thank you, thank you, thank you

With the foundation’s fourth signature fundraising event quickly approaching, we say thank you to Rosen Shingle Creek for graciously hosting A Taste for Learning on Oct. 17, 2009. This is the second year the event will be held at the Rosen and we are grateful for their support.

THANK YOU ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK!!!

We hope you’ll consider joining us on Oct. 17 to enjoy fellowship and a common intention of advancing education in our community.

Check us out: www.valencia.org/taste

what is in a name?

Shakespeare’s Juliet said: What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Community colleges in Florida are working through this now. Are we junior colleges, community colleges, state colleges or simply colleges?

The debate is brewing and colleges are choosing sides.

At issue is whether we’ll offer four-year degrees, as some community colleges have chosen to do.

Also at issue is presumed prestige that may be part of changing our names.

Will Valencia offer four-year degrees? It’s possible. But only in close collaboration with our partner, UCF, to determine these programs are better provided by us.

Will state naming conventions change, forcing Valencia to become Valencia College? This is also possible.

But I have to say that I’ve always appreciated the fact that Community is our middle name.

After all, that’s what we’re all about.

august rush

It’s almost August, isn’t it?

 This is usually the time of year that I run around with my pants on fire! There is so much to do in one month, thirty-one days to be exact. Every possible deadline is hidden in the month of August.  Financial aid deadlines, fee payment deadline, scholarship deadlines. WOW!

This is also the time of year that our students walk onto our campuses and feel inspired to start changing their lives. There is something special about the fall term and the students that it brings. Every person that begins this journey is special and I feel privileged to work where I can help someone achieve their dreams.

That being said, I am grateful to have such a rich partnership with so many dedicated members of the staff! I work with such a talented group of individuals that see our students through each step of the way. They help ensure that our students are able to move from one step of their educational career to the next, from applying for admission to filing their graduation forms. This is all possible by working together!

As a staff member and a returning student I know how much work and devotion each member of the staff is offered to our students on a daily basis. I feel overwhelmed by their good work and I am proud to be a Valencian!

florida and valencia get a boost

Valencia Community College’s innovative remedial programs – and improved measurement of student progress – have been selected as a model for helping more young people succeed.Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MDC, Inc. are giving over $1 million to the state of Florida and Valencia Community College to expand groundbreaking remedial education programs that promise to boost the college completion rates of low-income students and students of color.

Every year, roughly 375,000 Florida degree-seeking students attend a local community college, with nearly 40 percent of them having to take remedial classes to build basic academic skills. Many are unable to meet their goal of completing college. National studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of those who take remedial classes never graduate. However, successful programs at several colleges demonstrate that these numbers can be improved.

The grants announced today will support innovative remedial programs developed by Valencia Community College through Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a multi-year national initiative that is aiming to dramatically boost college graduation rates among low-income students and students of color. The remedial education models pioneered by these colleges represent some of the most promising work in the country for boosting college completion rates among struggling students. Continue reading

new scholarship winner from sungard

SunGard Public Sector recently announced the first award for the Freddie Filmore Jr. Memorial Scholarship through Valencia Foundation.

The scholarship recipient, Tonia Henselin, is a Valencia Community College student working toward her associate of applied science degree in criminal justice. She plans to transfer to the University of Central Florida and continue her education to become a juvenile probation officer.
This scholarship was developed in partnership with Valencia Foundation and is designated for students registered for the Law Enforcement Academy through the Criminal Justice Institute. The family of Freddie Filmore Jr. screens and selects the recipient for the scholarship, which offers financial assistance for tuition, books, fees and materials.
Mr. Filmore was a long-time employee of SunGard Public Sector who passed away suddenly in 2007. SunGard Public Sector provides technology and software solutions to help public safety and justice agencies, city and county governments, and K-12 school districts improve the lives of the citizens they serve. These solutions impact more than 140 million citizens in North America.
The mission of the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) at Valencia Community College is to prepare criminal justice officers to protect and serve. The institute offers a world-class learning environment in a 77,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training facility. As the population of Florida grows and as the strained economy continues to affect the local community, the need for qualified law enforcement and correctional officers must correspondingly increase to meet the need. Criminal justice is a demanding profession, requiring the individual to have a wide variety of knowledge and highly developed skills in defensive tactics, firearms, first aid and vehicle operations, according to CJI director, Jeffrey Goltz.
Since 2005, Valencia Foundation has been recognized as having the strongest community college endowment according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ national endowment study. Valencia Foundation is a local not-for-profit, IRS-approved 501(c)3 organization that seeks to unlock access to learning for students of all backgrounds. The mission of the foundation is to enhance learning, workforce training and economic development in Central Florida through the support of scholarships, teaching chairs, programs and buildings for Valencia Community College.
For more information or to make a donation, please call (407)582-3150 or visit http://www.VALENCIA.org.

valencia seeking playwrights

The Valencia Community College theater program is accepting plays for its annual Florida Playwrights competition, which has been held every year since 1991. The winning original play will be staged in April 2010, as part of Valencia’s regular subscription series.
Playwrights currently residing in Florida are invited to submit the first 15 pages of no more than two never-before-produced manuscripts. The deadline for submission is September 15, 2009.
Scripts must be original, previously unproduced, full-length plays. (Scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted.) Collaborations are acceptable, but children’s plays, musicals and adaptations are ineligible.
A panel of readers will evaluate the submitted excerpts and ask select writers to submit their full manuscripts. From those, one play will be chosen to be developed and workshopped with the playwright’s participation. The playwright will receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production.
The administrator of the competition plans to announce the winning play around December 1, 2009. The workshop process will begin in January 2010.
Electronic submissions are requested. They may be sent to Valencia’s artistic director, Julia Gagne at jgagne@valenciacc.edu. For further submission information or for a mailing address, please call 407-582-2296.