Valencia College Sees Historic Enrollment Growth, Reinforcing Its Mission to Provide Higher Education and Workforce Training

Valencia College set enrollment records in Spring 2024, as the college experienced a historic full-time-equivalent enrollment.

Coming on the heels of a record-breaking Fall 2023 semester, in which the college welcomed more first-time college students than ever before, the new data reinforce the college’s continuing commitment to provide quality, affordable higher education and workforce training to the residents of Orange and Osceola counties.

The college’s Spring 2024 full-time-equivalent (FTE) enrollment represents the largest spring semester in the college’s history. FTE enrollment grew 8% from Spring 2023 to Spring 2024, and there are more than 44,000 students at Valencia this semester.

This record-setting enrollment reflects an increase in new students as well as returning students. In Fall 2023, Valencia College welcomed nearly 8,300 first-time-in-college students, the largest number of new students in any semester ever at the college. In addition, Valencia students achieved their highest fall-to-fall retention (a measure of success and persistence), resulting in an increased percentage of second-year students returning in Spring 2024 to continue their studies. As these large cohorts of students continue their studies, college officials anticipate that these positive gains will continue — because returning students account for more than 70% of Valencia College’s enrollment in any given term.

“I’m delighted to see Valencia’s enrollment continue to grow as this is a strong indicator that we are fulfilling our mission,” said Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Valencia College president. “The increase in new students demonstrates that we are meeting our community’s growing demand for higher education and workforce training and the increase in returning students shows that more of students are successfully persisting in their journeys to earn a college degree.”

Valencia College continues to see gains in the number of students returning to campus for face-to-face classes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. For Spring 2024, 50.4% of students are enrolled in at least one face-to-face class.  That’s up from Spring 2023, when 43% of Valencia students were taking face-to-face or hybrid classes.

“I’m grateful for the legislature’s and the governor’s support of the Florida College System in last year’s state budget.  The additional funds allowed Valencia College to hire 26 additional faculty members, creating capacity to respond to increased student demand and allowing us to grow,” Plinske noted.