Monthly Archives: July 2020

Be Prepared for Hurricane Isaias

Friday, July 31, 2020

A Message from Paul Rooney, Assistant Vice President, Operations

Valencia is monitoring Hurricane Isaias, which strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane late Thursday.

As of 2 p.m. today, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was centered about 245 miles southeast of Nassau. It was moving at 16 mph, and its center was forecast to be near central Bahamas late Friday and move near or over northwest Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.

The Hurricane Center said this afternoon that hurricane hunters have found that Isaias is getting better organized as tropical storm conditions and heavy rains move into the Central Bahamas.

A hurricane watch has been issued for portions of the Florida East Coast from north of Deerfield Beach northward to the Volusia-Brevard County line.

As of the most recent forecast, the window of arrival to Central Florida is from late Saturday afternoon to early Sunday morning, when we can expect 35-55 mph winds as well as rain and squalls.

As with any adverse weather conditions, students, faculty and staff are advised to monitor news as it relates to this storm. Be prepared and have essential items nearby as there is always the possibility of power outages.

Valencia Alerts
If severe weather approaches Central Florida, Valencia’s public safety officials will strive to provide a timely warning. The West Campus Security Office will serve as our Emergency Operations Center to coordinate mission critical services.

In an emergency, all employees will be notified via Valencia Alerts to their cell phone, home phone or email and via the Valencia College Safety App with important emergency notifications and updates. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you make sure your Valencia Alert contact information is correct. To confirm your contact information and preferences:

  • Log into your Atlas account
  • Click on the Valencia Alerts “box” on the lower right side of the main screen.

If you experience any issues updating your Valencia alerts, contact OIT.

To download the Valencia College safety app, please click here.

Monthly Archives: July 2020

What Do You Do? Pandemic Edition

Friday, July 31, 2020

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

This week, we will finish our look at those departments around the region whose employees continue to work in person on our campuses with a look at the Maintenance Department. As Marty Campbell, plant operations superintendent, details below, his maintenance team has continued its work despite the challenges created by COVID-19.

Read about the Plant Operations Maintenance Department – Osceola Region here.

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Roadmap for Reopening: Preparing the Learning Environment

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources

This Saturday, August 1, 2020, we will begin to implement Phase 2 operations. Valencia has a plan to support employees who are returning to an on-site work location, ensuring a safe, smooth and successful transition.

As shared in previous updates, we formed four interdisciplinary task forces to carefully plan and prepare for the phased reopening of the College. One of the task forces, Preparing the Learning Environment, crafted recommendations and considerations on how students and faculty will experience the campus, classroom, co-curricular experiences and learning, and developed a plan for specialized learning spaces like labs, learning support and co-curricular spaces.

To prepare our returning employees, the College is implementing the following suggestions from the Preparing the Learning Environment task force:


  • A location-specific schedule for classes is being developed that facilitates staggered start times, avoidance of classroom usage in close proximity to another or clustered around the same restroom at the same start/end times.
  • Appropriate course caps for classes are being determined based on learning activities, the size of the space and the layout/furniture.
  • Most classes will be separated by at least 45 minutes to provide sufficient time for our custodians to clean each classroom and laboratory between each class meeting. All programs, classes and facilities have been carefully planned to allow ample time so that appropriate cleaning protocols are applied to provide a clean and healthy environment for the next class.
  • Employee schedules are carefully arranged to minimize arriving and leaving at the same time. Back up faculty/instructors and staff are trained and available should an employee be unable to work due to illness.

In All Learning Environments

  • Anyone attending class must wear masks, utilize additional personal protective equipment as appropriate and maintain recommended physical distancing guidelines.
  • Faculty should feel empowered to enforce face coverings and physical distancing in their classrooms, just as they would any other classroom behavior. If individuals refuse to comply, the administrator on duty at the location will provide an additional opportunity to comply and may require the individuals to review training on mask wearing and health/safety. If necessary, the individuals who refuse to comply will be asked to leave the campus.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant in spray bottles, as well as paper towels will be available in each activated classroom and laboratory. Disinfectant wipes will be available where disinfectant spray cannot be used.
  • Facilities management will determine occupancy limits in classrooms and laboratories. Facilities capacity will be set by the number of individuals who can be physically distanced by six feet within the room. Classes are being scheduled with limited numbers and classroom space is being selected and set up to ensure proper physical distance.
  • Appropriate course caps for classes will be based on learning activities, the size of the space and the layout/furniture present in that space.
  • All common-use items will be removed from classrooms and laboratories including markers, erasers, etc. Faculty will be provided a personal set of classroom supplies to be carried to and from the classroom setting.

In the Laboratory

Although special protocols have always been in place for our laboratories to protect everyone’s health and safety, in addition to our standard protocols and those listed in the above section, the following additional laboratory protocols will be enforced during Phase 2:

  • In addition to standard lab PPE, gloves will be required when students need to touch common surfaces. They must be put on prior to entering the laboratory, and they must be deposited into the trash receptacles inside the lab prior to exiting.
  • Face masks covering the nose and mouth must be worn at all times in the lab, and physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
  • Single-use face masks are recommended for microbiology labs and disposed of before exiting the lab.
  • All reusable PPE will be disinfected between sections. For example, a two-step process will be used for cleaning a set of goggles. First, the student disinfects with the 70% isopropyl alcohol-based product provided. Second, the goggles will be passed under an ultraviolet light stored in the lab.
  • Lab inventories will accommodate students having their own individual glassware and equipment whenever possible.
  • All surfaces will be disinfected before and after each section by lab staff.
  • Only essential lab equipment will be used. Non-essential items, such as printers, will be removed from the lab to reduce the items and surfaces that need to be sanitized.

For more information on Phase 2, visit the Roadmap for Reopening website, which has been updated to include a “Guide for Returning to the Workplace.” In this resource, you’ll find details on health, safety and facilities preparations; steps for the daily health assessment and illness reporting protocols; information and expectations for the on-campus experience, including what to bring to campus and what not to bring to campus; required personal protective equipment; cleaning protocols and what is accessible on campus.

For questions or additional information, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Laptops Available for Students for Fall Term

Thursday, July 30, 2020

For Valencia students who may not have access to a laptop, our Office of Information Technology (OIT) team, in partnership with the Campus Store, has continued its laptop program for the fall term. 

The Acer Travelmate Celeron 1.1 GHz Windows 10 computers with 4GB RAM will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply, students may visit (webpage only accessible to enrolled students) or call Enrollment Services at 407-299-5000, extension 1507. Once the application is received and the student’s eligibility is confirmed, the laptop will be mailed, unless the student indicates alternative delivery is necessary. Students can expect to receive their laptops in five to seven business days after shipping.

Students who requested a Valencia laptop in the summer term and have registered for at least one fall class are eligible to renew their laptop loan request and continue using their laptop during the fall term. To renew a laptop, students may also visit and complete the form.

If students don’t renew their laptop, they must return it to Valencia by Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Students can drop off their laptops at the locations indicated below on Wednesday, August 5 or Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

  • East Campus: Building 4, Room 102C
  • West Campus: Building 6, Library Entrance
  • Osceola Campus: Building 1, Room 100

We’ve asked all students to practice social distancing and to wear a mask during the drop-off process to keep them safe.

If laptops are damaged or not returned by Wednesday, August 12, 2020, a hold will be placed on the student’s account for the replacement value of $215.

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Everything Looks Different Online, Including Disability Accommodations

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Message from Deborah Larew, Director, Students with Disabilities

The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) has received a lot of questions concerning how accommodations might be different in the online environment compared to the face-to-face environment. Most accommodations will look the same; however, there are a few differences.

Accommodations such as additional time for testing should be easy to implement in the online environment. Professors can simply extend the time allotted for timed assessments in Canvas owhatever management tool they are using to provide the test. More information on how to do this is provided in our faculty resources guide on the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD) webpage.

Another accommodation that should be easy to implement is the use of the four-function calculator during math assessments. When using Honorlock, before the test begins, the professor needs to explain that the student must display the calculator during the first part of the recording.

The use of closed-captioned videos for all videos uploaded in Canvas should also be easy to implement. This includes videos from YouTube or other websites. Additional resources are available to help you ensure that your Canvas course is fully accessible including the closed-captioned videos. More information can be found at Canvas Help or from Circles of Innovation.

Other accommodations may be applicable in certain classes and not in others. For example, if you are using the Real-time Virtual (RTV) modality and you have a deaf or hard of hearing student in your course, an interpreter or captionist may be needed in your class sessions. Also, if you are teaching an RTV course, it will be beneficial to record your class sessions for all students, including those students with the accommodation of audio recording.

OSD has recently purchased a subscription to Note Taking Express. This is a note-taking service where students are able to upload an audio or video file of their class and within 48 hours they are provided with detailed notes. This is another reason why it is beneficial for professors to have lectures and other information recorded and saved into their Canvas course. For more information on accessibility online, please visit the Centers for Teaching/Learning Innovation.

There are some accommodations that are not applicable in the online environment. These may include seating near the front door exit of the room, use of the testing center, accessible furniture, use of service animals, wheelchair desks, etc. If there is an accommodation listed that describes the physical nature of the course or classroom, it is likely that is not applicable in the online environment. If you are unsure about the applicability of an accommodation in an online environment, please reach out to the OSD.

You may also see some accommodations that will provide you with information but may not be necessarily implemented online. For example, the use of the distraction-reduced exam room is not applicable in the online environment; however it does let the professor know that these students need to be tested in a distraction-reduced remote environment. Therefore, if the professor is using the Honorlock proctoring system, he or she may want to be aware that this could provide some insight into a student’s behavior — for example: the student may fidget, stare off into space or move around frequently.

These behaviors may cause the student to be flagged by the Honorlock system but are common due to their disability. This may also be applicable for the accommodation of frequent breaks. OSD advisors strongly encourage students to discuss these types of accommodations with their professors when they are using the Honorlock proctoring system. This will help professors to be better aware of their students’ individual needs and accommodations to ensure access to their course and assessments. Please address any issues or concerns with Honorlock with our Assessment Team by emailing

The OSD strives to partner with faculty to do what is best for our students. Please reach out to your OSD team with any questions or concerns. We applaud your willingness to create accessible classrooms for all students and want to support you in that process.

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Howard Tate Brings Industry Experts to Students; Faculty Highlight

By Claudia Zequeira

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Howard Tate, part-time faculty, film production technology, knows the value of information and experience. And he brings a lot of it to Valencia College students with more than 25 years in television. But he believes his students need more.

Howard, who has worked on video projects as a producer and editor for media giants such as NBC, ESPN, ABC, Bravo, Oxygen and others, has consistently invited industry speakers to present to students in his classes. And many of these presentations have been interactive, requiring students to produce or create something in some capacity.

Last fall, before COVID-19 significantly altered our way of life, Howard invited Shellye Archambeau, one of Silicon Valley’s first female African American CEOs and a former executive at IBM, among other accomplishments, to speak to digital media and film students.

Howard, who has won several awards, including three Sports Emmy Awards, said Shellye gave students a bird’s eye view of industry and shared tips for success in a corporate environment. Shelley also discussed her career track, her failures and how she recovered from them. The students, meanwhile, asked questions and also recorded the talk, thus gaining needed hands-on knowledge and strengthening their portfolio.

“A lot of them [students] said they were really inspired,” said Howard. “They said Shellye gave them a lot of nuggets about how to navigate through technology, media and just life.”

Last January, Howard, who has taught courses such as Digital Video and Sound, Intro to the Film Process and others, also hosted Take 6, a Grammy Award winning gospel acapella group. While the group showed off their musical talents, students assisted with studio recording, filming a Vocal Master Class and, a car commercial for the group.

Also last spring, Howard had his students set up an outdoor studio and shoot a conversation with several District Board of Trustees members, who were interviewed by Faculty Association President Stanton Reed. The project provided an opportunity for students to learn their craft while also providing trustees a chance to interact with Valencia faculty and students and experience the institution firsthand.

“The students got to learn how to erect an outdoor studio and film outdoors,” said Howard. “They also got to learn a little bit about how Valencia is run.”

While he only began teaching at Valencia in 2019, Howard believes all of his efforts to integrate information and experience will result in stronger, better-prepared students and future professionals.

“When you can get that, it’s a win-win for everyone,” he said. “Students are creating and curating content and gaining experience, but the other part of the experience is the information they receive.”

But Howard, who also previously served as interim chair of the Digital Media department, also has a different agenda when he invites outside speakers in: to let industry know about the pool of talent found here.

“One of the things I really wanted to do with Valencia is to let the industry leaders know Valencia is a great place to recruit talent. My goal is to put Valencia on the map,” he said.

Do you know a faculty member doing great work? Or, perhaps you’d like to share the work you’re doing? Send the colleague’s (or your) name to us at and include Faculty Highlight Nomination in the subject line of your email. We might just feature your colleague (or you) as an upcoming Faculty Highlight.

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Title IX Procedural Changes Coming August 14

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The U.S. Secretary of Education has amended regulations implementing Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 that will result in Valencia College implementing some necessary procedural changes in our Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct Policy, 6Hx28:2-01. As the regulations will be effective Friday, August 14, 2020, the College will update the procedures within this policy online by this date.

Although our policy statement will not change and our commitment to responding to all types of discrimination and harassment remains, you will find the changes specific to Title IX Sexual Misconduct listed in the policy with additional resources available in the coming weeks at Additional information regarding these changes will be shared in The Juice and The Grove on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, and these changes have also been shared with the Faculty Policy Review Committee.

If you have any questions regarding the policy or procedures, please contact Assistant Vice President, Equity and Access and Title IX Coordinator Ryan Kane, at 407-582-5000, extension 3421 or via email at

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Faculty Governance Update — July 2020

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Message from Stanton Reed, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

As I celebrate a full year of being the Collegewide Faculty Association president, I must reflect. What a year it’s been.

For me personally, this experience has been a fantastic, positive experience. I’ve gotten to do so many things I haven’t done before, such as informing on policy and process, learning how to engage people and give them room to melt down (even though they don’t know they’re melting down), giving presentations to the District Board of Trustees and creating videos. I’ve engaged with empathy, encouraged self-care, fostered personal connection and provided opportunities for faculty to engage with one another on important topics.

And then, of course, there was the pandemic and racial tension, yet we still held on to our values of treating humans as humans, even though there are some things that still require us to be true and take the sunglasses off. Yet we’ve been willing to stay on that course with moral ethics and integrity.

Thank you to all faculty, deans, administration and staff for your support and for doing things that — before we got in the pandemic — almost seemed impossible. Experiencing the ups and downs with you has been a phenomenal experience.

Although this sounds like a farewell message, I have additional news. As you may be aware, our treasured colleague and Faculty Association President Elect Patrick Bartee is facing a health difficulty that will be deeply challenging to him for the next six months. Although his long-term prognosis is excellent, he will need to focus all his energy and concentration on healing. Valencia College has ensured that Patrick will be able to do this. We hope you will all keep Patrick in your thoughts and send healing energy his way.

This leaves the Faculty Association in the unusual position of having a president who, on a temporary basis, will retain his position but will not be available for leadership service during the fall term. It is important to note that in his efforts to lighten his service responsibilities during his time of convalescence, Patrick is not resigning his office, and the office of President of the Faculty Association therefore is not vacant. Patrick fully intends to resume his duties as soon as possible. In what has already been a chaotic year, this added wrinkle has led us to a thoughtful choice that is within the provisions of the Faculty Association’s Constitution.

Faculty leadership, with the support of senior leaders, have agreed with Patrick’s determination that it is in the best interest of our College community to delay the usual August transition of responsibilities. Because the position of president has not been vacated, a special election was not mandated or appropriate under our Constitution. A creative yet practical solution was called for.

Accordingly, Patrick has asked me to step in and fulfill his presidential duties through the fall term; Professor of Mathematics John Niss at the time of Patrick’s thoughts was to remain in service as acting past president, and Professor of English Michael Robbins will move into the vice president/president elect position as scheduled.

Recently, however, John Niss has accepted the role of new executive dean of the Winter Park Campus. After a discussion among College President Sandy Shugart, Interim East and Winter Park Campus President Wendy Givoglu, John Niss and Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources Amy Bosley, John decided that he should relinquish the past president role. So, for the better part of fall, I will be serving as past president, while also picking up Patrick’s duties as president, with Michael Robbins serving as vice president/president elect. When Patrick resumes active Faculty Association service, we will resume the normal rotation of the positions. The normal election cycle will be observed this spring, as always.

There are several compelling reasons supporting this decision. First, it is extremely important that faculty leaders have established working relationships with members of Senior Team, and moving Michael directly into the president position and electing a new vice president behind him would not allow him the relatively low-pressure year as vice president to get up to speed on governance processes and emerging College matters and to form the necessary bonds of trust.

Second, continuity in leadership is essential to good decision making. Using my experience to fill in for Patrick in carrying out the duties of president enhances the amount of context faculty leaders would be able to access and maximizes the effectiveness of the position during this temporary situation. Most importantly, Patrick has worked diligently to prepare for his role as Association president, and given that Patrick expressly has not vacated his leadership position, we believe it’s important to allow Patrick the opportunity to share his insight and energy — it just will be a little later than anticipated.

I hope we can rely on your support of Patrick and the Association as we work our way through yet another “novel” situation.

May we choose to be grateful and exercise empathy and grace to our neighbors. Have a safe, joyous, restful, and fun summer break.

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Canvas Update — Batch Edit Assignment Dates

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Message from Geni Wright, Director, Online Teaching and Learning 

Canvas has released a new feature to support faculty in editing due dates for multiple assignments at once. This feature provides a more efficient process to change due dates within a course.

To locate the Batch Edit feature, go to your Assignments tab and navigate to the three dots — the Options icon labeled 1 belowFrom there, select Edit Assignment Dates, labeled 2 below.

We have also created a step-by-step guide to walk you through the steps to view and manage your information for all graded items in your course, including assignments, discussions and quizzes.

Monthly Archives: July 2020

Advising and Answer Centers Offer Extended Hours

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

To better accommodate our students, we have temporarily extended the hours of the Answer Center and the Advising Center to support fall 2020 registration. Both centers will remain online during the fall term. New hours are as follows:

Answer Center
Monday—Thursday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 12 to 5 p.m.

Students may access the Answer Center here.

Advising Center
Monday—Thursday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 12 – 5 p.m.

Students may connect with the Advising Center here.