Learning Council Appreciates Outgoing Members and Discusses Equity Recommendations During July Meeting

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Valencia College Learning Council met on Thursday, July 1, 2021, to appreciate outgoing members, hear an update on the Equity Focused Inquiry Team Research Brief and decide how to proceed with the work previously paused on Start Right: Late Start.

Outgoing Member Appreciation
Isis Artze-Vega, vice president, academic affairs, thanked outgoing council members for their service including: Co-chair Stanton Reed, interim campus president, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses; Vasudha Sharma, professor chemistry; Angela Blewitt, professor, English; Lisa Macon, professor, software development; Ana Caldero Figueroa, dean, arts and humanities; and Sonia Casablanca, interim dean, career and technical programming.

Equity Focused Inquiry Team Update
Marsha Butler, faculty, New Student Experience, and Shara Lee, campus director, faculty and instructional development, provided an update on the Equity Focused Inquiry Team (FIT) Research Brief. Council members provided feedback and made thoughtful suggestions for revision to the brief. Following breakout sessions, council members also made recommendations on how the brief can be implemented, noting significant opportunities for alignment with the current institutional planning teams. Learning Council members also thanked Marsha, Shara, and members of the Equity FIT Team for their work. In the next two weeks, revisions will be made to the research brief in alignment with Learning Council feedback. Please stay tuned to The Grove in early fall term when the final Equity Focused Inquiry Team Research Brief will be shared with the college community.

Start Right: Late Start
Learning Council members revisited the Work Proposal for Late Start: Start Right that was initially brought to the Learning Council in July 2019. Following a breakout discussion, members suggested thoughtful ways to update the proposal to include more relevant data and findings that impact the way students’ begin engaging with the College’s enrollment and application process at a late stage. Additional recommendations included: scaling COVID-related strategies that have been effective at preparing students to start college and being more inclusive of college stakeholders who are involved in the coordination and facilitation of student orientations.

Following the breakout sessions, the larger group discussed whether this work still seems like a Learning Council priority and under what conditions it would continue or not continue this work. The feedback provided indicated support for continuing this work.

The next Learning Council will meet again on Thursday, September 2, 2021, from 2 – 5 p.m. via Zoom.

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