hispanic educational excellence

White House Brings “Community Conversations”on Hispanic Educational Excellence to Valencia

WhiteHouseInitiative35Valencia Community College hosted the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, a “Community Conversation,” on Wed., Sept. 23 attended by approximately 100 people.

The public forum led by Juan Sepulveda, director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, is part of a nationwide tour, including stops this week in Tampa, Miami and Puerto Rico.

Sepulveda outlined President Barack Obama’s ambitious goals for improving all facets of education in the U.S. from pre-kindergarten through elementary, middle school, high school and colleges. Among them is the recently announced $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” initiative that challenges states to redesign education to meet the demands of a global economy and return America to the top of the world’s producers of college graduates.

“This is our moon shot,” said Sepulveda of the ambitious project. “We’re in a unique point in history and our president is committing to the largest investment in education ever made.”

Among the efforts specifically impacting community colleges, the U.S. Dept. of Education will increase individual Pell Grant awards to $5,500; eliminate the costly middle layer in student loans resulting in the availability $6 billion more for low-interest loans; and dramatically streamline financial aid forms. Overall, President Obama has proposed an investment of $12 billion in community colleges over the next decade.

WhiteHouseInitiative85The attendees were invited to share their concerns and ideas on the issues facing Hispanics in attaining an education, including lack of parental involvement, language barriers, college affordability and funding constraints that limit access.

Valencia’s service to the Hispanic community is noteworthy in the following ways:

  • Valencia is more ethnically and racially diverse than at any time in its 42-year history, with Hispanics accounting for almost 27 percent of the 50,000 degree-seeking students.
  • Because enrollment exceeds 25 percent Hispanic with more than half of those considered low income, Valencia was formally designated in 2009 as an Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Dept. of Education.
  • Valencia ranks 3rd among the nation’s two-year institutions for the number of associate degrees awarded to Hispanics (up from 5th in 2008).
  • Valencia has long-term assessment results that show a reduction in academic achievement gaps across racial and ethnic groups, particularly among Caucasian and Hispanic students. In a study involving 34,000 students over four years that was undertaken as part of a national initiative called Achieving the Dream, Valencia has sought to improve the success rates of students in six courses that a majority of students must take and in which many have traditionally struggled. As a result of this work, achievement gaps between African American and Caucasian students narrowed from 13.4 percent in 2004 to 3.6 percent in 2008. Gaps between Hispanic and Caucasian students saw an even more dramatic shift, with Hispanics lagging by 1.8 percent in 2004, and four years later, surpassing their Caucasian counterparts by 4 percent. These results were largely due to three strategies employed as part of the ATD initiative to improve student performance: peer tutoring, linked courses, and mandated enrollment in a Student Success course for those who were required to take development math, reading or writing.
  • The College has won two national awards in 2009 as a result of its focus on identifying and closing achievement gaps: a grant in the amount of $733,333 from MDC., Inc., a grantee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to boost the college completion rates of low-income students and students of color, and the national Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Student Success Leadership Award presented by the Lumina Foundation for Education.

The White Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics was created by executive order under President George W. Bush in 2001. The community conversations will serve as the foundation for a new presidential executive order that will govern the White House Initiative and will be signed by President Barack Obama. The office operates under the U.S. Department of Education and has as its charge to examine the underlying causes of the existing education achievement gap between Hispanic American students and their peers. For information, visit their website at http://www.yic.gov.

 

September 23, 2009
Marketing & Media Relations
407-582-1017; ia@atlas.valenciacc.edu
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college night

College Night 2009 will provide an opportunity for high school and college transfer students to scope out their options for college. More than 100 admissions representatives from colleges across the country will be present for this two-night event, which will be held at Valencia Community College. Last year’s representatives hailed from universities including Yale, Cornell and the University of Florida, as well as local schools such as Valencia, University of Central Florida, Rollins, Florida Southern and Stetson. There were also representatives from the United States Air Force, Military and Naval Academies. Students can receive information on everything college related, from admissions requirements to financial aid, degrees and programs, and campus housing. College Night 2009 will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6 on Valencia’s Osceola Campus and Thursday, Oct. 8 on Valencia’s East Campus. Both events run from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Valencia’s Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee. The East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. For more information please go to http://www.valenciacc.edu/collegenight or contact 407-582-2330 or enrollment1@valenciacc.edu.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing and Media Relations
Valencia Community College

 

 
 

call + response film screening

On Friday, October 9, Valencia’s Division of Business, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Division of Fine Arts, Student Development and Student Government Association will present a screening of the nationally renowned film, Call + Response, produced and directed by famous musician Justin Dillon. 

This film takes viewers on a journey through the depraved depths of child brothels and the sinister side of migration known as slave labor, and features prominent luminaries on the issue such as Cornel West, Madeline Albright, Julia Ormond and Ashley Judd.

Following the film, Mr. Dillon will speak about the pervasiveness of modern day slavery and human trafficking, as well as spend time answering any questions about the film or the current abolitionist movement.

The screening will be held Friday, October 9, at 6:00 p.m. on Valencia’s West Campus, in the Special Events Building (building 8). Seating is limited, so tickets are available at the West Campus Student Development Office (building 3, room 147). Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. on the evening of event, and those with tickets will be seated first.

For more information about this event, please call 407-582-1203.

teamwork in its truest form

When individuals come together for the greater good of the cause, those individuals become a team and this Friday morning Wikipedia offered the most simplistic of explanations behind the word “teamwork.” 

Teamwork is a joint action by two or more people, in which each person contributes with different skills and expresses his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group in order to achieve common goals. This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.

At Valencia, this has never been proven truer than in recent weeks with the inception of the Save the Corks! campaign. Many have read what the campaign is all about as the news spreads like wildfire, but for those still unsure, yet wanting to become a part of this ever growing team, let’s recap:

Now through the end of December, you are welcome to send your wine or champagne corks to Valencia Foundation, 190 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801 or if you happen to be in the downtown area, stop by the foundation offices, say hello and personally drop off your corks (we’d love to see you). You can also take your corks to Save the Corks! containers at participating ABC Fine Wine and Spirits locations. Through a partnership with Nomacorc and Terracycle, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits will donate $.02 to A Taste for Learning for each cork recycled.

Each week, the foundation receives bags of corks from members of the Valencia community at varying campuses and learning centers. And with each drop off or interoffice mail donation, there is a note of support. While it’s a simple “we are your cheerleaders” or “we support you” tone that these notes take, the true meaning behind the corks, the notes, the teamwork and the support is simple. It’s all being done for the many students who walk the corridors and halls everyday at Valencia and even those not yet on campus, but with Valencia on the brain.

I won’t ramble – it’s Friday and the weekend is soon upon us! Let me simply end with a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your support and commitment to recycling those corks and upcycling our efforts.

corking good time

corking good timePlease take a gander at this local article OrlandoSentinel.com that highlights the upcoming Taste for Learning event benefiting 2+2 scholarships for Valencia and UCF. Sentinel Food Editor Heather McPherson shares info about A Taste for Learning, put on by the UCF Foundation and the Valencia Foundation. The Oct. 17 event is at Rosen Shingle Creek. Tickets are $125 per person or $200 per couple and the money raised will help fund scholarships. Visit www.valencia.org/taste for information.

For those who cannot attend, the article continued: “there is still an opportunity to help and feel good about the bottles piling up in the recycle bin. Through the end of December, drop off pulled corks at Save the Corks! containers at participating ABC Fine Wine and Spirits locations. Through a partnership with Nomacorc and Terracycle, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits will donate 2 cents for each cork recycled. ”

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aging parents – parenting parents

What You Need to Know as Your Parents Age
Presenters: Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier and Julie Kronhaus

Join us for a workshop created just to help you manage your concerns or questions regarding your aging parent(s). If you are the primary caregiver or are simply concerned for the sake of your parent(s) or parent(s)-in-law and need answers, consider joining us. If you have any of the following questions, consider attending:

1. What legal documents should every parent have in place? If my parents executed their documents 20 years ago, up North, are they still good?

2. What if my parents outlive their money – what assistance/benefits are there for them? How do I find out about these programs?

3. Do you and your siblings agree on the long-term care plan for your parent?

4. My widowed mother wants to marry someone she has met at the Senior Living Center – what should she consider, legally, before she marries?

5. I suspect that my brother is misusing the Power of Attorney – what can be done?

6. Is it true that my father must ‘give away’ or ‘sell’ all his assets, including his home, to qualify for Medicaid assistance?

7. What is Guardianship and how will I know if my parent needs it?

8. My mother passed but my stepfather is still living; how can I approach him to speak about these types of issues?

9. My father was a WWII veteran – is he eligible for any VA long term care assistance and will my mother be eligible, too?

Valencia Faculty and Staff, please join us!
Thursday, September 24 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Criminal Justice Institute
Registration Code: GAP – 1 

Article provided by The Bulletin – a weekly publication for the faculty and staff of Valencia Community College.

the photographs of jack mitchell

Save the dates for a great collection that will be on display at Valencia’s Anita S. Wooten Gallery!

The Photographs of Jack Mitchell
The Thrasher Horne Collection

 October 2 – November 6

 Anita S. Wooten Gallery
Valencia Community College – East Campus

Gallery hours:
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Opening reception:
Friday, October 2, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Anita S. Wooten Gallery

 For more information, please call the gallery at 407-582-2298.