A message from Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Campus President, Osceola and Lake Nona
On Thursday, November 29 we received our temporary certificate of occupancy for Building 4, which means we are on schedule to open the building at the beginning of January. I can’t wait for you to see the building just as soon as we’re moved in. We’re planning a special event for faculty and staff during our Welcome Back on Thursday, January 3, as well as a special ribbon cutting for our students during the first week of classes.
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a “sneak peek” of the building so that you’d have an idea of what we’re looking forward to sharing with our students next year. This brief video will give you a glimpse of the third and fourth floors of the building, and next week we’ll share a video of the first and second floors.
The fourth floor of the building is home to 10 science labs: a physics lab, two chemistry labs, three anatomy and physiology labs, a microbiology lab, and three biology labs. These additional labs will allow us to significantly expand our offerings in the sciences and help meet student demand… however, initial indications show that even all of this additional lab space won’t quench the demand for science courses that has built up over time at the Osceola Campus. As an example, while we were only able to offer 17 sections of Fundamentals of Biology I and II last spring, we have planned for 24 sections this spring, an increase in the number of seats available of more than 40%. Amazingly, the courses are already more than 95% full! Likewise, Introductory Physics (one of my all-time favorite subjects) is already over capacity for this spring.
As we have been impressed by student demand for the sciences at the Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses, we have worked diligently with the University of Central Florida (UCF) to make sure that there would be a baccalaureate option for students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at our regional campus in Building 4. The University of Central Florida has agreed to offer a B.S. in biomedical sciences beginning in the fall of 2013. We are thrilled to be able to offer this high-demand program to our students who will be able to complete the degree at the Osceola Campus!
The third floor of Building 4 consists of 18 classrooms. The University of Central Florida has first “preference” for scheduling 12 of the classrooms, while Valencia has first preference for six. Because this is a shared space, we will be able to use classrooms that UCF doesn’t fully schedule, and vice versa. These additional classrooms will help us relieve some of the pressures we feel given the current lack of space on campus, and will allow UCF to offer several new baccalaureate degrees at the Osceola Campus, which will likely include:
- B.S. in Biomedical Sciences
- B.S. in Criminal Justice
- B.S. in Health Services Administration
- B.S. in Psychology
- B.S. in Public Administration
- B.S. in Religious Studies
- One additional area to be named later
To learn more about Building 4 and the plans for who is moving and where, please mark your calendars for our next faculty/staff meeting, which will be held on Thursday, December 6 at 1:30 p.m. in 2-232/234. The Faculty Association will have their regularly scheduled meeting immediately following.
Click here for a tour of the first and second floors of Building 4.