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The Northwest Vista College learning vision calls for students, faculty and staff to become responsible members of our world community as we create exemplary models for:

Learning to be…
Learning to work…
Learning to serve…
Learning to lead…

Together.

One of the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we cannot be together physically. The very essence of supporting one another in times of crisis has been taken away from us. The Northwest Vista College leadership team and the Alamo Colleges District board and administration are responding to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our city’s leadership regarding COVID-19 to keep our students, faculty, staff and community members safe.

Although the virus is devastating human life and causing immense disruptions to daily operations among all industry sectors on the local, regional, national and global level, human synergy is not lost.

Physical space is not the only way to define togetherness. The Northwest Vista College community defines our vision of togetherness as: positive interdependence, partnering, collaboration, cooperation, tolerance for and acceptance of difference, and synergy.

Moving to a remote teaching, learning, and working platform so rapidly has been bumpy and confusing. Yet we have witnessed an unprecedented level of accommodation from the Alamo Colleges District board, administration, faculty, staff, students, and our business and community partners.

There is no denying that COVID-19 has amplified the visibility of our local and global digital divide and socioeconomic inequity. But it has also forced communities, organizations, businesses, and governmental entities to partner and collaborate. The Alamo Colleges District – which includes Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College and St. Philip’s College – has already been working with local, regional and national organizations and businesses to bridge the digital divide and food insecurity. Similar examples in the community abound. The COVID-19 crisis has propelled our partnerships to new levels.

Is all of this enough? No, but it leads on a path of growth as we create a culture filled with the mindset of abundance. It also further redefines the concept of togetherness. 

Students, faculty, and staff at Northwest Vista College and across the world are being challenged. The learning curve for many has been steep. But a great majority are trying to be extremely flexible and patient. Employees and students are reaching across the usual boundaries to share information, make improvements and keep each other calm and safe.

As we venture down this unexpected path, we know that we will learn from our mistakes and make needed adjustments. That is what Northwest Vista College has done during our 25-year history and what our senior sister colleges have done for many more.  

People are grieving the loss of lives stricken by this virus and by the physical, emotional, and financial suffering of so many. Those fortunate enough to be healthy may still feel like prisoners in their own homes. But remote community still has binding characteristics.

I am inspired by Northwest Vista College faculty, staff and students and those across the Alamo Colleges District and other colleges and universities across the nation.

Although the walkways and bridges at Northwest Vista College are currently empty, I can’t help but visualize our campus bridge banners exhibiting Northwest Vista College touchstones:

  • Learning
  • Community
  • Caring
  • Synergy
  • Diversity
  • Creativity
  • Openness
  • Integrity  
  • Joy

These are the pillars of Northwest Vista College’s 25-year history and they are also the pillars of human existence. 

Ric Neal Baser

Ric Neal Baser is the president of Northwest Vista College, one of the colleges within the Alamo Colleges District. He is also the president of the Higher Education Council of San Antonio, a consortium...