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Joint UCF and Valencia Campus Opens Downtown in August, Offers Academic Programs and On-Campus Housing

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Attendants at the hard hat tour of UCF Downtown were given special vests to wear. Photo: Easton Underdahl

A new joint downtown campus of the University of Central Florida and Valencia College is scheduled to open in August.

The campus will open August 26th to some 7,700 students who will be able to choose from 20 academic programs.

Executive Dean of Valencia College’s downtown campus Eugene Jones says, for example, some students will earn an associates degree in baking or culinary management.

Members of the tour group gaze out the window at downtown Orlando. Photo: Easton Underdahl

He says students in these programs will learn:

“Everything from mixology to baking to pasty to…we even have a stone fire pizza oven that we will have in this building also.”

UCF Downtown Assistant Vice President Mike Kilbride says the graduates will be able to apply these skills at Orlando restaurants, benefiting the local foodie economy.

But Kilbride says students in any of the campuses’ programs will benefit from the unique professional and cultural opportunities that come from living and working downtown.

UCF Downtown’s Culinary Department, almost finished with construction. Photo: Easton Underdahl

“They can walk to their internships in these majors as well as have access to a rich environment downtown. Events at the Dr. Phillips Center. When you think of everything’s that’s going on at Lake Eola. Those will be value adds for the students on this campus.”

On-campus student housing will be available for 640 students and offers a health clinic, recreational center, and restaurants.

UnionWest at Creative Village is still under construction, but plans to open its doors in August. Photo: Easton Underdahl

The campus is a part of the $1 billion dollar Creative Village development project

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »