Food Services Winter Break Dates and Spring 2022 Hours

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Food Services on East, Osceola, Lake Nona, Poinciana and West Campuses will be closed for Winter Break from Monday, December 13, 2021, through Sunday, January 2, 2022. Locations will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2022.

Hours of operation for the spring semester will remain the same as the fall semester:

East Campus

  • Starbucks: Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Grille: Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Pizza Hut: Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Boar’s Head: Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Lake Nona Campus

  • Cafe: Open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Osceola Campus

  • Starbucks: Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Grille: Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Pizza Hut: Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Boar’s Head: Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Poinciana Campus

  • Cafe: Open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

West Campus

  • Starbucks: Open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Grille: Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Pizza Hut: Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Boar’s Head: Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

2021 Year-end Payroll Updates: Forms W-2 and W-4

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A Message from Bettie Cooper, Director, Payroll Services

December is the month that Payroll Services begins planning for W-2 distribution. In order to ensure that W-2s are as accurate and timely as possible, we need your help. Please take the following steps and notify Payroll if you have any changes:

W-2s will be mailed no later than Monday, January 31, 2022.

Since all W-2s are mailed, please verify your “HR” address as it appears in Atlas by Monday, January 3, 2022. The HR address is the one that is used for any mailing from Organizational Development and Human Resources. It is also the address that is printed on your W-2 and any paper checks you may receive.

If this address is incorrect, please either update it through Atlas or notify Employee Records/Services with your change of address. For your protection, W-2s are not forwarded, so it is extremely important that your address is accurate to ensure that you receive your W-2 as timely as possible.

Follow these steps to check and/or revise your “HR” address:

  • Log into Atlas
  • Navigate to the Employees tab
  • Under My Human Resources, click on Update Your Information
  • Select Address(es) and Phone(s): View OR Update

This is also a good time to update your emergency contacts. Follow the directions above and when under Update Your Information, click on Emergency Contacts: View or Update.

Because we need to allow time for the original form to reach you through the U.S. mail, duplicate W-2s will not be issued until after Monday, February 14, 2022, with receipt of the Duplicate W-2 Request Form. To find the duplicate request form:

  • Log into Atlas
  • Navigate to the Employees tab
  • Under Employee Support, click on Tools
  • Select Valencia Forms and then HR Payroll W-2 Duplicate Requests (HR #507)

Verify that your name matches your Social Security card, so your wages are properly credited to your Social Security account. There are fines for mismatched names and Social Security numbers on the W-2 form. Once you receive your W-2, please carefully check your Social Security number. If it is incorrect, notify Payroll Services ­immediately and provide us with a copy of your Social Security card in order to make the correction in Organizational Development and Human Resource’s system.

W-4 Reminders

If you filed “Exempt” on your 2021 W-4, the IRS requires you to submit a new W-4 on or before Tuesday, February 15, 2022, or your status will be changed to Single for the Friday, March 4, 2022, payroll.

To find the form:

  • Log into Atlas
  • Navigate to the Employees tab
  • Under My Human Resources, click on Pay Information.
  • Select Tax Forms: W-4 Information
  • Click Complete New W-4 Form.

If your filing status has changed, please update your W-4 as necessary. Additionally, you will also need to submit an updated W-4 if your name has changed. Please remember that you can submit a new W-4 at any time throughout the year. You are not limited to completing a new form only at the beginning of a new tax (calendar) year.

If you need help completing your W-4, please go to the IRS website at and type Tax Withholding Estimator into the search engine. That estimator will help you determine what to enter on your W-4. To submit a new form, you can either send it through interoffice mail to Payroll at DO-21 if you’re on campus, mail it via U.S. mail to:

Valencia College
Attn: Payroll DO-21
P.O. Box 3028
Orlando, FL 32802-3028

Or, if you feel comfortable uploading your completed and signed W-4 to a secure software, please reach out to to request a link. Please do not email your form to us. Since email isn’t secure, doing so could compromise your information.

If you do not have any changes to make, you do not need to submit a new W-4.

If you have questions, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).

District Board of Trustees Celebrates Universal Orlando Resort Partnership

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees celebrated our partnership with Universal Orlando and the Universal Orlando Foundation during its Thursday, December 2, 2021, meeting on the East Campus. After a tour of the School of Arts and Entertainment — including participating in a sound studio recording — student musicians welcomed trustees as they entered the meeting, where they learned about the College’s partnership with the entertainment and theme park company and its foundation.

In addition to Universal Orlando’s executives participating on advisory committees for the College’s workforce programs and on both Valencia’s and the Valencia College Foundation’s boards, Universal Orlando helped the College think about how to design the spring 2021 Grad Finale drive-thru graduation celebration for more than 1,800 graduates and 10,000 family members. This included designing, creating and building the photo sets for the event. This December, Universal Orlando is supporting the College again for the fall 2021 Grad Finale, our first-ever December graduation celebration in which more than 1,300 graduates have registered to date to participate.

Six years ago, Universal Orlando and the Universal Orlando Foundation also created the Art of Tomorrow, which introduces students in Orange County Public Schools to what a career in the arts could look like and helps them develop the skills necessary to pursue art careers. More than 170 students have participated in the program since its launch. To learn how the program impacted one of our students, as well as about a new scholarship for Art of Tomorrow students, watch the video below.

Additional topics covered during the meeting included:

Florida College System Chancellor Kathy Hebda Attends Meeting 

Chancellor of the Florida College System Kathy Hebda shared with the board her appreciation of the work state colleges have done during the pandemic, including being nimble and responsive; having a working relationship with local communities and the people and businesses in those communities; and reaching and teaching students in a variety of ways, resulting in more than 60,000 students earning Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees and approximately 70,000 students completing workforce credentials in the state college system.

“The wonderful thing about our college system — and Valencia College is such a shining example of this too — is this is not the end. It’s the beginning, not just for a new workforce opportunity, or a job opportunity or a new job opportunity for a family, but it’s a building block to continue education throughout an individual’s life,” she said.

Chancellor Hebda also explained that while enrollment in workforce programs in the state college system is bouncing back after the pandemic, not all A.A. programs are returning to their previous enrollment levels. The Florida College System must address this challenge to continue making the A.A. a viable and relevant educational opportunity for prospective students.

After the District Board of Trustees meeting, Chancellor Hebda met with Valencia’s Vice President, Technology, Research and Analytics Brandon McKelvey to discuss the Central Florida Education Ecosystem Database (CFEED) and other metric-based aspects of higher education. She also had an opportunity to tour the new Center for Accelerated Training – Northwest Orlando facility along with Commissioner Regina Hill, Vice President, Global, Professional and Continuing Education Joe Battista and Assistant Vice President, Professional and Continuing Education Carolyn McMorran.

Graduation Goal Discussion 
College President Kathleen Plinkse led the board’s strategic discussion regarding the 2030 Strategic Impact Plan graduation goal:

  • By 2030, the five-year graduation rates for degree-seeking students of each race and ethnicity will exceed 50%, so that more than half of all degree-seeking students of each race and ethnicity who enroll at Valencia College in the 2025-26 academic year will complete an associate degree from Valencia by summer of 2030.

This included reviewing the percentage of degree-seeking students who have completed an associate degree within five years, in which we’ve seen a .5% improvement between the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 academic years (Note: Current data is based on the 2016-2017 year as we wait five years for student degree completion).

Dr. Plinske also shared that our graduation goal leading indicators are: the percentage of students reaching the 15 college-level credit milestone within two years of declaring an intent to earn an associate degree from Valencia, as well as the percentage of students earning an A, B or C in all five of their first five classes. These indicators were selected because student success in their first 15 credits and first five classes directly correlates to their overall success in college.

The board also discussed that Valencia College has the second highest number of completers of state colleges, yet that the College’s state appropriation — in which we’ve seen significant increases over the past five years — is the lowest among state colleges.

To view the presentation, click here.

Faculty Association  Update 
Faculty Association President Michael Robbins explained faculty members’ role in creating an equity-minded learning experience and how they need to be strong advocates for the equity-minded work being developed, adding that every student should be provided with the necessary resources and opportunities unique to their individual needs to result in fair and inclusive outcomes. He also expressed that we must ensure that faculty have the resources to make good decisions and understand the policies and issues we’re facing as a College.

Additionally, Michael discussed how the College and association collect and consider faculty voices. Although he hears from faculty who are pleased by our processes, he also is contacted by faculty who are frustrated because they feel like their voices are not included. As we consider inclusion, Michael plans to encourage the Faculty Council to determine how to include more faculty voices and ensure faculty that they are being heard. Michael expressed appreciation for faculty voices being heard in hiring new leadership and faculty and planning for a new governance model.

Provosts Search
Dr. Plinske stated that in late October, 71 candidates for our five provosts positions were invited to participate in an asynchronous digital interview via HireVue. Our search committee identified 15 finalists who have participated in a set of virtual interviews during the week of November 29, and a tour of our campus locations for a three-day experience during the week of December 6. Read more about the provosts search.

Financial Update
Vice President of Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer Loren Bender presented the College’s financial update and Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) Awards summary. So far, Valencia College has dispersed 35.2% of HEERF dollars totaling more than $71 million, and all funds must be distributed by June 2022. Currently, the College is working on more than 60 projects funded by HEERF dollars.

East Campus Report 
East Campus Student Government Association (SGA) leaders provided an update on SGA activities, including the Club Rush and Resource Fair, Veterans Day activities, messaging to students who receive their first unsuccessful grade, and an East Campus initiative to gain a better understanding of the international and undocumented student experience. The students also announced the College’s campaign to submit ideas for a new mascot. So far, the campaign has received more than 500 submissions.

The East Campus report included highlights from the School of Arts and Entertainment.

Valencia College Foundation 
So far this fiscal year (Thursday, April 1 through Sunday, October 31, 2021), the Valencia College Foundation raised more than $2.4 million from 392 donors who made nearly 2,400 gifts.

Alumni Relations reports that Valencia has nearly 200,000 alumni, who remain the College’s and the foundation’s most significant opportunity for support. In the coming year, the Foundation’s alumni engagement efforts will focus on finding new ways for our alumni to stay connected to the College, gathering information about their careers, interests, life stages and continued involvement with the College.

In the Foundation’s 2019 Alumni Attitudinal Study, we learned that our alumni expect the College to continue to provide resources to them. They expressed a significant interest in connecting with the College and learning how the current Valencia College experience differs from when they attended. The survey also showed that our alumni intend to give to the College if asked.

To meet these needs, in early 2020 the Alumni Association transitioned from a free, opt-in membership model to an Office of Alumni Relations, which focuses on broad-based engagement. Recently, the office has implemented the following broad-based alumni programming:

  • Valencia College Alumni Network —, an online engagement platform that hosts a variety of resources, such as access to webinars, job boards, mentorship opportunities, career development, an alumni-owned business directory and affinity groups.
  • Alumni panels on topics including alumni sharing their student experience, transferring to the University of Central Florida, career development for first-generation college graduates, enrolling in the Bachelor of Applied Science in business and organizational leadership (BASBOL) program and post-graduation immigration options.
  • Legacy Alumni Program, which recognizes and honors the more than 1,400 alumni who work at Valencia College (comprising approximately 32% of the employee population). The office shares the stories of our legacy alumni to let our students know “they started here.”
  • Spring Alumni Data Verification Project, in which, in early 2021, we launched an alumni data verification project to more than 50,000 alumni from the classes 1968 to 2001.

Read the full Valencia College Foundation report.

Additionally, in accordance with Florida statutes, each college foundation must conduct an annual financial audit that must be submitted to the District Board of Trustees for review. Trustees accepted the 2021 Valencia College Foundation audit report.

Amended and Repealed Policies

The board approved the following amended policies:

In addition, the trustees repealed 6Hx28: 10-08.02 Drug-free Workplace as language was consolidated with 10-08 Drug-Free Campuses and Workplace.

For more information on the meeting, click here.

The next District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. at the West Campus, Building 8, Room 111 and via Zoom.

Institutional Planning and Governance Updates

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A Message from Katie Tagye, Director, Organizational Design and Development

2021 has been a year of progress in both institutional planning and governance. We want to take a moment to give you some updates on both, as well as to provide you with a bit of a peek into what will be coming in the new year.

Institutional Planning

In December 2020, the Valencia College District Board of Trustees approved Valencia’s 2030 Strategic Impact Plan. This plan is designed to describe Valencia’s major goals (the “why” of our work) and to identify specific, ambitious targets (the “what”) for each goal. These goals are designed to advance equity for students of every race and ethnicity while improving both the educational and economic outlook for the Central Florida community. The Strategic Impact Plan goal areas are:

The institutional plans will outline the specific strategies and tactics designed to move the College toward meeting the ambitious goals outlined in the Strategic Impact Plan. The Institutional Plans* are:

  • Academic Program Plan
  • Equity Plan
  • Learning Plan
  • Student Experience Plan

*A fifth plan will be established for Community Impact after a community survey is conducted.

Over the summer, institutional planning work teams formed and began cultivating strategic focus areas (the “how”) to reach our strategic impact plan goals. These teams have since completed their work, including the creation of draft strategy documents based on the collegewide town halls and idea sessions. From that work, a review of the proposed strategies in each plan was conducted by our Senior Team, including mapping proposed strategies to our college Strategic Impact goals.

This mapping exercise facilitated an evaluation of whether or not the completion of all of the strategies mapped to a particular impact plan goal would result in progress toward attaining that goal in the next three years. It also allowed for the identification of overlap among strategies from different plans, a leveling of strategies and tactics, and a review of the feedback collected throughout the process to include additional strategies that are critical to achieving our goals but were not identified explicitly in a strategy template by an institutional planning team.

Now that the mapping process is complete and strategies have been identified that align with each Strategic Impact Plan goal, there are three important tasks remaining: 1) create a short description of each strategy including the connection of each to advancing equity, 2) prioritize the strategies within each goal across the three-year institutional plan horizon, and 3) through the new Council Coordination Team (CCT) in our governance refresh, assign the prioritized strategies to the emerging Strategy Councils in early 2022.

Once all of the strategies were identified, it became appropriate to name a collection of strategies aligned to advancing equity separate from the Strategic Impact Plan goal. This collection of strategies, called Advancing Equity, is framed around a problem statement crafted by the equity plan team and serves as the foundation of work that, when complete, will undergird the four impact plan goals and the work of the College that is not represented in the Strategic Impact Plan.

Governance Refresh

As you may have seen in the College Update, our collaborative governance is getting a bit of a refresh. While more information will be shared in the new year that will describe implementation plans for the governance refresh, we want to give you an overview of the final recommendations.

Our collaborative governance system is organized to help us achieve the outcomes of governance: better decisions and greater trust. The system is designed to facilitate large-scale, collegewide work and to provide access and information about that work deeply throughout the College. It is also designed to be dynamic and adaptable so that incremental adjustments, rather than major overhauls, can be made to  address new challenges, understanding of our larger system and organizational needs.

With the goal to connect the work in the institutional plan areas with our Strategic Impact Plan goals, in spring 2022, we will be adding capacity by expanding governance through the formation of strategic councils aligned with our institutional plans: Academic Program Council, Equity Council, Learning Council and Student Experience Council. These new strategic councils will be in addition to our Faculty Council, Senior Team and Leadership Forum and will broaden the scope of governance in alignment with our continued institutional growth and our stated goals in the College’s Strategic Impact Plan.

We invite you to begin thinking about how you might want to become engaged in this work. Engagement in governance provides you with opportunities to offer your unique perspective to ongoing work at the College, develop and implement tactics related to our named strategies, and aids us in achieving our articulated institutional goals. You can engage in governance in the following ways:

  • Watch for and access the information you need and want via our various communication channels (i.e., collegewide newsletters, College Updates, Valencia’s website), and share information with your colleagues and teams
  • Serve on a Strategic Council
  • Participate on a governance work team

Keep your eyes open for opportunities for both faculty and staff beginning in spring 2022. We are confident that through working together on intentional and strategic work, we can achieve our goals and create a better future for our College and our community.

If you have any questions or would like to talk further about how the work of the impact planning teams was mapped into the overall college strategy, please email me at ktagye@valenciacollege.eduAmy Bosley, vice president, institutional planning and development, and chief of staff, at or Darren Smith, director, institutional effectiveness, at

Make a New Year’s Resolution to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Monday, December 6, 2021 

If you’re thinking you may want a New Year’s resolution to earn a bachelor’s degree, now’s the time to enroll in Valencia College’s Bachelor of Applied Science in business and organizational leadership (BASBOL).

Launched in 2018, the BASBOL program prepares students for supervisory and management roles, covering multiple areas of business, from finance to accounting to human resources and leadership. Most of the courses in the curriculum can be completed online. In addition, BASBOL offers accelerated classes for students interested in faster completion. Many of the books required by the program can also be accessed via open sources online at no cost to students. And, you can earn some technical certificates automatically prior to earning the degree if you take certain courses. Classes are offered online and on campus.

Students must have either an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science degree from a regionally accredited institution or 60 college credits to be accepted in the program. BASBOL also offers a flexible math pathway and students can be admitted without pre-requisites.

And with Employee Development Funds (EDF), part of Valencia College’s Total Rewards package, full-time employees may take up to 18 credit hours per fiscal year toward a degree or certificate at no cost. The waiver does not cover additional fees such as distance learning, lab or late registration.

To read about Staff Assistant II Jen Wood’s experience with the program, click here. 

For more information on the program, visit the Valencia College website. If you’re interested, apply to the BASBOL here by the priority deadline of Friday, December 17, 2021.

Help Valencia Save Money; Shut Down for Winter Break

Monday, December 6, 2021

A Message from the Office of Stustainability

With Winter Break around the corner, it’s time to get ready to shut down — literally and metaphorically.

As Valencia College will be closed Wednesday, December 22, 2021, through Sunday, January 2, 2022, you can help the College save money and energy by taking a few quick steps before you head out for the break.

Please note that electricity is not turned off during holiday breaks, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will cycle on and off as needed.

Please follow these procedures for maximum energy savings:

  • Completely power down all computers, monitors, printers, copy machines and televisions.
  • Switch off power strips.
  • Turn off office and break room lights.
  • Close blinds to keep rooms cool.
  • Ensure all classroom equipment is turned off.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Empty and clean the break room refrigerator. Designate someone in your area to be responsible for emptying and cleaning the refrigerator on the last day before the break. Print and attach this flyer to let users know to remove their personal food/beverages.

Here is a helpful summary shutdown checklist as you prepare for the extended holiday.

If you have any questions, or suggestions, please contact Carrie Black, director, energy conservation and sustainability, at or 407-582-1706.

Coping With Stress During the Holidays

Monday, December 6, 2021

A Message from Jessica Johnson, UnitedHealthcare Nurse Liaison 

Holidays may sometimes bring as much stress as they do joy. Stress is defined as the body’s response to the demands of everyday living and is the underlying cause of 60% of all human illness and disease. The demands of the season — shopping, holiday parties and social obligations, houseguests and relatives — are all potential stressors. Alongside this, feelings of loneliness and isolation are also common around the holidays.

Prolonged, high levels of stress may contribute to health problems, including headaches, high blood pressure, digestive issues, anxiety and depression.

While there is no magic pill to reduce or eliminate stress, there are several ways we can learn to manage the stress in our lives and maintain good mental health during the holiday season.

Know your limits

Budgeting time and money can be key to creating happy holidays. To avoid a busy schedule that may have you feeling overwhelmed, learn to say no to some invitations. In cases where you can’t, try to find something else that can come off your calendar, so you don’t overextend yourself.

Financial pressures can also cause stress during and after the holidays. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. If money is tight, find low- and no-cost ways to show appreciation for the people in your life.

Give yourself a break

While focusing on others, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. If you feel tension or worry building up, spend a little time focused on something you enjoy about the season, such as watching a movie, enjoying a cup of cocoa or checking out neighborhood decorations. Giving yourself even 15 minutes to unwind may help you recharge and feel better.

Count your blessings

Find time and creative ways to focus on things you are grateful for. For example, instead of letting a long line at a store feel like a hassle, use the wait time as an opportunity to reflect on the good things that have already happened that day. Research has shown that a focus on gratitude can help to reduce stress.

Don’t abandon good habits

A healthy lifestyle may also help you make it through the holiday rush. Try to stick to your normal sleep schedule, get regular exercise, eat nutrient-rich meals and be cautious about how often and how much you indulge.

Access your health benefits

If you continue to struggle, consider talking to your health care provider or accessing the several resources Valencia has available for you:

Virtual Behavioral Health Visits
If you are enrolled in one of Valencia’s UnitedHealthcare (UHC) medical plans, several options are available by logging into and selecting a provider based upon specialty, availability, and coverage.

Sanvello Behavioral Health App
The Sanvello app offers clinical techniques to help dial down the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression — anytime. This app provides coping tools such as meditation exercises, guided journey techniques, setting mental health goals, and even community chat groups. Connect with powerful tools that are there for you right as symptoms come up. The Sanvello Behavioral Health app is a free app for everyone, but employees on Valencia’s UHC medical plans receive a free premium upgrade by selecting “upgrade through insurance” and selecting UnitedHealthcare when you are registering your account. Download the app here.

Talkspace is another virtual behavioral health platform that offers you text messaging capability with a dedicated therapist from your phone or desktop — without an appointment. Copayments, deductibles and/or coinsurance may apply depending on your specific enrollment in Valencia’s UHC medical plans. For more details, including how to register, click here.

Optum Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Valencia College’s Optum Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to full-time employees, their dependents and members of their household to help address mental health issues, as well as provide guidance in financial or legal concerns. This benefit allows you to receive six free counseling sessions a year in addition to other benefits. You don’t have to be on our health plan; you just need to be a full-time employee or household member. Call 866-248-4094 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) and inform them you are an employee of Valencia to be put in touch with a clinician, counselor, mediator, lawyer or financial adviser who could help change your life for the better. You may also log on to and use the access code: Valencia. Optum EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the eligible employee. For an EAP flyer, click here.

For part-time employees, Optum is offering a free emotional support help line. This help line provides access to specially trained mental health specialists. Optum’s public toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary during the pandemic. This service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

For questions on the resources above, clarification on UnitedHealthcare benefits or which resource is right for you, please contact me at or 407-866-8134.

What You Should Know About Your 2022 Benefits

Monday, December 6, 2021

A Message from Tom Keller, Director, Total Rewards

As 2022 is less than a month away, full-time employees, please read these important details about your 2022 benefits that will be effective on Saturday, January 1, 2022.

UnitedHealthcare Health Insurance (UHC)
You will receive a new UHC ID card within the first couple of weeks in January, dependent upon your local mail carrier. The new ID cards will be effective as of Saturday, January 1, 2022. You should present this new card to your medical providers after you receive it. Until then, you can continue to use your 2021 card with Valencia’s group number (905563) and your unique member ID number for providers to access your plan’s 2022 benefits.

If you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you register for an account on From this site, you can track your claims and expenses, look up network providers and print additional ID cards, among many other tools and features. After registering for an account, consider downloading the new UnitedHealthcare mobile app, available for Apple or Android devices, to take advantage of the same tools and features in a mobile-friendly environment.

Your pharmacy benefit is managed through your UnitedHealthcare health plan.

For retail pharmacies (Walgreens, CVS, etc.), be sure to present your new UHC ID card on the first visit after the new year.

For mail order pharmacy, UHC offers mail order prescription benefits through OptumRx. Depending on your plan and the prescription ordered, you may save money by ordering a three-month supply of medication. More information can be found when you log in to and click on Manage Your Prescriptions.

Health Savings Account (HSA)
For all enrolled in the Choice Plus HSA Silver health plan, the College contributes $1,000 for employee-only coverage and $2,000 for coverage with dependents into your HSA account. If you are newly enrolled in the Choice Plus HSA Silver health plan for 2022, you will need to open your Health Savings Account with Optum Bank. Valencia will deposit the College’s 2021 contribution in active accounts on Monday, January 3, 2022.

Opt-Out Plan
If you chose the Opt-Out Plan, you will receive three benefits in 2022:

  • A $500 medical flexible spending account;
  • $1,200 in opt-out funds divided by the number of pays in the year; and
  • Employee-only dental coverage, if you enrolled during Open Enrollment.

Your dental benefits through MetLife remain unchanged for 2022. MetLife Dental is a cardless system for in-network providers, so you will not receive an ID card. If you would like to print your card, just sign in to your account on MetLife’s website or the MetLife app available for Apple or Android devices.

Valencia’s vision insurance carrier is UnitedHealthcare Vision. This is also a cardless system for in-network providers, so you will not receive an ID card. When you visit your vision provider, just identify yourself as having UnitedHealthcare Vision insurance, and the provider will be able to verify your enrollment in the UHC Vision system. Do not provide your UHC medical ID card as there is no vision coverage through the health plan. You can also access the UnitedHealthcare Vision website when you log in to and click on Coverage & Benefits (on the top blue bar) and then on Vision.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Your medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts will continue to be administered by Chard SnyderIf you had an FSA in 2021, do not discard your current Benny or Chard Snyder debit card. It will be reloaded with your 2022 election amount effective Monday, January 3, 2022. If you are new to FSA, you will receive a new Benny debit card and new account information from Chard Snyder within the first two weeks of January, dependent on your local mail carrier.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
In 2022, Valencia’s EAP will continue through UnitedHealthcare’s OptumHealth. EAP assists you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with your work-life balance needs through counseling, ID theft/fraud resolution, legal and financial services. The contact phone number can be found on the back of your new UHC medical ID card.

Dependent Verification and Re-verification Review
In January 2022, Valencia will conduct a verification of new dependents and re-verification of select dependents enrolled in the medical, dental and vision plans for 2022. The review will be conducted to ensure that only eligible dependents are enrolled in appropriate plans. For details on the dependent verification and re-verification review, click here.

International Travel During Winter Break
If you are traveling internationally — including to Puerto Rico — during Winter Break, be aware that you have health insurance coverage for urgent and emergency medical care only. You will be responsible for paying for your own emergency medical care and then submitting a claim for reimbursement to UnitedHealthcare.

For questions, contact the Total Rewards team at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).

Osceola Atlas Lab Hosts ‘Atlas Games’

Friday, December 3, 2021

A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the Osceola Atlas Lab hosted its first event of the semester. In preparation for the upcoming term, the Atlas Lab held a registration event to encourage students to register for classes before the December break. More than 50 students attended the event and participated in an Atlas-themed scavenger hunt. Wraps and sandwiches were provided to students.

’Tis the Season for Cultural Celebrations

Friday, December 3, 2021

A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

Three cultural holidays are celebrated in the United States during the month of December: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. The International Students Office at MIT offers an article giving an overview of traditions associated with each holiday. In the comments, tell us about the holidays you celebrate and any special traditions observed by your family and friends.

For information about these three holidays, check out the articles in the following links: