Monthly Archives: October 2021

Reminder — Banner, Atlas and Related Systems Will Be Down Starting Tomorrow

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, October 27 through Monday, November 1, 2021, Valencia College’s Banner suite and the majority of related systems are moving from an onsite data center to an Amazon web services-hosted cloud environment. This move is a part of Project TITAN (Technology in the Amazon Network).

During the transition timeframe, Banner and all Banner-related systems will be unavailable, including:

  • Atlas
  • Banner
  • Banner-related systems (DegreeWorks, eVisions, Faculty Grade Entry, BDMS, and more)
  • College Scheduler
  • Sunapsis (requires Atlas login)
  • Timesheet and COA Processing

For a complete list of systems that will and will not be available visit the Banner Suite Cloud Move webpage.

Website Editing

In preparation for the move to the cloud, a code freeze was initiated on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, which froze or disabled publishing new content. During this time, however, web editors may still login and make and save changes and check in pages, but will not have the ability to publish.

Publishing access will be restored for web editors on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, and web editors can login and publish saved changes and check in pages for quality assurance.

For critical or urgent changes to webpages that cannot wait until November 2, 2021, submit a ticket or contact the Web Services Team.

Student Services 

With several key systems unavailable during the move to the cloud, hours of operation for student services will be adjusted to the following:

  • The Answer Center and Advising Center will be closed Thursday, October 28 through Saturday, October 30, 2021.
  • Enrollment Services support and Ask Atlas staff will be available from Thursday, October 28 through Saturday, October 30, 2021.
  • Learning Support will be available, although faculty and staff will lose access to the Library Catalog; Ask a Librarian will be available.

Regular operating hours for student services will resume on Monday, November 1, 2021.

If you require assistance during the transition period, email or submit a ticket through the OIT Service Desk.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Receiving Valencia Job Alerts: It’s as Easy as One-Two-Three

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Did you know that you can sign up to receive notifications when Valencia jobs become available in your field?

Follow these three steps and start receiving job alerts when new postings are open:

  1. From the Valencia career dashboard, click on the “Job Alert” Tab on the left menu
  2. Complete the Email, First and Last Name fields
  3. Review and select the job categories of interest

If you receive an alert for an internal-only job posting that is only open to current Valencia employees, please do not forward the alert to non employees as they will not be able to apply.

If you have questions about applying, contact the Talent Acquisition team at or call the Talent Acquisition team at 407-582-8033.

In addition to signing up to receive notifications for current job postings, we also encourage you to follow Valencia’s recruitment-oriented social media accounts. These accounts feature information about Valencia as an employer and promote current job openings. Below are links to Valencia’s three recruitment-oriented social media pages:

LinkedIn (@ValenciaCollege)

Facebook (@ValenciaCollegeJobs)

Twitter (@ValenciaJobs)

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Learning Council Solidifies Goals, Identifies Strategies from the Equity FIT and Explores Deep Learning

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Learning Council met on Thursday, October 7, 2021, to solidify its goals for academic year 2021-2022 based on the goal exercise members completed during the September meeting, identify strategies from the Focused Inquiry Team on Equity-minded Practice (Equity FIT) that would most powerfully advance Valencia’s equitable goals and should be commissioned to work teams, and explore the meaning of deep learning.

Solidifying Goals

During the September meeting, the Council took time to identify connections and draft goals for the upcoming year in relation to the “big rocks” that represent the context of their work (i.e., governance refresh, institutional plans, academic leadership searches, and new teaching and service models). The goal exercise generated several responses. The co-chair team spent time sorting the responses into these themes.

Once the themes were identified, the co-chair team synthesized the themes into four draft high-level goals. The intention of narrowing the focus of the goals was to capture the essence and intentionality of the ideation exercise. The draft goals are:

  1. Solidify the Learning Council’s role and focus on learning, while complementing and supporting the work of the new strategic councils.
  2. Prioritize the learning-focused work named in institutional plans and continue aligning our efforts to Impact Plan goals.
  3. Provide direct support to current and forthcoming leadership searches.
  4. Study the relationship between course modality and learning, plus that between service modality and learning, to help inform the College’s planning.

Identifying Strategies

The Focused Inquiry Team on Equity-minded Practice (Equity FIT) originated in the Learning Council, and is co-chaired by Shara Lee, campus director, faculty and instructional development, and Marsha Butler, faculty, New Student Experience. The Equity FIT, composed of more than 30 team members from across the College, was charged by the Learning Council with identifying evidence-based, equity-minded practices in both pedagogy and curriculum. Shara and Marsha led the Council through a prioritization exercise where Council members were asked:

  1. Which recommendations from the Equity FIT would you like to move forward to commission work teams?
  2. For each recommendation, should the work be stand-alone or added to existing work?
  3. What underlying principles or hypotheses were behind your decisions?
  4. What criteria should the Learning Council use for prioritizing the recommendations?

The exercise resulted in members prioritizing the following three strategies to commission work teams:

  • Foster and build a sense of belonging.
  • Teach students HOW TO LEARN: College success skills such as metacognition and the normalization of support services be integrated into all gateway courses.
  • More intensively utilize community and on-campus resources to support students’ basic needs.

Exploring Deep Learning

Melonie Sexton, professor, psychology, engaged Council members in a discussion about deep learning. Melonie facilitated a “mini lesson” where she shared her knowledge and expertise in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. By doing so, she challenged members to reflect on how they learn and how those preferences may influence how members teach and interact with students. She gave the council a few powerful tips to help our students learn deeply:

  • Find Connections. Go beyond just the neuroscience, apply computational neuroscience and look for patterns/algorithms.
  • Utilize Whole Brain Teaching. Try to engage every part of the brain in learning. The prefrontal cortex AND the limbic system.
  • Embrace Embodied Cognition. This is the idea that learning does not only occur in the brain. Get the entire nervous system involved in problem-solving and creative thinking.
  • Apply Meaning. Semantic Processing is the deepest level of processing. Information is more likely to be committed to memory, when there is meaning attached to the content.


The next Learning Council meeting will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2021, from 2 – 5 p.m. via Zoom.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Featured Colleague: Alex Erdmann Cooks Up Success for Students

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

By Jennifer Keefe

If there were an international language of food, there’s a good chance Alex Erdmann, dean, School of Hospitality and Culinary at the Downtown Campus, would speak it. When Alex joined Valencia College in 2018, he brought with him an entire menu of culinary certifications, including being a German Certified Master Chef.

Before coming to the College, Alex served as the executive chef and department head at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Alex was also an executive chef for Disney Cruise Line and a corporate traveling executive chef and trainer for Royal Caribbean.

Alex says his position at Valencia College has all the right ingredients for success. He sees himself “leading a team of amazing professionals to ensure our students succeed in their dreams of becoming valuable members of our industry.”

One of Alex’s greatest accomplishments has been using his leadership skills to build the Walt Disney World Center of Culinary Arts and Hospitality at the Downtown Campus. But Alex says he has so much more than that to be proud of. In fact, the programs have reached an enrollment of 2,000 students and graduates have a 100% job placement rate. But that’s not all. Alex is really thrilled by, “the partnerships we have with other educational institutions, the industry and community,” he says.

Those partnerships, along with his team and the hospitality and culinary students, are what really inspire Alex about his work at the College. To him, the College stands for access and opportunity. “Valencia College is possible, affordable and compares equally or better to any other educational institution,” he says.

Alex’s supervisor, Terri Graham, interim president, West and Downtown Campuses, really appreciates all he has done to build Valencia College’s programs.

”We are honored to have Chef Alex Erdmann serve as the current dean of our School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts,” she says, ”His expertise and industry partnerships bring immense value to the student experience.”

Aside from his culinary background, there is so much more to know about Alex. For example, he first came to the United States from Germany in 1997 as an exchange student. He intended to go back but got married and decided to stay.

“I like the way of life in America,” he says. ”There were a lot of opportunities for me here that did not exist in Germany at the time.”

In addition to being a German Master Chef, Alex also has a master’s degree in international hospitality management from Switzerland and is a certified hospitality educator. He went to Israel and learned how to cook kosher meals, a position he says was “like working in paradise.”

Alex also spent three years in the German military and served as the food and beverage director for the officer’s mess. Additionally, he’s held positions at hotels from London to Switzerland to Austria. And, when he came to America, he once worked as a part-time tax preparer to learn the American tax system. He says it is a lot simpler than the one in Germany.

In his free time, Alex enjoys cooking, biking, swimming, hiking, and exploring parks and historical sites with his family. He does still have some family in Germany and says he’s watching the transition of power in that country “very closely.”

Alex is very interested in showing off the hard work of his hospitality and culinary team at the Downtown Campus. He says you can come tour the third, fourth and fifth floors of the building on your own any time during normal business hours to savor in our students’ success.

Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? Send the colleague’s name to us at He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month — 10 Tips to Protect Yourself From Cybercrime

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Message from Patrick Criss, Director, Information Security Operations

There is no one single precaution that will protect you from cybercrime and hackers. It’s a combination of things you do and actions you take. Cybercriminals constantly find new opportunities and ways to gain access to your information. Practicing good personal cybersecurity will allow you to safely enjoy the conveniences and growing benefits of our connected world. Here are 10 ways to protect yourself from cybercrime:

  1. Keep in mind that you are a target to hackers.
  2. Perform regular software updates.
  3. Avoid phishing scams — beware of suspicious emails and phone calls.
  4. Practice good password management.
  5. Be careful what you click.
  6. Never leave devices unattended.
  7. Safeguard protected data.
  8. Use mobile devices safely.
  9. Install antivirus/anti-malware protection.
  10. Back up your data.

Additional resources are available via the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Knowledge Base to help you understand cybersecurity risks and how to protect your information and data at work and at home. You may also take advantage of the following courses in the Valencia EDGE.

If you have any questions, please contact the OIT Service Desk at or by phone at 407-582-5555.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Welcome New Employees to the College with New Zoom Backgrounds

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Do you have new employees joining your team? Make sure you greet them with these branded Zoom welcome backgrounds our Marketing team has designed.

In addition to the welcome backgrounds, you can find an entire collection of different branded backgrounds on our Brand website.

Below are the instructions on how to add a virtual background to Zoom after you download it to your computer.

  1. Sign in to Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click Settings (On the top, right-hand corner of your screen, select your profile photo).
  3. Select Backgrounds and Filters.
  4. Click on an image to select the desired virtual background or add your own image by clicking +Add Image.
  5. To disable Virtual Background, choose the option None.

You may also add a background image during your Zoom meeting by joining the meeting and clicking on the arrow next to the “Video” icon. From the menu, select “Choose Virtual Background” and add your image as instructed above.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Help Prevent Suicide — Become a Gatekeeper by Attending a QPR Session

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of race, age, gender or background, and it is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Stressful life events (such as the loss of a loved one, legal troubles or financial difficulties) and interpersonal stressors (such as shame, harassment, bullying or discrimination) may also contribute to suicide risk.

Suicide was the second leading cause of death among college students in the United States in 2019. There is one suicide every 11 minutes and one attempt every 26 seconds according to the QPR [Question Persuade Refer] Institute suicide statistics. There were also more than twice as many suicides (47,511) as there were homicides (19,141), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data.

With the assistance of Counselor Tullio Bushrui and his awarded Endowed Chair in early 2018, Valencia College counselors were certified as QPR Gatekeeper trainers. QPR is a proven suicide prevention training that teaches the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide: Question, Persuade and Refer. People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

Additionally, according to the Surgeon General’s National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, a gatekeeper is someone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. Gatekeepers can be anyone including parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, supervisors, advisors and many others who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide.

As Valencia was awarded the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Grant in late 2018, our counselors are now able to facilitate QPR Gatekeeper sessions on a larger scale to the Valencia community, including faculty, staff and student leaders, and to date, the counselors have facilitated over 20 sessions with more than 285 completers.

Now’s your chance to make a difference and save lives by becoming a gatekeeper. Register for one of the upcoming QPR Gatekeeper Training sessions via the Valencia EDGE.

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Online 

Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Online

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Online

There will also be a session for student leaders. Registration is also available on the Valencia EDGE.

Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021 
Time: 10 a.m. 
Location: Online 

For more information about suicide prevention, visit, or contact Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Apple Workshops Are Now Available for Valencia Faculty, Staff and Students

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Valencia College is an authorized Apple campus store, offering our Valencia community the opportunity to test-drive Apple products, take advantage of special offers, and get service and support.

One of the perks of being an authorized Apple campus store is the access to Campus Leader virtual workshops — available for our faculty, staff and students. These workshops can help you learn tips, tricks and tools to enhance your learning and teaching experience with Apple products.

Click here to check out upcoming Apple workshops. New workshops are added weekly.

For more information about Apple products and Apple training opportunities, contact Mona Liza Colon, director, auxiliary services, at or by phone at (407) 582-3434.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Choosing Care — Selecting Between Your PCP, a Virtual Visit, Urgent Care or the ER

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Message from Jessica Johnson, UnitedHealthcare Nurse Liaison 

When you need immediate care, you may have more options than you realized to save you time and money. So, before you spend hours waiting in the ER or maybe end up with an unexpected bill, consider the alternatives that could save you up to $2,000.

Please note that the average cost listed is based on in-network cost amounts for services provided. Keep in mind that depending on your specific enrollment in Valencia’s UnitedHealthcare (UHC) medical plans, copayments, deductibles and/or coinsurance may apply.

Primary care provider
$160 average cost
Your primary care provider (PCP) or family doctor is a good place to start. They usually know you best, can access your records and may offer same-day appointments. Cough, fever, pink eye, urinary tract infection, muscle strain and sprain are a few examples of what a primary care provider may be able to treat.

To find a doctor, visit

24/7 virtual visits
Less than $50 average cost
Get care for patients of all ages 24/7. You can talk — by phone or video — with a doctor who can diagnose common medical conditions and even prescribe medications if needed. Cold, flu, pinkeye and sinus problems are a few examples of what a virtual visit may be able to treat.

For more information or to start a virtual visit, click here.

Convenience care clinic
$100 average cost
This choice may be ideal for those on the go. Convenience care clinics let you walk in without an appointment, and can offer treatments for many common symptoms. Skin rash, flu shot, minor injuries or earache are a few examples of what a convenience care clinic may be able to treat.

To find a clinic, visit

Urgent care center
$180 average cost
Urgent care centers are often open evenings and weekends and available for immediate treatment of injuries or illnesses that are not life-threatening. Muscle sprains or strains, back pain, skin infections and broken bones are a few examples of what an urgent care center may be able to treat.

To find an urgent care center, visit

Emergency room
$2,200 average cost
For immediate treatment of life-threatening injuries or illnesses and other critical conditions, ERs are open 24/7. Chest pain, shortness of breath, major burns and severe injuries are a few examples of what an ER may be able to treat.

To find a hospital, visit

Click here to see a comparison chart for care options to help you keep costs down. Not sure where to go for care? Call the member services phone number on the back of your UHC medical ID card.

If you have any questions, contact me at or 407- 866-8134.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Valencians on Campus

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

If you haven’t been on campus lately, you may not know that many students have returned, and classes and activities are picking up. Check out what’s been happening on campus in the video below.