Valencia and DirectConnect Make National News

whatworks-logo-270wValencia and our DirectConnect program to the University of Central Florida were covered in a Politico Magazine feature for a series called “What Works.” The four-page article, “Where Dreams Come True,” highlights the program, which was the brainchild of Valencia President Sandy Shugart and University of Central Florida’s (UCF) President John Hitt, and is a best practice among community colleges.

Author Saundra Amrhein states, “At a time when national graduation rates at two-year institutions were stalled or falling, those at DirectConnect partners soared. In DirectConnect’s first six years, the number of Associate in Arts degrees Valencia awarded annually spiked more than 110 percent, from 3,164 to 6,666, far outpacing the college’s enrollment increases.”

The article also has a feel-good component, as it shares the DirectConnect stories of two Valencia students, Alexandrea Castro, the daughter of a single, working mother from Poinciana who wanted to go to college close to home, but she lived hours away from UCF and was worried about the cost and whether she was academically prepared, and Irene Acevedo-Melendez, the daughter of a disabled mother, who felt pressure from her father to work more hours and take fewer classes to help with expenses of the family.

Click here to read the full article. 

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