Provost Update — January 2020

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, Executive Vice President and Provost

Celebrating Our Students Who Completed Their “First 15”

As I shared last November, we asked our Student Government Association (SGA) to help us design a way to celebrate students who complete their first 15 college-level credit hours at Valencia. The 15-credit threshold is an important milestone toward graduation, but nearly half of the students who reach this mark do not complete an associate degree at Valencia. Our efforts to celebrate students’ “First 15” are intended to provide encouragement and motivation for students along their academic journeys.

Our SGA suggested that we reach out to students after they complete their first 15 credit hours, provide them with a T-shirt to celebrate their achievement and offer a student-designed “care package” with information about resources available to students on their campuses.

At the completion of the fall 2019 semester, 3,279 students reached the 15-credit milestone. On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, they will receive an email which will celebrate their achievement and encourage them to visit the Student Development office on their campuses to pick up a T-shirt and care package. Also, students will be encouraged to wear their “First 15” T-shirts on Thursday, January 30, 2020, so that we can collectively celebrate our students.

Over the next few weeks, when you see students wearing a “First 15” T-shirt, please don’t be bashful about saying a few words of encouragement. When our students hear us tell them that we believe in them, or that we are proud of them, or that we know that they can do anything they set their minds to, it can make a world of difference.

This semester, we’ve asked our SGA to help us design how we should reach out to students after they receive their first grade of D, F or W at Valencia — stay tuned!

Valencia’s Strategic Enrollment Plan

Last fall, a collegewide team worked on the development of Valencia’s first Strategic Enrollment Plan. To meet our mission-centric goals related to access, educational attainment and community impact, the College must be prepared for enrollment growth and changes in enrollment patterns over the next decade. We’re not interested in growth for growth’s sake nor are we chasing a target to reach a certain size; rather, the aspirational goals articulated in our Impact Plan will require us to serve more students each year. This first iteration of the plan represents our best thinking at the moment in terms of where we expect to naturally see growth and where we should work to stimulate growth, and will inform our efforts to prepare to serve additional students.

I welcome your comments, questions and feedback about the plan. Please feel free to email me, or I invite you to attend an upcoming College Operations Town Hall hosted by Loren Bender, vice president of operations and finance; Amy Bosley, vice president of organizational development and human resources; and me:

As always, please feel free to reach out directly to me with your thoughts, comments, questions, suggestions and feedback at

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