Archive for the ‘Strategic Goal 4: Partner with the Community’ Category
Monday, March 15, 2010
March 15, 2010
by Sandy Shugart
When a college commits itself so completely to an agenda of improving student learning results, as we have, there is a danger of becoming so focused on the internal programs and systems of the college, the variables we control, that we can neglect the community we serve. No one could reasonably describe Valencia as self-absorbed, but the risk remains as we engage in our daily work and manage the challenges our recent economic situation has created so we can do our daily work. But Valencia has a rich tradition of partnering with and serving the community. Perhaps it was born out of our earliest history, when there was a heated debate in the community over whether a comprehensive public community college was even needed in Orlando, now that a public university had been established.
Fortunately for Orlando, the advocates for the creation of Valencia prevailed at last, including the founding president of the university, Dr. Charles Millican, who foresaw along with Raymer Maguire and others the possibility of a partnership between the university and community college that would better serve our community than either could alone. Today, UCF takes in almost 750 new freshmen from Osceola and Orange counties each year; Valencia takes in more than 3500. Most are headed toward further study at UCF or elsewhere after graduation, and although UCF is the third largest university in the U.S., it is still true that sixty percent of their graduates are transfers, the majority from Valencia. By partnering in our community, we have created the most powerful engine for college access in America.