Students who attend Poinciana’s two high schools, Liberty High School and Poinciana High School, are currently much less likely to attend college than their peers throughout Osceola County. A contributing factor to this unfortunate statistic is the two-and-a-half hours drive to reach the Valencia College Osceola campus by bus and 45 minutes by car. To remedy that, and provide career-training opportunities for Poinciana residents of all ages, Valencia leaders have been eyeing a possible Poinciana Campus since 2003. That vision is about to come to fruition near Poinciana with the official opening of the $27 million Poinciana Valencia College campus on August 28th, and it’s been done with a focus on sustainability and enhancing the natural landscape around it.
Located at the intersection of Pleasant Hill and Reaves roads in Poinciana and just adjacent to a conservation area near Lake Tohopekaliga, the new 65,000 square-foot building Valencia College Poinciana campus sits on 19 acres of land and has made environmental stewardship an essential component of the Poinciana Campus.
This state-of-the-art building will host 12 classrooms, a science lab, two computer labs, a Culinary teaching kitchen, library, tutoring center, indoor/outdoor cafe, and WiFi access throughout the campus. Credit classes will be offered Monday through Friday, 7:00am to 9:45pm and Saturdays 8:30am to 2:30pm and will serve 2.500 degree seeking students.
The campus will also be home to the Center for Accelerated Training, which will offer continuing education courses in English as a Second Language, Spanish, construction, welding, and other short-term training needs. The campus plans to offer a variety of personal enrichment programs as well. Days and times of course offerings will vary.
“Imagine how different the future will be when students from Poinciana only have to spend 15 minutes on the bus, instead of five hours,” said Kathleen Plinske, president of Valencia’s Poinciana, Osceola and Lake Nona campuses. “Imagine how many more of our students will be able to pursue a college education when a campus is in their backyard.”
For information on the new campus call 407-582-4980, visit the Poinciana campus area at the Osceola campus, or visit www.valenciacollege.edu/poinciana.
It’s an exciting time for those individuals who live in the Poinciana area who have been unable to attend Valencia College simply because of transportation challenges, and with the partnership of so many different organizations and individuals in Osceola County, it is about to become a reality. It’s a perfect example of making a positive difference in Osceola County!