Valencia College

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Valencia College
Seal of Valencia College.svg
Former names
Valencia Junior College
Valencia Community College
Motto We Say You Can.
Type Public
Established 1967
Endowment $68 million[1]
President Sanford Shugart
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 68,351 (2015)[2]
Location United States Orlando, Florida, USA
Campus Urban
Colors          Red and Gold[3]
Affiliations Florida College System
Association of Florida Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Mascot Matador
Logo of Valencia College, Color.svg

Valencia College is a public state college in Orlando, Florida, United States. In 2011, it was named the top community college in the United States by the Aspen Institute.

The college was founded in 1969 as "Valencia Junior College," taking the name "Valencia Community College" in 1971. In December 2010, Valencia's Board of Trustees voted to change the name to "Valencia College," because the academic scope of the school had expanded to include bachelor's degrees.[4] Valencia has several campus locations in Orlando with additional campus locations in Winter Park and Kissimmee. Valencia is ranked first in the United States for the number of associate's degrees.[5]

The Aspen Institute awarded Valencia the first 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 effort to... assemble and review an unprecedented collection of data on community colleges and the critical elements of student success: student learning, degree completion, equity, and employment after graduation."[6]


The official 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 used to be prevalent in Central Florida.


The mascot of Valencia College is a Matador named Professor T. "Toredo."

Student profile[edit]

College-wide Headcount was 68,351 for 2015.[7]

51.6% AA 48.6% AS/AAS/Certificate

Race/Ethnicity Diversity Enrollment:[2] 17.9% African American, 4.9% Asian/Pacific Islander, 32.5% Caucasian, 32.5% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 11.5% Other

Valencia Foundation[edit]

The Valencia Foundation's $68 million endowment is about 12 times the average community college endowment, which reflects an abnormally large commitment of local business, organizations, and individuals, including the foundation's board of directors.


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


Schools and Facilities[edit]


The average class size is 23 students.[8] A longstanding partnership between Valencia College and the University of Central Florida has contributed to Valencia’s transfer rate, considered to be the highest in the country. DirectConnect to UCF guarantees Valencia graduates acceptance and streamlined admission to the University of Central Florida. Since the program’s inception in 2006, approximately 45,000 students have indicated that they are DirectConnect students.[9]

School of Public Safety[edit]

The Valencia College School of Public Safety houses three major program areas: Criminal Justice, Fire Rescue and Safety and Security. Valencia College will train the next generation of public safety professionals using state-of-the-art technology and the latest in simulation training. Programs for firefighters, law enforcement, corrections, security officers and homeland security elevate and unify training standards across all divisions of public safety. This interdisciplinary approach promotes cross-sector training and collaboration between public safety agencies that help make our communities safer—both in times of crisis and in maintaining the peace.[10]

  • The Criminal Justice Institute occupies a 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.[11]
  • The Fire Rescue Institute provides career pathways to meet the needs of the fire service community in Central Florida and prepares all levels of fire service professionals, including the fire fighter, fire officer, fire inspector, fire investigator and fire instructor.[12]
  • The Safety and Security Institute is still in development. The Safety and Security Institute will build upon programming already being offered by Valencia College and the School of Public Safety to provide professional and leadership training for private security officers and managers, as well as homeland security specialists. The Safety and Security Institute will be the first of its kind to provide standardized training and certifications to the security professionals working within Central Florida’s many airports, hotels, theme parks and attractions.[13]

Valencia Continuing Education and Professional Training[edit]

Valencia Continuing Education and Professional Training is located at West Campus. 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 International and Continuing Education is located alongside the continuing education and professional training division at West Campus. Valencia's International and Continuing Education division offers conversational English and Spanish courses, cultural diversity workshops, American sign language and corporate training programs to prepare students for entry into a college degree program.


Tuition for Florida residents is $103.06 per credit hour for students pursuing an associate degree. Tuition is $390.96 per credit hour for out-of-state students pursuing an associate degree.

(So for a Florida resident taking 15 credits per semester, the cost of 30 credits – or a full year of attendance – would be $3091.80 per year, while an out-of-state student would pay $11,728.80 for a full year of classes.)

Tuition is $112.19 per credit hour for Florida residents pursuing a bachelor's degree at Valencia. Tuition is $427.59 per credit hour for out-of-state students pursuing a bachelor's degree at Valencia.[14]



  • Winner of the 2011 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.[15]
  • Named "best community college in the nation" for dedication to student success by the Aspen Institute.
  • Chosen by Time Magazine in 2001 as one of the nation's best schools at helping first-year students excel.[16]


Although Valencia is not a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Intramural sports are available. The Valencia College Brain Bowl team participates as a member of the Florida State College Activities Association and has won five national community college championships at NAQT and six state championships.

Student Government[edit]

Valencia College maintains an active Student Government Association on all of its campuses:

  • East Campus Student Government
  • West Campus Student Government
  • Osceola Campus Student Government
  • Winter Park Campus Student Government
  • Lake Nona Campus Student Government

Notable alumni[edit]

Presidential visit[edit]

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


  1. ^ "Endowment Information" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 1, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Facts - Valencia College - Orlando, Florida".
  3. ^ Valencia Identity Summary Sheet. Valencia College. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  4. ^ Postal, Leslie (December 14, 2010). "Say hello to Valencia College". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  5. ^ "Valencia No.1 for Associate Degrees".
  6. ^ "Florida's Valencia College Named Top US Community College". The Aspen Institute. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "Facts". Valencia College. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "Just The facts" (PDF). Valencia College. Retrieved 3 February 2013.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^
  10. ^ "School of Public Safety - Valencia College".
  11. ^ "Criminal Justice - Valencia College".
  12. ^ "Fire Rescue - Valencia College".
  13. ^ "Safety and Security - Valencia College".
  14. ^ "Tuitoin". Valencia College. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Valencia College receives Aspen Prize". Community College Times, Matthew Dembicki. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.

External links[edit]