people need to be aware of the financial aid and its availability. You can’t assume people know because so many don’t know. 1. I encourage everyone to vote Yes on the education referendum. 2. Use the money to improve the computer and science labs, and to hire full-time faculty members to replace those dedicated professors who retire each year. Students benefit from having full- AN time faculty as their professors, I personally only signed up for courses taught by professors listed by name in the course schedule. I did not want to take a chance on an inexperienced adjunct professor. AN Continue to hire faculty, staff and administration that truly care about providing an excellent education for the public. AN Most instructors I thought did an excellent job. AN Keep up with the industry. 72 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? Providing more career education advisement, and transfer information to other close universities. Knowing about what credits will AN and will not transfer. For people transferring to George Mason, recommend that they take the required History courses so they won’t have to at GMU for AN more money. AN It needs money, which I understand is not currently available. NOVA is great for the resources it has been given. AN To get qualified and talented instructors, people who love to teach. Library internet access. When I needed it for school work, every computer was busy. No time limits, no sign up waiting sheet. No AN structure. Free for all, which was frustrating. AN Nursing lab is in need of newer, updated supplies. I recently discovered that my researching skills are below average and can be attributed to the lack of instruction on using computers as a research tool. I understand that in many of the lower-level English courses, only one day out of the semester is AN dedicated to introducing students to on-line data systems; however, this is not adequate. I suggest that NVCC hold free technical seminars, such as GMU has, so that students may gain the essential skills that four-year institutions require their students to know. For example using on-line data systems, power point, spread sheets, etc. AN Provide all foreign languages in ELI. Instruction at NVCC is superb. Personally, I would like to see more writing classes such as creative writing and journalism. I want AN to write fiction, and I may use journalism as a means of support. Spend more money on custodial services and maintenance, re- model the older buildings? Just a thought. One, by teaching in a very simple way. Secondly, creating groups in class to make connections between students. An email list of all students should be distributed to the teachers, and the teacher should distribute those emails to students with similar concerns. AN Push for communication in all classes, create a debate class if necessary. Many students, including me, can’t survive out there without communication, and leadership fighting skills. Change your policy on allowing professors to change books every semester. Some students cannot afford it. Why change a history AN book? It comes off as being a scam to make money. AN The classrooms weren’t very comfortable. Working machines like overheads or LCD’s were lacking. Advance to a four-year college! I still want my Bachelor’s degree but find George Mason difficult in terms of convenience and it is AN too large, too difficult to register, etc. Overall, I am very much pleased with NVCC but I hope that the few instructors that were not in time to accommodate diversity may AN do so in the near future. AN Keep more synchrony with George Mason’s curricula, so transfer will be easier. My classes did not permit me time to notice any additional improvements to NVCC. Overall, my time at NVCC was very satisfactory. AN I enjoyed my time spent there. I have recommended the school to several people. 73 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Annandale Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? Teach students from scratch about technological skills, assuming that they know nothing. So many foreign students attend NOVA AN that have never even seen a “PC,” much less used one. AN Better teachers/ cleaner facility. AN Better parking regs. The instructors are excellent. Most hold graduate and doctoral degrees in their field and are enthusiastic about teaching. The counseling services would be better if the same counselor followed the student through each step; especially when students are AN trying to transfer to a four year institution. It would also be nice if one of the instructors doubled as a counselor to a few students if at all possible. Because the instructors are involved in education and not just administration, they would be excellent in guidance. AN Nothing. It’s great the way it is. AN Too many majors. Some majors are unnecessary. AN Have a bigger cafeteria with more room for students. Improve parking. Build dorms/apartments for students. AN Teachers should challenge students more. AN Better advising. 74 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? LO Again I wish I was pushed a little more. I’m finding Mary Washington to be a lot harder and I wish I was more prepared. LO Instruction was great! You could provide online testing. But actually the testing labs work very well. LO Don’t change a thing. LO Nothing! Keep doing what you are doing and don’t deviate from it!!! LO Would love if it could become a four-year institution. LO NVCC can improve its instruction and services by increasing its lighting around and within the parking lots. Emphasize to new students about what four-year degree programs are available and which are two-year programs so that there are LO no mistakes. LO Fix Alexandria music building heating and cooling anomalies. LO Hiring more staff and providing them with the resources to improve classroom instruction. LO I am self motivated and enjoy ELI classes so I spent almost no time on campus. ELI instructors were great. The internship program needs more structure. I set my own goals and made my own contacts. I think the Horticulture Department LO needs to set up a partnership with various public gardens, hort/landscape businesses, etc. LO Expand the math lab staff to include more qualified tutors/instructors to handle students with the higher math. LO Continue to make returning students welcome. LO Get a bigger parking lot for NVCC Loudoun Campus. Change the parking policy back to what it was. Making “Speech Communication” classes interesting and realistic (to pass) for any LO majors not just people who major in it. Otherwise, they are discouraged. LO Remove STD 100 from the list of required classes. It did not help at all. I think it’s doing great, but maybe provide more clubs and organizations for students to get into. I’ve been to some activities and LO they were kind of dry (no offense) and seemed to cater to the faculty almost exclusively. Since I am 40 years old, I would like to see more flexibility with regard to older students not having to depend on younger students to LO get projects completed. Would be nice to be given a choice to work solo on projects. LO Keep doing what you’re doing. LO I think the expansion of the online program will be a major benefit. LO Better parking. Food instead of junk food in cafeteria. LO Add a few more classes to curriculum (fitness certification). Kinesiology (this may have been added since I was there.) LO Redesign curriculum based on the real-life workforce. Make all services more ELI friendly. LO Another exit out of campus! Instructors need to speak English clearly. LO You’re doing it. I recommend NOVA to anyone who listens. Ensure instructors are qualified. Had one that should not have been teaching my class. He didn’t know the material. Departments LO should be able to tell student if it is cancelled or not before registering. LO I think NVCC is great, other than my experience with the guidance department. Registering online would be very convenient. 75 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? LO Additional courses should be made available through ELI. Web courses are the preferred method. LO Sensitivity training for older (set in their ways) faculty. They need to be culturally responsible. LO Provide more afternoon, early evening classes. Although I eventually had an excellent counselor, I wished I had her from the beginning. I took unnecessary courses. This could LO have been avoided if I had received guidance from the beginning. Loudoun needs more food options in their cafeteria. The VET tech program needs more dog runs so they can expand the program! LO There is a demand for this program which is not being met because they can’t provide enough animals, therefore limiting the class size. LO Get more comfortable and bigger desks. Fix AC and heat. LO Be as competitive and challenging as the two first years of a four-year university. LO At this time I see no need for improvement. LO Advisors can be more helpful in providing information on transferring to four-year institutions. NVCC could provide online services that I now enjoy at VA Tech. I can immediately see what classes are available and also see LO transcripts, account balance, etc. LO Improving the convenience of Admissions and Records is the only thing I can think of. LO I think you could improve NVCC by providing more computer labs, especially at the Annandale Campus, for students to use. LO I'm happy with my experience at NVCC. Give the part-time teachers, especially the new teachers, a good overview of how they should teach the class because it’s the LO students that are suffering when the teacher’s not prepared. LO I think NVCC is an excellent place to start for college. I love NVCC very much. Professors are so nice and devoted. LO Hire more experienced instructors. LO Overall it was pretty good, but it could be a little more challenging. LO Improve parking. I think most foreign students get stuck in too many ESL classes. It is very discouraging. Something should be done about it. I LO would also ask the college to start more online classes as it will attract many stay-at-home-moms to go back to school. Professors encouraging the use of the school’s wonderful facilities. Most kids don’t know of these services until it’s too late. Writing LO lab, library, tutors they are fabulous but it takes effort to go to them. Those who do have a tremendous advantage in learning the necessary study skills. LO Spread out classes instead of combining them. LO Keep up the good work. 76 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? 1. NVCC students should be able to register online. 2. 16-weeks is an extremely long time to finish a course. For example: two of my friends who attended Park University for an Associate’s Degree completed their classes within 9 weeks. In addition, we all needed 10 courses (30 credits) to graduate. I decided to attend NVCC, while my friends attended Park University. Needless to say, they both earned their Associate’s degree before me. In addition, one of the ladies has completed her Bachelor’s degree. Certainly, LO it was a bit frustrating watching them sign up for two classes compared to my one course. Why are the NVCC classes now 16 weeks? Years ago, when I attended NVCC, the courses were 12-weeks. As a result, for my bachelor’s degree, I am looking at attending Park University (online 8 weeks, regular class 9 weeks). Or, Potomac University, which has 9-week courses. 3. The Loudoun NVCC campus should offer courses in Acquisition. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any courses for that campus. LO Offering more courses in its ELI program. LO NVCC is already an excellent service. Maybe better learning equipment and more classes could improve things even more. Go back to the old parking stickers (ones in the window inside the car with the clear pouch) and if one is stolen to look more into it LO and not about ticketing if you don’t have one. Instruction – require more “writing” classes and computer classes. Service – charge a parking fee when student pays tuition. Then LO you can charge less and get rid of some campus police. I would suggest that NVCC hold a forum at the beginning of a term and query the newly enrolled students regarding the counseling received and what could be done to improve it. Also, I requested a waiver from orientation since my first class was in the 1970s and LO only in recent years I attended the certificate course. By the time I finally knew I’d be graduating, it was too late to get a gown. So I missed graduation. LO I had a wonderful experience earning my Associates in Communication Design from NOVA Loudoun. Obtain and keep instructors that are interested in teaching and are knowledgeable with real life experiences as well as being well LO educated, effective instructors. LO Get better state funding. LO Hire more instructors. LO Try harder to conduct all classes on campus and not at “off campus” locations. LO Offer more of the classes that are listed in the catalog. LO Improve equipment and encourage creative teaching methods and departmental communication and cooperation. LO Add more graphic design courses, as well as up-to-date computers and software in the courses involving computers. LO Sign up for classes online. Online bill payment (tuition). LO You need more money, but when will that happen?? I think you are doing a great job with the resources you’ve got. LO Need new counselors. They really don’t help. Parking – need more at Loudoun Campus and labels for the rows so that you don’t lose your car. Counselors need better training, LO especially in hearing what the student is saying. A cafeteria with real food and coffee. A bigger bookstore. 77 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Loudoun Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? My overall experience was great at NVCC. The only improvement I can think of would be a food court or food service for students LO who do not have time to leave campus. Offer more sections of difficult courses. Improve parking availability. Update computer science program to include at least some LO UNIX exposure. Have more adjunct/part-time faculty teach. Offer more hands-on practicum within local clinics. Online classes should be a class, LO not just the teachers notes posted on a website for us to memorize. Have more online discussions, interaction, etc. have a prep course for one credit doing during the last semester that is totally review for the boards. Have students teach weekly lessons. LO Provide a cafeteria for students (not vending machines). LO Improve career counseling. There needs to be a better use of technology. Library hours need to be extended. More involved teachers who don’t just assign LO scantron tests. I had some difficulties with the advising process – maybe it is the way advisors are trained but I didn’t find them very helpful. They LO didn’t really “advise” – they just directed me to info. Like a librarian. Given the number of students, this may be difficult, but it might be helpful to assign students to an advisor in their major. LO Being more helpful in counseling services. 78 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? MA There should be some sort of dietary offering on campus. If state budget problems were not an issue, I would suggest each campus expand their course offerings. I believe expanding the MA ELI options would be very beneficial. I was very pleased with the ELI system. You could reach more students without hurting your campus population. I am still enrolling in ELI courses. MA Have more ELI classes. MA Counselors need better comprehension of academic degree requirements. MA Keep up the good work. MA Get more updated equipment, classes and project-oriented classes. Larger budget to X’s department. More energetic staff at registration and records offices. I found some of the personnel very MA unhelpful and almost hostile – as if it was a bother to them to ask a question. MA I often thought it would be helpful if someone other than the students evaluated professors and class content regularly. Get teachers who know the subject they are teaching. Even if they don’t care about the students, the students can still learn from MA the teacher. Stop cutting classes and other services. The cafeteria could use a lot of improvement. There is hardly a selection when it comes to MA eating. Pay teachers more, some deserve it. MA Renovate some classrooms at the AN Campus, including extending parking area. Many students take classes, yet have no idea what the real job work environment may entail. Result: student spends two years MA studying for a major they may not want to continue at a four-year school. Which in turn requires the student to take an extra year of school. MA Very good now! MA Make NVCC a four-year college. MA Only send one survey to all graduates, whether or not they graduated with more than one degree. Thank you. MA Keeping pace with business community needs. MA NVCC was a great experience for me. I miss that school very much. MA Would like to see Info Serv Tech majors used for help desk support and lab maintenance. MA Get your IT degree to be accepted at GMU. Provide more info to students about financial aid. Don’t just hand them handouts. They need step-by-step help, especially if student MA is the first in their family to go to college and has no experience to draw on. MA More communication with students on school news and events, maybe a newspaper or flyer. Not everyone checks their email. Have more than one teacher for one subject. Help student to be able to see different views, not only one. Thanks for providing MA education for lower income students. MA Top notch as it is. 79 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Manassas Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? The ELI classes are too hard. You basically have to memorize the book because there usually is no guidance about what you have MA to know other than everything. I would take more than one class at a time if they didn’t require such a major overload of work. You do a really great job! You should find a way for ELI students to be able to take their exams on-line and not have to come to the MA campus. The reason we take ELI courses is because it is difficult to get to the campus. MA Improve facilities. MA Challenge the students more, expand resources. Provide many classes in all NVCC campuses. Some classes are only offered in other campuses and people can’t take classes MA because they are far away. MA More choices and better quality food in cafeteria. Offer classes that need to be taken by a wide variety of students at a wide variety of times; every semester they are basically offered MA at the same time. MA New facilities, more funding for labs. MA Offer more classes about international issues. Encourage more group work. The Loudoun Campus definitely needs to improve its parking services. Also, some classes could be offered more times than they MA were. Hire more dedicated adjunct teachers if this is the route the college has to go. I realize that with the state funding in the poor shape MA it is that adjunct teachers are needed, but make sure the teachers are not teaching just to say "I'm a teacher at…" MA Offer a larger variety of classes at upper levels (200+). Variety of courses on weekends. Make services available on weekends. On a case-by-case basis, remove STD 100 requirement. In some way improve the availability of courses, services, and facilities for the working (full-time) students. One of the main groups MA that NVCC claims to be a benefit for are the working adult students. From experience, this is the biggest falsehood spoken by the college. Improve or stop the advertisement. MA Have a bachelors program. I prefer NVCC over all other colleges I ever attended. More fresh foods in the cafeteria would be nice. And a different location for the video games which are loud even when no one’s MA playing them! (This applies to Manassas campus…) Instruction is very good. However, some instruction is given with an “I don’t care” attitude. I found this to be true mostly in the MA required general classes. MA I think the community college is very democratic and I personally enjoyed learning there. Be sure people are capable of teaching along with having proper credentials. Just because someone has qualifications does not MA mean they can communicate well and willingly. Provide better cafeteria services. Too much junk food in machines. MA Listen to the students about what they want and which professors are bad apples. MA Allow for transfer of parking privileges to two vehicles. Abolish smoking near building entrances/exits! MA Satisfied with the present condition. 80 Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? NVCC can improve its instruction and services by continuing to improve the ELI program and by making classes more readily WO available. WO Please rethink the faculty advisor issue. My impression is that the faculty primarily wants to teach and not advise. I think the courses, if taken in classrooms, should have more group work, because students feel more involved in the class and learn WO a lot more through ideas and participation. Things could be improved by allowing the teachers to spend more one-on-one time with the students, which means making several WO classes available at multiple times of the day. This would truly be a huge benefit to students/customers. WO Have more classes available. WO The testing center has already been redone; great job! WO Offer more classes for the working adult, more evening, more weekend-only, and more four-week classes. WO Services were good. Could use a bit more people resources with the counseling department. WO Offer more classes during summer semester. WO Be more flexible and understanding with all students. Closer parking to the building. The policy change that did not allow folks to change the pass from one car to another (still the same WO student) was a royal pain!!!!!! I believe a required counseling session to discuss educational goals and objectives at the beginning of a degree would be WO advantageous. WO Course content should prepare you better for a four-year institution. WO None that I can think of. WO NOVA doesn’t need much improvement. NOVA really improves students and gets us ready for four-year college. Be sure that instructors of or from other countries speak English well enough to be clearly understood. Make available space for WO quiet study time. More assistance in computer lab during test or report time. WO Professors should keep up with technologies. WO Ask instructors to respond to students faster. WO Assist students in obtaining internships. WO It’s been several years since I took physical courses at NVCC. Not sure. WO Make available more classes in summer. WO Better understanding to student on transfer credits and how they work. WO Petition for state funds to hire qualified instructors that know their subject. Offer a wider variety of English electives. Integrate more technology-based instruction into the business classes (spreadsheets, WO database management). Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? The counselors should tell students that it is better to get an Associate’s degree. When I was being advised they told me you could either just take the courses or get your Associate’s, that it didn’t make a difference. I ended up having to get my Associate’s once I was already at a four-year school. The faculty advisor I was given, X, was no help. I had turned in my graduation application in the WO fall of 2001, she saw that I was missing paperwork but didn’t bother to tell me that she wasn’t sending my application and the only way I found out was when I called to see when I was receiving my diploma and they told me there was no application filed under my name. The problem I have is that my phone number was on the application and she didn’t bother to call me. If I had not called, I would have had to keep waiting around. It would be nice if NOVANET gave a prompt if you try and register for a class that you’ve already taken and passed. Better training WO for guidance counselors and/or counselors present specifically to aid with transfer information. Services: Campus bookstore hours were not so convenient for the HVACR students. Half the time, it would be closed by the time WO we got to school for classes. WO Did not have any major problems in these areas except understanding all the financial aid procedures. WO Availability of classes. Yearly parking pass instead of per semester. Turn off the air conditioning. Better teachers – some of the worst teachers I had were WO at NOVA. Get the Dean or Provost involved in all departments. Counselors give wrong information (only one or two know what they are WO doing). Admission personnel are rude and unwilling to help if there is a problem. Cafeteria prices are way too high for the quality and quantity. It’s filthy. WO Offer more post-graduate (associate) options. ODU was perfect. WO Have more bookkeeping classes. Realize that their student body is partially made up of the older working adult class and expand their services to accommodate WO them. WO WO was home campus but I had to take one class at AN. Have all classes at students’ home campus. WO Let students have input in changes to the campuses, school and organizations. WO The instruction and services are fine the way they are. WO The teachers are great. The ladies in the Associate of Arts Department need to be a little more helpful and friendly. WO More online resources. WO Convert to a four-year university. WO Bring nursing program further south. WO Offer more evening and ELI classes. WO At this time I have no suggestions for improvement. The cafeteria food could be improved, but this is not a major factor to me. All ELI classes should have a mandatory first night meeting with an instructor. The ELI class content was much more demanding WO than on-site classes. WO More contact between student and faculty advisor. Northern Virginia Community College - Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Comments from 2003 NVCC Graduates by Campus Woodbridge Campus Campus Question 3: How Can NVCC Improve Its Instruction and Service? Beware of some of those adjunct professors. I had one that concerned me. No real patience with students who weren’t WO understanding the material. Not very encouraging either. WO I think they should improve their parking and remodel the cafeteria. WO Tuition too high (stop raising it). Better parking access. Overall everything is good. Provide better variety of classes for those attending night school. Not everybody on Quantico wants a computer/criminology WO degree. WO Pay your teachers more – they deserve it! WO More knowledgeable about college programs and their responsibility completing the paperwork. Mainly I think the guidance needs lots of work. Teachers are good. I would like to see classes offered in the evening like they are WO offered in the morning on more than one or two days a week like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Monday, Wednesday, Friday so they won't be as long. The services are great, especially with all the local campuses that are available. If something was not available at one campus, you WO could more than likely find it at one of the others. I thought professors were excellent and understanding. One time I had an exam but my son got strep throat and the professor was WO very understanding in letting me take the exam at the learning/testing lab. WO Quality instructors – proficient in English. Online registration working properly on the first day. WO Make sure all instructors are familiar with the course they are teaching, even ELI. WO It relies heavily on adjunct teachers, who do not always have education as a primary goal. WO Improve the parking situation.
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