With over 18 years of experience in higher education, Dr, Mike Bosley sees great opportunity for Lake Nona education in the near future. As Executive Dean of Valencia College’s new Lake Nona Campus, Bosley spoke with Insight East Orlando about the academic and financial advantages afforded to Valencia students, and the role that the new school will play in Lake Nona’s Collaborative Learning Initiative. Below is the full interview.
Insight East Orlando (IEO): When is the first day of classes for the new campus?
Bosley: August 27, 2012.
IEO: How many students will be enrolled by this semester?
Bosley: We anticipate 1500-2500 students this year.
IEO: How many of those students are starting their first year of college?
Bosley: Approximately 50 percent.
IEO: When did construction begin and end on the new school?
Bosley: May 2011 through July 2012.
IEO: How much has the school cost?
Bosley: The first building and infrastructure for the new campus cost $21.5 million.
IEO: How large is the facility?
Bosley: 83,000 square feet with 600 parking spaces.
IEO: How much money has been invested in regards to special equipment?
Bosley: Approximately $500,000 in computers and science equipment.
IEO: How many students can the college hold total?
Bosley: The first building can accommodate about 3,500 students. With the completion of all 4 buildings on campus, we anticipate serving 8,000-10,000 students in 250, 000 square feet
IEO: What is the plan for Lake Nona education?
Bosley: Lake Nona has developed the Lake Nona Education Initiative. This work was supported by a collaborative group of community leaders who have laid out a plan for innovation and collaboration among the public and private schools as well as the colleges and universities.
IEO: How does Valencia fit into that plan?
Bosley: At first we are offering courses that will lead to our Associate of Sciences degrees, focusing on advance Math and Science courses. Next year we will be developing our curriculum for our Life Sciences Institute in cooperation with the Osceola campus.
IEO: Why is Lake Nona such a prime location?
Bosley: Lake Nona is the future of Central Florida. The industries and health service providers that are developing here will help diversify the local economy. Valencia has always worked to meet the academic and workforce needs in our community and this was the next logical location for us to grow.
IEO: Given the rise in tuition at state universities, has Valencia seen a rise in enrollment?
Bosley: Valencia has absorbed an increase in enrollment over the last several years. Valencia has always and will continue to be an excellent value in higher education. We have established amazing relationships with other colleges and universities in our community and are considered an excellent place for all students to start their education. With small classes, convenient locations, excellent faculty, quality learning support services and low costs, you can see why Valencia was awarded the 2011 Aspen Award for Excellence in Community Colleges.
IEO: Is that spike in potential out-of-pocket costs for students a motivation to make transfers as smooth as possible?
Bosley: We collaborate with our partner UCF, through the Direct Connect to UCF program to make the transfer process as smooth as possible.
IEO: What should Lake Nona residents expect in the future?
Bosley: Valencia College’s Lake Nona campus will be an excellent community partner and resource for those seeking higher education, work force training or personal improvement. Look for our Community Open House and Campus Dedication of September 20, 2012 beginning at 5:00 p.m. with campus tours from 6-8 p.m
Interview by Victor Ocasio
To see the economic impact that Valencia continues to have on Central Florida, check out the school’s informative Economic Report video.