Another new year brings another new opportunity to apply for the Joyce Romano Partnership Excellence Award.
Named for Joyce Romano, former vice president, educational partnerships, this award recognizes an individual, institution, team or community member that exudes the spirit of collaboration and partnership in leading and serving others toward supporting transfer student success.
The award criteria is based on five main areas, including innovative thinking, demonstrated student outcomes, cooperative spirit with transfer institution(s), student engagement and potential replication of the project at other institutions.
To submit a nomination, please click the button below. Be prepared to submit a summary of the extent to which the nominee’s contribution toward transfer student success is noteworthy. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
Past winners of this award include:
The SLS1122 Transitions course, a transfer course taught in collaboration with Valencia and the University of Central Florida (UCF)
The Concurrent Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Advising team, to include the academic advisors and support personnel at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Seminole State College and Valencia College, who are responsible for the admission and advising of UCF’s most collaborative concurrent enrollment program, the Concurrent BSN program, as well as those who contribute to student success including admissions offices, UCF Connect and financial aid staff members at all three institutions.
This award is in partnership with Valencia College, UCF, the College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Eastern Florida State College, Lake Sumter State College and Seminole State College.
By Joe Richardson, Vice President, Student Affairs, and Leadership Forum Co-chair
The Valencia College Leadership Forum met via Zoom on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. The forum continued exploring our Strategic Impact Plan and the emerging strategies that we are implementing or planning to implement to help us meet our bold and ambitious goals.
The January meeting examined our College Access goal, which names partnership with our community to ensure that by 2030, 80% of Orange and Osceola county high school graduates of each race and ethnicity will attend a post-secondary institution in the year following high school graduation. The forum discussed the current decline in college enrollments across our country and at Valencia and discussed how pursuing equity-minded strategies to increase and assure access is of vital importance to our community and to our students.
Attendees were invited to prepare for the conversation by reading or listening to “College enrollment plummeted during the pandemic. This fall, it’s even worse,” and were challenged to think about the impact of fewer college students earning credentials. Deeper insights about the impact of the pandemic on college access and learning were found in the article “COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning.” As noted in the second article, “The pandemic widened preexisting opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest,” which challenged forum attendees to think deeply about equity-focused strategies that will allow us to achieve our College Access goal.
A young mom is forced into a marriage with her abusive boyfriend in order to have tax returns to apply for financial aid for school. That same abused mom is prescribed anti-depressants, but the doctor does not refer her to domestic abuse help. The abuser breaks in to that mom’s parents’ home where she sent her children to be safe, but police can’t charge the abuser because he is a family member taking his children. After numerous system failures that left this mom trapped in this situation, the abuser murders her and their two children and elects suicide.
This emotional story was shared by Rachel Louise Snyder, an American journalist and author of “No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us,” during her Wednesday, January 26, 2022, presentation during Valencia College’s Conversation on Justice.
Rachel compared domestic abuse to a plot in fiction writing.
“What you get in a young person’s story … is this idea that plot is just an event,” Rachel explained. “There’s a car that blows up, and then maybe there’s a bank robbery and then there’s some other … terrible something that happens. But they’re all disconnected. And what you really have to understand is … that plot is a series of related cause and effect events. Because a character is forced into this situation, she makes the decision between A and B. And she picks A. And because she picks A, she is then forced into this decision … and it’s all with an escalation.”
Additionally, Rachel explained that in this mom’s struggle with her abuser and her attempts to leave the situation, that one system after another failed her. For example, the judiciary system failed the mom when police arrested her husband but his parents bailed him out of jail only a short time later. In this cause and effect situation, the mom dropped the charges in an attempt to protect herself from harm when her husband returned home.
“How do we understand the escalation with cause and effect?” Rachel asked the attendees. “How do we understand the systems interact with them? The truth is, these systems will only get one chance to interact with a domestic violence victim.”
Rachel recommended making systemic changes so victims are not locked in, and that in order to do this, there must be intersections with community organizations and businesses. For example, how can domestic violence organizations partner with banks to help victims with a shared checking account establish their own account? How can banks refer victims to domestic violence organizations for help?
With this goal in mind, the Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) at Valencia College hosted a follow-up event to Rachel’s presentation. On the evening of Wednesday, January 26, 2022, PJI replayed Rachel’s presentation and a panel of local leaders, including State Attorney Ninth Judicial Circuit Monique H. Worrell, CEO of Harbor House of Central Florida Michelle Sperzel, and Orlando Police Department Homicide Unit Detective Teresa Sprague, discussed how we are addressing domestic violence in Central Florida.
Part of that mission includes recycling toner cartridges. Courier Services makes it easier than ever for faculty and staff to recycle old toner cartridges.
Please send any used/old toner cartridges of any size or shape through interoffice mail using mail code 4-42, or place the unmarked, unpackaged cartridge directly in the outgoing mailbox.
Students may also take advantage of our recycling program by bringing in their used items and placing them in the collection bins at any campus library. You’re also encouraged to bring your used cartridges from home. Please don’t throw them away.
Thank you for your continued support of this program.
Registration is now open for Learning Day, which will be held online on Friday, February 11, 2022. Join your colleagues for a time to learn, celebrate and inspire one another. The day will feature three learning sessions, as well as a conversation with College President Kathleen Plinske and Liz Murphy, CEO of CampusWorks.
All campus locations will be closed for Learning Day, and no classes will be held. Please make sure to post appropriate signs as well as notices and reminders online to alert students.
Learning Day is a regular work day for faculty and staff, and programming will be provided between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Employees are encouraged and expected to use the afternoon for independent learning, such as reading, reflecting and participating in on-demand courses through LinkedIn Learning.
Full-time employees are required to attend or submit a Certificate of Absence (COA) with supervisor approval for vacation or personal time (Staff – eight hours of leave; Faculty – seven hours of leave). Full-time employees will be paid for a full day’s worth of work, even if scheduled events end early. Non-exempt employees should adjust their work schedules, so they can attend the full day. If a non-exempt employee works any hours over 40, the employee must be paid overtime.
Part-time colleagues are invited and encouraged to attend Learning Day, although participation is voluntary. Part-time staff will be compensated for attendance at their regular rate of pay and should work with their supervisor to have their normal schedule adjusted if they plan to attend. Part-time faculty members who choose to attend would do so as a part of their current part-time faculty contract. Since attendance is voluntary for part-time employees, a COA is not required for non-attendance.
This year, the College will use a new Zoom Events platform for registration and the day of the event that will allow you to attend the learning sessions from an event hub.
To register for Learning Day, click the button below and follow these instructions:
Click on the Register button
Select the SSO icon
Enter “valenciacollege” in the Company Domain field
Complete the form and submit
You will receive an email confirmation with a calendar appointment
Please note that if you are a Learning Day presenter, you do not need to register.
A Message from Tana Damian, Compliance Inspector, Senior
Every year, Valencia College is required to have a State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) inspection. This year, it is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22 through Thursday, February 24, 2022.
For the past six years, Valencia College, which encompasses more than 2,500,000 square feet, has had ZERO violations during the annual inspection. This is due to the dedication and hard work of every person and department at Valencia College.
Even though many of you have not been back full time at your offices and facilities due to COVID-19, we trust that everyone will be in compliance. The Compliance and Safety, Security and Plant Operations departments have been very busy maintaining and operating Valencia facilities during COVID-19.
The State of Florida requires all public schools and colleges to have an annual fire safety, casualty safety, and sanitation inspection once a year to ensure the health and safety of occupants. Codes that we are required to follow are per Florida Statutes 1013, SREF, the Florida Fire Prevention Code (FFPC) and Florida Administrative Code 69A-58. These codes are minimum requirements to assure safety for all. Our main goal is to provide the best educational experience for our students as well as to provide a safe environment.
All campuses will be inspected during the annual SREF comprehensive inspection. To prepare for the inspection, click on the checklist below.
With our Spring 2022 term underway, it is important to know what to do if a student reports feeling sick. If you think a student in your in-person class is sick, or if a student reports feeling ill, has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or has come in contact with someone who is ill, please follow the protocols listed below:
Reporting Illness for Students in Classes On Campus
An illness must be reported to Valencia College’s COVID-19 case management team if:
A student reports feeling ill and has been or is scheduled to be on campus for classes;
A student tests positive for COVID-19;
A student comes into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus; or
A student is providing care for someone with COVID-19.
If you become aware of one of the situations above, immediately ask the student to email Valencia College’s COVID-19 Case Management Team at COVIDillness@valenciacollege.edu.
Your Role in Reporting the Student Illness
Next — even if the student reports — please contact Valencia College’s COVID-19 Case Management Team with the student’s name at COVIDillness@valenciacollege.edu.
What Happens Next?
After reporting the illness, the COVID-19 case manager, with the support of Organizational Development and Human Resources, will direct the person who is ill on quarantine or isolation procedures as needed, as well as connect them with additional resources and support services.
Following the initial contact with the COVID-19 case manager and the student, contact-tracing protocols will initiate based on when the person was on campus, what activities the person participated in, who was in close contact with the individual and what rooms or spaces the person visited.
Click the button below to access a resource document on reporting student illness.
Returning to Campus
The COVID-19 Case Management Team will send a detailed email to the student with specific instructions on next steps and when the student can return to campus.
Working together, we can have a safe and successful on-campus experience for our students and employees.
I hope you all had a good start to your spring semester. This is a time to renew and refresh, and in keeping with that poetic theme, I wanted this month’s message to be a brief opportunity for you to engage in refreshment: I’m asking you all to consider serving on a Strategic Council as part of our governance refresh.
That’s a really, really truncated version of the refresh, but one that’s relevant to today’s message. Keep in mind these expanded councils have been asked to focus on the strategic plans for the College; they’ll tackle the goals we’ve developed related to access, transfer, graduation and career success. This is an exciting opportunity, adding capacity in our governance, helping coordinate work across multiple campuses, and giving interdisciplinary forums for faculty, staff and administration to work on our institutional goals.
That may not seem exciting or particularly poetic, but I get a little nerdy when it comes to governance at Valencia College. Having places to voice opinions and discuss important issues that affect the community has a touch of the poetic to it.
Asking you to consider engaging in one of these Strategic Councils is a lot, and you may be feeling pressure already from other work we do. I know many of you are already faced with considerable workloads. Take some time to weigh your current work, and to determine if participating in a Strategic Council is something you can commit to. Council work will require not only attending meetings, but investment in your time to understand and develop arguments on our strategic plans. There will be research and reflection as part of the workload.
Still, there’s value in governance at the College. This is where we make decisions, and where we are given an opportunity to voice our thoughts. I’ve found Valencia to be a unique workplace, one where my thoughts on how the institution should be run are actively solicited, and where I’m encouraged to engage in not just conversation, but in the decision-making process. This is what excites me so much about our governance: Here, I can take some time to tell Valencia my thoughts. It can be frustrating at times, dramatic at others, but I’ve yet to have an experience where my opinions and thoughts are valued as I’ve had while I worked here at Valencia.
I hope you all have seen the same chance to voice your thoughts and opinions, and if you haven’t, then I’d ask that you consider self-nominating to serve, if only to experience the conversations I’ve experienced in my time in governance. If you are interested, you can click on this link and fill out the self-nomination form. The deadline to self-nominate for faculty is Thursday, February 3, 2022.
A Message from Geni Wright, Director, Online Teaching and Learning
Welcome to the Spring 2022 term!
The Online Learning Excellence team is excited to have 26 online courses in the queue for an online course quality review this semester. Faculty will have their courses reviewed by a peer review panel and by their dean using the Rubric for Online Competencies (ROC).
Marcelle Wycha, professor, English – ENC1102 Freshman Composition II
Milena Zaleckaite, professor, EAP – EAP1500C High Intermediate Speaking and Listening for English Language Learners
Participate in a Course Peer Review
We hope you will consider joining the next cohort of faculty participating in Course Peer Review. Full-time faculty members across the College are invited to submit their courses for the peer review process by completing the following survey:
After submitting the application, you will be contacted by a Faculty Fellow for Online Learning Excellence. Our Faculty Fellows for spring 2022 are:
For East Campus Professor of English Shea Faulkner, connection comes in many forms.
“Connection and connectedness are at the forefront of my teaching philosophy,” she explains. “I want my students to build relationships with me and with other students in the classroom.”
She says it’s also important to her that her students see themselves reflected in the content of her classes.
“When it comes to building connections with students, I like to build them through their writing,” Shea says.
Her ENC 1102 classes are mostly literature based, and students write reflections in a journal about how they connect with each piece. Then, Shea responds to the student reflections in Canvas and the students can answer her back. Those exchanges often lead to Zoom meetings to discuss the students’ writing and the pieces they have read.
But Shea doesn’t wait for her students to turn in papers to start building connections. The first day of all of her classes is full of ice breakers where students “tell serious and silly things about themselves.”
Knowing something about one another helps the students to relate to one another when they talk about literature pieces with more serious content, she says. Shea also plays music at the start of her face-to-face classes, and she checks in on students who miss face-to-face class or fail to turn in online class assignments.
Shea is in Year 5 of the tenure process and expects to be awarded tenure this spring. She teaches predominantly ENC 1101 and ENC 1102 classes.
Her action research project actually started before she began her quest for tenure.
In her first semester of teaching, at the Lake Nona Campus, Shea noticed her students were struggling in the same key areas of writing and revision: MLA and writing good thesis statements and topic sentences. Looking for a way to help, she created a self-reflection form for students to complete after each assignment.
Shea would review the forms after she graded the assignments and would then have the students look at the grades they actually earned in comparison to the one they noted on the form that they thought that they deserved.
Once she started the tenure process, Shea expanded on this idea. “I thought, what can I do with this to help students really start working on these weaknesses?”
She adds, “They [the students] were self-assessing and self-reflective, but it wasn’t enough. They needed to also be looking at what they would do to fix the issues in their writing.”
During her action research, Shea redesigned her original form into a reflective feedback process to include a checklist, a reflection and a commitment to an action plan.
After completing their first writing assignment, the students choose two options for their action plan that include either meeting with Shea, a consultation at the writing center or taking advantage of the online academic refresher classes geared toward improving student writing. The students have until they turn in their fourth writing assignment to complete their action plan. Then, they compare their weaknesses in the first essay to how they have improved in the fourth essay. At the end of the semester, the students then reflect upon how their writing has changed.
Shea first implemented her action research in two ENC 1101 classes, finding that out of 38 students, about 13 mastered their weakness and only one gained no additional credit from assignment one to assignment four.
Reflecting upon her own experience, Shea found, “I learned that while it was successful, it was time consuming on my end and on students’ end.”
She plans to scale the project back in future semesters while still creating a valuable opportunity for growth and reflection for her students. Shea has also found that her project works better in face-to-face classes than it has online.
Shea also has a best practice she uses in her online classes. In discussions, she makes sure she is posting comments on her students’ responses to assigned prompts in ways that model the kind of discussion posts she is looking for.
She does this because “leading by example is the most effective leading one can do.” She says, “Whenever I have an opportunity to lead by example, I should.”
Something else that’s unique that Shea does in her classes comes from her own experience in the SEED program. Her variation on the emotional check-in introduction from SEED is to ask her students what they are feeling good about or what they are proud of themselves for. She says that’s another way she starts class on a positive note.
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 The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu 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.