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Valencia College was named the top U.S. community college in the nation in 2011. The Aspen Institute awarded Valencia College the first annual Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence after a year-long effort to recognize excellence in the nation's 1,200 community colleges, based on student performance and graduation data collected by the U.S. Department of Education.
Valencia is a premier learning college that transforms lives, strengthens community, and inspires individuals to excellence. At Valencia we never stop asking the big questions about why we exist and what our purpose is. As we strive to have our students learn as much as possible for as little as possible, we constantly look back at our history and mission to make sure we're on the right track. These documents aren't just words to us, they help explain who we are and why we're here.
In an ongoing effort to be responsive to the business community, Valencia relationships with high schools, universities and corporate partners to strengthen academic scholarship and economic development. Valencia has hundreds of corporate education/training partnerships, including those with Florida Hospital, Lockheed Martin, NationsBank, Sea World, SmithKline/Beecham, and Universal Studios. The National Alliance of Business named Valencia "National Community College of the Year" in 1998 for its "effective and innovative leadership" in meeting the workforce needs of business and industry. The recognition is considered one of the country's most prestigious higher education awards.
Our selection in 2000 as a Vanguard Learning College is just further affirmation of the effectiveness of our student-first philosophy. It's a philosophy we've had for more than 30 years, and it continues to guide us into what we hope is an even bigger and brighter future.
Valencia produced more associate's degree graduates in 2003 than any other two-year school in the nation. Among the top 100 universities, colleges community colleges, Valencia once again ranked 2nd in the number of associate's degrees conferred. In Florida alone, Valencia graduates more Hispanics and Asian Americans than any other two-year school in the state. Valencia's fine-arts faculty was called "one of the best faculties in the region" by the Orlando Sentinel. Valencia was named 1998-99 National Community College of the Year by the National Alliance of Business and was chosen by Time Magazine in 2001 as one of the nation's best schools at helping first-year students excel.
In terms of the number of students, Valencia is the 3rd largest of Florida 's 28 community colleges.