ERIC Number: EJ1002834
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Valencia College, No. 1 Nationwide: It's All about "Student Experience"
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v78 n2 p63-68 Oct 2012
Twelve years ago, Sanford Shugart took the helm at Valencia College. This school of 70,000-plus students in Orlando, FL, seemed like any other community college, but Shugart's reason for being there, and the change this college was about to undergo, was anything but ordinary. Before his arrival, the school had begun a process called Campus Conversations, whereby individuals gathered to determine how to renew their college culture and vision. "When I arrived, about 150 people were involved in the change process, but they were at the margins of the institution. My job was to bring them into the center of the college," explained Shugart. "They created a fertile ground for change. The goal was to capture that energy for change and funnel it into systems for everything students experienced." That very reason became the push that Valencia needed to achieve top community college status. Last year, the school was selected among 120 "top" colleges in the nation by Aspen Institute, an institute dedicated to honoring the best community college for its achievements in student performance and graduation, based on data collected by the U.S. Department of Education. Valencia College received the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, and $600,000. For all of Valencia's achievements, little has been accomplished without vision or effort. For every student success, there's a program, an intention, and a commitment that makes it possible.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Educational Change, Student Experience, Higher Education, Two Year Colleges, Academic Achievement, College Students, Enrollment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida