Choosing a degree pathway can be one of the most challenging aspects of a student’s educational journey, yet it is critically important. Students need navigation. Over the last year, this has been a major theme in the discussions surrounding the development of the QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan). Now, two new leadership positions have been created to provide an even greater focus on ensuring that students have the information and guidance they need to navigate the increasingly complex pathways through higher education.
“These new positions will create a greater capacity to focus on the evolution of our academic advising model, its curriculum and assessment, and the faculty and staff development, as envisioned through LifeMap and the New Student Experience Pathway,” said Joyce Romano, vice president of student affairs.
In October, Ed Holmes was named campus director of advising for West Campus. Funded through PATHWAYS (the Title III grant on West Campus), Ed’s work will focus on designing and piloting innovative advising strategies in order to deepen and expand academic and career advising for students.
A familiar Valencia colleague with 12 years of experience as a counselor, Ed was awarded tenure in 2006. He has a master’s degree in counselor education from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and was one of four faculty leading the design of the QEP, which expanded his knowledge of collegewide engagement in the New Student Experience. In addition, Ed has also been deeply involved with the Learning Assessment Committee, and has a passion for not only learning assessment, but quality improvement and data in all forms. “I’m looking forward to the work ahead of us as we join together to transform the advising experience into something significant and memorable for both students and advisors,” Ed shared.
Evelyn Lora-Santos joins Valencia as campus director of advising for East Campus. She served as the assistant director of career services at UCF, and prior to her work at UCF, worked for Long Island University and Goodwill Industries. Evelyn received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pace University in New York and her master’s degree in counseling from Hunter College at the City University of New York. She has more than 15 years of higher education experience and a strong background in career planning and development, advising, project management and strategic planning.
“Having a clear academic goal — and knowing how to meet that goal — can provide motivation to students when things get challenging. These two new advising positions will allow us to expand our focus on career and academic advising —and build on the great work of academic, career and career program advisors at Valencia,” explained Catharine Penfold Navarro, project director of PATHWAYS.