Spring 2019 enrollment increased 8.4 percent compared to spring 2018, shared Kathleen Plinske, executive vice president and provost, during the Valencia College District Board of Trustees meeting held at the Osceola Campus on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. At the beginning of the spring 2019 semester, Valencia had 44,394 students, compared to 40,965 students at the beginning of the spring 2018 term.
Much of the growth can be attributed to dual enrollment students and returning students. The number of dual enrolled students increased 39.1 percent with 5,341 at the beginning of spring 2019, compared to 3,840 at the beginning of spring 2018. Valencia has also experienced a 5.4 percent increase in returning students, likely because of the creation of a financial aid warning period for students who are in jeopardy of losing financial aid due to GPA and completion of attempted credit requirements. For the full enrollment report, click here.
Osceola Campus Report
Vice President of Global, Professional and Continuing Education Joe Battista, Assistant Vice President of Professional and Continuing Education Carolyn McMorran and Assistant Vice President of Global and Continuing Education Lisa Eli presented on the new Osceola Campus Center for Accelerated Training (CAT), which opened in January 2019.
The new CAT center centralizes the College’s Intensive English and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs into one location and will offer multiple accelerated skills training programs, including heavy equipment operator, apartment maintenance technician, clinical medical assistant, carpentry and transportation logistics. Since the building’s opening in January, there has already been a dramatic growth in enrollment.
The team also shared data on Osceola Campus Intensive English and ESOL programs. For the presentation, click here.
Florida Teachers Academy
Faculty Association President John Niss and New Student Experience Faculty Kim Foster presented on the Future Teachers Academy, a cohort-based program for students who are interested in serving as elementary school teachers in Osceola County. Students complete their Associate in Arts at Valencia, followed by the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) baccalaureate program in elementary education. During their UCF experience, students complete student teaching opportunities and internships in Osceola County. Upon successful completion of the program, the School District of Osceola County (SDOC) guarantees eligible graduates a teaching job in an Osceola County elementary school. This program addresses a critical community need as the SDOC has experienced a teacher shortage for several years. For the presentation, click here.
Grant to Support Victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma
Valencia has received $1,220,638 in federal funds to support Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Island students who came to Valencia in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. The grant was one of several the U.S. Department of Education awarded to Central Florida schools, as part of an effort led by U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy. For more information, visit the Valencia news site.
Jay Galbraith, vice president, public affairs and marketing, provided a report that the environment for funding of state colleges is much better than the last two years, with a potential increase in core education funding, as well as enhanced performance funding. The legislative session will end the first week of May; if a budget is passed and approved by the governor, we expect a final budget in May.
The board approved awarding a contract for Downtown Center for Accelerated Training tenant improvements to Foresight Construction; a request for proposal to replace the roof on West Campus’ Building 5 to Advanced Roofing; and a contract to renovate West Campus’ Building 5 Communications Center to Johnson-Laux Construction. Each is subject to negotiation of a mutually beneficial contract.
Educational Affordability Report
Per the adoption of Policy 6Hx28:1-12: Educational Affordability in October 2018, Loren Bender, vice president, business operations and finance, presented Valencia’s 2019 Affordability Report. This report revealed that Valencia College is both affordable as well as a great value when compared to many other higher education options. For the full report, click here.
Procurement Policy Changes
Trustees approved adopting College Policy 6Hx28:5-10: Procurement Requirements for Commodities and Services, which authorizes the increase of the formal competitive solicitation threshold from $35,000 to $65,000. For more information on this change, click here. With the adoption of the new policy, College Policy 6Hx28:6-03: Expenditures was repealed.
Misappropriation of Funds
In August 2016, some irregularities in Valencia’s financial aid transactions were discovered and, after an immediate internal review, those irregularities were reported to law enforcement authorities as suspected fraudulent activity. As a result, Christen Christensen, assistant vice president, financial aid and veteran affairs, resigned, and the College worked in full cooperation with the Orlando Police Department (OPD) in support of its investigation.
As part of the audit/compliance update, Cynthia Santiago, director, compliance and audit, reported that Christen Christensen pleaded no contest and was adjudicated guilty on two felony counts. He was sentenced on Thursday, August 2, 2018, to complete 500 hours of community service, 28 years of supervised probation and pay $62,100 restitution to the College.
Bill Mullowney, vice president, policy and general counsel, provided an update on the legal and regulatory aspects of the state’s appointment process, specifically with respect to our District Board of Trustees.
Welcome and Thank You
College President Sandy Shugart introduced Isis Artze Vega, our new vice president of academic affairs, to the board and thanked Jose Fernandez, assistant vice president, facility management and real estate, for his ongoing work on the College’s construction projects. He also thanked Joan Tiller, who has held numerous roles at the College — most recently interim vice president, academic affairs — for her years of Valencia service.
For more information on the meeting, click here.
The next District Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. on the Winter Park Campus in Rooms 225-226.