50 Years. Countless Success Stories.

In 1967, Valencia College was founded on the simple belief that, as a community, we can dare to do great things. Now, 50 years later, students have become teachers; apprentices have become supervisors; dreams have become reality. Because of you – the diverse and vital community we’re so proud to serve – our students can visualize and achieve brighter futures. Thank you for being the kind of community that fosters and encourages opportunity.


Valencia Parking Lot

50 Years of Better Tomorrows

The story of Valencia College, from a modest beginning to real, lasting impact in the Central Florida community.

See how far we’ve come.  Read More



Through innovative ideas that have made it one of the nation’s leading community colleges, Valencia helps to transform lives and communities.

Driven by a belief that “anyone can learn anything under the right circumstances,” Valencia instituted several innovative strategies to improve academic performance for students in their critical first year of college. The success of these reforms earned Valencia the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2011, as the “best community college in the nation.” Through our degree and certification programs, students learn the skills and abilities needed to support their families.

Students and Employers depend on Valencia to evolve its programs based on jobs that are in high demand.

With guidance from 600 business and industry advisory panel members, Valencia tailors its classes and programs for sustainable jobs that are in high demand. Examples include nursing, advanced manufacturing, construction and energy management technology.


For 50 years, Valencia has assured access to college for all students, no matter their background.

Valencia opened the doors of opportunity to everyone when it opened in 1967. Fifty years later, Valencia is fourth in the U.S. in the number of associate degrees awarded to students—51 percent to minority students. Many of our students are the first in their families to attend college. From degree programs to career certifications, Valencia puts higher education – and the opportunity for higher wages – within reach for every Central Florida resident.

Today, Valencia has become the college of choice by the majority of college students in Central Florida.

More than twice as many high school graduates in Orange and Osceola counties start college at Valencia than start at all state universities combined. A more affordable alternative to state universities and private colleges, Valencia gives more students an opportunity to earn a quality education and enables students who will seek bachelor’s degrees to save money during their first two years.


We’re excited to see what we can accomplish together in the next 50 years.


1960s

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Valencia Junior College sign
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Clipping of school newspaper article announcing opening of Valencia Junior College in 1967
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Student Government Officers at Valencia's first facility on Oak Ridge Road
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Aerial of Mid-Florida Tech at Oak Ridge Road where Valencia Junior College first opened its doors
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Valencia's early leadership team included Raymer Maguire Jr. (third from left) and James Gollattscheck (center), who served as the college's second president
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Students walking to portables at Oak Ridge Road facility
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Charter Advisory Board at Valencia's inaugural commencement
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Student lounge sign at Oak Ridge Road facility
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Valencia Junior College parking lot, Oak Ridge Road site.
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Valencia Junior College portables at Oak Ridge Road site

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1970s

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Nursing students, 1970
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Delta Burke, Miss Florida 1974, participates in the groundbreaking for East Campus
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Choral ensemble rehearsal
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Valencia Community College baseball team, 1977
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West Campus childcare center, 1974
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Early morning physical education class, West Campus
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Valencia basketball, 1977
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Valencia Community College cheerleading squad
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Charlie Jean Salter, professor of biology
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Valencia ballet studio at the newly-opened East Campus
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Student training in dental hygiene program
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Allied Health students practicing emergency medical techniques
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Music class at East Campus
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Construction of building 2, West Campus
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Members of Valencia Community College softball team
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Student in math tutoring center
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College theater production of "Antony and Cleopatra"
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Valencia College charter board member Raymer Maguire, Jr.
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First Lady Rosalynn Carter presents President Gollattscheck with a National Landscape Award
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Julia Ribley (left) and Volunteers for International Student Activities
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Early Valencia leadership from left, Raymer Maguire, Jr., Jane Scroggs, and Albert T. Craig (1970s)

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1980s

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Pearl Bailey visits Valencia
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Mayor Bill Frederick presenting a good citizenship award at city hall
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Science can require a lot of patience
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Dick Batchelor (right) became the youngest official elected to the Florida House of Representatives just four years after graduating from Valencia
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Matador Day, East Campus
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Switchboard operators field incoming calls
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Art students gather around graphic design professor, East Campus
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Experimenting with early computing and robotics
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Now that's what we call "higher education"
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Archery practice on West Campus
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Students on the breezeway at West Campus
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Rev. Jesse Jackson visits Valencia College
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Theater production, East Campus
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Former President Gerald Ford speaks at "Salute to the Constitution" event on West Campus in 1987
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Nurse pinning administered by professor Susie Forehand
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More expansion on West Campus
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Lovely day on Lake Pamela
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Three Valencia Presidents
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Dean of Student Affairs Bob Holland in the dunk tank
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WESH 2's Bill Shafer on assignment at Valencia
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President Gianini takes the Panavision for a test drive on East
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Future Congresswoman Val Demings keeping the peace in The City Beautiful
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Figure Drawing taught by art professor Nancy Jay

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1990s

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Film students try out a camera lift
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A Thrilling Matador Day, East Campus
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Valencia photographer Don Burlinson taking an early airborne selfie
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Miss Valencia
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Soldering with a smile
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In the age of floppy disks
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Biology professor Dave Smith and age-old pedagogical technique of pointing
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Film Student flexing serious costume design muscle
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Dancing through the breezeway
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The grunge era begins
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Construction underway at the new Osceola Campus, 1996
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Olé! Flamenco Dancing between classes
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Valencia saxaphonist
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First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton pays a visit to Valencia
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Art professor Michael Galletta crafting pottery
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Sporting sports threads circa '96
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Administrative work in the president's office
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Artist with ready-to-hang piece
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Bill Gates visiting Valencia in the Windows 95 era
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Theater troupe takes a bow
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Blair Witch Project producer Gregg Hale returns to his alma mater Valencia

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2000s

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Book signing with Carl Hiaasen
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Condoleezza Rice speaks at Valencia
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Theatre students in a production of Dracula
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Rev. Jesse Jackson shakes hands with College President Sandy Shugart
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Students leafs through a copy of the latest Phoenix Arts Magazine
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Ribbon cutting at the Walt Disney World Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts
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Cirque du Valencia
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Dr. Shugart shares laughs with culinary program faculty
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Governor Jeb Bush speaks at Valencia
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Some playful sparring by Lake Pamela
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#Winning before there was hashtags
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TV Personality John Stossel signing his latest
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Learning on the lawn at west campus
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Instruction on proper gator handling technique
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Relaxing at the Osceola clock tower
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Theatre tech student preps actor for a production of Bat Boy
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Oil on canvas at East Campus
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Modern Jazz legend Sam Rivers plays for Valencia
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Burning calories with Tae Bo

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2010s

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Valencia students in statewide culinary competition
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Community College Advocate and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden speaks at Valencia
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Board members and Mayor Buddy Dyer cut ribbon at Lake Nona Campus
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Valencia puts on production of Chicago
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President Barack Obama visits Valencia in 2014 to speak on healthcare and gender equality
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EMT students check out med-evac helicopter, West Campus
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Biotech lab sciences student at Lake Nona Campus
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Cast of the Valencia College production "Division: a Trayvon/Jordan project"
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Valencia engineering students test parachute prototypes at Kennedy Space Center
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Human Peace Sign at East Campus
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Valencia College Fire Academy
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Construction program at Osceola
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Aquaponic facility at rooftop gardens in Winter Garden
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Nursing student in Allied Health program
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Valencians pay respect to students who died in the Pulse tragedy
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NBC Today's Al Roker and Celebrity chef surprise culinary student Sasha Sincic
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Topping out ceremony, Poinciana Campus
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Welding at Advanced Manufacturing Training Center
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