Disney Will Cover Tuition for Employees Attending Valencia College Through Disney Aspire

Disney Will Cover Tuition for Employees Attending Valencia College Through Disney Aspire


Beginning January 2019, The Walt Disney Company will pay 100 percent of tuition for all eligible hourly employees enrolling at Valencia College through Disney Aspire. The entertainment company launched Disney Aspire in September, pledging to invest up to $150 million in the first five years of the education benefit program for more than 80,000 of its “cast members” in the United States.

Denver-based company Guild Education will administer the enrollment process for Disney employees pursuing select undergraduate degrees and certificates. Students enrolling at Valencia College through Disney Aspire will have the option to take classes online or in person. Full-time and part-time U.S.-based hourly employees become eligible after 90 days with the company. They are not required to pursue a degree or certificate related to their current role at Disney.

Two New Career Training Buildings Coming to Osceola Campus

Valencia College's Careers in Industry and Technology (CIT) building
Transportation Logistics
Construction Class

In January 2019, Valencia College will open the first of two new career training buildings on its Osceola Campus in Kissimmee. The Center for Accelerated Training (CAT) will house short-term programs in construction, transportation logistics/warehouse packaging, clinical medical assistance and residential apartment service maintenance. The 14,700 square-foot building will also be home to the campus’s continuing education language programs, including English for speakers of other languages and intensive English, as well as Spanish and Portuguese. Modeled after the single-story structure on the new Poinciana Campus, it will become the college’s third CAT building (a fourth is set to open in downtown Orlando in spring of 2019).

The Careers in Industry and Technology (CIT) building, the second new addition to Osceola Campus, will provide classrooms and lab space to support more two-year A.S. degrees, including residential property management, hospitality and tourism, and engineering technology. The 53,000-square-foot building will also provide lab space for the advanced manufacturing mechatronics program and the certificate in supply chain automation. The CIT building is slated to open in January 2020.

Kathleen Plinske Named Executive Vice President and Provost

Kathleen Plinske Named Executive Vice President and Provost

Valencia College President Sandy Shugart has publicly announced the appointment of Dr. Kathleen Plinske to the newly created role of executive vice president and provost.

In her new role, Plinske will lead Valencia College’s planning process and provide leadership to the college’s academic affairs, student affairs, educational partnerships and analytics teams. She will also be charged with building relationships in the community, as well as with state and national organizations.

Since joining the college in 2010, Plinske has worked diligently to increase access to higher education in the region: overseeing construction of the Valencia College Lake Nona Campus in 2012; launching the “Got College?” campaign in 2013, a communitywide initiative that increased Osceola County’s college-going rate by more than 20 percent; and mobilizing community and legislative support for the Poinciana Campus, which opened in 2017.

A native of Crystal Lake, Ill., Plinske earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and physics from Indiana University, a master’s degree in Spanish from Roosevelt University in Chicago, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida and a doctorate in education from Pepperdine University in California. In her spare time, Plinske is an avid golfer and a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.

CareerSource Taps Valencia College to Provide English Courses to Displaced Citizens

CareerSource Taps Valencia College to Provide English Courses to Displaced Citizens

Through a federal grant awarded to CareerSource Central Florida (CSCF), Valencia College will provide English language courses to citizens displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

CareerSource will allocate $6 million from the National Dislocated Worker Grant to fund a variety of community orientation resources provided by local institutions. These services include: individual career consultation; job placement support; financial advice; and increased access to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.

Since signing an agreement with CareerSource in July 2018, Valencia College’s Continuing Education division has provided orientation workshops and English language instruction to dozens of individuals, many of whom have relocated from Puerto Rico. Students enrolled in language courses receive scholarships to cover tuition and book fees for two terms in Valencia College’s Intensive English Program (IEP), and they are eligible to reapply for this aid for the duration of this program, which is expected to run through December 2019.

“This will be a great service to our growing community,” says Nelson Placa, Valencia College’s director of continuing international education. “Improving their English skills will help displaced citizens find a job in their area of expertise.”