Valencia College, which has several campuses in the Orlando, Fla., area, has opened a new site—the Poinciana campus in Kissimmee.
Classes are scheduled to begin next week in the recently completed $27 million facility, the college says.
The college says it added the Poinciana campus to make it easier for potential students to attend classes. The college’s Osceola campus, which had been the next closest location, takes two-and-a-half hours to reach by bus and 45 minutes by car from the Poinciana area.
The building is outfitted with 12 classrooms, a science lab, two computer labs, a culinary teaching kitchen, library, tutoring center, indoor/outdoor cafe, and Wi-Fi access throughout the campus.
Students at the Poinciana site may enroll in associate degree programs in culinary management, hospitality management, information technology, criminal justice technology and other programs, as well as continuing education courses in English and short-term training programs in construction. As an incentive for students to enroll at the new campus, the college is offering a $500 scholarship to every student who registers to attend full-time this fall.
The Poinciana campus also will 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.
College leaders say they anticipate about 1,200 students will attend classes in Poinciana this fall, The Orlando Sentinel reports; that number may grow to as many as 5,000 in the future.
The campus has been years in the making.
More than 70,000 people live in the Poinciana area, and less than half of adults ages 25 and older have completed any college courses, according to the U.S. Census bureau. Less than one in five persons in Poinciana has a bachelor’s degree, compared with about a third nationwide.
The architect is DLR Group, and the builder is Clancy & Theys.