Valencia College

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Valencia College
Seal of Valencia College.svg
Motto We Say You Can.
Established 1967
Type Public
Endowment $68 million[1]
President Sanford Shugart
Academic staff 396
Admin. staff 2,557
Students 100,000
Location United States Orlando, Florida, USA
Campus Urban
Former names Valencia Junior College
Valencia Community College
Colors          Red and Gold[2]
Affiliations Florida College System
Association of Florida Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Logo of Valencia College, Color.svg

Valencia College, also known as Valencia or VC, is a public state college in Orlando, Florida, United States. Valencia is the third-largest member institution of the Florida College System.

The college was founded in 1967 as "Valencia Junior College", taking the name "Valencia Community College" in 1971. In December 2010, Valencia's Board of Trustees voted to change the college's name to "Valencia College", as the academic scope of the school expanded to include bachelor's degrees.[3] Valencia has several campuses in Orlando with additional campuses in Kissimmee and Winter Park. More than 30,000 students enroll each year. Valencia is ranked first in the United States for the number of Associate's degrees awarded; it is first among two-year schools.[4]

Valencia was named the top community college in the United States in 2011 by The Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute awarded Valencia the first annual Aspen Prize for College Excellence after a year-long effort to recognize extraordinary accomplishments in individual institutions of the nation’s 1,200 community colleges. The Aspen award was granted based on, "a rigorous, yearlong assemble and review an unprecedented collection of data on community colleges and the critical elements of student success: student learning, degree completion and transfer, equity and employment/earnings after college."[5]

Board of Trustees[edit]

The Valencia Foundation $68 million endowment is about 12 times the average community college endowment, which reflects the abnormally large commitment of local business, organizations, and individuals, including the foundation board of directors. People on the Board of Directors are as follows:

  • Trustee, "Jerry Buchanan" – Retired bank executive.
  • Trustee, "Lori Kifer Johnson" – Senior Vice President in the Orlando office of Edelman, the largest independent public relations firm in the world.
  • Trustee, "Fernando Perez" – Regional director of Biotronik Inc., a global manufacturer of cardiovascular medical devices.
  • Trustee, "Lucas Boyce" – Director of business development and legislative affairs for the Orlando Magic.


The seal of the college includes the coat of arms of Valencia, Spain, in the middle and the entire diamond design stems from it. However, the college is not named for the city in Spain, but rather for the Valencia oranges which are grown in central Florida (which is why the old-timers pronounce it [va-LEN-sha] as is proper for the citrus fruit).

The mascot of the college is the Matador.


Valencia College operates a total of five campuses and three sites in its service area, which encompasses Orange County and Osceola County.


  • East Campus (701 North Econlockhatchee Trail Orlando FL, 32825)
  • Osceola Campus (1800 Denn John Lane Kissimmee FL, 34744)
  • West Campus (1800 South Kirkman Road Orlando FL, 32811)
  • Winter Park Campus (850 West Morse Boulevard Winter Park FL, 32789)
  • Lake Nona Campus (12350 Narcoossee Road Orlando FL, 32832)


  • Criminal Justice Institute The Criminal Justice Institute occupies a separate 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) state-of-the-art criminal justice training facility. The CJI is certified and approved by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to operate law enforcement and corrections academies, advanced courses and specialized training. Valencia is one of 4 colleges in Florida that trains Department of Juvenile Justice recruit officers.
  • Valencia Downtown Center Valencia's Downtown Center is located in the historic Chicone Building in downtown Orlando, at the corner of Orange Avenue and Church Street. The Downtown Center is home to the Office of the President, Academic Affairs, College & Community Relations, Valencia Foundation and Workforce Development.
  • Valencia Continuing Education and Professional Training is located at Sand Lake Center. Valencia's continuing education, training and professional development division of Valencia College serves businesses, government agencies, individuals and organizations of all sizes, across every industry throughout the Central Florida community.
  • Valencia Center for Global Languages is located alongside the continuing education and professional training division at Sand Lake Center. Valencia's Center for Global Languages offers conversational English and Spanish courses, cultural diversity workshops, American sign language and corporate training programs. Valencia's Center for Global Languages prepares students for entry into a college degree program.


The average class size is 23.3 students.[7]


Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools


2011 winner of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.[8] Valencia College was named "best community-college in the nation" for dedication to student success by the Aspen Institute.

Valencia was named 1998–99 National Community College of the Year by the National Alliance of Business and was chosen by Time Magazine in 2001 as one of the nation's best schools at helping first-year students excel.[9]

Student profile[edit]

College-wide Headcount = 50,000 for 2012. [10]

88% Degree/Certificate seeking students 60.1% AA 39.9% AS/AAS/Certificate

Race/Ethnicity Diversity Enrollment: 16.6% African American, 5.1% Asian/Pacific Islander, 38.7% Caucasian, 28.9% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 10.4% Other[citation needed]

Financial Aid Growth[edit]

  • $153.9 million financial aid awarded in 2009–2010. (End of year in 2008–2009 was $90 million).
  • Valencia is the number two (2) public college in Florida and number twenty-eight (28) nationally (among all colleges) in Pell grant recipients.
  • Over 27,000 students registered and received aid in 2009–2010.

Arts & Entertainment Programs[edit]


A long-standing partnership between Valencia College and the University of Central Florida has contributed to Valencia’s transfer rate, considered to be among the highest in the country. DirectConnect to UCF guarantees Valencia graduates acceptance and accelerated admission to the University of Central Florida. Since the program’s inception in 2006, approximately 45,000 students have indicated that they are DirectConnect to UCF students.[11]


Although Valencia is not a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Intramural sports are available. The Valencia Community College bowl team has won five national community college championships at NAQT and Six State championships.

Notable people[edit]

2013 Board of Trustees Controversy[edit]

In early 2013, several central Florida news agencies reported on a dispute between college president Dr. Sanford Shugart and the board of trustees regarding allegations of nepotism, manipulating the bidding process and abuse of power.[12][13] This resulted in Valencia Board Chairwoman Bertica Cabrera Morris losing her position in April of that year.[14]

Presidential Visit[edit]

On March 20, 2014 President Barack Obama visited Valencia's West Campus to discuss women's rights and increasing minimum wage.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]