The Valencia College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $164.8 million budget for the 2013-2014 school year at its June 18 meeting. The budget calls for no increase in tuition and fees for students working on their associates’ degrees. Students taking bachelor’s degree — or upper division — courses will see their tuition rise 1.7 percent, as mandated by state law.
In addition, the 2013-14 budget also provides for a 1.8 percent raise for Valencia employees.
In other action, the board:
- okayed the transfer of $1 million to complete the purchase of the college’s new telephone system;
- approved the transfer of $4 million to be used for renovating the new District Office in Metrowest; and
- learned that Valencia will spend about $1 million in 2013-14 to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
In other news, Dr. Joyce Romano, vice president of student affairs, and Dr. Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Osceola Campus, informed trustees that Valencia has received a $1.5 million grant to increase the number of minority students transferring to state universities as STEM majors. The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation grant, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, will be administered by Valencia, but will also include Seminole State College and Lake-Sumter State College. Over a three-year period, the three colleges will try to double the number of minority students entering the University of Central Florida with a major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field.
In 2011-12, 761 (or 16.4 percent) of the 4,656 of the students who transferred to UCF from Valencia, Lake-Sumter and Seminole were STEM majors. Of that number, 321 (or 6.9 percent of all transfers) were minority students majoring in STEM fields.
To increase minority participation in STEM fields at Valencia, Seminole State and Lake-Sumter, the grant administrators will hire a full-time project director, full-time STEM advisors, and provide scholarships, research stipends and STEM career workshops for students. In addition, the college plans to hold seminars for local high-school teachers who teach STEM subjects.
As the college leading the grant, Valencia will receive $750,000 to operate the program.
The Valencia College Board of Trustees’ next meeting is scheduled for July 16 at the Osceola Campus.