The deadline for completing the first step in the 2021- 2023 Faculty Incentive Plan (FIP) is quickly approaching for all tenured, tenure-track and annually appointed faculty.
The first step of the FIP, including the High Impact Practices Plan and/or Professional Development Plan, must be submitted to your dean/supervisor by Wednesday, June 1, 2022. Please note, if a plan is not selected and submitted by June 1, the plan selection will default to “I choose not to participate,” and a plan can no longer be submitted for the current cycle.
A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses
Throughout the pandemic, many of our normal processes were paused or delayed, including our annual request for feedback for our campus deans. We acknowledge that we did not directly solicit your feedback in the 2020-2021 academic year. Thus, we invite you to reflect on the current and prior academic years and provide feedback to any or all of our campus deans using the Qualtrics survey links below. The campus deans are very interested in receiving your feedback on their leadership and work and appreciate your participation in the survey.
Responses will be provided to deans anonymously and in aggregate form. Please respond by Friday, May 13, 2022.
A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses
Our Grad Finale was a success, with many graduates and their families coming to our campus for the event. These students were celebrated with the help of our faculty and staff, who volunteered in various roles. Thank you for making this a special day for our students!
The Osceola Campus celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and the following photos show events from the campus’ early years.
Matador Day, Circa 1998
This is an early Matador Day — now called Spirit Day — on the Osceola Campus. The open field where the picture was taken is now filled by Building 1 (even though it was the second building constructed on campus). The building was constructed in 2000-2001, so this picture is from 1997-1999. The people in the picture were all faculty in the math department, including current Wendi Bush, professor, mathematics (third from the right).
This picture was taken before classes started on the Osceola Campus. We had an open house in December 1996 when people could come and tour the one building on campus (now called Building 2). Melissa Pedone, interim president of the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses, was in one of the campus’s two biology labs and jokingly posed with the skeleton for Anatomy and Physiology classes. Tim Grogan, professor, biology, took the picture.
Aerial Photo of Osceola Campus
This picture was taken by Mark Guillette, professor, sociology, on his returning flight to Orlando from his Valencia College Foundation Endowed Chair experience in Mexico City.
“I was awarded the 2021-2022 Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences,” Mark shared. “My proposal was to travel to a Spanish-speaking country to participate in an intensive Spanish language learning program. I paired with Fluenz, a school based in Mexico City that offers such programs.
“I was in Mexico City for six days. Each day there were individual and group classes with a rotating set of Spanish teachers. The curriculum was tailored to each student depending on the progress throughout the week. Local cultural events were also incorporated into the program, such as a visit to the National Anthropological and Frida Kahlo Museums,” he added.
Do you have a memory or photo from the early years of the Osceola Campus? We would love to hear about it. Please email them to Meredith Morris, professor, speech, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Message from Michael Robbins, President, Collegewide Faculty Association
As we conclude spring 2022, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the effort faculty have taken over the past academic year. It almost feels trite to say this, but we have had a rough year as educators. I also feel a bit like a broken record saying that; it’s entered the common phrases often uttered to educators, like “Do less with more” and “Why didn’t you go into finance like your brother?”
I eagerly wait for the year when I can say it wasn’t a rough year.
In speaking with my colleagues, I’ve heard concerns about student readiness and anxiety over recent legislation. I understand where these concerns and anxieties are coming from. I would be lying to you all if I said that I didn’t grow worried from time to time as well.
When I was in my late twenties, I went to therapy for the first time. I suffered from anxiety and depression, but I’d never really had the opportunity to get help before. I remember my therapist teaching me about white noise anxiety. I’m not sure if that’s an official term or not; it might have just been a way for my therapist to explain a more complicated subject. But the point was to distinguish between anxiety that is white noise, where there was little I could do to affect change, and actionable anxiety, where I can take direct action to improve conditions that caused anxiety.
Distinguishing between what type of anxiety I’m experiencing has helped me a lot over the past year. There are parts of my academic world I have limited control over, and it helps me to recognize that. I have little control over the readiness of my students prior to entering my class. I have little control over my students’ lives, which can be messy, and which can sometimes slow their academic career. I have little control over the political turmoil our country faces. I have little control over a growing mistrust our country has with intelligent, thoughtful conversation.
But then I think of where I do have control. I have control in planning my class. I have control in thinking about what assessments to give my students and how to use those assessments to evaluate student readiness. I have access to learning support services and advising services. I’m not alone in trying to help my students succeed in my class. I also have Faculty Development and Instructional Design, which can help me think through academic issues when I get stuck.
As for the legislative concerns and anxieties, that is more complicated. I do know that we have thoughtful experts at the College who are analyzing recent changes. That takes time. Patience can be hard to accomplish when you’re anxious, or concerned, or just plain outraged. But impatience leads to overreaction, or misdirected rage, or just mistakes.
I’m asking you all to be patient. I know that might go against instincts, but I can assure you we have experts discussing recent legislative trends and thinking about best ways we can respond to those legislative trends. I also know that they are strong advocates for doing what’s best for student learning and supporting faculty in their mission to educate students. Knowing that those conversations are happening — and participating in those conversations when I can — that’s helped me a lot in mitigating the anxiety I feel.
I wanted to close by thanking all of you for your work this past semester. I don’t know if my empathy and shared concern helps; I don’t know if the comfort I feel in knowing conversations are happening helps either. But it’s there if you need it. Reach out to me if you need to talk, or if you want to vent your rage over something, or if you have an idea. There may not be an immediate reaction to it, but with patience I can assure you change will come.
A Message from Geni Wright, Director, Online Teaching and Learning
You can now track student engagement in Canvas with a feature that has been added to the New Analytics tool. To use this feature, be sure to enable New Analytics in the course settings under the feature options tab.
Once enabled, you can access the New Analytics button from your course home page, which will open a data dashboard. On this dashboard, you can view various course analytics as well as the newly added feature called Online Attendance. Note that this is different from the existing Attendance tool, which is more applicable for recording student attendance in face-to-face courses.
The Online Attendance tool provides information about students’ engagement in the Canvas course. For example, you can view the days students have accessed the Canvas course. Additionally, if applicable, you can adjust the settings to receive information about student engagement in the announcements, discussions, assignments, pages, quizzes and conferences.
Data is refreshed in the New Analytics tool every 24 hours. If you have any questions about using this tool to track student engagement in your Canvas course, reach out to a member of the Faculty Development team using their Help Desk ticking option for individualized support.
A Message from Carla McKnight, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources
If you are an eight- or 10-month, full-time (non-temporary) faculty member, it is time to make changes, if desired, to your payroll frequency for the upcoming academic year.
Below is the information you need to know about this annual process:
All new full-time faculty will be paid over 26 pay periods unless actively elected otherwise.
Tenured/tenure-track faculty and annually appointed faculty with teaching assignments in the fall, spring and one summer term (10-month) may elect to be paid over 22 pay periods or 26 pay periods.
Annually appointed faculty with teaching assignments in the fall and spring (eight-month) may elect to be paid over 18 pay periods or 26 pay periods.
The decision to change payroll frequency may be made once per year in late spring. The Total Rewards team will communicate with all faculty through collegewide communication channels, including The Juice and the Faculty Insight newsletters, when changes may be made. Because we pay faculty contracts on installments, we cannot change the payroll frequency once the first payroll of a new contract year has been issued, and all changes to payroll frequency must be made by Monday, May 2, 2022.
Your current payroll frequency choice remains in place and will NOT change unless you submit a form to elect a new payroll frequency before Monday, May 2, 2022. This means, for example, that if you currently have 22 paychecks and do not wish to change, then you don’t need to take any action.
All eight- and 10-month full-time (non-temporary) faculty members who wish to elect a change in the pay frequency for the 2022-2023 academic year can do so by completing the Electronic Payroll Election Form which was sent to each eight- and 10-month, full-time, non-temporary faculty members via email on Monday, April 18, 2022.
For questions, please contact Mariann Herington, director, employee records and services, via email at email@example.com or 407-582-8028 or Organizational Development and Human Resources at HR4U@valenciacollege.edu, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).
Professor of Computer Programming and Analysis Ian O’Toole believes that just because computers are known for lacking feelings, that doesn’t mean programming professors need to be that way. Ian, who first joined the College in 2007 as a part-time tutor in the programming lab, is now in the third year of his tenure process. His formula for student success? It comes down to empathy.
“Empathy, to me, means that I try to assume the best when I am working with students,” he explains.
“I try to understand them and what they are going through with their academic journeys and their non-academic responsibilities as well.”
Part of Ian’s empathetic approach to teaching includes finding ways to connect with students that work for them and their schedules. “Email, phone, Teams, Zoom, Canvas discussion forums or on-campus meetings — the greatest ability you can have is availability,” he says.
Ian also works hard to be approachable to his students. “I don’t try to erase the gap between professor and student, but I don’t want that gap to become a gulf we can’t communicate across,” he says. “I meet students where they are as much as I can.”
For his action research project, Ian looked at the trouble his students were having with applying and implementing the computer programming concepts they were learning. His observation: there is very little that is intuitive about a student’s first experiences with programming. That’s why he implemented his project in COP 1000, Introduction to Programming Concepts. The class is a prerequisite for most other advanced programming classes.
To help his students succeed, Ian developed a series of what he calls programming walkthroughs. These walkthroughs are short videos he created about how to write computer programming code. Each one starts with a blank screen. In the videos, Ian provides what he calls a “scaffolded approach” to solving the problem they are given.
“The goal is to get them from understanding the concept to implementing the concept to programming solutions,” Ian explains.
At the end of the lesson, students submit screenshots to prove they viewed the whole video.
Ian captured student reactions to his project via a Qualtrics survey. He says he got great feedback in the survey as well as more unsolicited positive feedback when his students sent their screenshots through Canvas. He’s still analyzing the data from his project.
Implementing his action research online during the pandemic-related campus closures worked out really well for Ian. He says it helped bridge some gaps lost by the lack of face-to-face communication and gave students some extra help with assignments.
Something Ian actually stopped doing during the pandemic has actually led to more authentic participation in his online classes. He decided to remove the number of required posts and word counts for posts from his online discussions. He also allowed students to solely reply to their classmates’ posts instead of creating their own original discussion threads. He used more open-ended discussion topics and even allowed students to use a multimedia approach to posting to discussions.
“That’s a good way to provide a more equitable approach and engage and participate on their own terms. It creates a more genuine sense of community,” Ian explains.
It turns out, the approach led to more participation in discussions and more thoughtful responses to the questions he posed.
Ian earned a master’s degree in innovation and technology as part of the inaugural class in that program at Florida Polytechnic University. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems technology from Seminole State College. Oh, yeah, and Ian now teaches in the program where he earned his first academic degree, an associate degree in computer programming and analysis from our own Valencia College.
Something else you might not know about Ian is that he’s a master at making daily to-do lists. He uses OneNote every Friday to make a list of lessons to prepare for, meetings the following week and grading he needs to finish. When Monday comes, he’s ready to hit the ground running.
“I think having that opportunity to let things percolate a little helps me to get organized,” he explains.
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.
If you are seeking renewal of your certification for the 2022 – 2023 academic year, please remember to completethe applicationby Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Renewal certification requires the successful completion of a minimum of 20 professional development hours at Valencia. Continuing this year, with dean approval, up to five of those professional development hours may be completed outside of Valencia (see below for more external professional development option requirements).
Certification Renewal with External Professional Development Credit
With dean approval, up to five of the 20 professional development hours required for renewal may be completed outside of Valencia. For external professional development activity (conference, workshop, course, etc.) to be applied toward your Associate Faculty Certification renewal for the 2022-2023 academic year, the following requirements must be met:
You must seek approval from your dean to apply external professional development activities toward your Associate Faculty Certification Renewal prior to participating in the external activities. Your dean will provide all the required details, the form for documentation needed to complete the external activities and the number of professional development hours awarded (up to five per academic year) that will be applied toward the 20 professional development hours required for your renewal.
Once you have completed the approved external professional development activities, submit the form with your dean’s signature along with the documentation of the completed activities as part of your Associate Faculty Renewal with external professional development application by Wednesday, June 15, 2022.