The Innovation of the Year Award Winner Is …

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Congratulations to Assistant Vice President of Professional and Continuing Education Carolyn McMorran, whose innovation, Valencia College’s Accelerated Skills Training (AST) programs, was named Valencia’s Innovation of the Year Award winner.

These short-term training programs are designed to get students into high-demand, high-wage careers and are designed for students who do not desire a degree but want the ability to earn a sustainable wage. AST programs specifically target students from diverse populations —such as the unemployed and underemployed — and allow the College to serve students that traditionally would have not considered Valencia as an option.

For students who need to get their career started, this model allows them to jump-start the process and be able to compete in the employee market because of the intensive hands-on training provided by the programs. By lifting up students with high-demand credentials, students are able to earn a family sustainable wage and start a great career.

These programs are intensively taught with a hands-on approach and include recruitment and job placement services to help students with the process. Additionally, many AST programs articulate back to the College, so if students want to pursue a degree, they can use what they have accomplished in the AST program toward a degree path.

The AST programs partner closely with employers to learn what skills are needed in the industry, and regular feedback from those employers helps to ensure that what is being taught is needed in the field. Also, all AST programs have embedded industry certifications that are recognized by employers. These certifications not only allow the students to demonstrate what they know, but also provide assurance to the employer about what the student can do.

The case-management process wrapped into Valencia’s AST programs is a large contributor to the successful graduation rate. This concept has improved year over year and the number of programs and students has continued to grow. According to recent statistics, 95% of students complete an AST program and 81% of students are placed in employment within the industry they trained for upon completing their program.

The Innovation of the Year Award by the League for Innovation in the Community College highlights outstanding innovations in community college education through its Innovation of the Year competition. The program is designed to recognize faculty, staff and administrators at member colleges who have created and implemented innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies and activities that improve the institution’s ability to serve students and the community.

Winners, chosen internally by each college, will receive an honorary “Innovation of the Year” certificate from the League and have the opportunity to present their winning innovations at the 2021 Innovations Conference. One winner or winning team will be accepted for each college or district.

Please congratulate Carolyn in the comments below.


  • Jennifer Page said:

    Congratulations! Well deserved Carolyn.

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 16:51:32 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 16:51:32 +0000pm20,4:51 pm

  • Marty Csercsevits said:

    Congratulations, Carolyn! Such great work for the college, our community and students!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 16:54:22 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 16:54:22 +0000pm20,4:54 pm

  • Julie Corderman said:

    Great leadership by a GREAT lady!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 17:05:14 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 17:05:14 +0000pm20,5:05 pm

  • Pierre Pilloud said:

    Well deserved my Friend, after all these years.
    Pierre Pilloud

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 17:07:18 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 17:07:18 +0000pm20,5:07 pm

  • Carol said:

    Thank you all!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 17:09:36 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 17:09:36 +0000pm20,5:09 pm

  • Lauren R. Thomas said:

    Congratulations!!! This is amazing and well deserved!!!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 17:24:43 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 17:24:43 +0000pm20,5:24 pm

  • Jennifer Denlinger said:

    This is great! I hope we can still work on some AST for culinary again too!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 17:25:40 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 17:25:40 +0000pm20,5:25 pm

  • Eda Davis-Lowe said:

    Congratulations, Carolyn. What a wonderful and well-deserved recognition!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 17:42:06 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 17:42:06 +0000pm20,5:42 pm

  • Christina Foreman said:

    My team and I are truly blessed to fall under such extraordinary leadership. Carolyn continues to challenge and shape our team so that we may serve our community at the highest level. Congrats friend, you deserve it!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 17:47:56 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 17:47:56 +0000pm20,5:47 pm

  • Michelle Foster said:

    Sincerest congratulations Carolyn! I'm so glad to see your hard work on our AST programs in the spotlight. Cheers!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 18:51:25 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 18:51:25 +0000pm20,6:51 pm

  • Kristin Iddiols said:

    Such a pleasure and privilege to work for Carolyn! Her passion for AST is contagious! Congratulations, Carolyn…this is a well-deserved honor!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 19:33:20 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 19:33:20 +0000pm20,7:33 pm

  • Stanton Reed said:

    Congratulations, Carolyn. Awesome work!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 20:20:25 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 20:20:25 +0000pm20,8:20 pm

  • Paul Rooney said:

    CONGRATS Carolyn….YOU ROCK! Well deserved …

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 20:35:41 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 20:35:41 +0000pm20,8:35 pm

  • Alison Hammack said:

    Congratulations Carolyn on your wonderful work with the AST program!!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 21:35:28 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 21:35:28 +0000pm20,9:35 pm

  • Mike Kepner said:

    Well-deserved honor and recognition for her passion and commitment to making a better future. So thankful for the opportunity to be part of her team.

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 21:45:25 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 21:45:25 +0000pm20,9:45 pm

  • Shauna Anstey said:

    Congratulations Carolyn, so well deserved!

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 21:47:52 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 21:47:52 +0000pm20,9:47 pm

  • Carol Traynor said:

    Way to go, Carolyn! Your programs are forging a path to the middle class for so many of our students.

    PMTue, 12 May 2020 22:05:20 +0000Tue, 12 May 2020 22:05:20 +0000pm20,10:05 pm

  • Alex Erdmann said:

    Thank You Carol,
    For all the work you do, providing the community with the tools for a better future.

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 06:28:31 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 06:28:31 +0000am20,6:28 am

  • Falecia Williams said:

    Congratulations, Carolyn! The AST programs are a powerful vehicle for economic mobility in our community. Thanks for your commitment to helping others flourish.

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 06:38:26 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 06:38:26 +0000am20,6:38 am

  • Rita Maldonado said:

    Congratulations Carolyn! Well deserved to a talented and hardworking group of folks who make such a difference in our community's lives 🙂 Wishing you well during this time!

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 07:07:44 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 07:07:44 +0000am20,7:07 am

  • Patti Smith said:

    Congratulations! Thanks for all you do!

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 08:27:39 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 08:27:39 +0000am20,8:27 am

  • Terri Daniels said:

    Congratulations Carolyn! These programs are valuable to our community.

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 08:31:36 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 08:31:36 +0000am20,8:31 am

  • Solange said:

    Congratulations, Carolyn! Well deserved 🙂

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 08:35:18 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 08:35:18 +0000am20,8:35 am

  • Jason Becker said:

    Congratulations Dr. McMorran, it’s only going to grow from here!!!

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 09:03:29 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 09:03:29 +0000am20,9:03 am

  • Lia Chavarria said:

    Congratulations Carolyn, well deserved!!

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 09:08:36 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 09:08:36 +0000am20,9:08 am

  • Jo Etta Stahl said:


    AMWed, 13 May 2020 09:23:00 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 09:23:00 +0000am20,9:23 am

  • Jeffrey Filko said:

    This is fantastic! Congratulations my friend.

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 09:44:28 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 09:44:28 +0000am20,9:44 am

  • David Ayuso said:

    A prestigious award for a fantastic leader. Congratulations indeed.

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 10:14:57 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 10:14:57 +0000am20,10:14 am

  • egaythwaite said:

    Well done! Congratulations on this fine accomplishment, Carolyn.

    AMWed, 13 May 2020 10:35:03 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 10:35:03 +0000am20,10:35 am

  • Brenda Jones said:

    Congratulations, Carolyn. Well deserved.

    PMWed, 13 May 2020 12:50:54 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 12:50:54 +0000pm20,12:50 pm

  • Kodie Thompson said:

    Bravo! No matter how big the crowd a person like you will always stand out. Proud to be part of the mission.

    PMWed, 13 May 2020 18:47:35 +0000Wed, 13 May 2020 18:47:35 +0000pm20,6:47 pm

  • Joyce Summersett said:

    Congratulations Carolyn!

    PMThu, 14 May 2020 15:01:23 +0000Thu, 14 May 2020 15:01:23 +0000pm20,3:01 pm

  • Lisandra Suarez said:

    Congratulations Carolyn!

    PMThu, 14 May 2020 22:30:51 +0000Thu, 14 May 2020 22:30:51 +0000pm20,10:30 pm

  • Robert Gessner said:

    Carolyn, We know how much work you have done for the college and for continuing education students. This is so well deserved, so congratulations!

    AMFri, 15 May 2020 10:30:35 +0000Fri, 15 May 2020 10:30:35 +0000am20,10:30 am

  • Michele McArdle said:

    Congrats Carolyn. I respect your discipline, creativity and drive. Very happy for you.

    AMSat, 16 May 2020 11:09:21 +0000Sat, 16 May 2020 11:09:21 +0000am20,11:09 am

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