Provost Update — August 2019

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, Executive Vice President and Provost

As we prepare to welcome our students for their first day of classes on Monday, the start of the academic year marks a good time to review our progress toward our student outcomes goals and plan our collegewide work related to equity in student outcomes.

Bottom Line Up Front: Call to Action

  • All faculty and staff are invited to attend one of the upcoming forums to discuss our student outcomes:
    • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – Lake Nona Campus, Room 106
    • Friday, September 20, 2019 – 9 – 10 a.m. – Winter Park Campus, Rooms 225/226
    • Friday, September 20, 2019 – 12 – 1 p.m. – Poinciana Campus, Room 145
    • Tuesday, September 24, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – Osceola Campus, Room 4-105
    • Tuesday, October 1, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – West Campus, Room 3-111
    • Tuesday, October 8, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – East Campus, Room 8-101
    • October TBD – Downtown Campus
  • If you are interested in learning more about our student outcomes, please download this Fall 2019 Insight Paper.
  • If you would like to serve on the Start Right: Late Start Work Team or the Focused Inquiry Team examining the potential unintended consequences of our attendance and withdrawal policies, please email me.

Student Outcomes Goals

Last November, our Faculty Council formally endorsed the following goals related to student outcomes:

  • The five-year disaggregated graduation rates for first-time-in-college (FTIC), degree-seeking students of each race/ethnicity will exceed 50% so that more than half of all FTIC, degree-seeking students of each race/ethnicity who first enroll at Valencia in the fall 2025 term will complete an associate degree from Valencia by summer 2030.
  • As a leading indicator of Valencia’s graduation rate, more than 75% of all FTIC, degree-seeking students who first enroll at Valencia in fall 2021 will earn at least 15 college-level credit hours by summer 2023.
  • As a leading indicator of Valencia’s graduation rate, more than 50% of all FTIC, degree-seeking students who first enroll at Valencia in fall 2023 will earn all attempted credit hours in their first five courses at Valencia as defined by earning an A, B or C in each course.

For a full analysis of our progress toward these goals, please download this Fall 2019 Insight Paper.

All faculty and staff are invited to participate in an upcoming campus forum, during which we will discuss our student outcomes data and review our hypotheses about the conditions that promote student learning and success as well as our hypotheses about the conditions that may have led to disparate outcomes. We will also discuss why we have engaged in the practice of disaggregating our student outcomes data as well as the potential unintended consequences of that practice.

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – Lake Nona Campus, Room 106
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 – 9 – 10 a.m. – Winter Park Campus, Rooms 225/226
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 – 12 – 1 p.m. – Poinciana Campus, Room 145
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – Osceola Campus, Room 4-105
  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – West Campus, Room 3-111
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2019 – 1 – 2 p.m. – East Campus, Room 8-101
  • October TBD – Downtown Campus

Start Right Work Team

Last fall, we collectively identified several hypotheses related to the conditions that affect student learning and student outcomes at Valencia. One of these hypotheses was “New students who attend New Student Orientation near the start of a term (or after a term starts) enroll in part-of-term courses or course modalities that do not have a high likelihood of success.”

At its July meeting, the Learning Council commissioned a Start Right: Late Start Work Team to explore ways to best support students who begin engaging with the College’s enrollment and application processes at a late stage. If you are interested in serving on this work team, which will begin meeting in the fall, please email me.

Course Attendance and Withdrawal Policies Focused Inquiry Team

Another hypothesis that emerged from our conversations last fall was “Course attendance and withdrawal policies may have unintended consequences; students who are withdrawn may not experience a sense of belonging and may withdraw from courses on their own when it may not be advisable to do so.”

At its July meeting, the Learning Council commissioned a Focused Inquiry Team to separate this course attendance and withdrawal hypothesis into smaller, testable hypotheses that will help to inform Learning Council on the feasibility and potential impact of commissioning work in this area. If you are interested in serving on this focused inquiry team, which will begin meeting in the fall, please email me.

Student Spotlight

When we asked students about what had the biggest impact on them at Valencia, they mentioned the importance of someone’s taking the time to get to know them and recognizing that someone truly cared about them. They had the best experiences not in the class in which it was easy to earn an “A,” or in the class that didn’t require a lot of homework, but rather in the class in which they had built a personal connection with their professor.

Regardless of our role at the College, each of us can be the person who makes a difference for our students by taking the time to get to know them and making sure that they know how much we care about them and their success.

I wish you all the best for an outstanding academic year! Please feel free to reach out directly to me with your thoughts, comments, questions, suggestions and feedback at kplinske@valenciacollege.edu.

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