Monday, January 31, 2022
By Joe Richardson, Vice President, Student Affairs, and Leadership Forum Co-chair
The Valencia College Leadership Forum met via Zoom on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. The forum continued exploring our Strategic Impact Plan and the emerging strategies that we are implementing or planning to implement to help us meet our bold and ambitious goals.
The January meeting examined our College Access goal, which names partnership with our community 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 in the year following high school graduation. The forum discussed the current decline in college enrollments across our country and at Valencia and discussed how pursuing equity-minded strategies to increase and assure access is of vital importance to our community and to our students.
Attendees were invited to prepare for the conversation by reading or listening to “College enrollment plummeted during the pandemic. This fall, it’s even worse,” and were challenged to think about the impact of fewer college students earning credentials. Deeper insights about the impact of the pandemic on college access and learning were found in the article “COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning.” As noted in the second article, “The pandemic widened preexisting opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest,” which challenged forum attendees to think deeply about equity-focused strategies that will allow us to achieve our College Access goal.