QVCC Reflects on Start of Fall 2020 Semester

A Word from First-Year Students and Dean of Academic
Affairs and Student Services

It’s been just over a month since QVCC students have returned to the fall semester after a unique and unprecedented spring term due to the effects of COVID-19. Dr. Joe Cullen, Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services, commends the efforts put forth by staff and faculty and feels enthusiastic moving forward.

“In times of crisis, people pull together. It’s a natural human tendency that when we share in crisis, there is an immediate uptick of going the extra mile. I think the QVCC community is a perfect example of this. Staff and faculty have extended themselves and have shown amazing flexibility, and the positive feedback we’re receiving from students is a direct reflection of our campus community,” said Cullen.

When the pandemic first hit, QVCC was tasked with creating a safe, flexible, and healthy environment for students. As Dr. Cullen stated, “The health and safety of our students is more important than any other concern. Our response to the pandemic has been a model response,” referring to the numerous safety measures that have been implemented and the various course types QVCC now offers, including online and hybrid courses, designed to give students more flexibility in choosing the learning environment that best suits their individual needs and schedules.

When asked about the transition to mostly online learning, first-year QVCC student Caroline Gagnon said, “Online learning is definitely hard to get used to, and of course it would be beneficial to see my teachers in person and get to know them on that level, but my teachers have been extremely understanding and helpful.” Gagnon shared that she is taking her general courses at QVCC to save money, with intentions of transferring to Plymouth State University to complete her bachelor’s degree in the future.

Emma Turner, another first-year QVCC student, shared a similar testimonial, saying, “I was supposed to attend Endicott College, but I chose QVCC because I get to attend for free, and it felt like a better option at this time.” In terms of the transition to online learning, Turner commented, “I like to have more freedom at home. I’m working full-time, so getting to choose time to work on school is beneficial. Overall, my experience at QVCC has been great as the teachers are very helpful and are doing their best to make online learning comfortable.”

As expected, there are also downsides to learning remotely. First-year QVCC student Trinity Angel admits, “I’m a very hands-on learner and doing everything online can be annoying – but it’s not the end of the world. I can definitely handle it, it’s just something to get used to.” Like Gagnon and Turner, Angel is attending QVCC to save money and plans to transfer next semester.

Looking ahead to the spring 2021 semester, students can expect to see a schedule very similar to the current schedule, along with the same course modalities that are being offered this fall. Late Start classes will also be offered to help acclimate students. Likewise, students can look forward to a proliferation of additional class formats in the form of hybrid Saturday classes, which would only require students to give up one Saturday per month. QVCC also plans to offer half-semester courses, and in fall 2021 we will offer courses in a 7-week or 8-week format, allowing students to take courses like criminal justice, phlebotomy, medical assisting, and other programs that lead to jobs in a faster timeframe.

When asked “Why should a student choose QVCC?”, Cullen confidently responded, “I’ve been involved in education for 30+ years, and in that time, both on a personal level and in terms of my research, the most important core ingredient is not the classroom, not the materials, not the curriculum, but the teachers. That’s the magic ingredient, which we have in abundance.” Cullen continued, “We have around 700 full-time students and that kind of staff-to-student ratio doesn’t exist in many places.”

In other positive news, QVCC has moved its satellite location from Windham Technical High School back to its former location at 729 Main Street in Willimantic, which is shared with EASTCONN’s LEAP (Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership) Alternative School. This convenient location will offer a variety of subjects ranging from core courses in English and math to communication, art, English as a Second Language (ESL), Early Childhood Education, history, humanities, and science.

 

Get Ready for the Winter and Spring Terms

Registration for Winter and Spring Begins October 15

The fall semester is in full swing, but it is the right time to lock down your schedule for winter and spring. The winter intersession will be held completely online and is a two week, accelerated term beginning Monday, January 4.  This is a great opportunity to get-ahead or catch-up with your educational plan.

Spring courses will begin on January 22, 2021. Classes for the spring semester will be taught in a variety of ways. Class modalities include on-campus teaching, live remote teaching and online. Learn more about our course modalities.

Current students should meet with their academic advisor now and develop a plan for the next two terms.  A relationship with your academic advisor can help you stay on-track with your certificate or degree and  QVCC. Learn more about academic advising and scheduling a virtual advising appointment

The most up-to-date course schedule is always available through MyCommNet.

Willimantic Location

QVCC moved back to 729 Main Street in Willimantic beginning in the fall semester (at the LEAP location). Current and future students can meet with staff between 4 and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  Contact Maria Garcia-Alvarez, mgarcia@qvcc.edu, 860.230.6129 to schedule an appointment.

Become a Student

If you are interested in starting during winter or spring, apply to the College (no application fee) now and complete the accepted student checklist.  For visiting students from other Colleges who will only attend for the winter term, apply to the College today as a non-degree/non-matriculated student.

Learn more about the admissions process and the College. Attend one of our upcoming Information Sessions this fall.

 

October 14, 2020

Eighteen Students Complete QVCC’s CNA Program and Receive Jobs

Westview Health Care Center CNAsDespite the impediments presented by the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this spring, 18 students have successfully completed Quinebaug Valley Community College’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program and received jobs in the respective fields.

“Back in March I remember telling the CNA students that although it was unclear when we would return to class, we would meet back at the finish line — I never thought that would be five months later! I am so proud of this outstanding group of 18 students that returned to complete the program. They did not allow Covid to ruin their plans, just postpone them a bit,” said Stephanie Majewski, course instructor. “There is such a need in our community right now for qualified CNAs, especially in our long-term care facilities. This fall, QVCC will continue to provide CNA training through a hybrid program, featuring both online learning and in person lab components. I look forward to meeting our future CNAs!”

QVCC is proud to share that each of the 18 students received jobs following completion of the course, seven of which were hired locally by Westview Health Care Center, situated in Dayville, CT.

“We are truly excited to welcome several new QVCC Certified Nursing Assistant graduates to our Westview family,” stated David T. Panteleakos, Administrator. “The CNA training and certification program at Quinebaug Valley Community College is absolutely invaluable to the health care industry and our community.”

The demand for CNAs in our area is extremely high. The hands-on experience offered at QVCC can further your education as a nurse or in other health care fields. QVCC is offering a hybrid CNA course beginning on September 14, in addition to a section that will be added in October. Anyone who is interested in registering should contact Amanda Giles at agiles@qvcc.edu to be added to the waitlist. The cost of the class is $1250 with tuition assistance available.

Course Information

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Next class begins October 12
Cost: $1,250
*Tuition assistance available; May be eligible for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or SNAP funds*

 

Purchase Books Online

QVCC bookstore logo

Update: QVCC Bookstore & Buying Textbooks

QVCC students who are looking to purchase textbooks and materials for the fall 2020 semester can only do so through our online shop at qvcc-shop.com. Orders will be shipped directly via USPS. Students are able to use any major credit card, PayPal, or Financial Aid as the payment option. Students using Financial Aid must start their banner ID with the @ symbol during the checkout process.

Financial Aid is available now through September 11th. Due to limited transportation availability as a result of COVID-19, we strongly suggest students make purchases sooner rather than later as delivery times may be extended.

Questions?

Store Manager: Mik Saksith, m.saksith@follett.com
Phone: (860) 779-1177 | Fax: (860) 779-3105


 

2,200 Students eligible for PACT at priority deadline; funding remains on a first come, first served basis

(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Mark Ojakian announced that interest in the Pledge to Advance Connecticut (PACT), Connecticut’s tuition and fee free community college program, has been strong, with more than 2,200 students receiving $2.5 million in grant awards through the July 15 deadline for priority consideration. These qualified students will owe no out-of-pocket tuition or mandatory fees to attend one of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges.

More than half – those whose tuition and fees are already covered by existing federal, state, and institutional funding – will receive the minimum grant of $250 for educational expenses.

“While it might not sound like a lot, that $250 grant will make a real difference to our poorer students, many of whom are students of color, who all too often face nearly insurmountable obstacles – from childcare, to food insecurity, to unreliable transportation – to obtaining a degree,” President Ojakian said.

As previously announced, the community colleges will continue to accept applications for PACT for the fall semester on a first come, first served basis. Students who enroll now will receive priority in the order in which they are received, within available funding. CSCU plans to award at least an additional $1 million in PACT scholarships to eligible students.

“It is not too late for qualified students to attend college with no out-of-pocket expenses,” said Dr. David Levinson, interim president of Connecticut State Community College. “All potential college students should strongly consider a community college. With free community college and seamless transfer to our universities, students can earn even earn a four-year degree while saving tens of thousands of dollars. It’s a win-win, but potential students should not wait. Enroll today at ct.edu/pact.”

In order to qualify for PACT, potential students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a graduate of a public or private Connecticut high school (GED and homeschooled students qualify).
  • Be a first-time college student (those who participated in dual enrollment programs while in high school are not excluded).
  • Fill out FAFSA and accept all awards.
  • Attend community college full-time (12 or more credits per semester).
  • Enroll in classes today for first come, first served consideration.
  • Participate in a degree or credit-bearing certificate program.
  • Once enrolled, remain in good academic standing.

PACT is a last-dollar scholarship, so once students enroll in classes and complete all necessary financial aid documentation, including the FAFSA, PACT funding will be applied to their account.

LEARN MORE

Release July 27, 2020
Leigh Appleby, CSCU director of communications

 

QVCC Offers New Online Performing Arts Courses this Fall

This fall, Quinebaug Valley Community College is pleased to offer several new and exciting Performing Arts courses—all live online experiences from the comfort of your living room. Students can now earn college credit while having fun in classes like dance, guitar, and theatrical improvisation.

Movement as Creative Expression explores the elements of dance including classical and contemporary technique, choreography/composition, and performance. Students will engage with technical dance genres, participate in creative choreography, and work on collaborative projects.

Tap Dance is a percussive form of dance utilizing time, weight, coordination, speed, and rhythm. Students will gain an awareness of tap techniques, its origins, impact, and evolution. Both dances classes are a fun way to get a good workout from the comfort of the living room.

Guitar I and Guitar II courses encourage students to rock the guitar this fall. Both classes provide a basic foundation in guitar playing and musicianship. Guitar I is geared to students with no previous experience in the guitar or general music. Literacy in guitar notation and tab reading, and basic rhythms and chords will be developed. Guitar II is for students who have some experience with the guitar, know a few chords, and feel ready to take their playing to the next level.

Improvisation, also known as the “Yes, and” performing art form, is based on theatrical games where actors create scenes and characters on the spot. Employed by business leaders and professionals in all industries, improv training sharpens the mind and helps shy people learn to socialize as they tap their comedic impulses. This online course is for all students, including those new to improvisation, as well as those familiar with establishing support, trust, initiation, agreement, and the other tools used by those skillful improvisers seen on TV shows like SNL and Whose Line is It, Anyway?

Dance classes are taught by Nichola Johnson, a choreographer who holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Johnson’s approach to education empowers the student to master technical elements and develop a rich personal style. Nichola is the Founder/Director of The Complex Performing and Creative Arts Centre in Northeastern Connecticut and serves on the faculties of many high school and college performing arts departments.

Guitar is taught by Chris Monti, a professional musician teaching guitar and playing music professionally for over 15 years. His eclectic style embraces rock & roll, country-blues, early jazz, and R+B. Singing and playing electric guitar and harmonica in several bands, he leads The Chris Monti Band, playing an upbeat mix of original dance music along with West African and Caribbean songs, and is a member of The Devilfish, a power trio dance band covering surf, mambo, cumbia, punk, blues, boogie and Latin pop.

Improvisation acting is taught by Tom Epstein, a performer who trained at NY-based Upright Citizens Brigade. Epstein is a house-team performer, coach, and instructor at P.I.G. (Providence Improv Guild www.improvpig.com), and an educator with degrees from Emerson College.

For more information regarding the Performing Arts courses, please contact Brian Kaufman at okaufman@qvcc.edu.

The first day of fall semester begins on Wednesday, August 26. To apply to the College, visit qvcc.edu/admissions-financial-aid/admissions/ and be sure to apply for Financial Aid. If you need assistance, please email the Admissions Department at admissions@qvcc.edu and they will be happy to assist you.

Nichola Johnson headshot
Nichola Johnson
Chris Monti headshot
Chris Monti
Tom Epstein headshot
Tom Epstein

 

Advanced Manufacturing Program is Up and Running

Introduction to Machine Operator Program and Spring Credit Courses Resume On-Campus

Quinebaug Valley Community College closed campus on March 12th in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most QVCC classes were able to resume online the week of March 23, but hands-on courses needing lab time needed a different solution.  QVCC Director of Advanced Manufacturing, Steve LaPointe received approval for a phase one re-opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) by Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian in late May.  Using CDC guidelines, social distancing and safety precautions, the first group of students returned on June 2, and 12 students were able to complete their short-term training in Introduction to Machine Operator Program they began March 3.

The Introduction to Machine Operator Program, is a seven-week, 210 hour program through the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor-Workforce Innovation Fund in partnership with the CT Department of Labor and the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board.  This was the 21st Pipeline program run at QVCC.  The training supports the hiring demands for Electric Boat, Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA) and other manufacturers.  Mark Hill, interim president/CEO EWIB congratulated the students on their success, “Congratulations to QVCC and the Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative (MPI) students for completing the Machine Operator training program! Using on-line training and other creative options, they persevered in the training program in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The students acquired important skills which will help them in the job market in the future.”

On Monday June 8th, students who were enrolled in spring manufacturing courses started back at the lab to finish National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Credentials. Additional plans this summer include bringing Windham Early College Opportunity (ECO) students to campus starting July 6. ECO is a collaboration between QVCC and Windham High School, Willimantic, CT which provides a pathway of courses taught at Windham High School leading towards a QVCC certificate in Advanced Manufacturing.

LaPointe stated, “It is great to get up and running again at the College. The students in the Pipeline program were eager complete, as you can tell by their smiles (photo attached).” LaPointe also talked about the upcoming fall semester stating, “We will be running with half the capacity we normally run for a total of 24 students, dividing them between on-ground in the classroom and in the lab. Students who are interested in enrolling for fall should not delay.”

For additional information, contact Steve LaPointe, 860.932.4111 or slapointe@qvcc.edu.

CARES Act Distributions for Students

May 22, 2020

Questions: please contact the Bursar’s office, Jen Hyatt

QVCC Students:
The recently enacted federal CARES Act includes a distribution of funds to institutions of higher education, including QVCC.  A significant portion of this funding will be reserved to provide students with grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to Covid-19.

***To avoid delays in receiving the grant, please consider immediately enrolling in direct deposit by following the link below or clicking on the “Direct Deposit” box directly on the homepage of MyCommnet. Please also review for the accuracy of your address and any direct deposit information already on file.

Please note the following important terms of the grant:

  • This grant is to be used as direct assistance for expenses related to the disruption of your studies during the spring 2020 semester, such as: food, housing, materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.
  • Even if you have an outstanding balance on your account, your grant will not be reduced.
  •  This funding does not impact your financial aid award.

We are working as quickly as possible to process the funding, and we currently estimate the money to be disbursed in May, but the timing is subject to change. Students on direct deposit can expect the grant to be deposited sooner than those receiving checks.

Graduation Application Extended

Monday, March 16, 2020

QVCC students who are applying to graduate in May 2020 can apply for graduation until April 15. The application is available online and should be Emailed to the Records Office.  If you have already applied for graduation, you should receive an Email with your graduation audit.  The graduation ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Danielson campus.

GRADUATION APPLICATION 2020

GRADUATION CEREMONY INFORMATION

QVCC Earns 2020-2021 Military Friendly® School Designation

Military Friendly School 2020-2021Quinebaug Valley Community College announced that it has earned the 2020-2021 Military Friendly® School designation, maintaining Gold status distinction.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,000 schools participated in the 2020-2021 survey with 695 earning the designation.

The 2020-­2021 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

Annie Hill, QVCC Veterans Associate and School Certifying Official stated, “It is such an honor to have been named a Military Friendly® School, maintaining our Gold status distinction. Quinebaug Valley Community College is so proud to have been recognized for the level of service provided to the students who have so selflessly served our country. Veteran students are an integral part of our college community, and their successes are indicative in this achievement.”

Military Friendly’s National Director Josh Rosen stated, “Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to colleges creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to invest in programs to provide educational outcomes that are better for the Military Community as a whole.”

For more information about QVCC’s student veteran programs, visit QVCC’s website at www.qvcc.edu/veterans.

# # #

About Military Friendly® Schools:
The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data­-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all post­secondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

About Quinebaug Valley Community College:
QVCC is committed to providing the best possible education, guidance, and support for our military men and women. We take pride in offering veterans and service members a strong support system, including assistance with military educational benefits packages, advising, registration and certification services in a one-stop fashion. The dedicated Veterans Oasis, Veterans Advisory Committee, Veterans Day Celebration, Veterans Stand Down Resource Fair, and Veterans Garden are some of the ways QVCC supports its veterans.

About Viqtory:
Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands.  VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity. Learn more about VIQTORY at www.viqtory.com.

For further information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Josh Rosen
Military Friendly
Military Friendly National Director
Josh.Rosen@militaryfriendly.com 

Annie Hill
Quinebaug Valley Community College
Veterans Associate and School Certifying Official
ahill@qvcc.edu |860-932-4114