As Orlando's college contingent lobbies for state money to help build a $200 million downtown college campus on the site of the former Amway in Parramore, The University of Central Florida gets the most time in the spotlight. However, it's the Valencia College part of the partnership that is a critical link to higher education for the neighborhood.
"It's a window, it's a door," said Dr. Falecia Williams, President of Valencia's West Campus.
"Valencia provides the access," said Craig Ustler, developer of Creative Village where the downtown campus would be built. If you have a high school degree you are granted access to Valencia." And if you get a two-year degree from Valencia you are guaranteed into UCF.
"If it was just UCF without Valencia, neighborhood high school graduates would be faced with UCF admission standards that could restrict access," Ustler said.