Now that the coronavirus outbreak has put so many things on hold might, move yourself forward by pursuing new skills. Check out these two courses offered by our Continuing Education team that are sure to help your career.
Microsoft Office (Applications Package)
Dates: Monday, May 4 – Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Students will learn Microsoft Office in a Windows environment and its use in business including Word for creating and editing word processing documents, Excel for creating spreadsheets, Access for creating databases and PowerPoint for creating professional slide show presentations. This is a Microsoft Office Specialist certification preparation course. To register, click here.
Dates: Monday, May 4 – Tuesday, July 28, 2020
This course presents an overview of business communications, including international considerations, and focuses on constructing, formatting and proofreading good news, bad news and persuasive business messages. Preparation and formatting proposals, business reports and oral presentations are included. Students will proofread, review grammar and create an employment package consisting of resumes, application letters and job interviewing techniques. To register, click here.
For more information, call Jasmine Hicks, administrative manager, CPE projects, at email@example.com or 407-299-5000, extension 8236.
Have you come across questionable claims about the coronavirus? Misinformation is a problem in any crisis situation, and the current pandemic is no exception. To learn how to counteract this, join the Association of Valencia Women’s (AVW), hosted by Librarian Regina Seguin. This session, “10 Fact-checking Hacks” will cover where to find reliable, professional fact checks, strategies for fact checking on your own and resources for teaching students how to fact check.
The AVW is a diverse group of professionals (any gender) dedicated to the pursuit of equity and excellence for women at Valencia. The group hosts and organizes a variety of events including social, educational and networking opportunities. To join, complete the membership registration. Annual membership dues are $15 and can be paid during the event or sent to Melissa Shank, administrative assistant, at mail code 4-4. Make checks out to the Association of Valencia Women.
Valencia College retiree Harold Eugene Simmons passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Eugene joined Valencia College in 1967 and worked at the College until his retirement in 1990. During his tenure here, he served as chair of the Counseling Department.
Known as Gene to family and friends, he was born in Orlando, Florida on September 5, 1928. He received his early education at Princeton Elementary School and graduated from Orlando High School. He earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Rollins College in 1950, a master’s degree in marketing from Florida State University (FSU) in 1952, and a doctoral degree in student personnel administration, also from FSU, in 1967.
After serving in the Navy from 1954 to 1957, including a stint at the newly formed National Security Agency in Washington, D.C., Gene devoted his career to counseling higher education students on career opportunities. He served as a guidance counselor at FSU and the University of Georgia before moving back to his native Orlando in 1967 to become charter faculty in counseling at Valencia. During Gene’s tenure at Valencia, he took great pride in the work of the College and the opportunity to help shape the careers of hundreds of young Central Floridians.
Outside of work, Gene had a passion for travel, gardening, art and music. He was a volunteer docent at the Cornell Art Museum on the campus of his alma mater, Rollins College, and sang for many years in the choir of Park Lake Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder. Gene loved spending time with his family, and his two brothers and sisters-in-law, his niece and two nephews and their families will remember him fondly as their “uncle Gene.”
Gene lived out his retirement years fully, with frequent summers in Black Mountain, North Carolina, and trips to visit his many friends. He spent his last years at the retirement community, Westminster Winter Park. When the current pandemic restrictions are eased, Gene’s family looks forward to celebrating his life with a memorial service at Park Lake Presbyterian Church in Orlando.
Celebrate National Pet Month this coming May by sending us photos of your favorite critter. If you want to show pride in your furry, feathery or slithery friend, please send us photos along with his/her name to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, April 29 so that we can compile a feel-good video you can then share with co-workers, family and friends.
National Pet Month seeks to encourage responsible pet adoptions, raise awareness about responsible pet ownership and promote the many health and personal benefits of pet ownership.
Want to adopt a new friend? Here are some pet adoption resources in our area:
A Special Message from Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President
As promised, I am writing to share additional updates and observations with you. Thank you for taking the time to read and ponder these, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, concerns or ideas.
Thanks: I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for the extraordinary work you have all done. The transition to online learning for the spring and summer terms, the transition to working remotely, the transition to serving students during the crisis at times that are unusual for us, provision of support services for learning and for life at a distance, the deeply personal touch of calling every student to offer support and help, the behind-the-scenes efforts to ensure a robust technology environment, and help for students and staff lacking the tools to work from home, and many, many other adjustments you have made to achieve our two main goals – 1. to protect the safety and health of each other, our students and our community, and 2. to promote the continuity of our students’ learning.
Good News: And I would offer the observation that your efforts are making a difference. The Central Florida experience of the pandemic is very different from what was projected just a few weeks ago. The numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths are far below even the most optimistic estimates, and trending down. Further, our students have shown tremendous resilience and responsiveness to the adjustments we have made and are making.
What’s Next: Given the health crisis and the economic disruption that comes with social distancing, you may be feeling anxious for our and your future. The best vaccine for worry is information, so let me share the following brief updates:
No Furloughs: While other employers are furloughing tens of thousands of our neighbors, I can foresee no circumstances that would lead me to recommend furloughing any full-time employees. Part-time employment normally drops by about a third in the summer, and I expect us to follow this pattern in the months ahead.
Remote Work to Continue: Those working remotely should expect to continue to do so through at least Friday, July 31, 2020. A fair number of full-time employees are in roles that don’t lend themselves to remote work. We are attempting to reach out to you all to connect them with work to which they can contribute through July, but some will remain on leave with pay.
Conditions Signaling Return: We are discussing the conditions under which we would be comfortable bringing staff, faculty and students back to campuses, probably in some phased approach. This will be a decision informed by the best information in public health, not a business decision or a political decision. We hope and pray that the crisis will abate prior to fall term, but there are no guarantees, and some of our colleagues will be more vulnerable than others for a variety of reasons. I would like to hear from you on this matter. Would you consider offering feedback through an online survey? To access the survey, click here.
Faculty Searches Suspended: Valencia had a number of searches for faculty members underway when the crisis arrived in March. At this time, I can’t foresee how we can complete most of these in any satisfying way and prefer that we err on the side of stability for now and collaboration in hiring when conditions permit. Therefore, most searches will be suspended. We will fill 24 faculty vacancies with temporary annual appointments. Your campus presidents and deans will have the details.
Interim Presidents and Deans Continuing: Earlier this month, I shared that Wendy Givoglu has agreed to continue as interim president of the East and Winter Park Campuses and Kathleen Plinske will continue to serve in her dual roles as provost and executive vice president and president of the Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses, with the support of the existing team of executive deans. We also have a number of interim deans serving now. On West Campus, Ana Caldero Figueroa, Molly McIntyre, and Ruby Alvarez will continue to serve through next year in these roles. On East Campus, Rob McCaffrey and Eric Wallman will continue through next year. On Osceola Campus, Marlene Temes will continue to serve as interim dean of Academic Affairs. In addition, James McDonald will step down from his dean’s position and Sonia Casablanca will serve as interim dean for career and technical programs for the coming year beginning Friday, May 1, 2020. James has accepted a challenge to serve in a leadership role for the next year as executive director of the A.S in Business and Organizational Leadership program in partnership with the three interim deans in the business areas, with the purpose of growing this program to meet the heavy demand we expect in business. Please join me in thanking all of these selfless leaders for their commitment to our mission and our work community.
Student–friendly Policies: Our District Board of Trustees meets this week to approve a number of policy adjustments to serve students better in this crisis – new grading options, extended deadlines for various processes, alternatives for assessment and batch appeals processing for course repeats and other matters. You can see details in the board agenda published on the website.
Half-day Fridays: A frequently asked question lately is how half-day Fridays work in a remote working world. Danged if I know! Our purpose in providing this extra benefit beginning 10 years ago was to make summers a little more restful and family-friendly at a time when student demands on our services are quite low. Now, I sense many are struggling to find balance in their work life in a remote context, where they are always at the office, so to speak. We also know that our students are seeking support in new ways and being “closed” for an afternoon might not best serve them. Whatever we do, my goals for this haven’t changed. You need time away from work every week, perhaps now more than usual, but not necessarily all at the same time … flexibility might also be a good thing. I will be back to you with ideas on this shortly.
There is much more to communicate, but I think this is enough for the present. I hope to provide a conversational video on the larger questions of what’s ahead by the end of next week, after the District Board of Trustees meeting, and have asked Stanton Reed, Faculty Association president, to join me as before.
For now, don’t be shy with any questions and take good care of yourselves, your families and your students.
You’re invited to join Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources Amy Bosley for a town hall where she will provide an update on human resources-related topics related to the College’s response to the crisis and answer questions you may have.
A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses
I hope this message finds you healthy and well. I miss seeing you, but I have been inspired by your flexibility, creativity and ingenuity in serving our students under these extraordinary circumstances.
Thanks for your patience as we put the “Week in Review” on pause for a few weeks. I didn’t want to distract attention from the critical collegewide messages that were being sent. However, as we move into a phase of “temporary new normal,” I feel comfortable resuming our weekly messages.
Please see below for a brief video message.
Please also mark your calendars for one of our upcoming Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses Town Halls:
A Message from Kathleen Plinske, Executive Vice President and Provost
I hope this message finds you safe and well.
As we move into an extended period of working remotely, I will plan to share with you regular updates via the Provost Update with key highlights that I think you will find useful and relevant:
– New Grade Options – The deadline for students to opt into one of our optional grading scales is Friday, April 17, 2020, at 10 p.m. Students can elect to retake any of the courses in which they were enrolled in this Spring term, or opt into a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option that allows them to earn credit for the course (if they pass) without affecting their GPA. For more details about the grade options, or for the link for students to elect one of these options, please visit https://valenciacollege.edu/students/grade-options/.
– Virtual Answer Center – Our Student Affairs team has created a Virtual Answer Center, where students can connect live with an Answer Center advisor for assistance with enrollment, registration, financial aid and educational planning. The Answer Center is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., Monday – Friday, and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Students may access the Virtual Answer Center at https://valenciacollege.edu/students/answer-center/.
– Laptops for Student Use – Valencia has purchased 1,000 laptops to lend to students who may not currently have access to the technology necessary to be successful in an online environment. The laptops are available to students who have registered for classes during the summer term. If you know of a student who may need a laptop, please encourage the student to go to https://valenciacollege.edu/laptop or call Enrollment Services at 407-299-5000, extension 1507 to request one; the laptop will be shipped to the student’s home (or alternative delivery can be arranged).
– Commencement – Valencia will host a virtual commencement ceremony this year to celebrate our graduates. To help recognize the accomplishments of our graduates, please plan to watch the virtual ceremony and, if you feel comfortable, engage via social media to send notes of encouragement and inspiration to our newest alumni. The ceremony will be available on the Valencia homepage on Sunday, May 3, 2020. Stay tuned for more information about how and when you can view the ceremony.
I hope these highlights are helpful. Please let me know if this format is useful, and please don’t hesitate to suggest topics to include in upcoming Provost Updates.