Academic Assembly 2013 – A Focus on General Education Assessment


On Thursday, August 22, Valencia held our annual Academic Assembly at the newly renovated East Campus Performing Arts Center. This year’s Academic Assembly, a tradition that kicks off each new academic year, focused on changes imminent to our General Education program as a result of new legislation this year. Our decennial accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) was also a topic of priority.

Susan Ledlow, vice president of academic affairs and planning, welcomed faculty and staff and set the stage for the general education program work ahead saying, “We will get it done. We will get it done in a way that honors our values and traditions…we’ll make great decisions and come out stronger and better after this work.”

Following sentiments and faculty introductions from each campus president, Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia College, discussed Valencia’s changing reputation in the greater Orlando community and invited reflection and celebration of our work. With respect to winning the Aspen Award 18 months ago and the release of the Economic Impact Study last year, he asserted, “I think we have achieved a place at the table that we might not have had before, and it’s important to steward that.”

Ushering in the conversation of Valencia’s essential work, Dr. Shugart shared that the upcoming work this year would focus on structured reflection of our community impact, noting that we took “the word community out of the name, but it’s still in our DNA.” He congratulated our Marketing and Strategic Communications (MSC) team, led by Lucy Boudet, vice president of MSC, for doing a “magnificent job telling our story in the community.”

Other notable items included the opening of the Lake Nona campus, with increased student enrollment, the new Building 4 at the Osceola Campus, and he recognized the “Got College” initiative in Osceola County – saying that the County faces many challenges, but that the community is now looking to Valencia to help foster education in those communities that are underserved.

Dr. Shugart also reminded us that Valencia has awarded its first bachelor’s degrees – 20 in fact. And what he called “Honors College 2.0” – The Seneff Honors College – has been redesigned with a renewed focus on discovering exceptional students, especially those who may not be aware of their educational opportunities or their own talents, and to help them to “burgeon out all that is within them.”

The College’s sustainability efforts and achievements were also a highlight for discussion for Dr. Shugart. He emphasized Valencia’s changes in our approach to energy management in areas of technology, water recycling and energy education. Because of those changes and our commitment to sustainability, the College has saved over 2 million dollars – of which Dr. Shugart shared, has helped to fund pay-raises.

The General Education Assessment work started at Academic Assembly will extend through the fall term, and will involve feedback on the distribution of General Education hours, the General Education Core, and ultimately the courses that will make-up our institutional hours of our General Education program. The feedback will be collected and shared with the Collegewide Curriculum Committee for a final vote.

If you would like to watch a complete video of the 2013 Academic Assembly, you may click here.


  • Karen Murray said:

    Is there a video recording of Dr. Shugarts's address that I can access?

    PMTue, 27 Aug 2013 20:31:39 +0000Tue, 27 Aug 2013 20:31:39 +0000pm13,8:31 pm

  • Karen Murray said:

    AMWed, 28 Aug 2013 06:18:03 +0000Wed, 28 Aug 2013 06:18:03 +0000am13,6:18 am

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