|Valencia Junior College
Valencia Community College
|Motto||We Say You Can.|
|Location||Orlando, Florida, USA|
|Colors||Red and Gold|
|Affiliations||Florida College System
Association of Florida Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
The college was founded in 1967 as "Valencia Junior College", taking the name "Valencia Community College" in 1971. In December 2010, Valencia's Board of Trustees voted to change the college's name to "Valencia College", as the academic scope of the school expanded to include bachelor's degrees. Valencia has several campuses in Orlando with additional campuses in Kissimmee and Winter Park. More than 30,000 students enroll each year. Valencia is ranked first in the United States for the number of Associate's degrees awarded; it is first among two-year schools.
Valencia was named the top community college in the United States in 2011 by the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute awarded Valencia the first annual 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 and transfer, equity and employment/earnings after college."
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 are grown in Central Florida (which is why the old-timers pronounce it [va-LEN-sha] as is proper for the citrus fruit).
The mascot of Valencia College is the Matador.
The Valencia Foundation $68 million endowment is about 12 times the average community college endowment, which reflects the abnormally large commitment of local business, organizations, and individuals, including the foundation board of directors. People on the Board of Directors are as follows:
Valencia College operates a total of five campuses and three sites in its service area, which encompasses Orange County and Osceola County.
The average class size is 23 students.
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.
2011 winner of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Valencia College was named "best community-college in the nation" for dedication to student success by the Aspen Institute.
Valencia was named 1998–99 National Community College of the Year by the National Alliance of Business and was chosen by Time Magazine in 2001 as one of the nation's best schools at helping first-year students excel.
College-wide Headcount = 59,958 for 2013. 
88% Degree/Certificate seeking students 60.1% AA 39.9% AS/AAS/Certificate
Race/Ethnicity Diversity Enrollment: 16.6% African American, 5.1% Asian/Pacific Islander, 38.7% Caucasian, 28.9% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 10.4% Other
A long-standing partnership between Valencia College and the University of Central Florida has contributed to Valencia’s transfer rate, considered to be among the highest in the country. DirectConnect to UCF guarantees Valencia graduates acceptance and accelerated admission to the University of Central Florida. Since the program’s inception in 2006, approximately 45,000 students have indicated that they are DirectConnect to UCF students.
Although Valencia is not a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Intramural sports are available. The Valencia Community College bowl team has won five national community college championships at NAQT and Six State championships.
Valencia College maintains an active Student Government Association on all of its campuses:
Alumni Status is open to all graduates of Valencia College, all former students of Valencia who regularly matriculated and left the College in good standing.
In early 2013, several central Florida news agencies reported on a dispute between college president Dr. Sanford Shugart and the board of trustees regarding allegations of nepotism, manipulating the bidding process and abuse of power. This resulted in Valencia Board Chairwoman Bertica Cabrera Morris losing her position in April of that year.
On March 20, 2014 President Barack Obama visited Valencia's West Campus to discuss women's rights and increasing minimum wage.