Discourse with a Dean

By Shay Castle
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Dean of Students Linda Vance spoke at a skill shop entitled “Conversation with the Dean of Students” on Wednesday, March 2 at Valencia’s East Campus.

Vance gave information about a variety of topics impacting students, including the importance of having a plan and setting goals. She highlighted the many tools available via Atlas, such as the “Life Map” application.

“You can plug in your class load, all the classes you need to take, and plan out when you’re going to take them,” she explained. “The best part is getting to see when you are going to graduate based on that plan.”

She also talked about getting involved in one of the numerous student groups and activities available at Valencia. “There tends to be a greater success rate when students get involved in activities on campus,” she said. “We’re not quite sure why, but there just is.”

Vance shared how the school is furthering efforts to ensure student success with a plethora of changes.

Along with the dropping of “Community” from the Valencia name, Vance discussed the addition of two B.A. programs, radiological sciences and electrical engineering, in which students can earn a four year degree. These programs will be offered at the re-christened Valencia College beginning July 1.

“I didn’t know they were offering my major,” said Peterson Cilver, of electrical engineering. He added that he wanted to speak to someone from UCF before he decided whether to finish his program at Valencia or transfer to the university.

Vance was quick to point out where on campus the UCF advisor could be found, plus the office hours for walk-ins and appointments.

“I didn’t even know they had an advisor for UCF on campus,” said Cilver.

In addition to advisors, Vance talked about the numerous programs Valencia offers, from counseling to health and wellness advice, even free tax services.

Sarah Shaw, a nursing major, was pleased and surprised to hear about all the help available on campus. “Valencia tax assistance? I never knew they had that.”

Despite the availability of such programs, most students remain in the dark.

Jocelyn Morales, a student services advisor, said the purpose of the skill shops was to inform students about all their admission Valencia entitles them to.

“Each campus has a series of workshops on various categories,” she said. “We have a budget so we can promote them more.”

Still, with attendance low at most of the programs, not enough students are being reached. That translates to students who want and need help, but don’t know where to go, or if assistance is even available.

“There are all these resources on campus to help us,” said Catalina Higuita, also a nursing major. “We just don’t know about them.”

Morales is confident that, despite the low turnout at the event, people are receiving the information they need, whether it be through friends, professors, or online.

“All of this information can be found online,” she said. “We have great Web sites where you can find all of this stuff.”

For more information on any of the programs, or to set up a meeting with an advisor, please visit http://valenciacc.edu/studentservices/ and http://valenciacc.edu/lifemap/