DirectConnect

Institution
State
Florida
Academic Level
Associate
Issue Area
Transfer
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Community Partnerships / Collective Impact,
Pathway/Pipeline

Overview

Accelerating Hispanic college transfer and degree completion is an intentional part of DirectConnect, as is a commitment to practices and policies that produce positive results. DirectConnect at Valencia has enabled more of their Hispanic students to fulfill their college aspirations, providing them with a compelling reason to stay the course, graduate from Valencia, and earn a baccalaureate degree at the University of Central Florida.

Program Description

DirectConnect was introduced in 2006 as a partnership between the University of Central Florida (UCF) and four Central Florida colleges: Valencia College, Brevard, Lake-Sumter State College, and Seminole State College. Open to all students, this transfer initiative places emphasis on the student experience, smooth transition from college to the university, shared-use of facilities, and strong academic programs/services. Specifically, DirectConnect students receive preferential and concurrent admission to UCF, which increases student access. Shared advisers, curriculum alignment, and a regional approach to programs ensure consistency across institutions, student success in subsequent courses/programs, and smooth transitions. Scholarship dollars are raised at joint philanthropic events. For example, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation offered a challenge grant to support need-based scholarships specifically for DirectConnect students. Further, shared-use facilities at Valencia include the University Center at West Campus and classrooms and common spaces at the Osceola Campus. DirectConnect at Valencia is a fully integrated program that does not separate associated costs or budgets. It has proven to be a highly productive, fiscally responsible, and scalable program, withstanding the best and worst budget conditions.

Outcome

In 2017-2018:

Valencia’s Hispanic DirectConnect students comprised 44.4% of all Hispanic transfer students to the University of Central Florida.

Valencia College transfer students were 23.7% of all University of Central Florida baccalaureate graduates.

Hispanic students were 31.6% of Valencia College students who transferred and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a baccalaureate degree.