bon voyage and thank you, ty johnson!


Shout out your thanks and well wishes!

A familiar face to alumni and students of Valencia College,Ty Johnson, dean of students on the West Campus, will retire after more than 30 years of service to Valencia College.

governor scott visits valencia; challenges colleges to produce $10,000 degrees



Gov. Rick Scott visited Valencia College’s Lake Nona Campus on Monday, Nov. 26, and issued a challenge to the state’s two-year colleges: Create bachelor’s degree programs that will cost students $10,000 or less.

“I am issuing a challenge to our state colleges to find innovative ways to offer a bachelor’s degree at a cost of just $10,000 in fields that will provide graduates with the best opportunity for employment,” Scott said.

At Valencia, the governor was met by the presidents of several area colleges, who said they are working on such programs.

“Governor, you have come to the right place,” said Dr. Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia College.  “We in the community college system care about affordability.”

Shugart noted that while the cost of tuition has skyrocketed in the private sector over the past 40 years, community colleges have raised tuition only 1 percent, when prices are adjusted for inflation.

To answer the governor’s challenge, Valencia officials are planning to cut the cost of a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering technology to under $10,000 — which they would do by steeply discounting tuition in the final year of the program for students who qualify. The idea, said Shugart, is to provide incentive for students to stay in college and earn their degree. The electrical and computer engineering technology program, which is based on Valencia’s West Campus, is one of two bachelor’s degree programs that Valencia offers.

At Monday’s press conference, other college presidents also offered up the outline of basic plans. At Seminole State College, president Ann McGee said her college will offer a bachelor’s degree in construction for under $10,000, and will fund the cost cuts by using scholarship money provided by local industry. At Daytona State College, officials said that if students come to college with 15 college credits already — earned through dual enrollment or Advanced Placement classes taken during high school — they could earn any of the college’s bachelor’s degree programs for under $10,000.

Valencia’s B.S. in electrical and computer engineering technology was developed in partnership with local engineering professionals and industries to prepare engineering technologists for the growing number of jobs that deal with application, manufacturing, implementation, engineering operation and production — as opposed to the conceptual design and research functions performed by certified professional engineers. Engineering technologists translate the plans and designs of an engineer into actual products and technologies related to robots and robotic devices, space communication systems, lasers and electro-optical devices, telecommunication systems, navigation systems, wireless and mobile networks, power plants, fuel and solar energy cells, transportation systems and many more.

The Labor Market Statistics Center of the Florida Department of Education projects there will be more than 450 openings annually for electrical engineers and engineering technologists in 2013. And earnings for graduates in that sector are high. In 2010 (the most recent data available),Valencia students who graduated with an Associate in Science degree in electrical engineering technology earned an average of $57,448, according to the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program.

Employers who have hired Valencia graduates applaud the college’s plans.

“We are pleased to learn that Valencia College will be offering even more affordable opportunities for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering technology,” said Alex Fong, senior vice president of Gooch and Housego,which manufactures precision optical components. “At a time when many college graduates are struggling to find jobs, engineering, particularly electrical and computer engineering with a specialization such as photonics offers graduates tremendous opportunities.  In fact, at Gooch and Housego, we’ve hired recent Valencia grads and we look forward to working with Valencia graduates in the future. Moreover, these are skills that can be applied and are needed in a broad variety of industries. Training in engineering sciences provides incredible flexibility in terms of career options and is a great return on investment!”

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

there’s still time to vote for nicholas dijkoffz for grainger!

One of our very own Valencia students, Nicholas Dijkoffz, is a nominee for the upcoming Grainger Industry Innovator Contest. With your help, Nicholas may be a resilient finalist and earn the opportunity to attend the 2013 show.

“I have always been interested in studying engineering. In particular the word engineer describes a problem solver, which I consider myself to be. I feel a drive to search for solutions to today’s problems. That is what motivates me to work harder every day. Of course along the road there are bumps and setbacks, but as long as you have the will to move forward I believe everything will end well. With the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship I was able to fund my studies during my second year in college, helping with my tuition and book expenses. All I am thankful for having the opportunity of to educate myself, and be a part of the future of this country.” – Nicholas Dijkhoffz

All Facebook users are eligible to cast one vote per day, per person through November 30, 2012. The five Finalists receiving the most votes will win the Grand Prize, a trip to the 2013 Grainger Customer Show in Orlando.

Vote now by visiting: and clicking Nicholas Dijkhoffz – Valencia Community College.

Your vote matters and with your help, Nicholas can potentially win the opportunity to attend the 2012-13 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Industry Innovator Contest. Please vote today!

2012-13 valencia foundation spring scholarships available now!

Have you applied for spring 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarships? Applications are now being accepted!

One application is needed per academic year. If you have not already applied for the 2012-13 academic year, apply today by visiting:

If you have completed a 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application, you may login to your scholarship manager to update, add or edit your application and resubmit for spring scholarship reviews and selections.

Some scholarships offered through the Valencia Foundation require a student to demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valencia encourages all students to complete the FAFSA early each year by visiting

Don’t let another minute pass by, apply today!

rock ‘n’ roll for charity on dec. 8

The Rogue Scholars are having a Rock ‘N’ Roll Sing Along for the Council on Aging to help people in need in Osceola County.

All proceeds will go to the Osceola Council on Aging’s food pantry. The food pantry had to close temporarily recently due to a food shortage, but opens when there is food available. The Rogue Scholars want your help to stock the shelves for those in need.

This family-friendly benefit concert is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa and will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus Building 1 Auditorium. The Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744.

Tickets will be a $5 donation minimum per person at the door. Please also bring non-perishable food donations for the pantry. There will be snacks and water available for donations. There will also be opportunities to sing and perform with the band for donations. All proceeds go to the charity.

The Rogue Scholars (Facebook: Rogue Scholars Band) is a Valencia College band featuring faculty, staff and friends of the college.

All proceeds will be going to the Osceola Council on Aging’s food pantry ( The Osceola Council on Aging, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit, private charitable organization dedicated to providing services to enable independence and self-sufficiency for seniors, disabled adults and disadvantaged families.

valencia nursing students heart femmes de coeur

Valencia College Students Thank Femmes de Coeur
Valencia College nursing students share their appreciation to Femmes de Coeur (Women of Heart) for the recent $12,500 donation to Valencia Foundation. This generous contribution is earmarked to support Valencia College nursing students through the Femmes de Coeur Endowed Nursing Scholarship.
Femmes de Coeur is an Orlando based, not-for-profit volunteer organization comprised of a unique group of community women volunteering time and sharing a common goal to serve the needs of the community. Their uniqueness is reflected through partnerships with existing organizations to accomplish their mission. The sharing of resources allows Femmes de Coeur to help to a larger community audience.

happy thanksgiving

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Valencia Foundation wishes to express our appreciation for our donors and friends…and most of all, our students. Enjoy a blessed holiday.

sponsors host another grande wine tasting event

Our Taste for Learning event sponsor, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, is hosting another Grande event for those who love to sample and sip.  25+ chateau owners and managers from Bordeaux, France will join ABC Fine Wine and Spirits in Orlando to host a one of a kind Bordeaux-only wine tasting.

A limited number of tickets are available for this wine and food event, so act quickly to secure your attendance.

Bordeaux Grande Wine Tasting at Rosen Shingle Creek
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00pm

Visit online at:

ABC Fine Wine and Spirits Tasting

Bordeaux Grande Wine Tasting at Rosen Shingle Creek
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00pm


sweating it out to support valencia student scholarships

The Valencia Alumni Association continues to build its team as it gears up for its 8th Annual Valencia 5K Run, Rock & Roll scholarship fundraiser on Valencia’s West Campus on Saturday, March 30th.

This year’s 5K funds will once again support criminal justice, firefighter and EMS student scholarships at Valencia in honor of former Alumni Association board member, Justin Harvey.

Over 300 Valencia supporters came out last year where they ran, walked and rolled their way to raising more than $7,000 in student scholarship funds.  The race brought together Valencia alumni and employees; students, including those from Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute, Paralegal, Respiratory Care and Bridges programs; as well as community participants, many of them from local law enforcement agencies. An energetic team of students and instructors from Boone High School’s criminal justice program also participated in the race for the first time.

Discover the many ways you, your organization or someone you know can invest in Valencia students’ pursuit of higher education as part of the Valencia 5K team.  For more information about 5K sponsorship and other opportunities, contact the Alumni Relations office at or call 407-340-3426.

SAVE THE DATE! See you on Saturday, March 30th!


builder putting finishing touches on osceola’s newest building



The latest addition to the Valencia family — Building 4 at the Osceola Campus — won’t open for classes until January, but builders are putting the finishing touches on the new, four-story classroom building.

The largest building on any Valencia campus, Building 4 is more than 150,000 square feet in size. It will house a number of student services — including the campus library, bookstore and cafeteria — plus classrooms and science labs on the third floor, and fourth floors.

At a  time when state officials are urging more students to study STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – Osceola’s new building is designed for science education. Its 10 labs will enable campus officials to offer more classes in biology, chemistry and physics. And the University of Cenral Florida has announced that one of the new bachelor’s degrees available at Osceola Campus will be a bachelor of science in biomedical sciences. That, says campus president Kathleen Plinske, is the ideal degree for a student who wants to go to medical school.

Designed by architectural firm Hunton-Brady and built by contractor Clancy-Theys, Building 4 cost $35 million in construction costs. The total budget, which includes architectural work and furnishings, is $45 million. The project is likely, however, to be completed for $1 million to $2 million less than projected, said Lamar Powers, facilities director for Valencia College.

UCF, which will share the building for science classes, contributed $7 million to the cost of the building. UCF will also have 18 offices for UCF faculty and administrative staffers in Building 4.

Before designing the new building, the architects and builders worked with Plinske to create an environment that meets the needs of many students.

That’s why the new library — which is nearly twice the size of the current library — features areas for silent study and glass-enclosed group study rooms.  In the main reading room, the furniture will be comfortable and conducive to reading. “It’ll feel more like Starbucks, not a library,” Plinske says.

Plinske wanted to give students at this commuter campus plenty of places to sit, study and relax — and it’s been one of the driving forces in the design of Building 4′s interior and exterior.  Outside the first floor, in the shadow of the building, benches, courtyard spaces and a fountain area are strategically located so that they’ll be in shade much of the day. “This is a great space for students to study and to just hang out,” Plinske said.

Likewise, there’s a terrace on the second floor that will have tables and chairs overlooking the fountain area – and because it’s located on the north side of the building, it will be in the shade much of the day. And, on a campus without much shade, the many oak trees and palm trees planted outside the building will be a welcome sight.

Inside the building, architects even made room in the hallways for students to sit on the floor outside classrooms – without blocking foot traffic.

Students will also welcome a full cafeteria  and a coffee bar – to be located on the first floor. The current cafeteria operates out of a portable trailer.

Other innovative features include:

  • a “green screen” room where students and faculty members can create their own videos for use in presentations;
  • outdoor learning spaces that feature benches and glass boards, complete with markers;
  • large science-related murals, such as a giant mural of the periodic table of elements;
  • and a multipurpose room next to the bookstore, which allows the bookstore to expand during times of heavy use, such as book buyback periods.

Energy efficiency features include: high-efficiency air conditioning, dual-flush toilets, and green materials used in the
floors, walls and ceilings. Building 4 has a cistern storing 10,000 gallons of rainwater for flushing toilets. In addition, the building’s roof is covered with white reflective coating, designed to reduce cooling costs.
Building 4 will be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and is expected to earn a LEED Silver designation.

The building also features smart lighting, which dims or turns off the lights in a classroom if there’s enough light coming in from the windows. In hallways and in classrooms, lights are also connected to motion detectors –so they’ll turn off if there’s no activity in an area.

The college is even recycling the portables now used for the bookstore and the cafeteria. Plinske said some of the portables will be converted into a fitness center – which the Osceola campus doesn’t have – while others will be used for storage.

Source: Linda Shrieves Beaty, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

ime becas scholarship

Are you a first generation Mexican-American student in college? Apply today for the IME Becas Scholarship!


The IME Becas Scholarship is dedicated to providing support to students who are first generation in college students that identify themselves as Mexican-American or Mexican immigrants.


If you qualify, apply today by completing the IME Becas Scholarship application found at

just the facts

Here is a look inside the newly released Valencia College Just the Facts 2012-2013.


  • Has an economic impact on the region that is over $1 billion a year.
  • Was named the best community college in the nation as the winner of the 2012 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
  • Has saved $3.8 million in energy costs over the last three years through a new sustainability initiative.
  • Became a smoke-free college in Aug. 2012.

Dia latino en ICE! November 17, 2013

¡Día Latino en ICE! featuring DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar
November 17, 2013. For special ticket pricing, click on the photo above and use promotional code CHHBC.

As a salute to Florida’s vibrant Latin community, ¡Día Latino en ICE! offers the opportunity to see the amazing ICE! attraction while raising awareness for the Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Business Council (HBC). On the day of the event, a portion of each adult ICE! ticket purchased using the exclusive ¡Día Latino en ICE! promotional code CHHBC will be donated to scholarship programs funded by the HBC.

As a ¡Día Latino en ICE! guest, you are invited you to enjoy the ICE! attraction anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., for special ticket pricing, please use promo code: CHHBC to receive special $15 adult (regular $27.99) and $8.99 children (from $13.99) ticket price.

And, as part of the Christmas at Gaylord Palms celebration, don’t forget to check out our holiday décor, enjoy one (or more!) of Gaylord’s Christmas stage shows and participate in the Polar Bear Pursuit, the resort-wide scavenger hunt — free of charge!

¡Día Latino en ICE! featuring DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar

valencia college alumni association scholarships are going electronic

The first of several electronic Valencia College Alumni Association scholarships for students, the Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarship, was launched just last week and 13 students have already begun their online applications. The deadline to submit applications is midnight on Monday, December 3rd.

The Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarship is awarded each year to a student who exhibits leadership skills and an overwhelming desire to become a future civic leader in memory of Bill Castellano. Professor Castellano’s ability to encourage students to share their true talents for the common good of their community is his legacy. He was a guiding force for students and the Valencia College family for over 40 years. In remembrance of his outstanding contributions to our community, this scholarship allows those who will never have the opportunity to meet him the ability to carry on his passion and love of government and true civic leadership.

As one of the first students to attend Valencia College, Bill always took an active interest in government and his community. From serving in the Student Government Association and as a founder of the Valencia Alumni Association after graduating, to retiring as one of the most admired and respected government professors, he always challenged the next generation he met to rise and meet the challenges of the man who inspired him to be a true civic leader.

Tax deductible donations to the Bill Castellano Scholarship can be made online at Castellano Scholarship Donation. Please select the scholarship from the drop-down box in the “Designation” field.

Veteran Gabriel Nickle (pictured below) from the West Campus was the 2010 recipient. Amy Walker from Valencia’s East Campus was the 2011 recipient.


Left to right: Dr. Ruth Prather, former Provost of East and Winter Park campuses; Gabriel Nickle, Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Scholarshi​p 2010 recipient; Michael J. G. McLaughlin​, Valencia Alumni Association President; Barbara Shell, Community/​Alumni Relations

2012 veterans day activities



This year Veterans Day is on Monday, November 12, and to celebrate our veterans – students and employees – each campus is hosting appreciation events throughout the next two weeks.

Valencia is home to the second largest enrollment of veterans among Florida’s 28 state colleges, second only to Florida State College in Jacksonville, home of the Mayport Naval Station. We provide veterans services on all campuses, including assistance with VA benefits, student support, workshops and activities.

This September, Valencia made a military-friendly schools list, honoring the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students and ensure their success on campus.

Show your appreciation for our veterans by attending one of the many events on campus this year.

Thursday, November 8
West Campus Veterans Day Celebration

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: SSB Patio

A flag ceremony will be held to recognize fallen soldiers, and will include the flag that flew over the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor. Sergeant Anthony Cali a student veteran has been selected to play Taps and give remarks, he has been deployed to Iraq three times and is currently a Florida National Guard Reservist. Representatives from all branches from the armed forces and the Orange County Veterans services office will be present. Any veteran who arrives at 12:00 p.m. will be invited to participate in a group photo that will be posted on Valencia’s Facebook page. For more information please contact Anthony Cali at or at extension 1159.

Monday, November 12
East Campus Veterans Day Celebration

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: East Campus Mall Area

The East Campus celebration will include food tables, a DJ, and the Color Guard. The East Campus SGA president will give a speech. Songs, including the National Anthem will be sung, and there will be a slide show of Veterans. Service members are invited to pick up ribbons to wear throughout the week, and goody bags will also be given out.

Osceola Veterans Breakfast
 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
 Osceola Campus

Osceola’s SGA will be hosting a breakfast for all Veterans at the Osceola Campus.

Lake Nona Salutes Veterans Day
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Lake Nona, Little Bean Café and the Information Station

American flag pins will be distributed at the Information Station. Also, those who are wearing red, white, or blue, or a pin will be eligible for a free coffee, tea, or muffin from the Lake Nona Little Bean Café (limited to the first 100 people).

Veterans Awareness Information Table
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Winter Park, Portico

Themed refreshments will be offered, including cupcakes and Gatorade. American flags, and “Valencia Supports Veterans” ribbons for each branch will be offered. There will be information resources for Veterans, as well as Veteran’s Jeopardy, and a memory/message board for Veterans or anyone who knows or supports a Veteran to write messages on and sign.

Recognition of Veterans and Reception
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Osceola Campus, Clock Tower

The recognition event will feature local Civil Air Patrol Cadets and local high school ROTC students. There will also be a keynote presentation by Jasmin Cruz, a current Valencia employee who was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. The reception following the event will be held in the Exhibition Hall. There will also be a panel discussion by our student and employee veterans in the Auditorium from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday November 13
Morning Stretch and PT Cadence Run
: 7:00 a.m.
Location: CJI

Put yourself in their shoes, and experience a taste of what it’s like to train in our military. Wear comfortable clothing and get ready to sweat!

Greeting Cards for Soldiers
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Osceola Campus, Atrium

Tables will be set up in the Atrium for students and employees to create greeting cards that will be sent to soldiers serving overseas during the holiday season.

Wednesday, November 14
Morning Stretch and PT Cadence Run
: 7:00 a.m.
Location: CJI

Put yourself in their shoes, and experience a taste of what it’s like to train in our military. Wear comfortable clothing and get ready to sweat!

Thursday, November 15
Drill and Ceremony Demonstrations (Tentative)

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: East Campus Mall Area

Veterans 5k Walk/Run
Date: Thursday November 15
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Osceola Campus, Clock Tower

Come show your support for veterans by participating in this 5k walk/run! This event is free and is open for veterans and non-veterans alike, students, staff and community members. Team Red, White and Blue (RWB) is helping to coordinate the run. Their mission “is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” To learn more about this organization visit their website

Military Ball (Tentative)
Time: TBD
Location: West Campus, SEC

Friday, November 16
Hand to Hand Combative Level 1: CJI Defensive Tactics Area Obstacle Course
Location: CJI

Saturday, November 17
Ruck Sack March for Camaraderie Foundation
Time: 7:00 a.m.
Location: UCF

Participants will choose from a three, six, or 12-mile March with a 45 pound Ruck Sack.

2012-13 grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship and customer show!

If you haven’t already, there is still time to apply for the 2012-13 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship and apply for the chance to attend the 2013 Grainger Customer Show!

Apply TODAY by completing the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application found here!

Industry Innovators Facebook Contest

This year Grainger is conducting their first annual “Industry Innovators” contest for all past and present Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship winners. Five scholarship recipients will win admittance to attend the 2013 Grainger Customer Show!  After the last show, five community college foundations received a special technical education grant in support of their student’s or alumni’s participation at the 2012 Grainger Customer Show.  

“Industry Innovators” Facebook Contest Entry

The contest is open to all past and present Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship winners. Five scholarship recipients will win admittance to attend the 2013 Grainger Customer Show! Winners may:

  • meet and greet more than 5,000 Grainger customers, including Fortune 500 companies
  • attend the Grainger Show tradeshow
  • represent the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program at the technical education booth
  • participate in professional seminars and networking sessions provided for personal career development and
  • and attend social events!

Industry Innovators Facebook Contest

To submit entries: “Industry Innovators” Facebook Contest Entry

  • Submit entries now thru November 9, 2012
  • Winners announced on December 7, 2012

View official rules and regulations for participation.

And don’t forget to LIKE Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® Scholarship Program, on Facebook!

have you heard of directconnect to ucf?

If you’re planning to transfer to the University of Central Florida after completing an associate degree, DirectConnect to UCF is the best way to get there. Just enroll in the program when you submit your Valencia application, and you’ll be ensured a smooth transition to UCF when you graduate.


  • Guaranteed admission to a bachelor’s degree program at UCF.
  • Preferential admission to select bachelor’s degree programs at UCF.
  • Joint advising from UCF and Valencia help ensure a smooth transition.
  • UCF staff available on-site at Valencia’s West and Osceola campuses to help
    with advising, admissions, financial aid and academic support.
  • Take your UCF courses at the main campus or on Valencia’s West or Osceola campuses.

For more information, vist or

2012 valencia homecoming update


To kick off Valencia College’s 2012 Homecoming, Team Valencia joined other members of the Central Florida community to raise funds to help make a difference in the lives of families living with Spina Bifida.  The Spina Bifida Association of Central Florida’s 2nd Annual Walk-N-Roll Fundraiser event took place on Saturday, October 27th at Blue Jacket Park in the Baldwin Park area of Orlando.

Valencia College was a supporting sponsor for the event.


Valencia Homecoming 2012 wrapping up. Still time to get your $20 discounted UCF Homecoming game tickets for this Sunday’s game.For Tickets visit: