Valencia College to move forward with Poinciana Campus


Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

The list of spending requests Florida Governor Rick Scott plans to veto from the 2016-17 state budget was released March 15. On it is about $250 million worth of requests, but not $12 million for Valencia’s new campus.

After receiving the green light from Florida Governor Rick Scott, Valencia College is expected to open their Poinciana Campus during the fall of 2017. The campus will be located in Poinciana on the intersection of Pleasant Hill and Reaves Road.

Valencia spokeswoman Carol Traynor confirmed with Orlando Business Journal that the college is slated to receive the money needed, but Scott still has to sign off on the budget.

The list of spending requests Scott plans to veto from the 2016-17 state budget was released March 15. On it is about $250 million worth of requests, but not $12 million for Valencia’s new campus.

“Assuming that everything stays on track, we will be opening the fall of 2017,” said Dr. Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana campuses.

Valencia acknowledges that Poinciana residents currently face commute challenges that makes pursuing a higher education difficult.

“This is evidenced by the two high schools in Poinciana, [Liberty and Poinciana High School], have the two lowest college going rates in Osceola County, and we believe that has everything to do with the lack of access to education,” Plinske said.

Valencia Campus map
Poinciana residents currently have to travel 45 minutes to an hour to get to the Osceola Campus. Once the new campus is built, the average commute time for residents to pursue a higher education will be cut in half; which will increase the college going rate among the residents. Courtesy Valencia College


The closest campus to Poinciana is Osceola, which on average takes 45 minutes to an hour for Poinciana residents. During the morning traffic, it can take an hour to an hour and a half to get to the Osceola Campus.

Although many current Valencia students will be graduates before the new campus is open, they are excited that their younger siblings will have the option to attend school close to home.

“My brother is a freshman at Liberty High School and so it is awesome that he will be able to do dual enrollment and take college classes right down the street from his school,” Valencia College sophomore Allen Holland said.

The new campus will host a variety of classes ranging from general classes needed to receive an Associates in Arts degree as well as culinary classes, hospitality classes and the prerequisites for nursing and allied health.

The Poinciana Campus will also offer business classes that specialize in small business development and classes that teach students how to work from home.

Valencia plans to offer short term training programs, “such as a five week program on construction or a six week forklift operator training,” Plinske said.