A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses
Our Valencia Ambassadors had the opportunity to showcase their efforts at Valencia’s District Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
Our Valencia Ambassadors participate in our Got College? efforts by visiting local high school classrooms to share their experiences with students considering the possibility of going to college, hosting groups of middle and high school students who visit campus via the Campus Express and assisting with our partnership with Central Avenue Elementary School.
Osceola County launched our Got College? efforts in 2013, convening the first community conversation in April 2013 to explore why Osceola County’s 2011 college-going rate was 41 percent, while the college-going rate statewide was 53 percent. We’ve since implemented a number of strategies to help students believe that attending college is possible and overcome any obstacles that might stand in their way. It appears that our collective efforts are paying off.
Valencia’s most recent high school market share report reveals that the percentage of Osceola County high school graduates attending Valencia has steadily increased over the last several years, leading me to believe that when the state releases the 2014 Osceola County college-going rate, we’ll see a significant increase over the 2011 data that sparked the concerns that initially launched our Got College? efforts.
We’ve seen nearly a 50 percent increase in the number of students from Osceola County enrolling at Valencia just in the last five years! Let’s take a moment to celebrate our students’ success … and then let’s get back to work. There still is plenty to do to help more students in Osceola County see themselves as college material, understand the value of postsecondary education and overcome barriers and obstacles that stand in their way. As always, if you’re interested in getting involved in our Got College? efforts, or if you have other ideas for how we can better support our future students, please let me know.