Our Got College? Efforts Are Making a Big Impact

A message from Kathleen Plinske, Campus President, Osceola and Lake Nona

The phrase “Got College?” in Osceola County now means more than just the idea of increasing our county’s college-going rate; it encompasses specific strategies to encourage students to go to college, which have recently launched with tremendous success!

campus-xpress-270wCampus Express Osceola

The Celebration Foundation has been an amazing partner in our Got College? efforts and has sponsored the “Campus Express,” providing bus transportation from Osceola County middle schools and high schools to allow students the opportunity to tour the Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO) and Valencia’s Osceola Campus. To date this year, 562 students have visited the Osceola Campus by participating on a Campus Express tour. The Celebration Foundation hopes that 1,000 students in Osceola County will have the opportunity to visit TECO and Valencia this year via the Campus Express.

Partnership with the School District of Osceola County

Through a partnership with the School District of Osceola County and its Multicultural Education Department, I was invited to participate in a Parent Information Night at Flora Ridge Elementary School for parents of students enrolled in its ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program. More than 75 parents attended, and I had the opportunity to share information about the importance of higher education and our programs at Valencia, including ESL classes that Continuing Education offers at the Osceola Campus. The information session was so successful that there has been a Valencia Night for ESOL parents scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, 2014, and I’m looking for Spanish speakers to help with the “Valencia Night” at Denn John Middle School event.

daisy-lopez-cid-270wParent Information Session

Our first “Got College?” parent information session was hosted at the Osceola Campus on Thursday, February 27, 2014. There were nearly 100 people in attendance to learn about Valencia’s programs and opportunities for financial aid. A team of volunteers helped to organize the event, including Grace Acevedo, assistant director of transitions, Valencia Trustee Daisy Lopez-Cid, Osceola County School Board Member District 2 Kelvin Soto and María Ortiz from the multicultural education department at the school district. The school district brought all of the equipment and talent necessary to provide a “simulcast” of the presentation in Spanish, and a generous donation allowed a grand prize of a laptop to be included in a raffle at the end of the event. Our next Got College? parent information session is scheduled for Thursday, March 13, 2014, at 6 p.m. at Liberty High School in Poinciana.

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