Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees selected the College’s fifth president and approved our 2021 strategic impact plan during its two December 2020 meetings.
On Friday, December 18, 2020, in a special meeting, the board made history by selecting Kathleen Plinske as our fifth college president, succeeding Sandy Shugart who will retire in 2021. Trustees agreed unanimously that Kathleen’s qualifications most closely matched those identified in the position’s presidential profile, and she was the best candidate to lead Valencia into the future. Read more here.
In the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, trustees approved Valencia’s 2030 Strategic Impact plan — designed to describe the importance of major goal areas (the “why” of our work) and articulate aspirational targets for each (the “what”). The 2030 Strategic Impact Plan builds upon Valencia’s foundation as a learning-centered college and uses equity and opportunity as a lens through which the College will examine its success in all areas. The plan will provide a coherent framework to support the development of institutional and campus plans that will describe the specific strategies and tactics (the “how”) designed to move the College toward meeting its ambitious goals. The plan’s goals include:
- College Access – Valencia College will work with community partners 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 — including a vocational or technical school, college or university — in the year following high school graduation.
- Graduation – By 2030, the five-year graduation rates for degree-seeking students of each race and ethnicity will exceed 50%, so that more than half of all degree-seeking students of each race and ethnicity who enroll at Valencia College in the 2025-26 academic year will complete an associate degree from Valencia by summer of 2030.
- Transfer Success – By 2030, 65% of students of each race and ethnicity who earn an A.A. or A.S. degree from Valencia College and enroll in a baccalaureate degree program at the University of Central Florida or Valencia College will earn their bachelor’s degree within four years of starting a baccalaureate degree program.
- Career Readiness – By 2030, Valencia College students will earn 12,000 high-quality workforce credentials each year. These credentials will include A.S., B.A.S. and B.S. degree completions, accelerated skills training and postsecondary adult vocational certificate (PSAV) completions, and qualifying technical certificate completions. To move toward equity in educational attainment and factoring in expected changes in demographics, we would expect at least 50% of these credentials to be awarded to Hispanic students and at least 25% to be awarded to Black students.
Other topics discussed during the Wednesday, December 16 meeting included:
Response to the Economic Crisis
As the Central Florida economy has been deeply impacted due to layoffs at theme parks, hotels and other businesses tied to tourism, Valencia College has an important role to help those individuals laid off from their work to strengthen their skills so they are prepared for when companies rehire and to help their employment be more durable during possible future crises.
College President Sandy Shugart explained that Valencia employees have met with employers whose workforce has been affected, and as a result, the College has substantially expanded our Accelerated Skills Training (AST) programs to provide short-term training in in-demand fields such as transportation and logistics, healthcare, IT, and construction. This includes offering a variety of short-term job training courses at the Orange County Convention Center, where 162 people are now enrolled, as well as operating at capacity at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Kissimmee and three Centers for Accelerated Training (CAT) on Downtown, Osceola and Poinciana Campuses. Additionally, we’ll be expanding AST programs further with the board’s recent approval of a a lease agreement to open a new Orlando Mid-town Center for Accelerated Training and a future East Campus CAT.
Seven-year Funding and Growth
Dr. Shugart also shared Valencia’s seven-year funding and growth. He highlighted that, although most state colleges are experiencing a decline in full-time enrollment (FTE), Valencia has shown a steady increase in FTE growth at 16.5%. This is the highest growth of FTE among the largest Florida College System schools. View the report here.
Executive Vice President and Provost Kathleen Plinske presented a 2020 Year in Review about how the College supported students during the pandemic. She celebrated the outstanding work of all of our faculty and staff including the conversion of more than 4,000 courses from face-to-face to online in spring, more than 400 students registering for Accelerated Skills Training since August, more than 60,000 visits to our Virtual Answer and Advising Centers, and more than 2,700 laptops loaned to students at no cost. For other 2020 statistics, view the presentation.
To improve wireless access on our campuses, the board authorized the College to enter into a contract with Presidio Networked Solutions LLC for the completion of enhanced Wi-Fi on all campuses except East, at a cost not to exceed $1,500,000. East Campus Wi-Fi was improved earlier this year.
East Campus Center for Accelerated Training
The board approved engaging DLR Group to provide architectural services for the design of the East Campus Center for Accelerated Training (CAT). Although we’re not yet ready to break ground, working with DLR Group allows us to prepare to request resources for the project. The CAT will be located next to the existing Plant Services building.
Poinciana Campus Update
Poinciana Campus Executive Dean Jennifer Robertson and Professor of English Michael Robbins explained the campus’ early alert strategy for identifying students who may be struggling with the transition from in-person to online courses. Prior to the pandemic, nearly 100% of the campus’ courses were held face-to-face.
In addition to the collegewide efforts to help ease the transition for students, Poinciana Campus faculty provided personalized support. Michael shared about a student who participated in two of his Freshman Composition courses. In Freshman Composition I, the student was engaged. But, in Freshman Composition II, after the transition to online, Michael lost touch with him. Michael reached out to the student personally, discovering that he had numerous family members impacted by COVID-19. As a result, Michael gave the student an incomplete and worked with him the following semester to successfully catch up on the work.
Also, Poinciana Campus Student Government Association (SGA) President Trinity Tresner and Administrative Officer Lisette Benitez provided an association update. The SGA emailed students who finished their first 15 credits in spring 2020 or summer 2020 providing them an opportunity to request a First 15 package that included a T-shirt and information about student resources. SGA students mailed 1,600 students a First 15 package. SGA also partnered with the Campus Store to add information about College resources to course material shipments. View the SGA presentation.
Board of Trustees Quorum Resolution and Amendment of Policy 6Hx28: 1-03 Meetings of the District Board of Trustees
The board approved a temporary quorum resolution through Friday, December 31, 2021, that addressed the word “present” in Policy 6Hx28:1-03 Meetings of the District Board of Trustees. The resolution states that trustees are deemed to be present and in attendance if they are present physically, online or via phone; without the resolution all trustees were required to be present physically. This resolution, necessary due to COVID-19, allows trustees to participate in meetings via Zoom if they must isolate because of the pandemic.
Additionally, trustees approved to amend Policy 6Hx28:1-03 Meetings of the District Board of Trustees to adjust the requirements for quorum to four trustees. The policy also further clarifies the board’s intent with respect to physical, telephone and virtual presence and attendance at meetings for the long-term, including providing for remote attendance in exceptional circumstances.
Board members were provided with a written construction report that covered the West Campus Student Services Building roof, the Osceola Campus connector road and Building 1 renovation, and the District Office roof. View the report.
The next District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. For location details and Zoom link as they become available, view the schedule.