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Valencia College May Give UCF Students a Second Chance

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The year 2009 was a tough one at the University of Central Florida. During that time administration was forced to make tough decisions regarding the school’s budget. The result was the elimination of several degree programs from the UCF curriculum. Included in the cuts were the cardiopulmonary sciences, engineering technology, and radiologic imaging sciences. More than 1,000 UCF students were potentially effected by the budget cuts and lost programs. 

Budget cuts have affected key programs at UCF

In recent weeks Valencia Community College has received approval by the Florida State Board of Education to begin their first bachelor’s degree program. The school patiently awaits final approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in December. Once finalized, the new degree program can begin at Valencia in 2011. It would be the school’s first bachelor’s program in its 43 year history. With the support of the University of Central Florida, Valencia College now has the opportunity to reestablish a bachelor’s program in the Radiologic and Imaging Sciences. In 2009 UCF was the only school in the state of Florida to offer a four year degree in the discipline.  While an associate’s degree is sufficient to become a radiologic technician, positions in management require the attainment of a higher degree.

The Central Florida area is looking at rapid growth in the field over the next 4 years. Orange, Osceola, Lake Sumter, and Seminole Counties expect close to 1,000 job opening in radiology by 2014. Some critics have argued that rapid expansion of community colleges have begun to compete with four year institutions in an unhealthy way. Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed legislation in 2008 allowing community colleges to more readily offer four year degrees. Across the state today 18 community colleges offer 111 four year degrees.  The University of Central Florida approached Valencia College to look into the possibility of recreating a degree program in high demand.

Valencia Community College has the ability to offer the program at a lower overal cost than UCF. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, the average annual cost of tuition at community colleges is $2,544. Compared to $7,020 spent in the same timeframe at a public four year institution.

The UCF and Valencia College partnership remains strong

Student Government Vice President Taylor Lochrane says their remains a great connection between the UCF and Valencia and the  relationship between the two schools hasn’t changed. Most Valencia students will still look to UCF as their next place for higher education. The president of Valencia Sandy Shugart has been quoted as saying this new program is an evolution in the school’s programming mix but not a shift in the school’s mision. Valencia College has no plans to add more undergraduate programs at this time.

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Written by ArthurVolpe

October 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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