By Chara Young
If you’ve ever experienced Valencia’s Crucial Conversations program or attended a Writing Smart Goals and Objectives workshop, then you have likely been in awe of Carolyn McMorran, managing director of continuing professional education, who is known around the college as a trainer extraordinaire.
Carolyn’s journey with Valencia began in February 1994, when she joined the college as a manager of corporate account services, working with businesses to provide solutions such as computer training, leadership development and even credit classes. One of her favorite clients at the time was Nickelodeon, but it was her work with Disney that was instrumental in bringing credit courses to an off-site location – a first for Valencia. With this program, Valencia offered classes at Disney and employees were able to complete an associate degree program on Disney property.
In 1996, Carolyn transitioned to a program manager position, where she was responsible for all of the business course offerings. She served in that capacity for 10 years and, in 2006, was promoted to a senior performance consultant – a position that allowed her to once again consult with business and industry leaders to provide identified training.
Described as very passionate about helping organizations implement employee development and training programs, Joe Battista, chief operations officer of Valencia’s Continuing Education (CE) said that it is “this same passion [that] is demonstrated [by Carolyn] in helping individuals who want to improve skills to get a job or begin a new career, advance in their profession or learn the skills necessary to advance into leadership roles.”
Most recently, Carolyn added to her plate the responsibilities of overseeing the advanced specialized training for fire safety education, the new Collaborative Design Center on West campus where internal and external groups come to meet and problem solve, and last, but not least, CE’s first-ever grant from the US Department of Labor that helps put veterans back to work.
When asked what it means to work at Valencia, Carolyn responded that “Valencia is about hope. We give people the tools to achieve their dreams and aspirations at the beginning of their career and we also serve them while in their career through continuing education.”
Prior to beginning her career in training and consulting, Carolyn’s desire to and love for travel contributed to her early decision to major in geography at the University of South Alabama. However, after earning her bachelor’s degree, she went on to complete her master’s degree in communication from the University of Central Florida and she is currently working towards a Doctorate degree in Management and Organizational Leadership at the University of Phoenix.
Throughout her various roles at the college, Carolyn has been in a position to help people and businesses solve performance issues and develop learning solutions. For Carolyn, one of the most rewarding aspects of training is “the process of helping people to master a new skill and seeing the growth.” She went on to say that “helping people discover who they are so they can prepare to lead others is truly rewarding.”
Know of someone doing great work at the college? Send their name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so they can be one of our featured colleagues!