A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses
Fourteen students who joined the Camino a UCF (Una Comunidad Fuerte) program in fall 2015 graduated from Valencia in spring 2017. Students who joined the original Camino cohorts intended to complete an associate degree from Valencia and then transfer to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to major in business or psychology. They had a guaranteed schedule for the entire length of their degree program and took all of their classes together in a learning community format. In addition, students had the opportunity to engage in special co-curricular activities — including attending UCF’s Spirit Splash and athletic events, as well as hearing from special guest speakers related to their intended major.
It is incredibly encouraging that 14 of the 44 students who joined the original Camino a UCF cohort completed their associate degree in two years, and that six more are on track to graduate this summer. It is very likely that the three-year graduation rate for our first cohort of Camino students will exceed 50 percent, which would represent a remarkable success. The Camino a UCF program has since been expanded to include students who plan to major in criminal justice and hospitality management.
Our Camino a UCF program is directly aligned with Objective 1.3 of our Campus Plan, which states: “By 2019, the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses will develop and offer thoughtfully scheduled ‘course packages’ that allow students to complete degree programs with a guaranteed schedule, allowing them to effectively plan for work obligations, childcare needs and public transportation.”
Special thanks to our faculty who teach in the Camino program, each of whom demonstrates an incredible commitment to the success of our students.