Introducing the Campus Deans of Learning Support

Providing excellent support to Valencia students is a key ingredient for student success. In the recent reorganization of academic leadership and support, a strong focus was placed on the new student experience and support services for all learners. In this reorganization, the campus dean of learning support position was created and designed to ensure delivery of high quality learning support systems for our students.

Our campus deans of learning support are Leonard Bass (East and Winter Park Campus), Karen Reilly (West Campus), and Landon Shephard (Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses).

From Left to Right: Leonard Bass, Karen Reilly, and Landon Shephard

The deans of learning support are responsible for all aspects of the campus learning support programs and services, including the library, tutoring services, testing center, general learning labs, Student Life Skills (SLS), supplemental learning, Learning in Community (LinC) support, and instructional support.

Get to know each of the deans below.

Landon Shephard

Dean of Learning Support for the Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses

Landon has worked at Valencia for 12 years in both student and academic affairs positions. Prior to his current position at Valencia, he worked at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa as the assistant dean of student services and at the University of Central Florida as the admissions counselor for the graduate college. Landon is a lifelong resident of Central Florida. He was born and raised in Kissimmee and is excited to return to Osceola County to serve the local community.

With the opening of Building 4 in January and the expansion of bachelor degree offerings at Osceola, Landon said his campus is energized by the opportunity to shape and redefine learning support programs.

“Our learning support team is positioned to support this work,” Landon explained. “We have focused our attention on providing a cohesive approach to learning support that is deeply connected to faculty and learning in the classroom.”

He is looking forward to working with faculty, staff and students at the campus level to enact systematic changes to the way Valencia facilitates learning support programs. “Valencia has a reputation for creating exceptional learning support programs, and this new position provides us the opportunity to fine tune programs to address campus specific needs,” Landon said.

Landon can be reached at lshephard@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 4877.

Karen Reilly

Dean of Learning Support for the West Campus

Karen Reilly has been with Valencia since early July. She and her husband moved to Central Florida from Columbia City, Indiana where, over the past eight years, Karen served as dean of developmental education and support programs at Ivy Tech Community College (ITCC). In this role, she facilitated developmental reading, writing, math, the first year experience, English as a second language, tutoring labs, disability support services, and federal grants including TRiO and Perkins initiatives.  She was also involved in establishing and implementing the Achieving the Dream projects at ITCC.  Prior to her community college position, Karen served 10 years as the education director for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in northern Indiana.

In this new position, Karen hopes to convey that learning support is a division that is for every student; not just those who are struggling or who are a developmental learner. “Learning support embodies a group of services and resources that can assist students with any academic need, big or small,” Karen said.

Karen stressed that the purpose of her role is to create programs that will support faculty in addition to students. “We are here for faculty to provide instructional support for specific topics, assignments or activities,” she explained. “We want to partner with departments and individual professors to help with the teaching and learning experience, especially as it relates to comprehensive, detailed and/or challenging content.”

Karen can be reached at kreilly5@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 1810.

 

Leonard Bass

Dean of Learning Support for the East and Winter Park Campuses

Leonard came to Valencia in early July from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) in Pennsylvania where he held positions ranging from assistant dean of first year initiatives, to assistant vice president of student affairs. During his tenure with MCCC, Leonard was responsible for testing and assessment, academic advising, first-year retention initiatives, international student services, students with disabilities, veteran affairs, judicial affairs, Title III grant management, and mentoring.  Prior to working in the community college setting, Leonard served as the dean of first year programs at DeVry University and as the director of the Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) program at Temple University.  While in Pennsylvania, Leonard served on a number of boards and looks forward to getting involved in the East Orlando community. Leonard and his wife Loida have three boys; ages 7, 5, and 4 months.

When asked about his goal for the division, Leonard said he would like to create a system of learning support that proactively facilitates a connection between students, faculty and the resources needed to foster learning.

“This is an exciting time in higher education because students, and we as educators, now have access to a digital ecosystem of learning support tools and resources that have endless possibilities,” he said. “The challenge for us is figuring out how to effectively operate in this digital age, while maintaining a steadfast focus on student learning.”

Leonard shared that he has found Valencia’s culture to be highly collaborative, thoughtful and learning-centered. He is excited to have the opportunity to work with such dedicated, students, faculty and staff, to create an innovative high-touch, high-tech approach to learning support – an approach that he hopes will be transformative.

Leonard can be reached at lbass11@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 2745.

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