A Focus on Valencia Values, Part One: Learning

Valencia Values are reflective of our culture and guide how we conduct ourselves, the work we do and how we treat each other. Our values are the standards at the center of our collective character that guide our attitude and behavior. With the idea that our values shape and inform unique working principles within every department, this five-part series will demonstrate how Valencia’s Values influence our daily work and those we serve.

We are starting this series by showcasing how Student Development Coordinators Deanne Abrams (East Campus), Lazaro Camacho (West Campus), Jason Dodge (Lake Nona Campus), Sunni Prevatt (Winter Park Campus), and Nelson Sepulveda (Osceola Campus) demonstrate the Valencia Value of Learning by committing to Valencia’s core competencies (Think, Value, Communicate, and Act).

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Left to right: Nelson Sepulveda, Sunni Prevatt, Lazaro Camacho, Deanne Abrams, and Jason Dodge.

 At the core of the student development department are core components that encourage all students to learn at the highest levels to achieve personal and professional growth. These core components include leadership development, community involvement, education and personal enrichment.

Offering students a diverse array of programs that have a foundation in learning outcomes ensures that the student development department serves each student purposefully based on their specific academic interests and needs. Their goal as a department is to offer quality programs and services directly related to these core components, all of which are connected to the Valencia Value of Learning.

For example, one of the programs offered by the student development team, under the leadership development component, is a Summer Leadership and Engagement Academy. This four-part learning centered academy includes an introduction to leadership and personal development that engages students in seminars, experiential learning, community service projects and team-building exercises. The varying formats of the academy exhibit student development’s commitment to diverse learning practices that appeal to various learning styles. This wholehearted commitment from the student development team increases the potential for each student to learn at the highest levels of achievement.

Nelson, student development coordinator at Osceola Campus, explained that his team lives out the Valencia Value of Learning by charging his student leaders with the mission of incorporating Valencia’s Values into their event planning and student engagement initiatives. “Student leaders are encouraged to utilize what they have learned through our trainings and SkillShops to provide the greatest student experience,” Nelson explained.

One way Jason, student development coordinator at the Lake Nona Campus, gets his team to think about Valencia Values on a regular basis is by printing Valencia’s mission, values, and goals on the back of the monthly staff meeting agendas. “By making the values visible it allows us to maintain a sense of familiarity with them, therefore making it easier and more natural for us to live them out,” Jason commented.

Deanne, student development coordinator at East Campus, and Sunni, student development coordinator at the Winter Park Campus, explained that they instill the Valencia Value of Learning in their daily interactions with all student development staff, including student staff members. They accomplish this by setting clear expectations of responsibilities and professionalism and by following up with each member of the staff through a formal self-evaluation and through individual meetings.

Although Lazaro and Deanne are the college-wide advisors for the leadership development component, all members of the student development team, from Director of Student Development Tracey Olsen-Oliver to the part-time staff, play an active role in the program’s success.

“Whether it is through planning efforts or presenting various seminars,  we each have a very active role in each of the components that we subscribe to, which as you can see, are all very strongly tied to the Learning value,” Jason explained.

With the use of their four components, combined with collaboration across campuses and their diverse student events and programs, the student development team personifies the Valencia Value of Learning.

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