Bachelor of Design in Architecture

> Grant Helps Fund New Architecture Degree

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dr. Phillips Charities has awarded the University of Florida College of Design, Construction & Planning $140,000 to develop a master’s degree in architecture using Citylab-Orlando, an architectural design laboratory inside the University of Central Florida’s Emerging Media Center.

The collaboration provides a two-year associate’s degree in architecture from Valencia College, a two-year bachelor’s degree in architecture design from UCF and a two-year master of architecture degree from UF.

“In the past, local architecture students had to leave Central Florida to receive their education,” said John Ehrig, vice president of the Orlando-based architectural firm HHCP, who helped craft the UF, UCF and Valencia College partnership. “Now, through this partnership, students can remain here.”

Dr. Phillips Charities also awarded the following grants:

  • A $74,000 grant to expand an anti-bullying program into middle schools in Osceola County.

  • A $41,000 grant to the Adult Literacy League of Orlando to underwrite the hiring of a volunteer coordinator to help manage the increased demand on the League’s services.

  • A $100,000 matching pledge to Florida Hospital Foundation that includes support for staff positions for care coordination and educational advocacy of Florida Hospital’s Center for Child Development.

Dr. Phillips Charities — which includes Dr. Phillips Inc. and The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation — awarded nearly $14 million in grants in 2010 to Central Florida nonprofits.

> First Architecture Class Draws a Crowd

By Michelle Fuentes Apr. 29, 2010

More than 50 students showed off their best architectural studio design work at last week’s pin-up review held at UCF Valencia West. The students from Valencia Community College and six other Florida schools are vying for a spot in UCF’s inaugural class for the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program.

A team of faculty and industry professionals from six of Central Florida’s top architectural planning and design firms evaluated the students’ best sketches, renderings and 3-D models. The judging criteria included design process, design resolution and communication skills.

The partnership between Valencia and UCF allows students to take two years of classes as Valencia students and two years as UCF students. Students then have the option to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Florida (UF) College of Design program based in UCF’s Center for Emerging Media in downtown Orlando or at another institution.

Admission decisions for the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program will be announced on April 30. The program starts this fall at UCF Valencia West with a class of at least 32 students.

For more information, visit

> UCF to Start Architecture Program

By Chad Binette Nov. 19, 2009

UCF will partner with Valencia Community College and the University of Florida to launch a new Bachelor of Design program in Architecture starting in fall 2010.

Approved Thursday by the Board of Trustees, the program will prepare students for a variety of careers, including professional architecture, construction management and industrial design. The median annual salary for design professionals is about $72,000, according to Workforce Florida.

Students will take two years of classes as Valencia students and two years as UCF students. They then can move on to obtain their master’s degree, potentially by staying in Orlando and enrolling in a University of Florida College of Design program based in UCF’s Center for Emerging Media in downtown Orlando.

The Valencia and UCF classes will be taught at the new University Center building shared by the two schools at Valencia’s West Campus. The local chapter of the American Institute of Architects has worked closely with Valencia, UCF and UF to develop the program.

For more information, visit

> Gov. Crist Helps UCF, Valencia Leaders Dedicate University Center

By Chad Binette Oct. 29, 2009

University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College leaders today dedicated a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly building that the schools share at Valencia’s West Campus.

Gov. Charlie Crist helped to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the three-story, 100,000-square-foot building, which houses classes and offices for UCF and Valencia.

UCF and Valencia are cornerstones of the most productive university-community college partnership in the country – DirectConnect to UCF. Graduates of Valencia and three other area community colleges are guaranteed admission to UCF through the program. Joint advising helps students make the transition to UCF and earn their degrees more quickly.

Nearly 38,000 Valencia students have enrolled in DirectConnect to UCF since 2006, and more than 16,000 Valencia students enrolled this fall are in the DirectConnect pipeline.

The new University Center building will enable UCF to offer more classes and programs in West Orlando, expanding opportunities for residents to earn bachelor’s degrees in a convenient, affordable way close to home.

“The opening of this facility is an opportunity to celebrate a powerful and effective partnership,” said UCF Provost and Executive Vice President Terry Hickey. “This relationship continues to evolve to the benefits of both parties and, most importantly, to our community.”

The University Center opened for classes in August, when 775 UCF students began studying there. UCF offers complete bachelor’s degrees in Nursing, Electrical Engineering, Applied Science, Business Administration , Interdisciplinary Studies and Psychology at Valencia’ s West Campus. Valencia’s engineering programs also are housed in the building.

Crist praised retired state Sen. Dan Webster and state Rep. David Mealor for their leadership in securing state funding for the University Center.

"Increasing access to higher education strengthens the overall talent of our workforce and opens new doors to economic opportunity and security," Crist said. "This innovative partnership will provide Floridians greater opportunities to earn a wide variety of four-year degrees and ultimately achieve great things."

David Harrison, UCF’s vice provost for Regional Campuses, said he hopes the expanded access to a UCF education will help more Valencia students achieve their educational goals.

“Our students work hard. Many of them work more than one job. A lot of them have family responsibilities and many of them are paying for their own education,” Harrison said. “Hopefully, this facility will help lighten the load for many of those students and their families by making access to bachelor’s degrees -- UCF bachelor's degrees -- more convenient to students in this part of the county.”

UCF trustees Pat Christiansen and Phyllis Klock joined several Valencia trustees and vice presidents of both schools at the ceremony. After the ribbon-cutting, Provost Hickey read a plaque honoring UCF’s founding president, Charles Millican. The plaque recognized Millican’s efforts in support of Valencia’s founding and in initiating the partnership between the two schools.

Valencia President Sanford Shugart highlighted the University Center’s many environmentally friendly features. Valencia and UCF have applied to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the gold level for the building. The environmental features include:

-- The lights, windows, roof and wall insulation and air conditioning system are energy efficient. The University Center is 28 percent more efficient than a conventional building, which results in about $35,000 in annual energy savings.

-- Solar panels installed on the roof provide 10 percent of the electricity that powers the building.

-- The lights inside each room automatically adjust to the brightness needed to illuminate the room.

-- Faucets use about 75 percent less water than conventional faucets, saving about a half-gallon of water with each use.

-- More than 600,000 pounds of construction waste were recycled instead of being sent to a landfill.

The University Center includes more than 40 classrooms, a state-of-the-art testing center, computer labs, study rooms, faculty office and a café.

> UCF Welcomes New Partners, Programs to Downtown Emerging Media Center

By Christine Dellert Oct. 26, 2009

The Center for Emerging Media expands Orlando's digital media and and simulation presence.

The University of Central Florida expanded its downtown digital media and simulation presence Monday as the school welcomed several new partners to its Center for Emerging Media.

Among the new programs that will be housed at the downtown campus is a research and teaching center from the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning named Citylab-Orlando.

Citylab-Orlando joins UCF’s MFA in Studio Art & the Computer program and Flying Horse Editions, UCF’s nonprofit fine arts press, at the downtown center. Its new facilities include a state-of-the-art digital imaging lab and private studio and printing press space, all totaling about 12,500 square feet.

“Our new partners will strengthen UCF’s academic offerings and this state-of-the-art center’s important role as an economic driver for downtown Orlando and the Central Florida region,” said UCF Provost and Executive Vice President Terry Hickey. “We look forward to providing more hands-on educational opportunities that help our students secure high-paying jobs in a variety of high-tech fields.”

UF’s Citylab-Orlando will bring about 50 students and four faculty members to the center. Through the center, faculty and students from UF and UCF will have opportunities to collaborate. The program already is working on different uses for future public space under Interstate 4 in downtown Orlando, dubbed the city’s “Bridge District,” and will address various community design projects through grants, contract work, pro-bono projects, continuing education classes, exhibits and lectures.

“Citylab-Orlando provides our students a unique opportunity to engage in the work of building in a great city and to learn by doing,” said Christopher Silver, dean of the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning.

Downtown Orlando at Night

It's All Right Here

Every step of your education in architecture can be completed right here in Central Florida. The associate and bachelor degree programs are housed at the joint-use University Center on the Valencia West Campus, and the master program will be housed at the UFs Citylab Orlando in downtown Orlando.