A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses
On Friday, June 12, 2020, four years will have passed since the Pulse tragedy, an event that changed our city, college and world. To honor those lost, the Valencia College East region Student Development team is organizing a series of daily communications via Facebook and Instagram from Monday, June 1 through Friday, June 12, 2020. The daily postings will focus on the LGBTQ+ community, including history and advocacy. In addition, information and resources regarding the LGBTQ+ Orlando community and local and national volunteer opportunities and mental health and awareness will be shared.
To conclude the two-week memorial, the East region will host a virtual Valencia College Pulse Remembrance on Friday, June 12, 2020, beginning at 1 p.m. Divine AF, a live musical Indie Folk-Rock band ensemble will kick-off the event, followed by a “Speak Out” virtual discussion panel consisting of campus and community leaders who will share their thoughts on issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community, and ending with a live Q&A with the members of Divine AF and other community members.
You are invited to participate in these two weeks of remembrances by following these Facebook and Instagram accounts:
A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses
Continuing in the Summer 2020 term are faculty success stories and unique learning techniques for online learning, all which support student success. We’re proud to continue sharing the great achievements of our very creative and innovative faculty members.
Faculty Developer and Instructional Designer Shelitha McKissick
Designer Shelitha McKissick has a demonstrated history of working in higher education and believes that building relationships among faculty, staff, students and administrators can create a community of learners. She consults with a variety of faculty to help create effective face-to-face, blended and online courses that are more learning-centered focused so that students better understand the content.
Professor of Paralegal Studies Wendy Toscano has seen firsthand how Shelitha works with faculty. She has been helping Wendy design two online paralegal specialty courses this summer that have never been taught online before. “Besides being very patient, Shelitha has provided me with great ideas regarding best practices for engaging students while teaching virtually,” said Wendy.
Using the tools Shelitha provided, Wendy introduced herself to her classes and shared a photo that has special meaning prior to the start of the course and asked her students to do the same. She was amazed at how eager her students were to share and engage, especially when sharing pet pictures. Shelitha also recommends using different Zoom backgrounds and dressing the part. For example, she picked a beach scene and dressed in a Hawaiian print shirt and sunglasses. In these days of quarantine and endless zooming, it makes a difference.
In addition, on Saturday, May 9, 2020, she graduated from the University of South Alabama, Mobile, where she received a doctorate in instructional design and development. Congratulations, Shelitha!
Part-Time New Student Experience Faculty Renetta Williams
Renetta Williams has been teaching SLS1122 courses on the Winter Park Campus. Her students use the Big Blue Button (BBB) through Canvas to meet since transitioning to online classes. Renetta loves using this tool because she can still lecture while showing her screen. She has also created online shareable documents that students can use to collaborate on during these online class meetings. For the final story project portion of the course, Renetta required students to present live via BBB. During presentations, there is an option in BBB to mute all other students that are online in the class so that the presenter is the only one talking.
Teaching Lab Supervisor in Physical Education Jen Katz
Working remotely certainly has its benefits and challenges. Are you looking for exercises you can do at home while social distancing? Jen Katz has created short workout videos to help stay fit even while working from home. She will be adding additional videos to the playlists throughout the summer. Click here to view.
Emerging Technologies Specialist Francisco Quintero
Francisco Quintero wants students to know that if they need learning technology support assistance, they can log in using their Atlas credentials to book a session for any of the following services: Canvas, iPad, Mac, Microsoft Office and iMovie/YouTube video support, as well as laptop checkout. Additional services will be added in the future.
Professor of Sociology Adrienne Trier-Bieniek
For the past year, Adrienne Trier-Bieniek has recorded a podcast titled “Most Popular – The Podcast” where she interviews experts in various fields as a way for her online classes to include guest lectures. The podcast covers different topics discussed in the class, and at the end of the semester the students select a lecture topic and write a reflection. In addition, she created a website for other educators to access her podcasts. Detailed information regarding each podcast, including ideas for classroom discussions or activities, is available on her website.
Adrienne has interviewed several experts in their fields including:
Elizabeth Chuck – NBC News reporter discusses what fake news is and the process journalists go through when writing a story.
Michael Gillespie – A professor at Eastern Illinois University and an activist for poverty awareness who has created food pantries and studies food insecurity with college students.
Kate Powers – Runs a nonprofit organization in Michigan called Ele’s Place where they provide support to children and their families who are grieving.
Tia Tyree – A professor at Howard University who discusses the way social media enforces inequality with users.
Carson Byrd – A professor at the University of Michigan discusses the book “Hillbilly Elegy” and why it reinforces stereotypes about people living in Appalachia, despite it being a best-selling book.
Adrienne is seeking out Valencia faculty to add to her podcasts. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating in a podcast.
A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses
During this time of change and remote work, the Print and Design team is here to assist you with your needs. The Print and Design Center (formerly known as Word Processing – East Campus) provides collegewide print and design services to faculty, staff, student organizations and clubs. The team is committed to providing quality customer service and support for campus and college-based audiences.
We also encourage you to get a head start on requests for future events. We understand that details may change as your event approaches, and we will work with you to make updates as needed.
Connect with the Print and Design team to assist in the creation of documents, templates and design for online events such as posters, flyers and much more.
Click the buttons below for each of the request forms.
A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses
Like the rest of the world, Transitions Planning embraces the use of Zoom to continue its outreach and recruitment efforts to guide students through the enrollment funnel. The collegewide team has been busy creating and implementing new ways to reach future Valencia students in the virtual space with information sessions, Start Right Sessions and Insights to A.S. Degrees sessions via Zoom.
Each month, eight to 10 information sessions will be offered for prospective students to learn about the enrollment process and general Valencia information. There is also an optional information session about UnionWest housing hosted by the University of Central Florida following each Valencia session.
Close to 25 Virtual Start Right sessions took place within Orange and Osceola Counties in April and May, 2020. Outreach coordinators walked students through the online application process, creating their Atlas accounts and outlined the new student orientation steps. Transitions will offer these Start Right help sessions to the general public starting Friday, June 5, 2020.
A brand new take on the traditional on-campus career and technical education camps was launched on Friday, May 22, 2020, titled “Virtual Insights to A.S. Degrees.” In these virtual visits, faculty and staff deliver a candid conversation regarding specific A.S. degrees so students can learn about the College offerings and career options that are available to them. To date, 10 sessions have been scheduled through the end of July 2020. If you would like your program information to be included in these camps, please reach out to Transitions Planning at email@example.com.
A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources
Valencia continues our work in developing a science-based approach to reopening the College as conveyed in our Roadmap to Reopening, shared two weeks ago in The Juice. Thanks to those of you who provided your feedback as your input strengthens our plan and helps us think through other perspectives and considerations.
Based on feedback from our COVID-19 healthcare partner, Orlando Health, we have modified the Roadmap in three ways:
1. In Phase 1, we are taking daily temperatures for employees and students who are on-site in our learning environments. Orlando Health recommended a cutoff temperature of 100.0 or greater, and we have aligned our standard to the recommendation.
2. In Phases 2 and 3, we have added daily self-screening for all employees, students and visitors coupled with extensive education on how to conduct a self-screening for COVID-related symptoms. Anyone with symptoms will be asked to stay home and seek medical care.
3. In Phase 2, and consistent with Orlando Health recommendations, we have added wearing a mask in settings where physical distancing is not possible.
We continue to consult with our Orlando Health partners for their input on our plans and protocols.
As we remain in Phase 1 operations for the remainder of this summer, we recognize that there are a limited number of programs and facilities that must be considered for adding to our current operational strategy. The Conditions to Reopen team met last week and deliberated on a number of proposals, reviewed them each in light of supplies and personal protective equipment available, our ability to ensure physical distancing and the impact of the program on students and unemployed adults in our community.
College President Sandy Shugart has approved adding several Accelerated Skills Training programs where students were in progress in the spring and need limited time in the face-to-face setting to demonstrate competency and be eligible for work (for example, welding and mechatronics programs). In addition, he has approved the on-site administration of the dental skill exam required for licensure of our dental hygiene students (and offered only once per year).
Finally, as you may know, Valencia College is a close partner with CareerSource Central Florida and actually hosts the CareerSource Osceola County office on our Osceola Campus. Because of the critical support CareerSource provides to unemployed adults in our community, Dr. Shugart has approved the reopening of the third floor of the Careers In Technology building at the Osceola Campus, as well as offering CareerSource a two-month lease for space on our West Campus to provide access for residents of West Orange County. We have developed a memorandum of understanding with CareerSource that outlines our Phase 1 operational guidelines and have assurance that they will provide their own personal protective equipment and supplies, and operate in a manner consistent with our expectations.
We will continue to update you on our plans as they develop and welcome your feedback and questions.
A Special Message from Sandy Shugart, Valencia College President
Today, I write with bittersweet news. Falecia Williams, campus president, West and Downtown Campuses, has been selected as the next president of Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. It is truly one of the great community colleges in America. That said, they are very fortunate to have attracted Falecia to be their next president and chief executive officer.
Dr. Williams has spent 22 years at Valencia, steadily growing in her leadership and breadth of knowledge in student affairs, career and technical education, academic affairs, community leadership and campus leadership. She has been a friend and colleague, a source of wise counsel, a builder, an advocate for the very core of our mission, a team leader, a deep listener and a healer. Like all of you, I will miss her terribly. At the same time, I am so very proud of her work here and her opportunity to lead PGCC. Please join me in congratulating her.
I know many of you may be wondering what’s next. We have until mid-July to give our best wishes to Dr. Williams and to prepare for a transition that will involve interim leadership. As we discern the best way forward for Valencia, we will have more to share on this in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Dr. Williams is still very much engaged in her leadership role as president of West and Downtown Campuses.
I look forward to working with you all in common mission to make Valencia the best place to learn, grow and serve.
First impressions matter. Just ask April Montallana, administrative assistant, who provides support to the School of Allied Health’s Dental Hygiene program.
“I am the first person a patient sees when they come for their dental hygiene cleaning appointment,” she said. “My goal is to make sure that the patient is treated with kindness and respect and to answer questions or offer assistance before the patient is admitted into the clinic.”
In her role, and besides manning the front desk and helping schedule appointments for patients at the Dental Hygiene Clinic on West Campus, April also supports her dean and faculty members with administrative functions, including making purchases and managing the work study employees assigned to her area.
April also interacts frequently with the students pursuing dental hygiene and completing their clinicals at Valencia College. She is proud to be able to offer “positivity and encouragement” to the cohort of students admitted into the program yearly.
The program, she said, is rigorous, and many students complete it while supporting their families and juggling many responsibilities.
“During the course of the two-year program, I get to know these students very well and I am extremely proud to be able to witness each student’s journey from the beginning of the program to becoming a registered dental hygienist after graduation,” she said. “I am constantly inspired by our students.”
More recently, April has been helping organize a virtual pinning ceremony for dental hygiene students. The face-to-face ceremony, normally held in May, was canceled due to COVID-19.
She is also helping lead the social engagement initiatives of the School of Allied Health (SOAH) by managing its Yammer page; a kind of social media application that can be used at work where members share daily inspirations, motivation, announcements, and family and pet photos. The effort, she said, allows for her team to connect while social distancing.
April also hosts a monthly live Zoom fellowship event where her department celebrates the birthdays and achievements of its members. The event includes interactive Zoom games and puzzles as well as sending prizes to the winners. In addition, she sends recognition gifts for colleagues in the division who are retiring or accepting new positions within and outside of the college.
“Marie Vasquez-Brooks, dean of the School of Allied Health, lovingly calls me our ‘cruise director,’” said April. “I’m also called the SOAH ‘cheerleader’ by some of my colleagues – I am happy to serve as both.”
Marie, dean, School of Allied Health, confirmed April is indeed pivotal to her department.
“She has taken the lead on helping to continue developing our social environment in the School of Allied Health, and really I could not imagine anyone better suited,” said Marie. “April is skilled in managing her work, but that is only where the best part of her begins. She approaches her work every day with a positive attitude and servant spirit without ever seeming to let the work get to her. Her belief in the student’s value and abilities have made her the smiling face that everyone sought in the dental clinic when having a bad day. She has effortlessly translated that spirit to her digital personality. She is a critical part of our team and a reminder why we are a strong sum of each of our strong parts.”
Prior to her current position, April, who holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Rollins College, worked as a sales associate at the East Campus store and as a lab aide for the Business, Information Technology and Public Services department.
She loves working at Valencia (she recently celebrated her 10-year work anniversary) because she believes in its values as well as in the many professional development opportunities available. April said she recently completed a SEED 1 seminar — focused on creating equity at the College — and participated in a PJI retreat. But she is also here because of the people she’s met along the way.
April mentioned how a former supervisor brought food to her home after her husband was seriously injured, while another had his daughter bake her a birthday cake shortly after she started in her position.
“I’ve always worked with supervisors who supported me,” she said “I’ve always appreciated that.”
The College, she said, is also a leader in providing “an affordable quality education as well as prioritizing the safety, personal wellness and personal development of its employees.”
“I am inspired when I read about the actions and accomplishments of our colleagues and programs that serve and strengthen our community,” she said.
Outside of Valencia, April is a professional musician. She is the singer, songwriter and guitarist of an original hard rock band called Auditory Armory, which has toured the United States and plays locally. She also enjoys gardening, writing poetry, studying sociology and metaphysics, practicing Zumba and hiking with her husband and her cat.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.
Set aside your judgments. By creating a space between judgments and reactions, we can listen to the other and to ourselves, more fully.
In times such as these, when fear abounds and strong differences in perspectives arise, our first reaction may be to judge and stigmatize people. Judgment and stigma lead many people to shut down and shut out others. Before judging the response to systematic racism and police brutality, take a moment to reflect on the history that lead us to this moment. As an educational institution, we have the power to deconstruct the physical and mental harm caused by racism. By practicing suspending judgment, we take the first step toward understanding one another.
Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees approved a plan for distributing at least $13.8 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to eligible students during the board’s Wednesday, May 27, 2020, meeting held via Zoom. The emergency relief funds will provide financial support for eligible students who incurred expenses due to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.
On Monday, June 1, 2020, College representatives identified nearly 28,000 students who are eligible for the CARES Act emergency grant for round one of the College’s fund distribution. To qualify, students must:
Be enrolled at Valencia College in a degree or certificate program in Spring 2020 and/or Summer 2020 term (specifically, the applicant must be registered in at least one full-term, H1, or TWJ course in Summer 2020 — courses that started on Monday, May 4, 2020 — and/or have been registered in at least one course in Spring 2020)
Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling
Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident or an eligible noncitizen
Not be in an exclusively online degree program (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
Have submitted a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
On June 1, Student Affairs emailed each eligible student with information about how to access a CARES Act emergency grant application in Atlas. The application will only be available to students eligible to receive a CARES Act emergency grant. On the application, students must certify that they incurred eligible expenses. Per the CARES Act, eligible expenses are “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and child-care expenses).”
The due date for round one applications is Monday, June 15, 2020. Disbursements of up to $750 may be provided to eligible students who submit a CARES Act emergency grant application and certify they have incurred an eligible expense. Aid will be delivered to students via the preferred method identified by students via their elected refund option or by mail through BankMobile, Valencia’s third-party provider used to process student disbursements.
Degree-seeking students enrolled this summer who are not eligible and cannot become eligible for a CARES Act emergency grant will be notified about an opportunity to apply for financial support for eligible expenses due to the disruption of campus operations because of the coronavirus through the Valencia Support Fund, which has been made available by the Valencia Foundation and other College funds.
If a student has a question about the CARES Act emergency grant or the Valencia Support Fund, please refer the student to his or her Atlas email for clarification. If additional support is needed, please refer the student to the Virtual Answer Center.
Faculty Association Report Faculty Association President Stanton Reed explained how Valencia’s faculty powered through our transition to move more than 4,000 courses online in less than two weeks. He presented a video with seven faculty members sharing just what it’s like teaching during an abrupt transition to entirely online learning. Watch the testimonial video featuring Professor of Theater Technology Kristin Abel, Professor of Mathematics Brandon Armstrong, Professor of Speech Patrick Bartee, Professor of Mathematics Sam Murugan, Professor of Physics Jay Perez, Professor of Mathematics Lauren Thomas and Professor of Mathematics Niraj Wagh.
Tuition and Lab Fees for the 2020-2021 Academic Year
The board approved the 2020-2021 Student Fee Rate Schedule, which included no increase in matriculation, technology, student financial aid, student services or capital improvement fees for the seventh year in a row.
Additionally, trustees approved changes to lab charges. The College only charges lab fees in amounts that cover up to, but not exceeding, the cost of resources needed for an optimal learning experience, which include personnel, supplies and equipment. Lab fees do not cover all of the costs associated with lab courses; Valencia College subsidizes a significant amount of the overall cost of offering lab courses.
Of the 690 courses with associated lab fees reviewed:
193 courses are decreasing the amount of the lab fee from the amount listed in the current College catalog.
26 courses are either new or have revised curriculum, necessitating the establishment of a lab fee for those courses.
385 courses are increasing the amount of the lab fee from the amount listed in the current College catalog.
86 courses will have no recommended change to the lab fee from the amount listed in the current College catalog.
Executive Vice President and Provost Kathleen Plinske provided an update on the new grade options that helped to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on students and their academic progress.
During the Spring 2020 term, 10,261 students elected at least one of the new grade options. The percentage of successful grades issued (A, B, C or S+) were nearly identical in the Spring 2019 term (78%) and the Spring 2020 term (79%). There were fewer grades of D, F or W issued to students in the Spring 2020 term; instead, 8% of all final grades issued were a grade of R20.
Student feedback about the new grade options was positive. In response to an end-of-semester survey, one student shared, “I think the choice of whether or not you want a letter grade this semester or to exclude the class from your GPA or being able to redo the course was very smart and helpful for students.”
Of the 6,986 students who elected an R20 grade in the Spring 2020 term, 4,958 (71%) continued in the Summer 2020 term. In comparison, of the total population of students enrolled in the Spring 2020 term (45,242), 52% (23,531) continued in the Summer 2020 term.
Osceola Campus Connector Road The board authorized the College to enter into an agreement with All Terrain Tractor Service, Inc for completion of Osceola Campus Connector Road, which will provide an additional loop for traffic going toward the west side of the campus and will reduce traffic on both the north and south entry. The road will be a two-lane asphalt road with curbing and a closed drainage collection system. To view images of the road location, view the presentation.
College President Sandy Shugart explained that, even during the coronavirus pandemic, our enrollment has grown dramatically. Summer 2020 term is up 17.4% in credit hours and 10.6% in headcount, which means that we have more students, and students are taking heavier loads. Many other colleges are reporting declines at this time.
Winter Park Campus Report
Executive Dean of the Winter Park Campus Terri Daniels presented a report on the Winter Park Campus, the location where the meeting would have been held if not for our campus closure.
As part of the campus and community highlights, she shared about the newly endowed Gus Henderson Scholarship that honors the legacy of Winter Park editor and activist Gus Hunderson. Henderson played a pivotal role in the incorporation of the City of Winter Park when he led a large contingency of registered black voters from Hannibal Square to cast their ballots in 1887. The Gus Henderson Scholarship Committee included key Winter Park residents who participated in a fundraising campaign that generated more than $50,000 between September 2019 and January 2020.
Terri also explained an infographic about campus statistics during the Fall 2019 term. Highlights included:
The top two feeder high schools to the campus included Winter Park (13.6%) and Edgewater (9.9%).
69.7% of students were pursuing an Associate in Arts degree.
56.4% of students attended the College part-time.
64% of students resided in Orange County; 12% in Osceola County; 10.7% in Seminole County; and 2% in Polk County.
42.2% of students were first-generation college students.
Following her presentation, Terri introduced student Kaitlynn Prather, Winter Park Campus Student Government Association (SGA) president, who shared the SGA report. Kaitlynn is the granddaughter of retired East and Winter Park Campus provost Ruth Prather.
Board Member Departure Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees now has eight members, as Trustee Mai Swanson has advised the Office of the Governor, the Board Chair and the College President that she will step down from her Board duties to attend to business demands associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director, Compliance and Audit Performance Evaluation
As Cynthia Santiago-Guzman, director, compliance and audit, reports directly to the District Board of Trustees, board members recently conducted her 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 performance evaluation. Board members commended her excellent work. Trustee Maria Grulich shared that Cynthia takes a lot of pride in her work and keeps the board aware of any successes or issues.
The Virtual Advising Center opened Monday, June 1, 2020, providing Valencia College with an opportunity to offer students a personalized advising experience in an online environment via Zoom.
This video conferencing option allows the College to replicate an in-person advising experience, said Evelyn Lora Santos, campus director, advising.
“We are excited to open our virtual doors and greet students with warm and friendly smiles,” said Evelyn. “Although advising can be provided over email and phone, we also acknowledge the value of face-to-face interactions with students. Non-verbal communication provides those visual cues that can help establish trust and personal connection.”
Through Zoom, advisors and students can share documents, degree audits and other advising resources by using the screen-sharing feature, which can provide greater clarity in advising. Advisors may also engage in meaningful and personable conversations with students involving their academic trajectory, current academic status and future goals.
The advising leadership team, comprised of directors of advising and assistant directors of advising, collaborated collegewide on the soft opening of the Virtual Advising Center, which took place the week of May 25, 2020. The team used the Virtual Answer Center, which opened in March 2020, as its model.
Virtual Advising Center hours of operation are Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.