Provost Update — February 2020

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, Executive Vice President and Provost

In this month’s Provost Update, I extend an invitation to attend an upcoming Planning Forum, provide a brief update on our Degree Pathways work and share an interesting statistic related to financial aid at Valencia.

Thinking About Our Next Impact Plan
Our current Impact Plan outlines the College’s aspirations for strategic work to be completed between 2016-2021. It’s remarkable to review the plan and reflect on all of the good work that has been accomplished in such a relatively short period of time.

As 2021 draws near, it is time to begin thinking about our next strategic planning process. Brandon McKelvey, vice president, analytics and planning, and I invite you to attend an upcoming Planning Forum during which you’ll learn about the new planning process and timeline, help identify work from our current Impact Plan that we should be sure to celebrate, and begin providing input that will shape our next Impact Plan:

Due to COVID-19, this event has been postponed. Updates will be provided, when available.

Please feel free to attend any one of the scheduled forums — no registration is required. However, we invite you to think in advance about two questions to help inform our conversations at the forum:

1. Looking back at the aspirations we articulated in our last Impact Plan, what did we accomplish that should be celebrated? In other words, what work are you most proud of?

2. We’re considering organizing our next Impact Plan around several big goals, similar to our graduation rate goal. What other types of “big goals” would help organize college work, serving as compelling and unifying points of focus?

We look forward to seeing you at the forums.

Degree Pathways Update
As you may have seen in this week’s update in The Juice, the Degree Pathways Design Team has made a great deal of progress in designing one comprehensive tool that streamlines and demystifies the pathway to an Associate in Arts degree and helps ensure students have the necessary information and courses needed to transfer into their preferred bachelor’s degree programs at the University of Central Florida.

“Pathway Plans,” including term-by-term plans for both part-time and full-time students, are currently being drafted, and “Degree Pathways” will replace pre-majors and transfer plans in the 2020-2021 Catalog.

If you have any questions or feedback about the Degree Pathways work, feel free to contact the Design Team co-chairs, Isis Artze-Vega, vice president, academic affairs, or Sonya Joseph, associate vice president, enrollment management.

Financial Aid Fast Fact
At the February 2020 Board of Trustees meeting, Joe Richardson, vice president, student affairs, and I had the opportunity to share with our Board a high-level overview of financial aid at Valencia College. I found it particularly interesting that in the 2018-19 academic year, nearly 21,000 of our degree-seeking students had the cost of tuition and fees covered by grants and scholarships; therefore, roughly one-third of our students paid nothing out of pocket to attend.

While concerns about the student debt crisis tend to loom large in conversations about the future of higher education, it is critically important to remind our community that national trends related to the rising costs of higher education do not mean that a college degree is out of reach. I am so proud that Valencia provides learning opportunities that are not only of the highest quality, but also remain affordable to our students and their families.

As always, if you have any questions or would simply like to share your thoughts or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to me at

Wishing you all my best.

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